Top 5 Careers in Big Data Analytics

Big data analytics is vital to business in the 21st century because it helps organizations to harness massive amounts of data and use it to identify new business opportunities. The global business market is highly competitive, and the companies that best harvest and interpret their data will usually have a big competitive edge.

This leads to better, more profitable business moves, more efficient business operations, higher profits and more loyal and happy customers. Specifically, effective use of big data analytics leads to:

  • Reduced costs: Big data technology, which includes cloud based analytics, brings many cost advantages when it comes to the storage of large amounts of data. This technology also helps to identify more efficient business processes, as well.
  • Faster decision making: With the speed of modern business analytics software and technology, combined with the ability to analyze large, new data sources, businesses can analyze their information fast, and make quick decisions on what has been learned.
  • Better, new products and services: Gauging customer needs and satisfaction through big data analytics means it is easier for businesses to give clients what they want. They are more easily able to create new, exciting products that customers want.

With all of the substantial benefits of big data analytics, it is not surprising that the job market for business analysts with these skills is growing fast. The McKinsey Global Institute report called Big Data: The Next Frontier for Innovation, Competition and Productivity found in 2015 that the United States will see a major shortage of 1.5 million business analysts and related roles who possess the skills to process and interpret big data.

Some of the best careers where big data and business analytics will play a critical role include the following careers below.

#1 Marketing Research Analysts

Job Description: Marketing research analysts study company and competitor data and market conditions to figure out what the possible sales potential of a certain product or service is. They are experts in assisting companies understanding the different products and services people want, the people who will by them, and the price at which they will buy them. These marketing data analysts are critical in researching and gathering data to help companies to better market their products.

Earnings: The median salary for this field was $62,400 in 2015, and the top earning professionals in this occupation make more than $120,000 per year.

Demand: This field will see a 19% increase in jobs by 2024. Much of the job growth will be driven by a much bigger use of big data and marketing research in all industries. There is a major need to understand what customers want and need, and to measure how effective new marketing and business strategies are.

Job Tip: If you want to enjoy the best job opportunities, look for an MBA focused on marketing and/or marketing research, with plenty of courses in marketing and statistics. Consider earning your Professional Researcher Certification offered by the Marketing Research Association.

#2 Operations Research Analysts

Job Description: An operations research analyst utilizes advanced analytical and mathematical statistical methods to assist organizations in solving problems and to make better business decisions. For example, these workers identify and solve real business problems in finance, marketing, supply chain management, healthcare and more. They also collect and organize large amounts of data from databases and sales records, and then make business decisions by interpreting this data, and looking for patterns. They also use statistical analysis, business simulations, and predictive modeling to analyze the data and come up with new business solutions.

Earnings: The median wage in this field is $78,300, as of 2015. The top 10% earned at least $132,000 per year.

Demand: Job demand is soaring in this profession: Jobs will increase by 30% by 2024. This increase is being driven by advances in technology, and companies want to use that technology to analyze and crunch business data to improve efficiency and realize cost savings.

Job Tip: Operations research analysts are needed in the Armed Forces as well as the business world. There are many well paid operations research analysts who contract with the US military who enjoy long, prosperous careers in this role.

#3 Management Analysts

Job Description: A management analyst is often referred to as a management consultant, and they study ways that a company can improve on costs, earnings and efficiency, and then provide the best business recommendations. They also advise senior manager on how they can improve profitability by studying business data and determining the best ways to increase revenues. They also gather and organize large amounts of business data about the given problem, including financial data, to determine how to best tackle the problem. They then make business recommendations to executive management.

Earnings: The median wage in this field was $81,300 in 2015, with the top 10% earning more than $150,000 per year.

Demand: Job demand for management analysts will grow by 14% by 2024. Demand for good consultants will grow as companies use technology to improve their efficiency to gain competitiveness in the global marketplace.

Job Tip: Many management consultants are contractors whose income will vary tremendously. The full time management analysts with the highest salaries are those who work with or for the federal government.

#4 Financial Analysts

Job Description: Financial analysts provide financial advice to many businesses and individuals to make the best investment decisions. Financial analysts typically help their clients to best assess how various stocks, bonds and other investments are performing. They recommend the best types of investments to their clients, and also use statistical analysis to evaluate current and historical data from the company. Further, they use new database tools to study complex economic and business trends so that they can provide the best advice to their clients.

Earnings: Median pay for all financial analysts was $80,200 in 2015, and the highest paid made more than $160,000 per year.

Demand: Job demand is expected to increase by 12% by 2024. Investment portfolios are more complicated today than ever, and emerging markets all over the globe will offer new investment opportunities.

Job Tip: More restrictions on banks could cause the best financial analyst positions to shift from banks to hedge funds and possibly private equity groups.

#5 Financial Managers

Job Description: Financial managers have the responsibility of maintaining and boosting the fiscal health of a company or organization. These are usually upper level managers who determine the best ways for the company to maintain profitability and which places to invest its funds. Financial managers usually must crunch data with statistical analysis software to prepare large and complex financial statements, as well as business activity reports. They also must carefully monitor the company’s financial data to make sure that all federal regulatory requirements are carefully followed.

Earnings: Financial managers earned a median wage of $117,000 in 2015, with the best paid in this profession working in scientific and technical services.

Demand: Demand in this profession will increase by 7% by 2024, which is about average compared to other professions.

Job Tip: The financial field generally is very competitive, and you will be best off if you have a master’s degree in accounting, finance, or an MBA.