Comparing Careers in Big Data: Business Intelligence vs. Business Analytics

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Professionals who are interested in pursuing a career in data science may be interested to learn the need for qualified, experienced analysts is higher than ever. The reason for this is simple: our economy is gathering larger and larger volumes of structured and unstructured data. This includes information on everything from customers’ buying trends to when manufacturing equipment is likely to experience failure. When this type of data is analyzed and utilized properly, it can help drive corporate decision-making.

With an estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes of data produced each day, businesses that have started to harness the power of this data have found they can use this information to their advantage: to develop smarter marketing campaigns, upsell similar products to consumers, and determine more accurate preventive maintenance schedules for large-scale equipment. Thus, organizations that need a strategic advantage over the competition are looking to big data and business analytics professionals.

Developing Analytics Skills That Businesses Need

Those who are trying to choose between careers in business intelligence vs. business analytics are likely to find that pursuing a Master of Business Analytics degree can help them pursue either goal.

These programs help students develop advanced analytics skills that enable them to identify and transform data into meaningful insights. Graduates are offered the expertise to examine and interpret data sets through a wide variety of analytical tools, methodologies, and techniques.

Graduates are also shown how to identify business trends, solve complex organizational challenges, and use data-based discoveries to help organizations mitigate risk. All of these capabilities are widely applicable to careers in both business intelligence and analytics.

Career Opportunities in Business Intelligence

Professionals who are interested in a career path in business intelligence often work as analysts, consultants, and project managers. Common job titles include chief information officer, business intelligence developer, and market intelligence manager.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) broadly classifies these positions in the data science career path, and it should be noted that career growth in this category has been significant.

A January 2019 article published in TechRepublic found there was a 56% year-over-year increase in data science jobs from levels recorded in 2018. The article also noted that “data scientist” has ranked atop Glassdoor’s list of ‘Best Jobs in America’ since 2016.

Career Opportunities in Business Analytics

Those who are interested in business analytics opportunities may work in a number of roles, including in positions relating to business analysis, financial analysis, market research analysis, and operations research analysis.

Data from the BLS suggests that job opportunities in these fields are projected to grow by more than 23% from 2016 to 2026, although the exact employment growth will vary based on industry and occupation.

General Duties and Responsibilities

Specific job duties within business intelligence vs. business analytics largely depend on the industry and job title. However, the fields share several similarities. For example, both professionals mostly work full time in an office. They may work individually or as part of a team. The ability to develop and assess processes involving data analysis is a must-have skill, as is the ability to create policies and procedures for how data is collected and stored.

Business intelligence work with teams within an organization to prioritize and manage the collection, review and deployment of data. This data is vital to market performance or external trends that may affect the company.

In contrast, business analytics study that data for insights to drive business planning. It gains knowledge from historical data and develops reports and recommends new methods based on statistical and predictive analysis.

Earning Potential

Data suggests the earning potential for business analytics professionals is significant. The BLS indicates that in 2018, the average annual salaries for two top career choices — financial analysis and market research analysis — were $85,660 and $63,120, respectively. The highest 10% of financial analysts earned more than $167,420, where the top 10% of market research analysts made roughly $121,080 per year.

The earning potential for business intelligence professionals is equally lucrative. According to the compensation website PayScale, chief data officers (sometimes referred to as chief information officers) earn an average salary of $155,393, although the top 10% of earners take home in excess of $247,000 per year. PayScale further indicates the average annual salary for business intelligence developers is approximately $77,668 per year, with the top 10% of earners making in excess of $107,000 per year.

An Exciting Career in Data Science Awaits

Earning potential, job opportunities, and career advancement opportunities for data scientists are projected to maintain their upward trajectory for the foreseeable future. As a result, professionals who are passionate about problem solving — and who have acumen for analytics, data mapping, and identifying patterns — may find they’re well suited for jobs in this field.

Although the choice as to whether to pursue a career in business intelligence vs. business analytics will be largely personal, those who obtain a master’s degree are likely to find they’re well prepared for both. Learn more about how the Online Master of Business Analytics program at Ohio University can help you pursue a career in analytics, intelligence, and data science.

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Business News Daily, “Finding a Career Path in Big Data & Business Intelligence”

Glassdoor, 50 Best Jobs In America for 2019

O*Net Online, Business Intelligence Analysts

PayScale, Average Business Intelligence (BI) Developer Salary

PayScale, Average Business Intelligence Manager Salary

PayScale, Average Chief Information Officer (CIO) Salary

Robert Half, Business Intelligence Job Description Guide

TechRepublic, “Why Data Scientist Is the Most Promising Job of 2019”

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Management Analysts

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Mathematicians and Statisticians

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Market Research Analyst

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Operations Research Analyst

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics “Working with Big Data”

World Economic Forum, “The Value of Data”