Do you have what it takes for a career in business analytics?

Business analytics has emerged as the career of choice for smart people (aka geeks) in the last few years. People from all kinds of diverse backgrounds – from Statistics to Psychology – have entered this field successfully. So what does it take to succeed in business analytics?

Academic background – There was a time when analytics was the exclusive domain of Statisticians, mathematicians and economists. The influence of technology slowly led to the inclusion of computer engineers into this niche domain. However, the doors are wide open now. People from any quantitative field like CA, CFA, Engineering, even MBAs are in great demand in analytics.

Engineering plus MBA is another highly sought after combination. So is that of a Statistics and computer engineering. B.Com plus CA is also a good pairing of skills for this field.

Prior Experience – It just goes to show the unrealistic expectations of employers that the most sought after quality in an analyst is prior experience in the field. This is something a lot of organizations are forced to do as they do not have the skills required to train and grow analytics resources themselves. Instead they must hire experienced and pre-trained resources.

While this does make entry into analytics a little harder. But this is a boon for those who are already in the field. Their experience is very much in demand and consequently growth in analytics in pretty fast once a person has gained some experience.

Mathematical Aptitude – This is the key quality required in an analyst. Forget the degrees, forget the experience – a person with strong mathematical aptitude is much more likely to succeed in the field. People who are comfortable with numbers, spread-sheets and complex statistical computations will find this field highly attractive.

The right attitude – analytics requires a certain attitude. It requires people to have a thirst for knowledge, a desire to explore, a fascination for the hidden. Those who are satisfied with what they see at first glance are unlikely to find patterns and insights that are often hidden deep below layers and layers of what seems like irrelevant information.
All good analysts have this quality. They are patient and persistent. They are willing to go over the same things again and again, going slightly deeper every time, till the finally get to that hidden gem of information that makes all the effort worthwhile.

So this is what it takes to succeed in business analytics – do you have it in you?

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