As businesses place increasingly higher priorities on technical innovation and integration, developing your skills in extracting and analyzing data can help set you apart in the job market. Business analytics professionals are a unique breed. They live at the intersection of business and technology, leveraging their business savvy and technical expertise to have a direct impact on their companies’ day-to-day operations.
Advancements in technology have allowed businesses to capture greater amounts of data. And with business decisions becoming increasingly more evidence-based, the need for experts who can derive insights from in-depth analysis of this data is growing as well. Every business can benefit from becoming more data-driven because it helps them understand clients, perform internal operations more efficiently and guide decision-making.
Tomorrow’s business leaders are coming of age at a time when a perfect storm of forces are converging to expand the idea of what a business can be. Consumers are connected and savvy, and technology has democratized business, lowered barriers to entry, emboldened a generation of entrepreneurs and created more non-traditional uses for these skills. The more pervasive big data becomes across industries, the greater the need for leaders with a background in analytics. Below are some less traditional areas that need professionals with analytics skills.
A Start-up or Entrepreneurial Role
Start-up companies often have more innovative product or service offerings than their larger counterparts. Sometimes this unique product or service can take off in the market, making the professional risk of joining a start-up worth the gamble. An entrepreneurial environment usually means being exposed to a wider range of tasks, such as administration, accounting, marketing and strategy. With a lean staff and fewer resources, your education will be quickly put to a rigorous test. This type of work environment can be a better match for some people’s personality and work style as opposed to a more structured, narrowly defined job inside a larger corporation.
Social Media Analyst
Social media is the world’s largest pool for market research. Much of its value comes from what people are sharing and how they express their preferences. By using social media, brands are now able to identify what people are thinking and feeling, what’s working and what’s not when it comes to campaigns, and how best to engage with their audience. This real-time user-generated data can prove invaluable for market research, gauging brand health, campaign optimization and measuring client satisfaction. Today’s analytics leaders can delve deeper into the thoughts and behavior of their brand’s potential and active customers than ever before.
The Nonprofit Sector
The nonprofit sector and other non-government organizations are always in need of savvy professionals, particularly when it comes to extracting data and maximizing the business intelligence that can be learned from it. Nonprofit work can also be a good way to feel like your degree and career are making a real difference in the day-to-day lives of other people. You can find a cause that you believe strongly in and look for organizations that are active in that field.
As big data continues to evolve and businesses become more sophisticated in its use, more jobs are being created in nontraditional industries that are looking to take advantage of its insights. The Villanova School of Business is developing the data analysts of tomorrow through its Master of Science in Analytics program. It arms students with the technical skills needed to collect and analyze data, as well as the business skills needed to translate it into the intelligence that can give you and your business a competitive advantage.
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