Currently, there are no fields hotter than business analytics and data science. These were both deemed to be top 10 jobs in America in 2017 with both great earning potential, career progression and current opportunities. This means that many young people are eyeing up a future career in one of these fields, but deciding between the two can be challenging. What is best for you will depend on your own personal preferences and skill set, but read on for an overview which should help you to decide which path to take. Either way, it could be the start of a very rewarding and lucrative career.
So, what exactly does a business analyst do? A business analyst will work closely with stakeholders to understand goals, problems and needs of the company. They will gather documents and data to facilitate a solution to a current or future problem – this means that the job can be extremely diverse and requires a wide range of skills and the ability to work with different departments.
A data scientist, meanwhile, takes data and uses analysis to make it more accessible and usable by an organization. This means that they will require a wide range of skills which include mathematics, programming, algorithms and statistics. Additionally, a data scientist will need to have a sound knowledge of the industry that they are working in (they are used in many industries) and be able to communicate effectively to put their findings into context.
Which Is Best For Me?
Business analytics vs. data science is a difficult debate as both are brilliant areas to get involved in as they can be highly rewarding, well paid and offer excellent progression opportunities.
Business analytics will involve extracting information from structured and unstructured data to make decisions and you will need a strong foundation in data management and statistical analysis. Data visualization is also crucial for presenting data, and you will need to have excellent interpersonal and problem-solving skills.
Data science tends to work on the front end of data collection and analysis where more technical skills are needed as you will be tasked with designing complex algorithms to collect and analyze data. As a result, there is more emphasis on math, coding and machine learning during education with this career path.
There are a host of job positions within each field and the opportunity to progress, so really it comes down to a matter of personal preference and skill set. Data has become hugely important in business with companies in all industries making data-driven decisions to improve their business model and reach their potential. Business analysts and data scientists are both at the heart of this, and their value to a company will only become stronger over time, so entering a career in either field is a smart move and one which could prove to be very lucrative. The key is to develop skill sets and earn good qualifications so that you can stand out from the crowd and get your foot in the door.