Mohit had just completed his graduation with specialization in Mathematics. Numbers always fascinated him. Statistics, he believed, led to mind-boggling conclusion, which an ordinary mind at first glance could not make out. With this background, he was keen on pursuing a role that helped in making use of statistical data in making conclusions that would help in the growth of the organization.
Through an acquaintance he happened to know about the business analytics (BA) course, which was specifically designed for those who like studying data trends. BA has applications in various fields. In fact, you’ll find its application in day-to-day activities too. The job role of data scientist is termed as the ‘Sexiest Job of the 21st Century’ by Harvard Business Review (October 2012 issue by Thomas H. Davenport and D.J. Patil)
Companies study the pattern of their consumers: their lifestyle, spending patterns, likes and dislikes through mundane activities such as clicks and shares on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This data helps them develop their advertising strategy and target the apt audience. In some cases, these data trends might be useful to the intelligence agencies and defence department too!
Let’s delve deeper in what is BA and its applications.
Applications of Business Analytics
BA is of utmost importance to the finance sector. Data Scientists are in high demand in investment banking, portfolio management, financial planning, budgeting, forecasting, etc.
For example: Companies these days have a large amount of financial data. Use of intelligent BA tools can help use this data to determine the products’ prices. Also, on the basis of historical information BAs can study the trends on the performance of a particular stock and advise the client on whether to retain it or sell it.
Studying buying patterns of consumer behaviour, analysing trends, help in identifying the target audience, employing advertising techniques that can appeal to the consumers, forecast supply requirements, etc.
For example: Use BA to gauge the effectiveness and impact of a marketing strategy on the customers. Data can be used to build loyal customers by giving them exactly what they want as per their specifications.
- HR Professionals
HR professionals can make use of data to find information about educational background of high performing candidates, employee attrition rate, number of years of service of employees, age, gender, etc. This information can play a pivotal role in the selection procedure of a candidate.
For example: HR manager can predict the employee retention rate on the basis of data given by BA.
BA helps one analyse the key performance indicators, which further helps in decision making and make strategies to boost the relationship with the consumers. The demographics, and data about other socio-economic factors, purchasing patterns, lifestyle, etc., are of prime importance to the CRM department.
For example: The company wants to improve its service in a particular geographical segment. With data analytics, one can predict the customer’s preferences in that particular segment, what appeals to them, and accordingly improve relations with customers.
BA can help you in supply chain management, inventory management, measure performance of targets, risk mitigation plans, improve efficiency in the basis of product data, etc.
For example: The Manager wants information on performance of a machinery which has been used past 10 years. The historical data will help evaluate the performance of the machinery and decide whether costs of maintaining the machine will exceed the cost of buying a new machinery.
- Credit Card Companies
Credit card transactions of a customer can determine many factors: financial health, life style, preferences of purchases, behavioral trends, etc.
For example: Credit card companies can help the retail sector by locating the target audience. According to the transactions reports, retail companies can predict the choices of the consumers, their spending pattern, preference over buying competitor’s products, etc. This historical as well as real-time information helps them direct their marketing strategies in such a way that it hits the dart and reaches the right audience.
Other than above, BA is helpful in various areas such as the fraud detection, health-care, defence, sales, etc. Like Mohit, if you’re fascinated by numbers, and want a challenging job role, you should definitely have a career in the field of business analytics. Data can be an intelligent tool to foster your brand name in the economic market. BA lets you exploit this opportunity to make better business decisions.