Netflix documentary Alma Matters briefly captures the unanticipated surge in popularity of data analytics in recent years. Analytics as a discipline has undergone a huge transformation and owing to its technical nature, it is important that students understand the subject thoroughly before taking it up.
What is Business Analytics?
Business Analytics comprises the usage of statistical methods and technologies by businesses for analyzing historical data. It aids in gaining new insights and improvement in strategic decision-making. The various methodologies involved include data mining, statistical analysis, and predictive analysis as data management solutions to derive useful information from data.
The ultimate goal of business analytics is to use the derived information to identify, anticipate trends and results, and to make informed, smarter, data-driven business decisions accordingly. Students have the option of either pursuing an MBA in Business Analytics or an MS in Business Analytics.
According to a research, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is generated per day. Businesses and organizations require technical experts or analytics to capture valuable information and gather the required insights. This leads to smarter investments by the businesses and chances of greater profits in the future.
MBA in Business Analytics:
An MBA in Business Analytics program has extensive coursework for students with a business background. The MBA programs are not entirely dedicated to business analytics; however, they offer specializations or concentrations in business analytics. But on the whole, the program teaches students how to make better data-driven business decisions.
The core subjects include accounting, marketing, finance, and strategy, while the business analytics-related subjects of this program are taken as electives. The main focus is on business applications of data analytics and specializations in business forecasting, big data, statistical applications, and optimization.
MBAs cover a range of topics and are broader in design, which translates to not the same amount of hands-on experience with analytical methodologies and tools as MS in Business Analytics.
An example of the same is an MBA program that covers topics like machine learning to explore the historical and theoretical application to business problems instead of hands-on learning experience through developing statistical models for forecasting business outcomes.
MS in Business Analytics:
A Master’s program in Business Analytics focuses on technical skills along with the basics of business strategies. The strategies help in applying the technical skills efficiently to maximize the benefits derived from it. With a Master’s in BA, students gain advanced knowledge about subjects like machine learning, software engineering, and analytical modeling too.
Mainly, students seek courses that provide hands-on experience in programming languages like R and Python, which are the most popular languages in data analytics. The development of custom R modules using Python is common, and hence, these two programming languages are often paired in the courses.
The Masters in Business Analytics coursework aims for:
- Students to be able to identify the most appropriate technical tools and methodologies to find a solution to any given business problem
- Students should develop the right business and technical aptitude for using the available tools to solve a business problem.
The design of the technical coursework is sophisticated and when combined with courses like business fundamentals, management, and marketing, helps achieve the above-mentioned goals for the students.
What is the difference between MBA and MS in Business Analytics?
- Business Analytics is offered as a specialization or concentration in an MBA program while a Master’s is completely dedicated to the study of BA.
- In the case of an MBA, the program structure is more theoretical and focused on the broader application of data analytics to achieve better business outcomes. On the other hand, a Master’s is a balanced combination of practical and theoretical study, with hands-on experience of machine learning, predictive modeling, and software engineering, all to solve different business challenges.
- MBA is preferred by students with a business background who need to acquaint themselves with data analytics. While a Master’s appeals to students with technical backgrounds wishing to develop mastery in data science application techniques.
What are than job opportunities in Business Analytics?
The job prospects for data analyst professionals have improved greatly and are listed in the ’50 Best Jobs in America’ roundup. These professionals are required not only for compilation, analysis, and examination to find insights among multiple data sources but also to find solutions, chalk out financial risks, and find new revenue-generating opportunities for businesses.
Which is better MBA or MS in Business Analytics?
An MBA degree prepares students for a variety of subjects and lets them venture out to explore many options. On the other hand, a Master’s degree is more focused, making students experts on the subject at the same time it narrows down the opportunities for students to more niche job roles.
The skillset developed through an MBA differs from that of a Master’s. MBA degree teaches the students leadership, adaptability, teamwork, strategic planning and communication skills. The student’s elective subject will contribute to the knowledge of that particular subject in depth.
While a Master’s will equip students for designing or implementing tests of processes, financial planning, data reviewing and forecasting.
Depending on the student’s career path, MBA or MS can be chosen. If business-related skills are required, then one should go for an MBA. Otherwise, a Master’s in data analytics is recommended for a more focused study.
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