How Do Business Professionals Prepare for Roles in the Future of Big Data?

A Master of Science in Information Systems with a concentration in Business Analytics, such as the online program offered by Murray State University, equips graduates with the skills and expertise to use data at an executive level. The curriculum focuses on the strategic use of:

  • Data sourcing, organization and management
  • Data-driven decision-making
  • Statistical modeling for predictive analytics, machine learning and data mining

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts demand for information systems managers will grow 11% (faster than the average of all jobs) through 2030 and predicts salaries of $151,150.

What Is the Role of a Systems Analyst in the Era of Big Data?

At the beginning of 2020, Seed Scientific estimated “the number of bytes in the digital universe was 40 times bigger than the number of stars in the visible universe” and expanding at the rate of 2.5 quintillion (million trillion) bytes of data daily.

As Forbes notes, data is “the oil” that lubricates the economy, shown by validating predictions about accelerated growth in data science careers. Yet, businesses in every sector of the global economy are struggling to turn the volume and variables within unstructured big data into knowledge that can improve efficiencies, increase productivity, reduce costs, manage risk and strengthen relationships.

Techjury, citing various sources, says “poor data quality costs the U.S. economy up to $3.1 trillion annually.” It anticipates businesses will invest $103 billion in analytics by 2023 to collect relevant data, organize it and present it in ways that power effective data-driven decision-making.

What Is “Poor Data Quality”?

Deloitte took a snapshot of consumer data quality by asking some of its U.S. staff to review their demographic and economic activity in data broker files. When the consultancy asked its professionals to rank the accuracy of the data on variables that are key points in market segmentation, it found:

  • Two-thirds said the data was incorrect less than half the time
  • Four out of 10 said their online purchase activity was correct
  • The only variable that was accurate 100% of the time was gender

“It’s pretty scary how wrong data collected can be,” one survey respondent wrote. “This becomes more frightening as more and more decisions become information based.”

What Role Do Data Analysts Play in Data Quality?

Seven of the top 10 emerging careers in the United States, according to the Future of Jobs Report (2020) from World Economic Forum, are in data science, with soft skills such as analytical thinking, complex problem-solving, creativity and emotional intelligence ranking ahead of technical ability.

By some estimates, eliminating incorrect or incomplete data accounts for 80% of analytics operations, which is one of several factors driving demand for professionals with the technical and soft skills to collect, clean and organize digital information.

Moreover, as small to medium-sized businesses adopt systems that support data-driven decision-making and artificial intelligence (AI), they are opening additional career tracks for data scientists.

What Can People Do That Computers Can’t?

“While AI is likely to continue to develop, we aren’t yet near the point where it can do what humans can. Organizations will still need data analytics tools that empower their people to spot anomalies and threats in an efficient manner,” according to Analytics Insight.

  • Improving customer relationships: Analysis of consumer-transaction data is used to create highly personalized customer experiences.
  • Accelerating innovation: Turning big data into business intelligence improves internal operations that increase production, reduce costs, manage risk and allocate resources.
  • Empowering employees: Cohesive, continuous analytics systems enable productive cross-team collaboration by distributing and governing data across a single enterprise-wide platform.
  • Strengthening cybersecurity: Identifying patterns in data, understanding risks and improving models to isolate anomalous behavior are critical to protecting systems and data.
  • Ensuring regulatory compliance: Big data analytics provide insights into fraud, hacker attacks, vendor regulatory compliance and customer satisfaction to support risk assessment capabilities.

“As it becomes increasingly important that everyone within an organization is empowered to act on data-driven insight, new ways of communicating these findings are constantly evolving,” Forbes notes.

What Skills Are Needed for a Career in Big Data Analytics?

Effective business and technology leaders in the big data era are addressing organizational problems by understanding and managing operations such as data sourcing and organization, statistical modeling, predictive analytics and machine learning.

An M.S. in Information Systems with a concentration in Business Analytics, such as that offered online by Murray State, equips graduates for success through a curriculum that explores:

  • Decision support and expert systems
  • Data management
  • Enterprise resource planning
  • Advanced business analytics
  • Development of analytics applications

Learn more about Murray State University’s online Master of Science in Information Systems with a concentration in Business Analytics program.

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