Why Choose a Career in Business Analytics

Business analytics careers are critical in today’s fast-paced world of information overload. Across the globe, business analytics professionals are employing standardized methodologies to capture meaningful data for companies in numerous industries. 

Key to driving organizational success, these professionals are involved throughout the business decision-making process. Skilled in data analysis, business analysts have a large hand in steering a company’s direction. 

Data has become a dominant force in the modern global business landscape. As companies increasingly rely on data to optimize operations and improve business strategy, employers in a range of industries are looking to data-literate professionals with strong decision-making and analytics skills to develop strategies for their organizations.

If you’re interested in pursuing business analytics jobs, you may want to know the career outlook in addition to the skills and education that may help you enter the workforce. Professionals with analytical skill sets are in high demand—and as corporate data collection accelerates throughout the world, the industry is projected to grow considerably. In fact, 124,400 new management analyst jobs will be created between 2020 and 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Why business analytics? Professionals who pursue a Master of Science in Business Analytics can master the analysis techniques needed to become data-driven decision-makers capable of excelling in a variety of roles. 

What Is Business Analytics?

Today, businesses rely on data to ensure successful and smooth operations. These business-defining processes help to:

  • Propel strategic business improvements and evolution.
  • Enhance fiscal performance.
  • Improve operational processes, boosting efficiency.

Business analysts must fully understand what a business does so they can apply this data toward important business activities. Depending on the type of analyst role, these activities might include devising important solutions to business problems, strengthening processes, and leading the design and implementation of new technologies.

Information-driven analysts interpret an array of historical data to identify emerging trends and better understand the effects of past business operations. From there, they can try out proven methodologies to determine what will deliver the best results for a particular scenario.

Business Analytics Skills and Competencies

By analyzing business performance using data, statistical analysis, and reporting, analytics professionals are able to make strategic business decisions.

To do so effectively, they must possess technical skills that enable them to analyze and understand large sets of data. In addition, they need core business skills to  help express their findings to stakeholders of various backgrounds.

Analytics professionals must interpret the information they obtain from data sets. They accomplish this using a variety of technologies and programs, including:

  • Solver, a tool to find optimal solutions for decision problems.
  • R, a prevalent analytics programming language.
  • Statistical software such as Excel, SPSS, SAS, Sage, and Mathematica.

Data analysis is only as good as a business analyst’s communication skills. To properly communicate their findings to stakeholders, professionals leverage a variety of skills, including:

  • Visual modeling skills to present data in a way that’s easy to understand.
  • An analytical mindset to effectively analyze data. 
  • Problem-solving skills that bridge logical thinking with data analysis to drive solutions.

By mastering these skill sets, business analytics professionals are able to use data as a resource for decision-making, clearly communicating recommendations that help organizations meet their goals.

Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management offers a Master of Science in Business Analytics online, which equips students with these skills and more. Students will develop an interdisciplinary understanding of the applications of analytics to various industries. They will also learn techniques for data collection, data visualization, statistical/pattern analysis, and data mining. The M.S. in Business Analytics requires:

  • Analytics Core: 6 credits of required courses.
  • Analytics Applications Core: 6 credits; students take two select courses.
  • Analytics Depth Core: 6 credits; students take two select 13 courses.
  • Analytics Electives: 18 credits; students take six select courses.

Business Analytics Careers

Business analytics students gain skills that are applicable and valuable across a wide range of industries. Employers in the commerce, government, nonprofit, service, and manufacturing sectors all seek workers with data literacy skills. As a result, it’s possible for business analytics professionals to find opportunities in a number of areas.

While job titles and descriptions can vary by organization, common career opportunities for business analytics professionals include:

  • Big data analytics specialists.
  • Market research analysts.
  • Logisticians.
  • Financial analysts.
  • Project management specialists and business operations specialists.
  • Operations research analysts.
  • Management analysts.
  • Statisticians.
  • Computer systems analysts
  • Information security analysts
  • Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers.

Featured Business Analytics Careers

The following information from BLS provides a high level overview of potential career opportunities for professionals in the business analytics field. 

Job Responsibilities: 

  • Study market conditions to predict sales of a particular product or service.
  • Gather and analyze data on consumers and competitor companies.
  • Determine what products or services people want, and set an appropriate price for products.

Market Growth: 22% increase from 2020–2030
Median Annual Salary: $65,810 in 2020

Job Responsibilities: 

  • Analyze assets like business plans, cost management, and human resource allocation.
  • Propose strategies to increase efficiency, improving an organization’s productivity and performance.
  • Interview and observe key personnel to determine necessary methods, equipment, and personnel.

Market Growth: 14% increase from 2020–2030
Median Annual Salary: $87,660 in 2020

Job Responsibilities: 

  • Use mathematical models and analytical methods such as big data mining and optimization to help organizations make better decisions.
  • Identify organizational problems and propose solutions to help improve productivity and cost-effectiveness.
  • Advise key decision-makers on the potential effects of different actions.

Market Growth: 25% increase from 2020–2030
Median Annual Salary: $86,200

Job Responsibilities:

  • Analyze data and perform computations to solve business problems.
  • Develop methodologies for collecting meaningful corporate data. 
  • Interpret complicated data and related observations for layman audiences.

Market Growth: 33% increase from 2020–2030
Median Annual Salary: $92,270 in 2020

Business Analyst Salary

Not only does pursuing a career in business analysis prepare you to drive real-world impact at a range of organizations, it may also lead to above-average pay. With many employers looking to hire business analysts, there are a range of data-focused roles you might consider pursuing, each with different MS in business analytics salary expectations. 

Here are examples of the median pay in 2020 from lowest to highest for business analyst jobs, according to the BLS:

As you can see, for those with an MS in business analytics, salaries vary greatly and may reach more than $120,000 per year.