How Difficult is it to Learn Business Analytics?

Discover how learning business analytics can enhance your career and help you solve complex business problems. Learn how business analytics compares to other fields, the challenges of learning it, and how it can be used to leverage data for better decision-making.

Key Insights

  • Business Analytics involves using technologies and disciplines such as quantitative methods, statistical models, and data analysis to solve business problems and make data-driven decisions.
  • Business Analysts are sought after by all types of businesses from startups to multinational corporations due to their ability to analyze data, devise business strategies, and communicate effectively.
  • Challenges in learning business analytics include managing fast-paced environments, understanding new project processes, adapting to changing business requirements, ensuring proper documentation, and resolving workplace conflicts.
  • Business analytics overlaps with data analytics in terms of handling and manipulating data, but business analytics focuses more on the larger implications of data for an organization and actions based on these implications.
  • The field of business analytics is growing as more data is being created, with Business Analysts playing a crucial role in transforming data into valuable insights for businesses.
  • Noble Desktop offers comprehensive business analytics courses, providing hands-on training in tools like Tableau, SQL, PowerPoint, and Excel, and preparing students for a career as a Business Analyst.

Are you curious about learning business analytics but worried it might be too hard? Of course, the difficulty that comes with learning a new skill is somewhat subjective. The challenges of learning business analytics depend on factors like how familiar you are working with Excel or using programming languages such as R, Python, and SQL. Another important contributing factor is whether you possess soft skills such as time management and clear communication or if these, too, will need to be acquired as you study. No matter your current schedule or comfort level with business analytics, plenty of tools are available to help make learning easier than you might think.

What is Business Analytics?

Business Analytics is a group of technologies and disciplines, such as quantitative methods, statistical models, and data analysis, which are used to solve business problems. It relies on iteratively and methodologically exploring an organization’s data using statistical analysis techniques to make better, data-driven decisions. This involves a practical application of statistical analysis geared toward uncovering actionable recommendations.

Many companies view their data as a business asset and continue to explore ways to use it for a competitive advantage. To be successful with business analytics, an organization must have good quality data, as well as Business Analysts who not only understands the business but also the technologies needed to transform its data into insights. Business Analysts seek to draw concrete conclusions about a company by finding answers to questions such as why certain events happened, what is expected to occur in the future, and what actions can be done in the present.

Most business analytics tasks are descriptive, predictive, or prescriptive. Descriptive analytics involves analyzing historical data to discover how an organization could respond to specific variables. Predictive analytics examines historical data to predict the likelihood of specific future outcomes. Prescriptive analytics is a combination of descriptive and predictive analyses; it involves formulating a process with which users can anticipate what is expected to happen, when it will occur, and why it will transpire. Business Analysts rely on tools and skills such as data mining, association and sequence identification, text mining, data aggregation, forecasting, optimization, and data visualization to gather and present these data-driven insights.

Read more about what business analytics is and why you should learn it.

What Can You Do with Business Analytics?

Business analytics is one of the most versatile skill sets you can bring to the professional arena. All businesses, from small startups to multinational companies, seek those with a background in business analytics who can work with data to solve complicated problems, devise useful business strategies, and clearly communicate with stakeholders. Most Business Analysts have a background working with technology and programming languages like C++ and Java, as well as various databases and testing methods. These individuals typically possess technical and business skills, making them high-demand among recruiters and employers. 

Business Analysts are typically good problem solvers. They can analyze problems and apply critical thinking to propose innovative solutions that consider variables such as market trends. These individuals also tend to have an analytical mindset, which allows them to apply statistical models to analyze large datasets. Their analytic skills help Business Analysts perform tasks like understanding consumer buying decisions and behaviors and using this information to formulate a marketing strategy.

Business Analysts are usually expert communicators. They can clearly communicate their data findings and present these insights to different teams on both the business and technical sides. This often requires adapting their communication style to best reach different audiences. These individuals also possess time-management skills to balance multiple project deadlines and perform under pressure.

What Are the Most Challenging Parts of Learning Business Analytics?

Business Analysts play an integral role in many sectors and domains, such as private organizations, government departments, IT firms, and nonprofits. Regardless of the employer, Business Analysts help their organization grow and become more financially sound. This can be a challenging job. The following is a breakdown of some of the most difficult parts of business analytics:

