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How to start a career in business analytics

By Ana Isabel Alonsagay

A successful business relies on good decisions, careful planning, and a relevant, competitive edge. Fortunately, business analytics can help one achieve all three. 

Designed to boost company growth, customer service, and overall profitability – business analytics is the practice of examining data surrounding a business’ activity, competitors, and consumer base. Such information is then used to gain insights on company performance and ways to improve specific processes or mitigate risk. 

Skills in business analytics are thus critical for any company across industries, helping drive practical, economical, and data-driven decisions. 

We explore the benefits of pursuing a business analytics career below, and how training with Upskilled can help. 

Is business analytics a good career?

Dive into the growing world of big data

Digital data is the backbone of business analytics, requiring professionals to gather, organise, and examine the critical trends and statistics surrounding one’s company and customer activity. As such, the practice is closely intertwined with the field of “big data” – a technological term used to describe mass volumes of (both structured and unstructured) online information. 

The ability to gather and examine big data has become an increasingly critical skill across industries, with internet users now generating about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data per day. As such, 76% of Australian businesses are now planning to increase their spending in the area over the next two years. 

This bodes plenty of opportunity for those with a business analytics background, as much of the field dives into technical methods of data discovering, aggregation, and mining; helping one monitor business performance and identify specific customer patterns. You’ll also learn methods of presenting your data among stakeholders (in an organised, visually appealing manner) in order to communicate clear, relevant, and useful insights. 

Flex (or build) your programming skills

male programmer at work

With AI-powered machines now set to overtake between 400 million to 800 million jobs by 2030 -  coding has become a mandatory language of the modern world. 

Basic programming skills have thus become a highly-prized asset among workers and employers alike, with mandatory training now implemented in specific schools. Pursuing business analytics can help one build these critical technical skills (or hone them further); not only equipping them for a job in the field – but also securing their career in an increasingly digitised future. 

Two of the most common programming languages used in analytics include R (for statistical analysis) and Python (for general coding purposes). Coincidentally, skills in Python also rank among the top most in-demand tech skills for 2021 in Australia, according to Skillsoft’s latest report. 

Boost your problem-solving and critical thinking skills

Working with endless, disorganised datasets is often comprised of varying puzzles. You’ll likely find yourself exploring what specific trends or statistics entail; discovering patterns in business or customer performance; distinguishing the “important” from the “irrelevant” pieces of data; and determining the best methods to organise unstructured information. 

In fact, the field relies on four types of analytics that address such methodical skills: 

  • Descriptive analytics, or the interpretation of past data and KPIs to identify significant trends and patterns;

  • Diagnostic analytics, or the process of determining which elements influence or cause specific trends

  • Predictive analytics, or predicting future outcomes based on existing statistics; and 

  • Prescriptive analytics, or developing new action plans based on past performance data.

Pursuing business analytics can thus help one sharpen their problem-solving and critical thinking abilities – transferable skills required of any business. 

Help businesses grow their revenue

Finally, business analytics can equip you with the knowledge to drive companies towards financial success.

Through constant assessment of business and customer insights, analysts can develop the best methods to beat market competition; improve lacklustre customer strategies; and offer advanced, personalised service tailored to the needs of individual clients. The practice also allows for a faster, more accurate decision-making process, improving the overall productivity of management; and effectively minimises risk by helping companies plan for the unexpected.

Such outcomes offer a significant boost to business growth and performance – leading to greater long-term profits. As a business analyst, you’ll play a vital role in helping companies achieve their sales and marketing goals, while having the data to measure ongoing progress. 

What career paths can you pursue with a degree in business analytics?

The technical skills of business analytics can help one easily pursue the role of an IT business analyst. Though focused specifically on the intricacies of a company’s IT systems and infrastructure, this path allows one to maximise their programming skills and tech know-how; as they’re tasked with designing, modifying, and maintaining existing business technology. 

IT Business Analyst

IT business analysts examine the ins-and-outs of one’s current IT processes and ensure changes or improvements are made to meet requirements. They also liaise with stakeholders on existing issues and potential solutions to better reach business goals. 

Experience and training in business analytics is crucial, though individuals pursuing this role may also benefit from a ICT50120 – Diploma of Information Technology. This qualification can help equip one with a broader knowledge of IT and the common practices involved; including cyber security, networking, and web development. Students will gain a more comprehensive understanding of IT needs in a business context – and with Upskilled’s online course – can do so through flexible, digital training. 

Salary range: $59,000 - $112,000 AUD (Payscale)

IoT Data Analyst

internet of things concept

Those with a background in business analytics can also pursue the role of an IoT data analyst.

Our rising internet usage has given rise to the world of big data, which, in turn – has paved the way for the Internet of Things (IoT). A term describing the concept of everyday, physical objects connected to the internet (i.e. smart TVs, smart entry locks, smart refrigerators), IoT automates the mundane tasks in our daily lives; helping one save money, energy, and resources. 

An IoT data analyst examines the trends and patterns in the data of an IoT network, helping extract meaningful insights or conclusions. A business analytics background equips one with the fundamental skillset for collecting, analysing, and reporting such data.

As with IT Business analysts, a ICT50120 – Diploma of Information Technology can also be useful for arming one with basic knowledge in digital technology and data management. 

Salary range: $52,000 - $100,000 AUD (Payscale)

Build the skills you need for a business analytics career!

A skillset in business analytics not only benefits any employer – but also broadens your opportunities across sectors in tech and data science. The field is also an ideal fit for those who consider themselves “logical” or “analytical thinkers”. 

Alongside their general diploma program, Upskilled offers a wide range of other IT courses to help build your skills in common practices, processes, and professions in the IT industry. Such training often ties into business analytics, such as the ICT40120 – Certificate IV in Information Technology (Programming)

Best of all, with these programs delivered online, students can train according to their personal needs and schedule.

Pursue the growing field of business analytics today, and enquire with us on a course.
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