The future of business analytics is bright. That’s partly because people generate more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of digital data every day. To put that number in perspective, if you laid 1 quintillion pennies end to end, you could cover the Earth’s surface twice.
It’s therefore not surprising that students earning a degree in business analytics will enter a market with ample opportunity. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of market research analysts is growing much faster than average — by a projected 23% between 2016 and 2026. The job outlook for related positions, such as management analyst and operations research analyst, is also above average, as someone needs to manage all that digital information and convert it to meet business goals.
The following three trends in data and business intelligence arm business analytics professionals to help companies leverage raw data to reach their goals.
Search-Based Discovery Tools
Using raw data to answer specific questions or track trends isn’t a foreign concept to many. After all, people do it all the time when they turn to tools such as Google and other search engines to find something. Search queries are second nature to many individuals, but not every company has user-friendly data discovery technology for this purpose.
Shant Hovsepian, chief technology officer and co-founder of Arcadia Data, says “Using a Google-like interface in the enterprise is still restricted to small segments of the available data sets.” Hovsepian notes businesses of all types will need to make a major push in this area if they wish to maintain scalability (the capabilities of their computing processes) and remain competitive in the markets. That push requires the expertise of business analytics professionals.
But bringing the power of search-based discovery tools to the internal operations of enterprises isn’t the only area where business analytics knowledge shines. Online marketing is a key initiative for all types of businesses, and an understanding of the data mechanics of Google and other search engines is critical to its success. The future of business analytics in marketing is now. Time spent on page, social shares, where page visits originate from, and other data can inform marketing decisions and drive relevant traffic.
AI and Machine Learning
Machine learning and AI facilitate high efficiency at substantially reduced costs. Experts predict machine learning will complete a growing number of customer service tasks in the future, but the effectiveness of these technologies depends heavily on the people behind them. Even machines with the capacity to learn must be fed the right information, and business analysts are often the keepers of these solutions.
“The options created by machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are endless, and it will be a race for companies to harness its power and create new services that provide value in unique ways,” Business 2 Community contributor Telmo Silva says.
Silva also points out that the current shortage of qualified data analysts will likely pose a challenge for organizations when this race heats up. As a result, however, qualified graduates of advanced business analytics programs will likely find plenty of employment opportunities.
Cloud computing, the process of using remote servers on the internet to store and manage data, provides many of the benefits businesses demand: reduced reliance on physical resources that are often outdated as soon as they are installed; increased efficiencies, especially when working with teams in disparate locations; and plenty of options for redundancy management and disaster planning.
But taking advantage of these benefits isn’t always easy. Companies need to develop viable workflows to pool resources, share information efficiently but securely, oversee data access to protect consumers, and maintain the speed and ease with which data can be accessed. Business analysts manage data flow within cloud-based structures, help design and develop data processes, and analyze both the data and the performance of systems overall to ensure business goals are supported.
Join the Future of Business Analytics
With so much reliance on data in the modern business world, analytics jobs are multiplying regularly. If you are excited about participating in the future of business with a focus on leveraging the power of big data, the best way to prepare for an exciting career in the field is by earning an advanced degree such as Ohio University’s Online Master of Business Analytics. Discover how this cutting-edge program helps professionals prepare for today’s data-driven business careers.