Details on Master’s in Data Analytics vs Business Analytics

With 163 zettabytes of data to be created by 2025 (10 times the amount of data in the digital universe in 2016), employers will have an extensive need for data experts who can manage and analyze the vast amounts of information they collect. But with more data than there are qualified professionals who can manage and extract meaning from it, those looking to advance their careers with a master’s in data analytics or business analytics are uniquely positioned for success.

This data boom is challenging businesses in every industry to hire professionals with a master’s in data analytics who are skilled at data management and governance. However, some organizations will find they need professionals with the comprehensive communication and technical skills offered by a master’s in business analytics. Business analytics professionals bring the multifaceted talent required to both manage and govern data as well as use it to drive business decisions and actions.

Ultimately, those who earn a degree from a business or data analytics graduate program are both needed in the workplace, so data experts interested in a master’s degree can choose the program that best suits their desired skillset and career goals.

Nearly 40% of advanced data and business analytics positions require a master’s degree or PhD, according to a study from IBM. When mapping out a higher education plan to improve professional growth opportunities, consider your overarching career goals and how they might be attained with the successful completion of a master’s in data analytics or business analytics.

Key Differences of a Master’s in Data Analytics vs Business Analytics

Master’s in Data Analytics

  • Courses focus on data operations, including advanced analytics
  • Strong mathematical focus typically geared for professionals with a STEM background
  • Develops system architects to prepare data for advanced analytics

Master’s in Business Analytics

  • Advanced analytics courses focus on transforming data into insights and competitive business advantages
  • Builds corporate communications skills needed to effectively convey findings to leadership
  • Appeals to a STEM audience but also tailored to varying professional backgrounds

Master’s in Data Analytics

Earning an masters in business analytics is a good option for professionals with a STEM background who are interested in learning how to gather, organize and analyze data in or outside of a business context. These students will learn to be systems architects who prepare data for advanced analytics, and they will focus on gaining mastery with the tools and techniques used for data governance and analysis.

Courses included in a master’s in data analytics program will give students hands-on experience with analysis techniques such as multiple regression and logistic regression, teaching them how to find critical patterns within datasets. The MS in Data Analytics also provides students with the skills needed to extract meaning from raw data, develop analytic dashboards for non-technical users as well as build charts and other visually appealing presentations to thoroughly explain their findings.

A data analytics graduate program typically focuses on mathematical and programming skills and tools; this provides students with the knowledge they need to transform their organization’s data into a usable asset.

Master’s in Business Analytics

Business analytics professionals use analytical tools for improved business decision making. Their starting point is a specific business application, for which they identify which data and methodologies are best suited to approach the problem at hand. Like their counterparts in a data analytics graduate program, business analytics students will learn how to discover data trends; however, business analytics students not only learn the tools and techniques for analyzing both small and large data sets, they do so within specific business domains, and recognize which analytical tool is most effective for solving a given business problem.

Business analytics experts are responsible for identifying areas where their organizations can be improved, discovering insights from data, and proposing plans for improved decision making. Their findings may lead to operational efficiencies, product innovation or discoveries about customers.

An MS in Business Analytics typically offers courses that provide a comprehensive set of both technical and business skills, including management and communications. This enables students to become proficient with state-of-the-art technologies such as machine learning and optimization, while also learning how to best communicate their ideas to the rest of their organizations. As a result, business analytics graduate programs are ideal for professionals who thrive in environments where they must use a blend of creative, technical and communication skills.