Two Necessary Analytics Careers: Business Analytics vs. Data Analytics

View all blog posts under Articles | View all blog posts under Online Master of Business Analytics

Business associates analyze their company’s previous quarter’s data.

Careers in data science are growing rapidly, and for good reason. In 2017, the World Economic Forum found that the world produces approximately 2.5 quintillion bytes of data on a daily basis. Social media likes, Google searches, and consumer buying activity are just a few examples of the types of data being produced. Organizations need this data to run efficiently and successfully, using it to manage inventories, predict consumer behavior, and, ultimately, drive corporate decision-making.

Organizations around the globe are relying on skilled analysts to help them collect, sort, and analyze these vast sets of data. Those interested in a career in analytics may have found there are different paths to take in this growing field. Here we take a look at business analytics vs. data analytics.

Skill Sets Businesses Need

Professionals who are interested in a career in analytics may want to consider pursuing a Master of Business Analytics. Those who enroll in this degree program find the coursework exposes them to in-depth training in large data sets, along with data management, visualization, machine learning, and predictive analytics techniques that can help them be successful in their career.

Upon graduation, these highly marketable skill sets can open many professional opportunities, as workers with this degree can positively impact their organization.

Professionals who are weighing business analytics vs. data analytics careers may be interested to learn that job growth opportunities and earning potential in both fields are plentiful.

Key Differences Between Business Analytics and Data Analytics

If you’re among those who question whether these two careers are one and the same, you’re not alone. On the surface, the careers can seem similar. The job responsibilities are what make them different.

Business analytics helps companies collect, report, and share data to drive decision-making. It involves using procedures such as data visualization and analysis to communicate those insights to decision-makers.

Data analytics, on the other hand, involves using methods such as algorithms to determine the relationships that exist within that data. An analogy to explain the similarities and differences between these fields would be the following: if business analytics is the process of going through your pantry to determine the types of baking ingredients you have, data analytics would be the process of evaluating those ingredients to determine the type of dessert you can make.

Popular Careers in Business Analytics

The career opportunities for professionals who hold a master’s in business analytics are as broad as they are lucrative.

For example, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that jobs for financial analysts are projected to grow by 11% between 2016 and 2026, whereas jobs for market research analysts are projected to grow by 23% in that same time period. The growth trajectory for both is higher than the average for all occupations.

Annual earning potential in these fields is also significant. May 2018 data from the BLS suggests that the median annual wage for financial analysts was $85,660, with top earners making $167,420 per year. Data from that same reporting period found that the median annual wage for market research analysts was $63,120, with the top 10% having reported earning more than $121,080 per year.

Popular Careers in Data Analytics

Professionals who are interested in pursuing a career in data analytics will enjoy similar job opportunities and earning potential.

Data from the BLS indicates that job growth for operations analysts is projected to be 27% between 2016 and 2026, which is much higher than the average projected growth for all occupations. Similarly, job growth for those working in management analytics is expected to be 14% during that same time period, which is also higher than average.

May 2018 data from the BLS indicates that the median annual wage for operations analysts was $83,390, although those earning in the top 10% took home more than $136,250 per year. Data from that same reporting period found that the median annual wage for management analysts was $83,610, with those in the top 10% reporting having earned more than $152,760 in the previous year.

General Duties and Responsibilities for Business and Data Analysts

The BLS classifies all professionals who work with big data as data scientists or statisticians. Under that category, these professionals work on mathematical or statistical problem solving. They collect and analyze data to identify trends and relationships, and present their findings to relevant persons in their organization.
The number of jobs for statisticians is projected to grow by 34% between 2016 and 2026, which greatly exceeds the average growth projected for all occupations. Companies in a wide range of industries will need to employ qualified professionals to sort and understand data to help make business decisions. It’s further projected that the increase in available data from the internet will introduce new opportunities for analysis.
The median May 2018 annual wage for data scientists or statisticians was $87,780, according to the BLS. When it comes to business analytics vs. data analytics careers, earning opportunities will vary based on the type of work being performed and the type of organization.

Jump-Start Your Career in Analytics Today

Demand for qualified analytics professionals continues to exceed supply, and job opportunities in the fields of business and data analytics are abundant. The Online Master of Business Analytics at Ohio University has been designed to impart advanced analytical skills professionals will need to be successful in these career paths. Discover how a Master of Business Analytics degree from Ohio University can help you take your career to the next level.

Recommended Readings
Two Types of Data Analysis for Building a Business Analytics Career
Online Master of Business Analytics Program Overview

Sources
Forbes, “The Five Most In-Demand Skills for Data Analysis Jobs”
PayScale, Average Business Analyst, IT Salary
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, How to Become a Financial Analyst
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, How to Become a Management Analyst
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Market Research Analysts
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Mathematicians and Statisticians Job Outlook
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Operations Research Analysts
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Working with Big Data”
World Economic Forum, “The Value of Data”