Why Businesses Need Data Analysis to Remain Competitive

Dealing with massive amounts of data is one of the biggest challenges businesses face in the 21st century. As companies compete for market share in an increasingly digitized landscape, many struggle to transform the huge quantities of data they collect on a daily basis into actionable insights. In 2010, estimates of data created suggest the world generated more than two zettabytes (ZB) of digital information. That’s a staggering number, until you consider the World Economic Forum estimates 44 ZB will be collected in 2020 alone.

To put that massive amount of data into perspective, imagine transferring just one 1 ZB of information onto 1 GB thumb drives. If those 1 GB drives were laid end to end, they would stretch across 184 million football fields. That’s a lot of information for businesses to collect, manage, and interpret effectively.

Increasing Demand for Data Analysis Professionals

With that much data for businesses to consider, it’s no wonder qualified data analysis experts are in such high demand. Businesses awash in staggering amounts of information need employees who understand how to collect, analyze, and ultimately leverage data in order to remain competitive. But with demand for data scientists at an all-time high, filling open data analyst positions is proving difficult for many businesses.

IBM predicts demand for data scientists will increase nearly 30% by the end of 2020. The authors note, “There is a growing concern that the supply of DSA [Data Science Analysts] workers is lagging dangerously behind demand…Employers are already struggling to fill DSA jobs, as evidenced by the length of time unfilled jobs remain open.”

Dave Schippers, Sc.D. CISSP, EnCE, cybersecurity expert and Walsh chair and assistant professor of IT/Decision Sciences, says, “Most companies are not equipped with the internal skills to analyze, synthesize, and actualize the data in order to guide strategic decision making. Decision making can include unlocking new opportunities, enhancing mature processes, or integrating mature processes for success. This leads to an increasing demand for professionals with skills in data analytics as part of a broader set of business management capabilities.”

Cutting-Edge Data Scientists

As more companies search for qualified data analysts, it’s clear that competitive business enterprises can no longer ask if they’ll get on the big data bandwagon; it’s now a question of when. The answer to that question begins with hiring a qualified data scientist, one who can sort through massive quantities of information and make recommendations that solve real world problems.

But it isn’t enough for data scientists to simply collect information, or even to offer basic interpretations of that information. Today’s data scientists must identify and define the correct data, then present that information to decision makers in a way that empowers management to make better decisions. That means it’s essential for data scientists to ask the right questions before they can even begin to identify the right answers amid the sea of data.

That’s where Walsh’s Master of Science in Data Analytics (MSDA) comes into play. With decades of real-world experience, Walsh’s data analytics faculty work to instill critical thinking, problem solving, and analytical skills in each and every student. A focus on process integration, improvement, and maturity for business excellence sets the Walsh MSDA apart from similar programs. The curriculum is designed for students with traditional backgrounds in tech and for those who lack a technical background. 

Dr. Schippers says, “Collecting, manipulating, and interpreting data is now a must-have for all business professionals, technical or not.”  But it’s important for potential data analysis students to know the growing field of data analysis is open to them, even if they don’t have a traditional background in IT.

Pursuing Data Analysis, Even Without a Technical Background

 With data science professionals in such high demand, companies increasingly compete to hire knowledgeable data scientists. They rely on data scientists to:

  • Identify market opportunities
  • Design in-demand products
  • Improve customer experience
  • Refine marketing
  • Mitigate risk and fraud
  • Reduce costs and increase profitability
  • Recruit talent and manage the hiring process

Students without traditional technical backgrounds who are interested in data analysis shouldn’t assume they can’t join this growing and lucrative field. Although data analysis requires an understanding of the manipulation and interpretation of data, programs like Walsh’s Master of Science in Data Analytics provide a solid foundation for professionals without traditional IT backgrounds. Schippers says, “Data analysis is not just an IT discipline. It’s is a fusion of logic, research, observation, communication, systems thinking, and process integration.”

Walsh’s data sciences education offers those with and without technical backgrounds the knowledge and skills they need to evaluate, interpret, and translate information. For those without technical backgrounds, the program includes courses to fill in gaps in technical knowledge so that students graduating from the Master of Science in Data Analytics program at Walsh are well prepared to work as cutting-edge data analysts.

Starting Your Career in Data Analytics

As businesses grapple with the need to predict demand, optimize processes, increase productivity, reduce costs, and shore up profitability, they increasingly turn to qualified data scientists. Walsh is here to help you become one of those in-demand professionals, whether you come from a technical background or not.

Apply Now    Learn More | Walsh MSDA

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