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What Is Business Analytics?

A degree may open the door to a variety of opportunities and diverse career paths. The degree programs offered at CTU will not necessarily lead to the featured careers. This collection of articles is intended to help inform and guide you through the process of determining which level of degree and types of certifications align with your desired career path.

Business analytics, or business data analytics, is the name given to the process of analyzing historical data to extract insights about past, current, or future performance. It allows an organization to gain insight into what has happened, why it happened, what is likely to happen and even what steps should be taken next.1

The curriculum for any business data analytics or business analytics degree program should be designed to help you prepare to pursue a career path in the field. Keep reading to learn more about what you can expect to study in these types of programs.

What Is a Business Analytics Degree?

Business analytics degree programs may include different types of business courses, math courses and computer or information technology courses. Whether a particular degree program requires you to complete a number of general education requirements in addition to core and concentration-specific courses will depend on whether you’re pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s in business analytics or data analytics, among other factors.

CTU offers a few options for students who are interested in studying a data analytics. At the undergraduate level, our online bachelor’s degrees include the Bachelor of Science Business Administration (BSBA)—Data Analytics or the Bachelor of Computer Science (BCS)—Data Analytics. At the graduate level, we offer a Master of Business Administration (MBA)—Data Analytics degree program.

Business Analytics vs. Business Intelligence vs. Data Analytics

What is business analytics used for? What do we mean when we talk about business intelligence and analytics, data analytics, or even data science? Let’s break it down.

Data Analytics vs. Business Analytics

Data analytics is an umbrella term describing the entire process of analyzing very large amounts of collected data to extract meaning and make predictions.1 It uses principles of computer programming, statistics and mathematics in data interpretation.2 Business analytics (or business data analytics) is a type of data analytics that focuses on developing business insights in particular. It applies the principles of data analytics to produce data-driven business recommendations and influence business decisions.1

Business Analytics vs. Business Intelligence

Business intelligence and analytics are not the same thing, but they are related. Business intelligence (BI) is focused on evaluating and describing the current state of a business. BI analysts analyze data in order to describe what is presently happening or what has happened in the past, and they also try to determine why these things are happening or have happened.3 So in a nutshell, the main difference between a BI analyst and a business data analyst is this: BI analysts focus specifically on the here and now. They don’t make predictions or recommendations for future action.

Business Analytics vs. Data Science

The aim of data science is to derive actionable insights from data using math, statistics, specialized programs, advanced analytics and more. While some data scientists may choose to focus on improving business strategy, others might conduct research for academic journals or reports instead.4 This distinguishes it from business analytics, which, as its name suggests, is focused on business data specifically. Additionally, although some overlap between a data scientist’s and business analyst’s duties may exist, data scientists have a specific skillset that includes knowing how to develop algorithms and models for machine learning, and they also need to know data-oriented programming languages.4

Data Analytics Program Concentrations

Online BSBA—Data Analytics Degree Program

The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration—Data Analytics degree program is designed to help build familiarity with the fundamentals of data analytics. The program offers the opportunity to study how data collection is carried out and how it can be used to help generate informed business decisions. Additionally, the program explores how to classify data and how the knowledge extracted from data analysis can help predict areas of opportunity and risk. Courses specific to the Data Analytics degree concentration may include Foundations of Data Management in Information Systems, Introduction to Data Analytics for Business, Business Analytics and Big Data, Data Mining for Results, and Analytical Reasoning and Presentation of Data.

Online BSCS—Data Science Degree Program

In CTU’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science—Data Science degree program, theoretical and practical skills are explored, including techniques and processes involved in designing computer software. This program is designed to help you prepare to pursue a career path focused on building computer software solutions with algorithmic programming techniques. Courses in the Data Science degree concentration may include Streaming Data Analytics, Data Warehousing, NoSQL Databases, Machine Learning, Data Mining, and Data Visualization.

Online MBA—Data Analytics

The Master of Business Administration—Data Analytics degree program is designed for students who want to examine how analysis of big data can be used to evaluate business performance and support organizational and strategic decision-making. It also offers an opportunity to explore how analytical findings can be communicated in ways that support optimized and data-driven decision-making. Courses in the Data Analytics degree concentration include Data Analytics for Business, Time Series Analysis, Data Analytics Visualization and Presentation, and an MBA Capstone.

The Data Analyst Job Market

What can you do with a data analytics skill set? The relevant skills and knowledge developed in a data analytics degree concentration could help you prepare to pursue career paths in the field. Potential Career path options vary based on the degree program. For example, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration—Data Analytics could help prepare for a management analyst career path, while a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science—Data Science could help prepare for a data scientist career path.

  • Management Analysts: Also known as management consultants, business analysts, or business consultants,5 management analysts make recommendations on how improve an organization’s efficiency. They identify the ways in which an organization can reduce costs and increase revenues in order to increase profitability.6

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment of management analysts will grow 11 percent from 2021 to 2031, which is higher than the BLS’ 7 percent growth projection for overall employment in business and financial occupations.* Demand will be driven by organizations’ interest in improving efficiency and controlling costs, and employment growth is anticipated to be particularly strong in smaller consulting companies that specialize in a specific industry or business function.6
  • Data Scientists: Data scientists interpret and extract meaningful insights from data through the use of analytical tools and techniques.4

    Employment of data scientists is projected to grow 36 percent from 2021 to 2031, according to the BLS.* Reasons for this projected growth include (1) organizations’ increased demand for data-driven decisions as well as (2) an increase in the volume of available data available and its potential uses and the potential uses. The BLS anticipates that more data scientists will be necessary to mine and interpret the large amounts of information and data collected.4

Ready to learn more? Explore our full array of business degree programs or apply now.

1 SAP Insights, What Is Analytics?, (visited 12/5/2022).
2 CIO, What Is Data Analytics? Analyzing and Managing Data for Decisions, (visited 12/5/2022).
3 CIO, What Is Business Intelligence? Transforming Data Into Business Insights, (visited 9/20/2022).
4 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, “Data Scientists,” (visited 12/5/2022).
5 National Center for O*NET Development, “13-1111.00 Management Analysts,” O*NET OnLine, (visited 12/6/2022).
6 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, “Management Analysts,” (visited 12/6/2022).

* This data represents national figures and is not based on school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.

Colorado Technical University cannot guarantee employment, salary, or career advancement. The list of career paths related to this program is based on a subset from the Bureau of Labor Statistics CIP to SOC Crosswalk. Some career paths listed above may require further education or job experience.

Not all programs are available to residents of all states. REQ1867338 12/2022

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