A Guide to Understanding Business Analytics

There has been a marked increase in the popularity of big data and business analytics, and the main challenge has been how to use these business factors to create economic and business value. There has been a growing trend amongst entrepreneurs and businesses to study business analytics masters online. It is a course that is replacing the masters in business administration (MBA) as the go-to course for career businesspeople. Allowing all businesses access to the methods and skills to gather, use and analyze all business data. However, before you spend any money to get these skills, here is a clear guide as to what to look for and why.

What is Good Business Analytics?

Business analytics is the process whereby the business professional is able to make sense of the data that has been collected. Using this data, they can map out various scenarios based on previous performance and current circumstances with an eye on the future. These are skills that every businessperson needs, wants, and should have. In an age where data is regarded as the new gold, it has become ever more important to make use of the vast amounts of data generated in the modern world of online trade, e-commerce, and social media proliferation.

A good business analyst must be able to set up systems to gather information. They must also be able to set requirement specifications and use the required business analysis tools and skills to create visual models and facilitate sessions to debunk and brainstorm company data. These are all skills that will be gained from the business analytics masters online and why the course is in such demand. Good business analytics will also require more than just these skills; it will entail great communication skills as well as an ability to create clarity. The data will often be in quite a messy state, and Dark data will require a resourceful person with strong project management skills to be able to rationalize and make sense of big data. The information included and that will be necessary for cogent planning around issues such as risk avoidance, growth, and sustainability is sourced from all business areas. As such, it will require a great deal of manipulation and a clear understanding of the company’s aims and goals before a credible solution can be arrived at with business analytics masters online training.

 

The Data Needed for Analysis

As mentioned in the section above, business analytic is dependent on the available data. There has to be something worth analyzing to create a clear set of plans or predict changes in the market or understand consumer needs. As a guiding principle, the following type of data will be the base requirements for your business to institute a professional system of business analytics to improve performance and increase revenues. Additional avenues of data can and should be added as the process of analysis develops, yet as a start, the following will need to be gathered or unearthed from your filing cabinets.

Customer Data

This is the most basic of data that the business needs. Who are your customers, where do they live, and what types of jobs do they have? If it is a business-to-business relationship, then you still need to know who is responsible for the account and as much about the buyer as you can. Without customer information, you will be unable to reach or communicate with them in the manner that will improve your business. Social media usage will be a critical component for both communication and thus marketing and customer research.

Process Data

If there is a product or service being made and sold by the business, then your business will need as much information on these processes as is possible. Where is there downtime in the production process, or how can the service be better streamlined. The entire business and manufacturing process must be documented, timed, costed, and understood.

Supply Chain Data

Who supplies the business with the materials to keep you in production or software to run your service offerings? Where are there any delays in this process, and can you source higher quality materials or services closer to home? The costs involved in a supply chain and the money lost where a supply chain is inefficient can be make or break for a business, and without the detailed knowledge of your supply chain, you will be unable to adjust and improve it.

Market Data

Who else does what your business does, and how much do they charge? Have you seen their product or tested their service, and how does it compare to what you are doing? This may seem somewhat untoward, but knowing as much as you can about the market segment within which your business operates will be key to outdoing your competition and leading in this space.

Any one sector of data will be useful to begin the process of analysis; however, it is most useful to have all of this data to be able to determine correlations between the data and to show how each business process is linked, and issues related to one can have a knock-on effect within the business and beyond.

How to and Why Use Business Analytics

There are a number of ways the business can access and secure business analytics skills:- management and owners can be trained online, the required personal can be allowed to learn on the job and make expensive mistakes in the job or take time away to do full-time study. The clearest option for the busy entrepreneur or growing business is to stay in the job whilst improving your skills and knowledge, so the online option is an obvious winner. The main point is to ensure that your business has access to the skills and resources to be able to fully use business analytics in the business.

Having the skills from the business analytics masters online means that you can analyze, dissect, and collate data in ways that solve problems and overcome challenges in any business. There are different types of analytics that you can carry out with your new business analytics skills. Descriptive analytics uses data and KPIs to produce trends and patterns, which provide a big picture idea of what is going on across different business sectors or departments. You can, for example, use descriptive analytics to understand customer behavior and needs, which can then be used to develop a targeted marketing strategy.

