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Businesses rely on the use of data today, and business analytics experts play an important role. By studying and interpreting the available data, they help business owners to understand what is working well and what they need to improve. Here is everything you need to know about becoming a business analytics expert.

Business Analytics: A Wide-Open Field

Data analytics experts study everything from advertisements to product placement. Their interpretations aid businesses in increasing sales and revenue. To become an expert in data analytics, you will need to acquire certain skills and earn specialized degrees.

Perhaps you want to better understand data to increase revenue for your own business. Or maybe you want to climb the career ladder. Whatever your goals, here is everything you need to know about becoming a business analytics expert.

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The Role of a Business Analyst

Many companies have a business analyst, but this is different from a business analytics expert. These professions sound similar, but their skills and the roles they play are quite different.

For example, business analysts focus on a company’s functions and processes. Meanwhile, business analytics experts focus on interpreting the company’s data.

Identifying Problems and Proposing Solutions

Business analysts work to find solutions to the problems they have identified within a business. This may mean introducing a new technology or suggesting a change in policies. Business analysts often work with clients as well as with the development team to adapt the work to suit both of these parties.

The Role of a Business Analytics Expert

On the other hand, business analytics experts focus more on statistical analysis. Then they use their findings to investigate and analyze a business’s current performance. They provide insights into what a business is doing well and what it is not doing well. They then make recommendations based on what they have discovered.

In their role, they work with both external and internal clients. However, their focus is mainly on improving marketing, customer experience, and products through reliance on data.

The Technical Skills You’ll Need to Become a Business Analytics Expert

A business analytics expert needs to be technologically advanced. He or she must be quick to learn new ways of working. Additionally, this role requires using many different software applications.

You will learn what you’ll need to know by studying for a Master of Science in Business Analytics. You can even choose to study this program online. This means you can earn your degree while you continue with your busy work and home schedule. In other words, you will be improving your knowledge and skill sets in a time frame that works for you.

Below are some of the most common tools you will come across as a business analytics expert:

Statistical Software

You should be able to program and code to work as a business analytics expert. However, because you will have access to statistical software, this won’t be an absolute necessity. This is because you can use common statistical software for analyzing and managing the data you compile. These include Mathematica, Excel, and Sage.

SQL

SQL is a coding language that many databases are based on. Therefore, this is a coding language that almost every data analytics expert knows. Experts transcribe SQL queries in order to analyze and extract data from a database. Then they develop visuals to present to clients and stakeholders.

Statistical Languages

There are two languages that are often used in the business analytics world. These are known as R and Python. Having a knowledge of one or both would be beneficial. This can be particularly true should you ever want to apply for jobs at large corporations, where there could be lots of competition for those openings.

The Interpersonal Skills You’ll Need for Becoming a Business Analytics Expert

While you’re going to need plenty of technical skills, these alone will not get you very far as a business analytics expert. Additionally, you’re going to need interpersonal skills to help you find solutions for a company, then communicate effectively with managers and clients alike. Here are some of the interpersonal skills you’ll need:

Creativity

While data might not seem very visual, a business analytics expert should have the creativity to turn data into something that everyone can understand. Once you have interpreted the data, you will need to have the skills to translate this data into a visual picture that is simple to digest and useful.

Communication

As with any business role, communication is key. As a business analytics expert, you won’t always be stuck behind a desk collecting data. Additionally, you will need to present this data to managers, clients, or your colleagues. This means you’ll need great presentation skills. You will also need to have the ability to change your jargon to suit the needs of your audience.

Problem Solving

One of the main roles of a business analytics expert is solving problems. Therefore, you should be a logical thinker who also thinks outside the box. If you are a natural problem solver, you will likely do well in this field. This is because you will need to identify problems and recommend solutions using your expert skills in reading statistics and predicting data.

The Different Roles Within Business Analytics

Even within the business analytics field, there are a number of different career paths to choose from. Here are some of most common roles for business analytics experts:

Predictive Analysts

These analysts look at what might happen in the future of a company. Accordingly, they forecast likely scenarios based on a company’s past data. Their forecasts can aid businesses in making changes before a particular scenario happens instead of waiting until it’s too late.

Diagnostic Analysts

A diagnostic analyst looks for the reasons why things are happening within a business. This means they view data from past processes and campaigns and attempt to understand why something worked or didn’t work. As a diagnostic analyst, you would basically be looking to associate effects with what caused them.

Descriptive Analysts

These analysts look at what is happening right now in the business. They do this by scanning through real-time data. This is often referred to as data mining, a process that can assist businesses in identifying trends in their behavior that can influence outcomes.

Prescriptive Analysts

These data analysts focus on the actions a business needs to take in order to succeed with a particular project or to solve a problem. This usually means providing specific answers to specific questions. To do this, these analysts look to the data that applies to the question the company has asked.

Business Analytics Experts Are in Demand

Companies across the globe are looking for people who are trained in business analytics to improve their business strategies. As we understand more and more about how data can improve our businesses, business analytic experts will become more and more sought-after.