Amol had just started his first job at a multi-national IT firm. On the first day, during his break he set out to the cafeteria and bumped into his high school senior Radha. On catching up, Radha told him she was at the post of a Business Analyst. Amol was a bit confused on hearing this, he said “I thought you did your engineering in IT, so how are you a business analyst? Isn’t that somewhat of a finance thing?” Radha chuckled, “You are right about my education. I started working as you – as an IT executive. But business analysis is as much of an IT thing these days as it of finance.”
Amol still looked confused so Radha went ahead and explained, “Let’s get to the basics. Business analytics if put in simple terms, is the process of transforming data into useful information. The data is usually existing business data which could be related to its processes, sales, production, marketing, etc. This data is analysed using information technology, statistical analysis, quantitative methods and other computer based models. The analysed data provides managers and the management with useful information to draw insights about the business operations which in turn helps them to make sound, fact based decisions.”
“Okay, but I still don’t see the strong connect between IT and Business Analytics, other than IT being one of that ways to analysing data and how does an IT pro become an analyst?” enquired Amol. Radha clarified, “Here is how an IT professional can be helpful in business analytics…”
Benefit of being an IT Professional: As an IT professional with knowledge of technical systems and with my business analysis skills, one can decode the data and figure out ways to improve the integration of the company’s business with technology. BA can be foundation for information technology. IT professionals can help their clients in reshaping their businesses by advising them in various domains belonging to product development, information systems, warehouse management and finance, thereby sharing these responsibilities.
New Product Development: With the boom of big data, clients are looking out for ways to use this data to improve customer satisfaction. One can also check products that are doing well in the market and help develop new ones. This also works the other way, one can streamline the product range by suggesting to discard the products that are not performing in the market. They can use the insights of the analysis to upgrade or design new systems for the organization.
Support Services: IT companies can give support services to their clients by helping them harness their data and unleashing valuable insights to achieve a competitive edge over others. In fact, business analytics is the integration of information technology and business. Also computer skills possessed by engineers and IT professionals give them an advantage over other graduates.
Machine Learning: Machine learning and business analytics is the perfect union. since it reduces the chances of human errors, since the systems predict trends without explicitly programming. An everyday example can be of Google maps, since, this is just like Artificial Intelligence, which uses predictive analytics, to forecast and suggest which is the best route to take to reach a particular destination by itself eliminating routes with heavy traffic. IT professionals with their strong software skills can definitely be adept at machine learning.
Radha concurred, ”Yes, as an analyst I have taken my role in the organisation to the next level. I use all this knowledge as a backbone to develop design considerations, cost analysis, staff impact enrichment and also to set timelines to projects.”
She added, “I have recently completed one year as a Business Analyst and soon look forward to become a data scientist and then a lead data scientist. I have always wanted to be the brains behind the developing a system and my knowledge in Business Analytics help me build relevant and effective systems for the organisation.”
“What did you study to become a Business Analyst?” asked Amol, “It sounds interesting and I too would like to pursue it” expressed Amol. ”There are many courses out there that teach Business Analytics. I did mine from IMS Proschool, the course is…
- A joint certification with NSE
- Duration is three months
- Techniques such as clustering, classification, data exploration, predictive analytics and market based analysis are taught
- Case-study with cases from every domain such as retail, telecom and finance
They also teach you tools such as MS Excel, R and SAS, so that’s helpful.” answered Radha. Amol thanked Radha, “Glad I met you. It was good advice; I will surely look into it. Thanks.”