  • Business Analysts often work in fast-paced environments, which require them to keep up to speed on trends. When unexpected hurdles creep up, they must quickly and efficiently handle them. Time-managemnt training can provide learners with the skills needed to help them prioritize the most pressing tasks and to complete them as quickly as possible.
  • Once a project is assigned, it’s important for a Business Analyst to get started on it immediately. However, beginning a new project also means understanding the process from scratch. Business Analysts sometimes must thoroughly read an organization’s business objectives, understand the scope of its data, and receive continuous updates that contain the most recent developments. Although it can be challenging to absorb this much information, it’s an important part of the job, one that requires thoroughness as well as patience. A great first step is reading the project demands and description. In addition, it’s important for Business Analysts to be comfortable asking questions about why and when events occurred, which can help them develop better models.
  • Another hurdle Business Analysts face is the ever-changing requirements for a business. Change is a constant in this field; sometimes, stakeholders change requirements multiple times over the course of a week or a day. Business Analysts must deploy any changes and ensure they are the best fit for the project at hand or to decide not to implement the change. When business requirements are modified based on policies, laws, or government rules, they must execute these changes immediately, regardless of whether they cause delays. If these changes are instead caused by a stakeholder who is unclear on the organization’s vision, the Business Analyst can spend time communicating with stakeholders and reschedule accordingly.
  • A core responsibility for Business Analysts is ensuring their work is documented. However, this can be challenging when stakeholders cannot provide the data necessary for sound documentation. Because projects are often modified many times, documentation plays an integral role in ensuring the success of a project, as well as reproducing the chain of events that led to its completion. One effective strategy to ensure proper documentation of each stage of a process is for the Business Analyst to create several documents, such as a management plan and a client vision document. Any updates should be clearly indicated on all documents.
  • Conflicts at the workplace arise in all professions. Business analytics is no different. However, a skilled Business Analyst must be able to resolve conflicts in a timely and effective manner. These conflicts can pertain to a variety of factors, such as team members disagreeing about implementing a new idea or debating the timeline. When a consensus cannot be reached, a Business Analyst intervenes to ensure that it’s handled as smoothly as possible and doesn’t lead to delays or less productivity.

How Does Learning Business Analytics Compare to Other Fields?

If you’re interested in learning business analytics, you may wonder how difficult it is compared to other fields. One field that overlaps with business analytics is data analytics. Both these fields require handling and manipulating data, then uncovering insights into that data that can be used to improve the performance of an organization. 

Since both of these fields rely on similar tools, such as Microsoft Excel, Tableau, and SQL, the learning process and costs associated with learning are similar for both disciplines. Excel is currently available for $6.99/user/month when purchased as part of a Microsoft 365 subscription. Tableau Public is available for free, and SQL is also offered for free for those who intend to use it in non-production environments.

Unlike data analytics, business analytics is involved with larger implications of data for an organization, as well as the action that should be taken based on these implications. This field draws from a combination of tools, skills, and applications that an organization uses to measure and improve how effective its core business functions are. On the other hand, data analytics requires searching through large datasets to find trends and patterns, as well as to provide conclusions about hypotheses to provide insights to facilitate decision-making. This field incorporates a range of approaches and techniques, such as data cleaning and visualization. While both Data Analysts and Business Analysts are involved with organizational decision-making, Data Analysts generally work more with the data itself, whereas Business Analysts work more to address specific business needs and provide solutions.

If you want to learn more about data analytics, Noble Desktop’s Data Analytics Learn Hub provides a comprehensive overview of this field. In addition, this resource also contains articles on pertinent data analytics topics, such as working with colors in Tableau, using table calculations in Tableau, and installing Tableau Public. Noble also currently offerers several in-person and live online data analytics courses, such as Data Analytics Technologies Bootcamp and Data Analytics Certificate. 

Why Learn Business Analytics?

The amount of data being created is larger than ever, and this number is expected to increase in the coming years. Every minute, 150,000 Facebook posts are created, 347,000 Instagram stories are shared, and nearly 1.4 million video and voice calls are placed by people around the globe. In 2021 alone, 2 trillion Google searches and 1.134 trillion MB of data were created daily. Without Business Analysts and other data professionals, these data would just be numbers. Those with a background in data analysis can transform data into valuable insights to help businesses expand and be more profitable.

When an organization needs to make an important decision, Business Analysts can compare various outcomes. By applying A/B testing, they can compare the different outcomes of two choices to decide which is most likely to be beneficial for the company. This knowledge can save the organization a substantial amount of money.

More companies than ever are seeing the potential value contained in data and actively seek Business Analysts to extract and analyze it so they can provide suggestions about how these numbers can be transformed into profit. Another benefit of working with data is that it can help improve an organization’s overall efficiency. The insights that are available by performing predictive analytics on datasets can be used to anticipate the need for maintenance and foresee operational issues that may escalate into larger problems if unaddressed.

Learn Business Analytics with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

If you want to study business analytics, Noble Desktop offers several excellent classes to prepare you to work as a Business Analyst. Noble’s Business Analyst Certificate is available in both the in-person and live online format. Participants in this hands-on course learn how to work with tools such as Tableau, SQL, PowerPoint, and Excel to analyze and visualize data. All participants receive live, project-based instruction from industry experts and can retake the course for up to one year to revisit the material.

For those who want to learn more about working with big data, Noble also has an in-person and live online Data Analytics Certificate. All participants receive one-on-one mentoring with tuition. This course is available in the full-time format that spans six weeks, as well as the part-time format of 24 weeks of evening classes. This project-based course covers core data analytics concepts and skills like collecting, wrangling, analyzing, and visualizing data. In addition, participants prepare for a career in business analytics or data analytics by reviewing case studies that incorporate both predictive and prescriptive analytics.

Those interested in comparing learning options can also browse Noble’s in-person and live online data analytics and data science classes to find the perfect class.

How to Learn Business Analytics

Master business analytics with hands-on training. Business analytics refers to the use of data to assist with making business decisions, such as investments or policy changes.

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