What’s the Difference Between a Business analytics and Data Scientist?

Do you possess solid communication skills? Are you able to actively listen to and work with a variety of stakeholders? Are you good at helping others solve problems? Then you likely have what it takes to earn an advanced degree in business analytics. 

With an MBA focused on business analytics, you’ll gain expertise in analyzing big data, problem-solving, and collaborating with others to achieve results. 

Economists and think tanks around the world are projecting that big data will be a way to fuel the world’s economies. Tools to analyze data and add insights regarding trends within it help refine and optimize corporate profits, along with business efficiency. 

Put simply, with an MBA in business intelligence and analytics management, you’ll be highly marketable as a candidate for jobs in managing big data analysis or business intelligence analysis departments for some of the world’s top companies. You’ll also be highly qualified for a business analyst and/or data scientist role.

What’s the difference between the two professions? Keep reading to find out.

What Would I Do as a Business Analyst?

A business analyst’s primary role is to solve business problems by finding and analyzing shifts, trends, and anomalies within company data. In addition to highlighting key areas of improvement, a business analyst is responsible for determining key performance indicators to solve company problems with data.

Through learning useful skills in the industry such as data visualization, forecasting, and quality assurance, as a business analyst, you will gain the kind of expertise that the world’s top companies seek. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the business and management analyst job market is projected to grow at an above-average rate of 14% from 2020 to 2030.

What I Do as a Data Scientist?

As a data scientist, you would be asked to perform analytics on business trends and practices using machine learning algorithms. From learning data wrangling on Python and SQL to problem-solving with object-oriented programming (OOP) and communicating your findings to stakeholders, you’ll have the technical and soft skills required to succeed in this role.  

Data scientists seek ways to find accurate, cheaper solutions to processes needed to make a business run more efficiently. In many cases, this is done through statistical analysis, which all data scientists need to know well. Although similar to a business analyst in his or her efforts to do a deep dive into data, a data scientist would need to have a background more focused on software engineering and machine learning algorithms.  

Which Role is Right for Me?

Not surprisingly (considering the similarities between a business analyst and data scientist), many business analysts become data scientists and vice versa in the field of data mining and analytics. However, there are a few differences between the two, and these differences can be significant or slight, depending on the job. 

For example, if you prefer to spend more of your time working on coding and programming rather than communicating with stakeholders, pursuing a career as a data scientist through earning an MBA in business intelligence and analytics management might be the best route to take. 

However, if you’d like to focus less on algorithms and programming for data analysis and more on how to use metaphors and storytelling to relate your findings to key stakeholders, you’d probably be happier in a business analyst role. 

Why You Should Consider Careers as a Business Analyst or Data Scientist

With multiple institutions of higher learning offering online MBA programs, including degrees in business analytics and management, there’s never been a better time than now to further your career and expand your marketability as a highly desired and top-paid candidate in the industry. 

Simply put, if you’re looking to start a lifelong career in an interesting field, then earning an advanced degree in business analytics or data science may be the best possible way to help accomplish your career goals.


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