Business Analytics is undoubtedly a trending sector. Huge companies like Amazon have been employing business analytics professionals in droves, to help them to make data-based decisions and get ahead of the competition.
For this reason, a lot of people who are looking to take the next step in their careers are considering a master’s in business analytics. This type of masters will furnish you with the skills to interrogate huge amounts of data using both statistical methods and software solutions and create models and make predictions about future trends.
These are skills that are valued in a wide variety of fields. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Machine learning engineer
Average salary: $146,085
Machine learning engineers are becoming more and more sought after, as the idea of machine learning becomes more mainstream. At the moment, machine learning engineers are likely to find their work in technology companies, or other types of companies that have a focus on technology (for example, Amazon).
Machine learning engineers generally work in conjunction with data scientists, feeding data into the models that data scientists have defined. Machine learning engineers are incredibly specialized software engineers, who are building new technologies such as autocorrect, where the technology can ‘think’ for itself.
Machine learning engineers are responsible for designing the complex algorithms that allow huge amounts of data to be fed into a computer program, be understood by it, and then be used to make predictions and decisions. This is the sort of technology that is being used more and more; for example, self-driving cars will make use of machine learning. They will need to be able to take in all of the data regarding the road that they are on, and then make decisions based on what it knows about how to drive safely and based on the decision making parameters that the machine learning engineer has provided it with.
Average salary: $113,309
Data scientists work alongside machine learning engineers, and, because both professions are so new, there is likely to be some crossover between them.
The main concern of a data scientist is with the data, so where a machine learning engineer is more focused on designing solutions, the data scientist will be concerned with gathering data, modelling it and interrogating it to get the information that is needed.
They will design predictive models and algorithms that companies can use to get data-based impressions of business trends and make predictions about how business decisions will impact them in the future.
To perform the analytical work that is needed to get the most out of the data, data scientists will often write their own programs which can process huge amounts of data very quickly.
Average salary: $68,346
The role of a business analyst is varied and may differ hugely depending on what sector you are working in.
It is a role that spans both technical and business functions. Your role is to understand the needs of the company, but also to understand the needs of the technology team and roughly appreciate which tasks can be completed within certain timescales and for certain costs. You will act as a kind of bridge between the business and technology teams, helping to design solutions that are workable for both teams.
It’s a role that allows you to touch on a lot of different areas, and could therefore be perfect for a business analytics graduate as you’ll be able to learn more about the different roles that are available and choose where you want to specialize going forwards.
Average salary: $44,000
Data analysts are responsible for gathering data, designing and running reports, and performing statistical analysis to help companies to make better business decisions.
They will work out which data is needed to solve problems and design solutions, and then devise the best methods of obtaining that data using software and statistical models.
Because they are so good at gathering and interpreting data, data analysts are often called upon to advise project managers and other leaders on the best strategies and problem-solving methods.
Average salary: $66,137
Project managers are responsible for the smooth running of projects. They work in conjunction with people in all areas of a business to oversee requirements gathering, ensuring that a project runs on time and on budget, and keeping all parties informed of progress. They will be responsible for carrying out risk assessments and ensuring that the project is delivered to the expected standard.
Project managers can work in any business area, but if they are working in the software, they will need to have enough understanding of data and technical ideas to be able to understand possibilities and limitations of software and data solutions.
Excellent communication skills are imperative, as is the ability to act as a mediator between parties who may have opposing interests.
Chief data officer
Average salary: $178,196
The role of a chief data officer is something that is up for some debate. As with a lot of the roles in big data, they are so new that is still being defined.
Some people argue that a chief data officer (CDO) is responsible for defining a company’s data strategy and owning the results of that strategy. Still, others argue that they are accountable for data governance, which is setting the rules and procedures that ensure data quality and robustness conclusions that are drawn from the use of the data.
This means that depending on where you work that your precise remit may differ. However, the role is an executive one so you can expect a high level of responsibility. You will need to have the knowledge and experience to not only safeguard the company’s data but to ensure that it can be used to propel the company forward. You will do this with a team of professionals, but ultimately responsible for successes and failures will rest with you.