Data analysis is essential to a business’s understanding of its industry, trends, and its own problems and opportunities. While pure data is merely facts and figures, analytics finds meaning by organizing, interpreting and structuring the data into useful contextual information. When these processes are executed by properly trained professionals, they help to solve big problems, produce consistently reliable projections and develop actionable insights that can drive business value. This is true for organizations of all sizes, in the private and public sectors.
Data Analytics Expertise Is Indispensable to Companies and Careers
Data analytics has become so fundamental to sustaining a strong business that it is difficult to conceive of workable strategies resulting from any other means. The competition is armed with data and the bar is set. Beyond providing actionable business intelligence, data analytics drives businesses to start down productive paths by asking the right questions. A business without competent analytics professionals is operating in the dark, which is why we see an increasingly high percentage of roles incorporating some degree of analytics.
The influence of analytics is seen in recent headline-making decisions by companies you know and love — Apple, Nike and Target, for instance. Apple has realized its future may be in services and content distribution, rather than hardware products like the iPhone. Nike signed the polarizing football figure Colin Kaepernick to a lucrative television ad campaign. Target redesigned many of its stores in affluent markets, despite their already popular layouts.
Why did these businesses make decisions the general public never saw coming? Competent data analytics professionals predicted customer behaviors and extracted opportunities from raw data. These professionals are in high demand, and corporate America wants universities to produce graduates ready to step into roles requiring data analytics competencies. You are likely evaluating MBA curricula now, and you may have already noticed a lack of courses in this critical discipline.
UNC Focuses on This Discipline
The University of Northern Colorado’s Master of Business Administration online interweaves data analytics throughout its curriculum and includes the course Data Analytics and Visualization. This core course imparts methods for structuring and manipulating large databases, extracting usable datasets, and performing statistical and textural analysis to support decision-making. Instruction also focuses on techniques to communicate statistical and operations information visually and concisely through graphic techniques.
Analytics and Your Career
Regardless of the industry, organization or department, it is likely that your work will incorporate data analytics. You simply have to determine the degree to which you would like to focus on analytics, and you will be equipped to do that once you have studied the discipline in an MBA program.
If you are interested in advertising and marketing, your digital strategies across marketing channels will be data-driven. This is an excellent field, with a current median salary of $132,620 per year and a faster than average 10 percent projected job growth from 2016-2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Is finance your passion? Derivatives analysts use data analytics to forecast prices of indirect financial instruments including futures, forwards and options. The broader financial analyst category earns an average of $85,660 according to the BLS, with 11 percent projected job growth.
Are you a problem-solver by nature? As an operations research analyst, you could use advanced analytics to investigate complex issues, identify and solve problems, and recommend better business decisions. Professionals in this field earn an average of $83,390, with 27 percent projected job growth — much faster than average.
Perhaps you would like to be on the vanguard of protecting organizations against data threats or security breaches. Computer or information security analysts rely on this discipline heavily to protect networks from online attacks. They earn a median pay of $98,350 per year and the field is expected to add 28 percent job more jobs between 2016 and 2026!
Career options for MBA graduates with data analytics skills abound, and prospects continue to get brighter for professionals with these skills and the businesses fortunate enough to hire them.
Learn more about the University of Northern Colorado online MBA programs.
Digitalist: Why Analytics Are So Important for Businesses in 2018
GetSmarter: Why Is Data Analysis Important in Business? FAQs
Forbes: 30 Data Analytics Careers that Aren’t Data Scientists
U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics