Business Analytics Career Guide

An MS in Applied Business Analytics allows aspiring analysts in a wide range of industries to deepen the technical, analytic and fundamental business skills critical for shaping strategies and enabling smart decision making in the professional world.

Careers available to advanced degree holders in business analytics are found in fields such as healthcare, government (public), retail and manufacturing. Information technology, human resources, supply chain management, marketing and finance are among the other fields in which graduates may find opportunities.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), business analysts “formulate and apply mathematical and other optimizing methods to develop and interpret information that assists management with decision making, policy formation, or other managerial functions.” Duties often include researching market conditions, conducting competitor analysis, and devising data-based methods of marketing and distribution.

Business analysts with advanced degrees and adequate experience often move into managerial and executive roles. In these positions, analysts not only gather data to help with decisions, they also have a hand in making those decisions.

Projected growth of 12-30% through 2026 for business analyst jobs significantly out-performs the average 7% growth projection for all positions. Depending on the organization, the industry and the candidate’s level of experience and academic credentials, average salaries for jobs requiring analyst skills range from the low-$60,000s into the mid-$100,000s for management positions.

Job titles associated with business analytics include:

Take a look at some of the positions that could be an option for candidates who hold a Master of Science in Applied Business Analytics:

Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts use their knowledge of market conditions to help managers and executives understand what sort of products or services consumers want to buy and how much they are willing to spend for them.

Typical duties of a market research analyst include:

  • Conducting research into consumers, competitors and market conditions
  • Monitoring marketing and sales trends
  • Using statistical software to analyze data
  • Preparing and presenting reports to executives and clients
  • Creating methods for gathering relevant data

The average salary of market research analysts in 2016 was $62,560, according to the BLS. The BLS estimates 136,000 market research analyst jobs will be added in the U.S. by 2026, a growth rate of 23%.

Computer Systems Analyst

Computer systems analysts work to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization’s use of computer technology. Their aim is to align business technology and information technology by understanding how both contribute to a company’s short- and long-term goals.

Typical duties of a computer systems analyst include:

  • Helping managers establish the role of IT systems within the company
  • Keeping a company’s technology on the industry’s cutting edge
  • Preparing and presenting cost/benefit analysis reports
  • Working to improve the functionality of existing computer systems
  • Installing and configuring new computer systems
  • Conducting relevant A-B tests to determine best practices

The average salary of a computer systems analyst in 2016 was $87,220, according to the BLS. The field is expected to grow by 9% between 2016 and 2026, the BLS estimates, with an additional 53,000 jobs added during that time period.

Management Analyst

A management analyst, or management consultant, helps find ways to improve a company’s efficiency. They provide data that managers use to make decisions on how to improve an organization’s profitability through cost reduction and increased revenue.

Typical duties of a management analyst include:

  • Researching an organization’s current policies in response to both day-to-day operation and crises
  • Developing data-supported alternate practices for managers on how to improve processes
  • Conducting market research on how other organizations achieve optimum productivity
  • Maintaining open channels of communication among department heads to ensure smoother operations
  • Communicating with rank-and-file personnel as well as management to monitor potential procedural drawbacks

Management analysts made an average of $81,330 in 2016, according to the BLS, which also forecast job growth for this position at 12% between 2016 and 2026, meaning an additional 96,500 jobs

Operations Research Analyst

An operations research analyst helps an organization improve its decision-making and problem-solving using advanced mathematical and analytical methods. Anything that might help an organization achieve its goals more efficiently and effectively falls under the purview of an operations research analyst.

Typical duties of an operations research analyst include:

  • Researching resource allocation, production schedules, supply chain management and pricing
  • Developing data-supported improvements in organizational procedures
  • Researching and implementing best practices in the industry
  • Identifying and solving real-world issues related to logistics, employee healthcare, service delivery and more
  • Using simulations, predictive modeling, statistical analysis and other methods to solve immediate or long-term organizational problems

According to the BLS, the average salary earned by operations research analysts in 2016 was $79,200. The BLS estimates a growth rate of 27%, or 31,300 jobs, for this position between 2016 and 2026.

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