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Big Data: Working In Business Analytics Or Data Science

Big data is a huge industry right now, with trained professionals who are experienced with using data to determine commercially useful information in higher demand than ever before. Companies in industries worldwide are becoming increasingly more reliant on data scientists and business intelligence professionals to uncover insights and help them utilize the data that they collect to get an edge over their competition and boost profits. 

Data scientists and business analysts will often work together to turn raw data into information that is both actionable and useful. Both of these professionals will work towards reaching similar goals, however, both fill different roles. Each type of professional is quickly becoming some of the most sought-after in the industry as businesses of all sizes and in all industries become increasingly more reliant on data for making decisions that apply to every aspect of the business. Here’s why it’s worth considering a career in big data or business intelligence. 

How These Two Career Paths Differ:

While both business intelligence analysts and data scientists will work towards a similar goal, they both serve very different roles within an organization. Businesses around the world are increasingly in need of both these professionals to ensure that they are able to fully utilize the data that they are gathering all the time. Data scientists are more likely to focus on extrapolating past data to make accurate future predictions for the business, while on the other hand, the role of a business analyst is more likely to focus on interpreting collected data and making sense of past trends to figure out the facts.  You can learn more about working in either of these roles with a masters in data science from Kettering University

Demand for These Roles:

Both data scientists and business intelligence analysts are currently experiencing very high demand. Whichever of these two roles appeals to you the most, there are many excellent opportunities and career prospects available as more and more businesses around the world are in need of highly educated and knowledgeable professionals who have the skills required to make sense of the massive amounts of data that are collected on a regular basis. There is already quite an acute shortage of data professionals around the world, and with businesses not slowing down when it comes to collecting data and using it for insights into the majority of business choices and decisions, this is only expected to get worse in the foreseeable future. For those who choose to get into a career in business analysis or big data, this is an ideal situation since it means that demand is higher than ever, boosting your chances of getting hired to do the career of your dreams faster and easier after your graduate. 

Earning Potential:

How much you can expect to earn is typically one of the key questions that most people will ask when it comes to choosing a certain career. And the earning potential for those who choose to work in the industry of big data is currently very generous, with the average starting salary for a data scientist a whopping $80k per year. And, as you get more and more experience as you work in this position, you can increase your earnings even more with some highly experienced professionals earning six figures yearly.

On the other hand, those who want to get a higher salary from as soon as possible might find that a career as a business analysist is a better option for them. Since there is a lower barrier into this career for business analysists, they can often get started with getting the experience that they need to boost their earnings even earlier in their career. This is because while you can find work as a business analyst with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in data science, business analytics, data analytics or similar, you will usually have to have earned a doctoral degree in a relevant field and spent more time studying before starting a career as a data scientist. 

How to Get Started with a Career in Big Data:

Whether you like the idea of working as a business analysist, a data scientist, or another career in big data, there are several steps to follow while preparing to get into this profession that will help put you in with the best chance of landing the right career for you. The foundation for a successful career in big data includes:

Undergraduate Study:

If you are starting out as an undergraduate, and are soon to be heading to college, there are several majors to consider when applying for your degree program that can provide you with an ideal foundation for working in this field. Along with degree programs that are designed to prepare you for a career in big data, such as business analytics or data analytics, you may also consider a degree in mathematics, data science, engineering, information technology, computer science, or economics. 

Work Experience:

Most employers will expect you to have gained some real-life work experience in a similar role before considering your application. This can be tricky when you are just starting out, but the good news is that the high demand for big data professionals means that internships and positions that are suitable for students looking to get into these roles are quite easy to come by. In addition to getting experience, an internship or other relevant working role as a student could be your step into a future career. 


Getting the professional certification is typically very important for those working in the field of big data. Being certified by a professional organization allows you to demonstrate your skills and knowledge when it comes to working with data. 

Advanced Degree:

Finally, many positions in big data will require you to hold an advanced degree. You can find various master’s and doctoral degree programs designed to build on your current knowledge and further prepare you for a career in this field. 

Today, data is the biggest and most valuable asset owned by most businesses. The field of big data, as a result, is becoming one of the most lucrative with professionals in very high demand. 


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