The world of business is fast-paced and constantly changing. So, when people want a business-focused career, they need to understand how the business world functions. Usually, that knowledge is acquired through education and experience. A person can choose the field that they want to enter, however, every field and career path needs a unique set of job skills. Most organizations prefer employees who have an analytical mindset, can solve problems and adapt to new challenges. To be successful in the business world, the right education is crucial.
Many people choose to pursue a degree in business analytics or business administration to enjoy challenging and lucrative careers. Both business analytics and business administration require different skills, so understanding the differences between these two fields will enable you to make an informed choice.
What is business analytics?
Businesses in the digital age have a lot of data and this data can help these organizations make data-driven decisions. To analyze this vast volume of data, organizations need business analysts. With the help of a business analyst, an organization can find the right solutions to its problems and improve its performance so that it succeeds in a competitive marketplace.
A business analyst can work in a wide range of areas in an organization, right from finance to IT. An analyst is crucial to an organization’s long-term success by helping different departments meet their long-term and short-term goals. The analyst is also responsible for helping departments solve problems, which improves the organization’s potential. Business analysts collate data and carefully analyze it to improve performance and productivity and find new ways to assist their department in reaching its target. As a result, they enable the company to improve its performance and enjoy profitability.
Responsibilities of a business analyst
When you work as a business analyst, your responsibilities will depend on what you need to analyze. So, you need to first determine the organization’s needs and the specific areas that it can improve in. These areas can include identifying existing obstacles that the organization has been constantly experiencing or finding new areas that could benefit from improvement so that the organization as a whole improves.
To help your organization, you require in-depth knowledge of various subjects. That will enable you to conduct your research and analyze the data. As a business analyst, you need to communicate with management to find out where the organization is heading and the problems they believe are hampering the company’s progress. For instance, while checking the financials of your organization, you find out that the company is losing money in specific areas. Through proper research and analysis, you will be able to recommend expanding another area of the business so that productivity improves while downsizing the loss-making areas to help the organization save money.
When you make recommendations to management, you will need to support them with the right research and analytics. Any problem that you want to resolve could affect the entire company even if it is a small issue. So, you will have to do a fair bit of research and analysis before you can make any suggestions. Additionally, the kind of data you need to analyze will depend on which area you are working on.
Many business analysts often find it challenging to work with large volumes of data. That is where a DBA in Business Intelligence can prove to be extremely beneficial. A doctoral degree in business intelligence (BI), such as the one offered by Marymount University, can help you leverage your understanding of data and technology to develop action-based strategies to give your organization a competitive advantage. Additionally, the degree will enable you to gather relevant data, analyze and structure it in such a way that you can easily search for patterns and answers that are relevant to your company. You can then present this information to decision-makers in the company so that they can make informed decisions without missing out on essential details.
As a business analyst, one of your responsibilities will be presenting your findings to management. Here, you need to make sure that you present the data and findings using language that the decision-makers understand. So, when you work hard to identify problems, research them and find solutions, you also need to work to present them convincingly. This will improve the likelihood of the project succeeding.
What is business administration?
Business administration covers the entire organization, encompassing many business aspects. When a person works as a business administrator, they ensure that the business runs efficiently and effectively. The administrator is responsible for the day-to-day operations and uses their business acumen to decide how the resources of the organization are used to help achieve business objectives. Business administration applies to all levels of an organization and spans every department.
As a business administrator, you will be responsible for the operations of the entire company. However, if the company is large, then you may be put in charge of a department. Your role as a business administrator would be to ensure that other employees do their work consistently so that the desired results are achieved. If a company wants to grow and improve its bottom line, it requires an effective business administrator.
Responsibilities of a business administrator
The day-to-day responsibilities of a business administrator can vary based on the organization. Some of the main responsibilities may include:
- Managing staff, including managers and heads of departments.
- Supervising different divisions in an organization.
- Setting goals and objectives for different departments across the organization.
- Organizing training to help employees hone and acquire skills to meet department objectives and maintain motivation.
- Study and analyze industry and competitor trends.
- Recommend policy and/or procedure changes when required.
- Manage budgets and oversee the financial activities of the organization.
- Implement new technologies.
- Analyze key performance indicators (KPIs).
- Liaise with managers and decision-makers within the organization.