Diagnostic analytics examine trends by understanding what elements have led to those trends. For the business analyst, this means using data mining and correlation to highlight the cause of particular events or trends. If you understand what caused a particular trend, you can then predict future events or trends using algorithms. This is similar to predictive analytics, which is used to forecast business outcomes using statistics and technology. This type of analytics can be used by sales and marketing departments to understand the wants and needs of specific customers based on their associated data.

Another use of business analytics is understanding past performance data through prescriptive analytics. This allows any business to then consider how to handle future performance and situations by understanding past data. These prescriptive analytics can prescribe future results by recommending the right type of action that is needed to produce those results.

All of these extremely useful analytics requires not only good data but the development of good skills which can be honed with the business analytics masters online.

What to Look for in an Online Course

Being able to harness data to predict future results and analyze past data requires the development of business analytics skills that today can be garnered through a business analytics masters online. But not all online courses are equal, and it is important to do your research before signing up and investing in your future and the future of your business. Here are some useful tips of what to look for in a professional online masters course:

  • Accreditation and registration with the right industry bodies. The value of looking for an accredited and registered course allows for a certified degree that will be valuable to any professional. When choosing a business analytics masters online course, you will want to look for an institute that is accredited with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). In order for institutions to be accredited by the AACSB, they must pass a stringent list of 15 standards that range from strategic management to support for students and their learning and teaching models.

AACSB accreditation is recognized worldwide and is valued by top global companies and corporations. The AACSB also markets their accreditation as attracting employers that offer high and more competitive salaries to their graduates.

You know if you take the time to find properly accredited business analytics masters online courses, you will not only be securing your future after you have completed the course but that you will also be assured of the support you need while you are completing your course.

  • Flexibility. As a working professional, you want your online course to offer you the flexibility to study when it best suits your needs and work life balance. If you are fitting in doing an online course with continuing to work, you will need to look for a course that offers different learning options, flexible dates, and a range of different materials.

Flexibility should go beyond the practicalities of learning and also incorporate the flexibility of levels of learning. Whether you are an advanced learner or just starting in the field, your course should be aligned with your needs and abilities. You will need to know whether you need an advanced business analytics masters online course or a beginner course, depending on your previous studies and experience. Remember that advanced courses will be more in-depth and require more planning and preparation on your part. They are more challenging and should push your abilities. This is why flexibility in learning and teaching is so important.

  • If the course is offered online, then you must be able to access it from anywhere at any time, and it must be available to all. Online accessibility is a major global concern, and any online course worth its salt must ensure that this is an aspect that has been considered. Do your research and ensure that any course you choose meets these standards.
  • Support and assistance. As a paying student, there are certain levels of support you should expect. Particularly for online courses where face-to-face engagement is disrupted, your support structures should be even more rigorous. Engagement with course leaders and tutors at times that suit not only the regular teaching times but also suits your learning needs are important to consider. Being able to communicate with those teaching the courses when you need to is a key consideration as more courses move online and senior professionals look to develop their skills and qualifications.

Before the business can use any skills from the business analytics masters online or even think about the process, there must be data available to analyze. Part of any good analytics course will focus on the type of data and its importance to the business, but it is worth reiterating that without the right kind of data collection and collation, the skills gained from a professional online course will not be used to their full potential or provide a return on investment unless there is an ongoing appreciation of the importance of all types of business data.

Final Thoughts

As aforementioned, the business analytics masters online course has now surpassed the master’s in business administration as the go-to course for those who want to build solid professions in the world of business. The MBA was considered the bee’s knees when it came to a degree that could be studied online, that did not require a specific background, and was able to be used in a general fashion throughout business. The MBA offered structure and guidance to help with all aspects of business from planning and business development to sales, marketing, and after-sales care, and personnel and staffing issues. It is a well-rounded business degree that can be used in the entire business process. A business analytics masters online degree from an accredited institution will do more for your career or business than any other in the current context.

You should now be able to understand why your business needs professional business analytics and how you can go about securing these skills for the business by finding the right business analytics masters online course that will suit your business and your budget.

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