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Business Analytics vs Data Science – Pick and choose your career path

September 19, 2022

Data is growing at an exponential rate in the world. It is estimated that the world will generate 181 zettabytes of data by 2025. With this increase, we are also seeing an increase in demand for data-driven techniques and strategies.

According to Forbes, 95% of businesses expressed the need to manage unstructured data as a problem for their business. In fact, Business Analytics vs Data Science is one of the hottest debates among data professionals nowadays.

Many people might wonder – what is the difference between Business Analytics and Data Science? Or which one should they choose as a career path? If you are one of those keep reading to know more about both these fields!

Business analytics - Data science
                                                                                                      Team working on Business Analytics

First, we need to understand what both these fields are. Let’s take a look. 

What is Business Analytics? 

Business Analytics is the process of deriving insights from business data to inform business decisions. It is the process of collecting data and doing analysis for the business to make better decisions. It provides a lot of insight that can be used to make better business decisions. It helps in optimizing processes and improving productivity.

It also helps in identifying potential risks, opportunities, and threats. Business Analytics is an important part of any organization’s decision-making process. It is a combination of different analytical activities like data exploration, data visualization, data transformation, data modeling, and model validation. All of this is done by using various tools and techniques like R programming, machine learning, artificial intelligence, data mining, etc.

Business analytics is a very diverse field that can be used in every industry. It can be used in areas like marketing, sales, supply chain, operations, finance, technology and many more. 

Now that we have a good understanding of what Business Analytics is, let’s move on to Data Science. 

What is Data Science? 

Data science is the process of discovering new information, knowledge, and insights from data. They apply different machine-learning algorithms to any form of data from numbers to text, images, videos, and audio, to draw various understandings from them. Data science is all about exploring data to identify hidden patterns and make decisions based on them.

It involves implementing the right analytical techniques and tools to transform the data into something meaningful. It is not just about storing data in the database or creating reports about the same. Data scientists collect and clean the data, apply machine learning algorithms, create visualizations, and use data-driven decision-making tools to create an impact on the organization.

Data scientists use tools like programming languages, database management, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to clean, visualize, and explore the data.

Pro tip: Learn more about Data Science for business 

What is the difference between Business Analytics and Data Science? 

Technically, Business analytics is a subset of Data Science. But the two terms are often used interchangeably because of the lack of a clear understanding among people. Let’s discuss the key differences between Business Analytics and Data Science. Business Analytics focuses on creating insights from existing data for making better business decisions.

While Data Science focuses on creating insights from new data by applying the right analytical techniques. Business Analytics is a more established field. It combines several analytical activities like data transformation, modeling, and validation. Data Science is a relatively new field that is evolving every day. Business Analytics is more of a hands-on approach to manage the data whereas Data Science is more focused on the development of the data.

Both the fields also differ a bit in their required skills. Business Analysts mostly use Interpretation, Data visualization, analytical reasoning, statistics, and written communication skills to interpret and communicate their work. Whereas Data Scientists utilize statistical analysis, programming skills, machine learning, calculus and algebra, and data visualization to perform most of their work.

Which should one choose? 

Business analytics is a well-established field, whereas data science is still evolving. If you are inclined towards decisive and logical skills with little or no programming knowledge or computer science skills, you can take up Business Analytics. It is a beginner friendly domain and is easy to catch on to.

But if you are interested in programming and are familiar with machine learning algorithms or even interested in data analysis, you can opt for Data Science. We hope this blog answers your questions about the differences between the two similar and somewhat overlapping fields and helps you make the right data-driven and informed decision for yourself! 


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