Data science is a rapidly growing field that offers myriad opportunities, especially for individuals who possess both technical knowledge and business savvy. Many different types of organizations are interested in hiring people who can use statistical and analytical methods to draw actionable conclusions from expansive sets of quantitative information. A study from IBM projected that by 2020 there will be 2.7 million new job openings for data scientists on an annual basis.
Professionals can find tremendous opportunities in taking on business problems through analytics. However, making a career in big data a reality requires an education in current tools and strategies. Completing a master’s in business analytics is a way to prepare for a challenging and fulfilling career in data science that can take you into a wide variety of industries.
Bringing advanced insights to health care
Health care is one of the most fertile areas for putting big data to work. The tremendous volume of information involved in treatment and prevention efforts, as well as recordkeeping and revenue cycle management, opens up endless possibilities for applying analytics. Data scientists who are interested in finding ways to improve how hospitals and clinics care for patients will find plenty of ways to apply their skills.
For instance, medical professionals are exploring the possibilities for collecting information from wearable sensors and other medical devices. Gathering data over the course of people’s daily lives can reveal important patterns and anomalies that lead to faster, more accurate diagnoses. Physicians will be able to provide increasingly personalized care by tracking the progress of conditions and the effects of treatments, and data scientists are essential in collecting and organizing the data that makes such care possible.
Transforming how retail engages consumers
Retailers are always striving to anticipate the needs and desires of customers. Analytics has opened doors for getting to know the people who use products and services and for connecting with them more effectively. E-commerce sites are learning about people’s interests, tailoring their experience with product recommendations, and making the checkout process as smooth as possible.
Big data has also brought implications on a much wider scale, allowing retailers to forecast sales trends over time. Keeping an eye on people’s spending habits and what they have to say about particular products online allows a company to plan for shifts in demand. Meanwhile, by turning their attention to logistics, data scientists help retailers streamline and optimize every aspect of how they get products from the factory to the warehouse and out to consumers.
Reaching new audiences in marketing
The right data tells marketing departments and corporate officers a lot about the effectiveness of a campaign—and where they have room to engage more people. Insights into customer behavior guide marketing efforts, such as creating display ads or promotional videos, and help businesses to capture and hold people’s interest. By discovering what types of advertising or content cause people to stay longer on a website and take active steps to find out more about an organization, leaders can implement smarter strategy and make adjustments to their budget.
Segmentation is essential to delivering timely, appealing messages to the right audiences. With findings from analytics, marketers communicate on a highly personalized level with ever-narrower groups of consumers. Data scientists have tremendous contributions to make in this drive toward hyper-segmentation, establishing systems that break down information silos and make it easier for a company to target very specific groups.
Protecting organizations in cybersecurity
Along with all the chances to put new ideas into action, the rise of big data carries risks. All kinds of organizations, from banks to hospitals, must constantly be on the alert for dangers to their systems and vital information. Hackers are always shifting tactics and looking for vulnerabilities, so data scientists must be able to use data to anticipate attacks.
Data scientists are creating sophisticated machine-learning algorithms that spot suspicious behavior and malware. With these measures in place, organizations can catch problems early and take steps to protect their systems. A thoughtful approach to cybersecurity based in relevant data often makes all the difference in preventing the serious losses and negative publicity that come from network intrusions or ransomware.
Learning to apply data science
Data scientists have a crucial part to play in the future of these industries and many others. Gathering and analyzing large volumes of complex information has become essential to how organizations plan for the future and manage day-to-day operations.
A career in data science requires skills in using current analytics tools and the strategic awareness to make the best use of their findings. Earning a data analytics master’s degree from Villanova University provides graduates with the hands-on experience they need to make big data a powerful force in a variety of organizations. Visit the program page to learn more, including how you can apply.