Big data is the new currency of business, and companies are scrambling to make the most of the digital goldmine that’s within reach. Knowing that the value is there is one thing. Knowing how to extract it for meaningful use is a challenge. And finding the right big data expert to extract that value may be the greatest challenge of all.
The ability to use data to achieve enterprise goals requires advanced skills that many organizations don’t yet have. But they are looking to add them – and fast. The question is, what type of big data expert is needed? Does an organization need a data scientist or does it need a business analyst? Maybe it even needs both. These two titles are often used interchangeably, and confusion abounds. That’s why Analytics@American, a master’s program in business analytics, has created this infographic to help clear the big data fog.
Business analysts typically have educational backgrounds in business and humanities. They find and extract valuable information from a variety of sources to evaluate past, present, and future business performance – and then determine which analytical models and approaches will help explain solutions to the end users who need them.
With educational backgrounds in computer science, mathematics, and technology, data scientists are digital builders. They use statistical programming to actually construct the framework for gathering and using the data by creating and implementing algorithms to do it. Such algorithms help businesses with decision making, data management, and the creation of data visualizations to help explain the data that they gather.
To find out more about the tale of these two disciplines, check out the infographic below and determine which type of professional is required to meet your company’s big data and analytics needs.
Taylor Meadows is a community manager for Analytics@American, the online Master of Science in Analytics program from The Kogod School of Business at American University. A recent college grad, Taylor lives in Washington, DC.
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