Business analytics is only increasing in demand in 2021, with businesses finding and capitalizing on new sources of data to understand the new post-Covid work environment. Using Business Analytics training, one may find new opportunities for business as well as ways to improve the current scenario. Many are beginners into the field of business analytics and are seeking to understand it and wet their feet through new entry-level projects. This article hopes to serve such inquiries.
Business Analytics as a Career
A business analyst specializes in finding new opportunities for business, changing the present status quo for the better, and using tools to determine future opportunities and actions. In this process, he/she uses both conceptual ideas and software resources.
Let us first look at the conceptual business analyst. One uses tools like Pestle analysis to get a scope of the entire environment he/she may choose to work in. This involves gathering political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental data. Using these points of analysis, one gets a scope of the entire paradigm he/she is operating in, which he/she may mold to the benefit of his/her business and to the social good.
The above process requires tools to decide what data to store, the mode of storing such data, and the process of finding actionable consequences from said data. This is where the other mode of business analysts comes in. These individuals work with statistical tools, e.g., spreadsheet applications like Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets, and Big Data interfaces like Hadoop to systematize a constant stream of new information. Often, a company will utilize its own database for ease of process and security from cyber-attacks. This mode of business analysis falls in the domain of business intelligence.
A business analyst career involves one or both of the above processes but is usually interdisciplinary. An ace business analyst would be equally comfortable in using the tools of his/her trade, as well as drawing conceptual conclusions from such.
Business Analytics Projects for Beginners
What are good business analytics projects that one may do to acquaint himself/herself with the subject? Let us look at a few:-
This is a mode of analysis that will outline one of the principal objectives of business analytics, as well as providing the mindset to tackle several modes of projects. Sentiment analysis aids a business in understanding the titular sentiment of its targeted consumer base. This may be its sentiment at the possibility of its product or service, the sentiment on using it or availing of it, and the sentiment that may hint at how to change the product or service to aid in customer satisfaction. As it deals with all aspects of the process of business analytics, this is a good entry point.
One may create questionnaires with a limited set of options to gain structured data that may be tabulated. Or, one may even take interviews to gather unstructured data. Both provide opportunities for learning. In the former approach, one learns the basics of tabulating data. In the latter case, one may find ways to systematize unstructured data into even more valuable information. In both cases, one will learn to draw conclusions and learn how to process data better. You may use tools like Pestle analysis to find better frameworks for drawing your data.
Predecessor and Competitor Analysis:
Using this approach, one may look to find how other businesses attempting a similar or identical project have fared or how he/she is faring. This form of analysis may make an analyst look at open-source data from other companies, effectively understanding new and different ways to undergo business intelligence projects. One may also see how his/her predecessors and competitors have handled certain business situations and how they have succeeded and failed.
In the end, one will have a more holistic understanding of how others undertake business and business analytics and see what tools they have at their disposal. You will learn to utilize spreadsheets, programming and also the more maverick tools like machine learning and artificial intelligence. Moreover, this will help you in choosing a specialization to focus on in your business analytics journey.
Employee and Business Performance Analysis:
Now that we have looked into how one may look to the external environment for analysis, we can apply similar modes of inquiry into the internal workings of a business. One may perform a mode of sentiment analysis on past and present employees of a business. This form of analysis may strive to include both structured questionnaires and unstructured interviews.
Using the data gathered from the above, one may draw conclusions on how to boost employee satisfaction and productivity. It may also provide a way to map how to employ new recruits, keeping the parameters of the company’s present direction of progress and specializations in mind.
While a stream of people to conduct this experiment may be harder for a freelancer, open-source data on the subject and trials on mock subjects may always be attempted. One may learn business analytics while interpreting data collected by others instead of always collecting his/her own data.
Business analytics is a highly necessary career in the context of our “new normal” way of functioning in 2021. This will ensure all businesses and their employees grow and thrive, lifting up society with their products and services. The quintessential role of business analytics and/or business intelligence work to identify the problems and solutions of the world at this time.
In this endeavor, it is indeed highly useful to start with basic projects, which focus on you learning the basics of holistic analysis systems like Pestle, as well as learning tools of analysis like spreadsheets and computer language programming.