Typically, business administrators have a master’s degree in business administration. Earning a degree helps business administrators to learn the best management practices so that they can adopt them in their workplace. When you graduate in business administration, you will have the right skills to not only think but also act strategically, respond to the fast-changing needs of the business, and possess the right knowledge and expertise to make smart and prudent decisions to positively influence the business. As a business administrator, you take up the role of a strategic leader, who helps the organization succeed.
Similarities between business administration and business analytics
Whether you work in business administration or business analytics, your educational qualifications and experience will enable you to work in the business world. Both fields allow professionals to have a positive impact on their organizations.
Business administrators and business analysts learn to think critically and convey their ideas and suggestions effectively and efficiently. Additionally, professionals from both fields can work in a variety of sectors, such as finance, manufacturing, healthcare, advertising and public sectors.
Differences between business administration and business analytics
As a business administrator, your focus will be on a core business area, such as finance, marketing, accounting, human resources, management or economics. The area you choose will depend on your interest, educational qualifications and experience.
On the other hand, a business analyst can work in any area of a company. As a business analyst, you will need to keep pace with the rapid technological advances and the effects they have on your organization. You will have the ability to understand existing and future challenges that your company faces and use technology and data to help your organization make data-driven decisions to overcome them.
While business administrators do not require in-depth IT knowledge, business analysts should be well-versed in various programming languages, such as R, Python and SQL. This is because these analysts gather, process and perform statistical analyses to help companies make sound business decisions. Analysts are responsible for taking data sets and transforming them into usable forms, such as presentations and reports. They glean insights from data and make strategic recommendations. Often, business administrators need to collaborate with data analysts to understand data sets.
Many professionals have the misconception that only business administrators take on high-level roles. Even executives with business administration degrees start at the lower end of the organizational chart and advance to higher levels. Business analysts do start in lower positions, but with experience and the pursuit of higher education such as a DBA in BI, they can move into leadership roles. This is because earning a doctoral degree allows these professionals to perform relevant research in BI and learn how to apply their findings in the real world.
Usually, business administration professionals work in fields that they have specialized in while studying. For instance, the master’s degree can be in human resources, finance or marketing, so, the graduate will go into the field that they have specialized in or they can become entrepreneurs and start their own business. Business analysts can perform analytical roles in any field or sector. With analytical problem-solving skills, a keen eye for details and programming knowledge, business analysts can work in any field that requires in-depth data analysis.
Business administration vs business analytics: Which one is right for you?
The business world offers professionals a fast-paced and rapidly changing work environment. To succeed in such an environment, professionals need strong critical thinking, excellent communication skills, the ability to work in teams and problem-solving skills.
Business administration is a broad field and offers many different roles and opportunities for growth. A business administrator manages a company’s resources, people and time, so that the business operates efficiently, effectively and profitably. A business administrator requires quantitative and soft skills with a basic understanding of finance and accounting, IT, marketing and human resources, while they specialize in a specific practice area.
Business analysts need computer programming skills and the ability to analyze and interpret large data sets. These professionals also collaborate with other departments within their organization and report findings to management, leaders and key stakeholders. They utilize a variety of software as well as analytical tools to gain insights from large sets of data. A business analyst is usually tech-savvy and constantly looks for new technologies to implement in the organization. At the same time, a business analyst also stays connected with other departments so that they can identify problems and issues that may not appear in data sets.
If you understand the different roles and responsibilities of a business administrator and business analyst, you will be better equipped to choose a career path that is right for you. When it comes to business analytics, it is essential that you keep learning and improving your knowledge as technologies play a major role in today’s business world, so there is a high demand for business analysts.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for management analysts in 2021 was $93,000. From 2021 to 2031, the projected growth for employment is 11%, which is significantly higher than other occupations. Of course, as business analysts’ experience and knowledge increase, they will be able to earn better compensation. This is the reason many executives who love working with data choose to pursue a DBA in BI. Also, an advanced degree is preferable if business analysts are looking to progress to leadership roles.
You can choose to earn an online advanced degree in either business administration or business analytics. To be successful in the business world, it is imperative to choose your field of specialization carefully. It is best to choose a field that you are interested in. It is essential to remember that most advanced degrees, like DBA, require work experience. So, before enrolling in a degree program, you should ensure you acquire the relevant experience in your chosen field. This will make the course more interesting and also ensure that you are familiar with the unique terms and jargon. Once you acquire the degree, you will have access to job opportunities in the field of your choice.