The number of startups that have sprouted in India in the last few years is in the thousands. The most profitable businesses today are those which were non-existent half a century ago. Business is changing, so is the market. Competition is so fierce that a couple of wrong steps can completely ruin an endeavor of years. You cannot go on without innovation, without new ideas, then again every idea has to be warranted with profitability. This situation has brought about business analytics to the very forefront of various industries.

The FAQs

Who can be a business analyst? Is it same as business intelligence? How closely are business analytics and big data analytics related? These are questions you often stumble upon, at Quora or my other forums. Let us try to figure the answers.

Firstly A business analyst’s job description consists of data mining, statistical analysis, predictive modelling, data visualization etc. Apart from the technical skills, soft skills are also required. Any one from statistics, mathematics or engineer background can make their way up to the business analyst’s desk through business analytics training. Students of business can also get into the field by filling the gaps in their skill set.

The second one is a bit tricky. BI and BA are often used interchangeably. And undoubtedly there are similarities. But there are differences too.

● Business intelligence deals with past data in order to optimize the present situation.

● Business Analytics also deals with current and historical data but it is used to predict the future.

● While business analytics is more concerned with creating strategies for the future, BI is more concerned with the profitable run of the business at the moment.

The startups usually do not draw a line between these two different job roles, then again most jobs in startups are flexible.

Can a data analyst be a business analyst too?

Not without proper business analytics training.

There are roles which are mutually exclusive. A data analyst sifts through tons of gigabytes of data to sort out useful data. This data is surely used for betterment of business. A Business analyst on the other hand is also responsible for suggesting business strategies and optimizing future plans for a company.

The job market

The IT Industry is heavily dependent on business analysts. There are already 1.2 million people in India who are working in this discipline and there are still seats to be filled.

The availability of data is more than ever and quite naturally the need for people who can lend some perspective, has increased.

The key skills

Your Knowledge of a programming language like R or Python can be very helpful.

Better Data visualization skills can give an edge against peers. Predictive modelling skills are also very important. After all this you need a knack for numbers and an awareness of the market. Communication skills are also a must as you may have to become the bridge between different sections of a company.

The recruitment for business analytics professionals is better than ever. It is one of the most relevant and indispensable job roles today.