Why Get a Business Analytics Degree?

Created by Henry Steele

By Henry Steele - April 5, 2017
Reading Time: 7 minutes
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Data creation and consumption continues massive growth in the business world, and companies are continuing to pour billions of dollars into business analytics workers, hardware, software and services.

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At the same time, the global business market is getting more competitive by the day, and the amount of data that businesses have to sort through to make critical business decisions to stay on top is also growing. Therefore the field of business analytics is becoming very important for businesses to keep their edge and expand their market share.

Business analytics is used today to gather new insights that can be used to make good business decisions, and to fully optimize complex business processes.

Business analytics involves two basic methods: business intelligence and statistical analysis. Business intelligence involves the review of historical data to get a good idea of how a department, team or company performed over a certain time period. Statistical analysis applies algorithms to historical data to make predictions about how a product or service may perform in the future.

Business Analytics Degree Opportunity

Business technology is becoming more and more advanced. This is causing growth trend for business analytics in making business decisions to explode. How much is business analytics use growing in global companies? Consider:

  • The worldwide business analytics software market is poised to grow by 9.7% through 2017, according to International Data Corporation.
  • In 2012, the global business analytics software market grew 8.7% year over year; revenues were $35 billion.
  • Forbes magazine reports that by the end of 2017, revenue growth from products based upon information will double the remaining product and service portfolio for 33% of Fortune 500 companies. Data monetization will continue to be a major revenue source, and the world will create 180 trillion gigabytes of data by 2025.
  • McKinsey Global Institute reported that by next year, the US alone could have a shortage of 190,000 people with deep business analytic skills. That organization also predicted a 1.5 million shortfall of managers and analysts with the skills to mine big data to make effective decisions.
  • International Data Corporation also reported in 2015 that worldwide revenues for business analytics and big data will increase from $130 billion in 2016 to more than $203 billion in 2020.

Experts are predicting that business analytics professionals with cutting edge big data skills will be in big demand for many years to come.

Business Analytics Career Paths

There are a high number of excellent career options in the business analytics field today. The Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS reports that there will be at least 8% growth in all business and financial jobs in the US by 2024. However, there is little doubt that business and technical professionals with business analytic and big data mining skills will be in greater demand in the coming years.

Some of the common career paths in America today, where business analytics skills are extremely useful, include these:

  • Operations research analysts: These business analyst professionals must be highly skilled in mathematical, analytical and business analytical methods to assist companies in solving their problems and increasing their market share. They play vital roles in helping companies deciding how to better allocate their resources and to manage their supply chain better. This field will grow by an explosive 30% by 2024, and those with strong business analytical skills will be in great demand.
  • Market research analysts: These marketing and business experts must analyze market conditions to determine what the potential sales could be of a new product or service. They are used to help corporations to understand the types of products and features that people want. Marketing research analysts use business analytics and data mining to understand who will buy new products and at what price. The job outlook in this field is excellent with 19% growth predicted in the next few years. The huge increase in data availability and market research will really drive demand in this role.
  • Management analysts: These business analysts may be called management consultants in some roles. They study and propose efficient ways for organizations to boost their profits and to streamline their operations. Collecting data about past sales, available inventory and current corporate structure are important parts of providing recommendations to the company. Job growth will grow at a healthy 14% clip by 2024.
  • Financial analysts: These finance and business analysts offer detailed guidance to both companies and people who are making critical investment decisions. They focus their work on providing analysis of potential investment opportunities. They often use business analytics and data analysis skills as they work in pension funds, banks, securities firms, insurance companies and other financial related companies. This field will see a strong 12% increase in job demand by 2024.

Business Analytics Salaries

Many business professionals opt to focus their careers on business analytics because the high job demand in so many different jobs usually means a good salary. Below are the median salaries according to BLS for some of the common business analytics-related careers:

  • Operations research analysts earn a median salary of $78,630 per year, and the top 10% earn over $132,000 per year.
  • Management analysts earn a median salary of $81,320 per year, and the top 10% earn more than $150,000 per year.
  • Financial analysts earn a median salary of $80,300 with the top 10% earnings more than $160,000 per year.
  • Market research analysts earn a median salary of $62,150 per year, and the top 10% earn $120,460 per year.

The part of the country in which you live also will affect your earning potential in business analytics. Business analytic professionals in these cities have the greatest salary potential:

  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Portland, Oregon
  • San Diego, California
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Hartford, Connecticut
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Louis, Missouri

Business Analytics Employers

The business analytics and big data field is growing very rapidly, as technology and competition increases across the world. According to Forbes, some of the best big data and business analytics companies to work for in 2016 were:

  • Paxata
  • Qubole
  • Gainsight
  • InsightSquared
  • Trifacta
  • Kyvos Insights
  • SiSense
  • ThoughtSpot
  • Google
  • Looker
  • com
  • Microsoft
  • SAP
  • SAS

Business Analytics Bachelor’s Degree

Students who want to enjoy an exciting career in business analytics and do not yet have a bachelor’s degree may want to consider a Bachelor’s in Business Data Analytics from Arizona State University.

