Should You Study Business Analytics?


Are you data literate? The need for professionals who can assess and interpret the vast amounts of information modern companies are generating has never been higher. In light of this prevailing trend, becoming qualified in analytics can be a way to advance your career or learn how to make smarter business decisions.

It’s increasingly evident that success in today’s economy, both among startups and established enterprises, relies much on being able to satisfy the market, and those solutions cannot be discovered by guessing. This is why business analytics is such a vital field – it facilitates the process of identifying the needs and wants of your audience.

Here, we will discuss what business analysts do, how you can become one and why you should consider studying the subject. Let’s begin with a closer look at the career of a business analyst.

Roles and Responsibilities

So, what exactly is business analytics? In short, it’s the use of quantitative methods to acquire meaning from data that can drive an informed decision. There are four main business analysis techniques:

  • Diagnostic: Assessing historical data to determine the cause of an event
  • Descriptive: Assessing historical data to reveal patterns and trends
  • Predictive: Forecasting potential outcomes through statistics
  • Prescriptive: Running tests to identify which approach will yield the best result in a given scenario

At this point, business analytics may seem strikingly similar to data science. The difference between the two fields lies in how data is used. While data science aims to understand raw data through algorithms and statistics, business analytics is more about using data to obtain meaningful insights that improve the decision-making process.

Thus, the primary role of business analysts in the workplace is to ensure that the company’s decisions align with its goals. This could be happening within a specific project or function in the business. There, the analyst must understand the organisational structure, stay on top of future needs and develop appropriate solutions.

Keep in mind that there are various other names for business analysts, often based on their specialisation. For example, they can be known as:

  • Business architect
  • Enterprise analyst
  • Management consultant
  • Process analyst
  • Requirements engineer
  • Systems analyst

The responsibilities of a business analyst vary, though the following tasks usually form part of their workflow:

  • Communicate with internal staff to identify the needs of the department
  • Stay in touch with external stakeholders and investigate their feedback
  • Make use of data modelling practices to assess findings and develop solutions
  • Explore opportunities and risks for introducing findings
  • Determine the resources required to implement new strategies
  • Create documentation to support recommendations and address concerns
  • Support colleagues and teams with rolling out changes effectively


Before we continue, here is a quick overview of how much you can expect to make as a business analyst in the UK. According to Glassdoor, the average base pay for business analysts in London is £47,302 per year, with a median cash compensation of £4,487 in bonuses. With enough experience, professionals in this field can earn upwards of £50,000 per annum or £350 per day depending on the nature of your work.


With more and more aspiring analysts recognising the demand for their expertise, competition for positions is increasing and having a relevant degree gives you a significant advantage.

There are various options here, including business information systems or business computing systems. Even a degree in history can be useful, so long as your qualifications indicate excellent analytical ability. That said, your best bet is to take a course designed specifically for business analysts, as it’ll equip you with the most relevant knowledge and skills.

You can explore the business analytics programmes at Aston University to learn more. There, you will find three options, namely management and analytics, digital marketing and analytics, and business analytics itself. Studying online is wise as it can save you time and money, making it possible to continue working in your spare time.

In addition to a degree, potential employers value key skills such as the ability to work in teams, utilise new technologies and manage projects. Of course, relevant experience will also help, though this is more likely for someone who already has experience in the field. Graduates with non-IT-related degrees can take a relevant postgraduate course.

Choosing to Study

There are numerous reasons for choosing to study business analytics. If you can identify with these factors, it’s more likely that you’re suited for such a career. For example, are you fascinated by numbers? The most successful analysts are interested in working with data and statistics, looking deeper into what it all means and how it can be utilised.

Business analysts are also leaders, as many individuals turn to them for advice and guidance. Providing this is a major responsibility, as your decisions have major effects on a business and its stakeholders. If you enjoy the idea of possessing this influence and respect, you have another reason to pursue this path.

A career in business analytics is also suitable if you:

  • Are open minded and able to tackle problems from multiple angles
  • Prefer working with computers and software
  • Enjoy interacting with others in the workplace
  • Possess good communication skills and the ability to articulate big ideas

If you value job security and the presence of advancement opportunities, business analytics remains a suitable option as the profession will remain in high demand for the foreseeable future. Business analysts are needed in just about every part of the public and private sector, from small, independent firms to large, international corporations.

Professional Development

As we touched on above, there is plenty of room for growth in the business analytics profession. You will always have the opportunity to continue developing your knowledge and skills, moving closer towards specialisations that align with your goals and interests. Most companies offer internal training and on-the-job courses to suit this need.

If you are even remotely interested in becoming a business analyst, now is a better time than ever to get started. For all you know, you might be taking the first step along the path towards your dream career.