“As business analysts get better, the world gets better”, proudly proclaims Laura Brandenburg in her book ‘How to Start a Business Analyst Career’. Evidently, there is a lot of importance attached to this profession. As a matter of fact, business analysis as a profession has attained even more salience in the present scenario.

What is Business Analytics?

Business analytics, in simple words, give you the insight into the past performance of your business. This is used as a tool for business planning. It is, basically, as simple as you making corrections or changes to your business procedures to improve your performance. This concept has been around us for decades. In fact, it was so said that Henry Ford used to note down the time taken for the manufacture of each of his automobiles’ components in the factories. This is, after all, what business analysis comes down to at the end of the day.

Business analysis has been the cornerstone of businesses worldwide all these years. Then why is there so much noise around business analysts all of a sudden? Also, spurred by bigger ROI, companies around the world have upped the ante further by investing more in business analysis. Has it attained more importance today? It sure has.

Businesses today have access to huge pools of user data. This has sparked the need to rethink the ways of business analysis. To stay ahead in the game, it has become imperative to leverage what is now known as Big Data. If you have not heard of this term, you probably have been living under a rock.

Big data refers to the humungous amount of data harvested by the businesses on a daily basis to be processed by the experts – the BUSINESS ANALYSTS – who then reveal the trends and patterns underlying this data. These are effectively used to predict the thinking or behaviour of those to whom the data pertains to. The backing of this reservoir of data presents the companies with incredible numbers of opportunities, if and only if, the company has the resources to manipulate this.

 What is so special about today’s data?

Companies have always indulged in data collection in one way or another, from one source or another, through financial transactions. However, the digital transformation that we witness today has led to the creation of more outlets of data. For example, social media is a sure shot way to gather user data. The generation of data is, as a result, guaranteed. It is the part about the analysis of this data that ought to be stressed over and over again because this data that arrives at your doorstep is different and complex. The data can be either structured or unstructured. This added to the already existing complexities in terms of its sheer size or even the rate at which it stacks up, makes it one hell of a task to analyze. Making sense of this pool of data is like searching for a needle in the haystack.

 What can big data do to your company?

Big data has huge potential to revolutionize your business methods. With so much data available, you have to learn how to use it to your advantage. It is obvious the amount of profit Big Data can bring you, but if you do not possess the right skills to exploit this heady influx of information, you might find yourselves being left behind in this competitive world. The benefits of analysis of big data are as follows.

  • Customer optimized products and services
  • Risk mitigation
  • Understanding the reasons for past failures

Above all, possessing and understanding data, today, makes you and your company prescient of sorts. You can predict the user’s behaviour, their needs and what they are likely to buy. If you have ever encountered prompts like “You may also wish to buy this” or received friend suggestions, then you have seen these benefits first-hand.

 The success story of Netflix:

Netflix often touted as ‘The’ Big Data Company, crafted its success story by using exceptional analytics techniques to exploit the goldmine of data that they are in possession with owing to its long list of subscribers.

The priority the company gives to business analysis has evidently paid off. What must be called its masterstroke of genius is its show ‘House of Cards’?  With the show, they ruled the realm of content creation in style. After having realized the demand for a Kevin Spacey starrer David Fincher directorial among its subscribers, they came up with the hit series. The data from its subscribers was a source of steady influence of the show. Every aspect of it was literally decided by its viewers. Netflix, in short, served them with a cocktail of everything that the user wanted