This online business degree will teach you how to both create and manage big data efforts, as well as the advanced business processes that are used in business analytics solutions in major companies. Some of the courses that this online, four year bachelor’s offers include:

  • Big Data Analytics and Visualization in Business
  • Business Data Mining
  • Business Databases Systems Development
  • Enterprise Analytics
  • Planning and Control Systems for Supply Chain Management
  • Logistics Management
  • Web Design and Development
  • Marketing and Business Performance

The WP Carey bachelor’s degree in business data analytics has been determined to be a STEM-eligible degree program by the Department of Homeland Security. This means that some graduates on student visas may be able to qualify for an Optional Practical Training or OPT extension for up to 36 months. This extended work authorization may help the student to gain more US work experience.

Business Analytics Master’s Degree

An experienced business professional who desires to transition into a big data or business analytics role could consider earning a Master of Science in Business Analytics from NYU Stern. See also Best Online Big Data Analytics Degree options.

Graduates of this one year, part time master’s program will develop the skills to drive superior business results, as they gain the ability to transform business data into a predictive and powerful business asset. The business analytics skills you gain at NYU Stern will be vital in helping your company to solve business challenges in the 21st century.

Students are taught to understand the role of business data in making critical business decisions, and also how to leverage that data into an important strategic asset. The program is specifically designed for the experienced business professional who desires a gain of competitive advantage by better understanding the predictive power of business data.

Further, master’s students at NYU Stern have the ability to cross learn and to share the best business analytics practices they are learning among their classmates. Students are exposed to elite business analytics and business data faculty, as well as top business leaders in the field.

The culmination and highlight of this master’s program is your business analytics capstone. This provides you with a real world chance to apply the business data skills you have learned. You will work with a four to six student group and present a practical case study on a business topic that you choose.

This is a hybrid program that includes several on site class sessions in New York City, and approximately 25 hours per week of distance learning classes. Other MBA programs can be found by reviewing some of our Online MBA program school partners. Many online masters programs forgo the GRE requirement.

Business Analytics Admission Requirements

Admission requirements vary widely depending upon the exact school and program. For the above Master of Science degree at NYU Stern, you would need to meet these requirements:

  • At least five years of work experience in a business field
  • A bachelor’s degree in a related field and a high GPA
  • Proven aptitude for quantitative analysis and success in college, as shown by your prior academic record
  • Three essays
  • Resume
  • Two recommendations
  • Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • Interview for final candidates

Business Analytics Curriculum

For a master’s degree program in business analytics, common coursework may include the below, which are featured at NYU Stern:

  • Foundations of Statistics
  • Digital Marketing Analytics
  • Data Driven Decision Making
  • Data Science for Business Analytics
  • Dealing with Data
  • Decision Models

Business Analytics Financial Assistance

Earning an undergraduate or graduate degree in business analytics is a substantial financial commitment. Some of the scholarships that are available to help you include:

  • University of Minnesota: The Carlson School’s Master of Science in Business Analytics is currently offering $400,000 in scholarships for highly qualified students. A total of 20 scholarships will be offered in the next year.
  • University of Colorado Denver: The CU Denver School of Business has several scholarships available to help master’s students to pay for their degree. There is a specific scholarship available for students of the Master of Science in Business Analytics.
  • University of Texas Dallas: Both undergraduate and graduate scholarships are available for students who are studying business related programs, including business analytics.

Business Analytics Certifications

There are a number of beneficial certifications and certificates that you can earn in the area of business analytics, business data and business intelligence. Some of these can be highly useful if you do not want to commit to a full degree program at this time. The organization or university that offers the certification or certificate is listed, as well.

  • Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) – INFORMS
  • Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences – Columbia University
  • Certificate in Engineering Excellence in Big Data Analytics and Optimization (CPEE) – International School of Engineering
  • Certificate in Analytics
  • EMC Data Science Associate (EMCDSA) – EMC
  • Mining Massive Data Sets Graduate Certificate – Stanford University

Business Analytics Associations

Business professionals who are drawn to business analytics and business intelligence may want to investigate these associations:

  • DAMA International
  • Digital Analytics Association
  • Big Data Value Association
  • Data Science Association
  • Data and Marketing Association
  • Transforming Data With Intelligence


Henry Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.

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