How to Excel in Business Analytics?

One of the most famous management thinkers of all time, Peter Drucker, once remarked: “There is nothing quite so useless, as doing with great efficiency, something that should not be done at all.”

Nothing captures the idea of effective management, more succinctly than this quote. A core part of management is about making effective decisions. This ability used to be more art than science earlier, managers used to rely on experience and intuition for making decisions. 

But, with the rise of technology and analytical abilities, Business analytics has emerged as the skill that powers sound business decisions by helping managers leverage data-driven insights to prioritize, plan, and measure their decisions.

As pointed out by Bob McDonald, former CEO of Procter & Gamble:

“Data modelling, simulation, and other digital tools are reshaping how we innovate. And that has changed the skills needed by our employees. 

Many management professionals mention the gap in analytical abilities as a key impediment in their career growth. Unless one has the required understanding of leveraging the power of analytics, one’s job as a manager becomes very difficult. 

Analytics turns out to be the foundation of building and growing your credibility as a manager in your organization. And this trend is not going anywhere, in fact, it is becoming more and more omniscient as we speak.

What led to this shift?

The rise in data generation abilities: the first thing that has led to this change is the amount of data that we generate: as per IDC Data Age report, the total amount of digital data created worldwide will rise to 163 zettabytes by the year 2025, and out of this, 60% of the data will be managed by enterprises. 

Contribution of Business Analytics to company performance: many industry-leading reports and research started pointing to the power of analytical management as a better and more profitable approach. For example, a report by McKinsey Global Institute states that data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire new customers. This led to more and more companies jumping on the bandwagon resulting in a massive surge in the demand for professionals skilled in analytics. 

Rise of tools and technologies to make analytics mainstream: whether you talk about Google Analytics as a digital marketer, Microsoft Navision as a finance professional, or in case of more modern tools, R, Python, BI tools like Tableau, these tools have put the power of data in the hands of their users. A marketer or product manager who is well versed with BI tools can leverage the understanding of key metrics far more significantly to identify and prioritize the right action items.

What exactly is the role of Business Analytics professionals?

Business Analytics professionals work at the intersection of Analytics and Business Strategy. While most organizations have access to data generation and business intelligence capabilities, business insights don’t present them on their own. For a retailer looking to increase profitability, the process of leveraging business analytics is very different from that of helping a finance department in assessing the rate of return of a project. 

Organizations realize that they need professionals who have a clear understanding of business context and a thorough grasp of analytical tools and technologies. While planning an analytics project, you need to look at the complete pipeline of how data will get captured, cleaned, analyzed, and converted to insights, finishing with what decisions it can power. 

Business analytics professionals typically focus on the following problems:

  • Acquire, identify, and categorize raw data
  • Merge data from different sources, aggregate and make it ready for processing
  • Present the data in easy to consume and actionable form through visualizations and dashboards
  • Analyze patterns to clarify past events based on which predict future events
  • Recommend possible and effective actions to maximize ideal results and mitigate possible business risks specific to the domain

Why is it advised to take up a professional business analytics course?

The foremost goal of taking up professional education in the field of business analytics is to master the skills demanded by top-notch companies. Some of the benefits of enrolling in a comprehensive course are:

  • Business analytics is a fast-changing field – it is important to master the fundamentals and then build on top of it as you get exposure to the latest trends and movements happening in your industry. 
  • Hands-on experience of working on actual analytical problems makes a world of difference-  While short courses can give you some idea, a comprehensive course gives you a deeper exposure of working on group projects, case studies, simulations – which is much closer to the real-world experience
  • Knowing the right tools is the easier – structuring the problem is the more difficult piece of the equation, a thorough program from a top institute helps you gain the right exposure to varied business contexts to learn to structure the problems
  • Recognition – Credibility from a top institute can give an additional boost required to propel your career

A flagship course that we recommend is the Executive Programme in Business Analytics by IIM Calcutta, this can give a big boost to your management career.

With a prominent educational background, recognized business analytics certification, right skills, and experience you can grow into a senior leader making effective decisions in your organization.

Key Take-Aways

Business Analytics is an exciting career and a fast-growing field for professionals who are interested in the power of data-driven decisions. From determining the banking product prices to forecasting the supply requirements of a retail chain; and from predicting the employment retention rate in an organization to determining the cost of maintaining the machine in a manufacturing firm; business analysts can accommodate themselves in every trending industry. So, check out the Executive Programme in Business Analytics by IIM Calcutta to become a skilled analytics professional. 

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