Making the Right Choice: Business Analytics vs. Data Science

By NIIT Editorial

Published on 06/07/2023

Choosing a job that you love and are good at is crucial to having a successful and satisfying working life. When you choose a profession that fits your strengths, passions, and aspirations, you increase your chances of experiencing all three at work and in life. Making the incorrect career decision, on the other hand, may lead to misery, poor performance, and lost chances.

In recent years, data science and business analytics have both skyrocketed in popularity. The term "business analytics" is used to describe the process of using data, statistical and quantitative analysis, and predictive modelling tools to address business issues, provide useful insights, and boost productivity. 

However, data science is a bigger profession that considers every step of the data life cycle, from initial data capture to final data visualisation. Data mining is the process of gaining understanding by using computational, statistical, and machine learning methods.

The purpose of this article is to discuss the significance of selecting a suitable professional path, with an emphasis on business analytics and data science. We'll go over what these areas entail, why they're in such high demand in the labour market, and the attributes and competencies you'll need to excel in them. For those interested in data and its many potential uses, we will argue that a career in business analytics or data science may be very fulfilling.


Table of Contents:

  • Business Analytics 
  • Data Science 
  • Comparison of Business Analytics and Data Science 
  • Pros and Cons of Business Analytics and Data Science 
  • Which Career Path is Right for You? 
  • Conclusion

Business Analytics 

A company analytics is the practise of using data and statistical techniques to learn about and enhance company operations. To enhance company operations and strategy, it is necessary to gather and analyse vast volumes of data, such as consumer behaviour, market trends, and financial indicators.

Both hard and soft skills are necessary for a career as a business analyst. Expertise in SQL, Excel, and Tableau, as well as Python and R, are among the necessary technical talents. Since business analysts often work in teams and must be able to successfully convey their results to non-technical stakeholders, soft skills like as communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking are also necessary.

Several sectors, such as banking, healthcare, retail, and technology, are actively seeking qualified business analysts. Data analysts, business intelligence analysts, marketing analysts, and financial analysts are just few of the jobs available to them. Consultant roles for business analysts focus on enhancing data strategy and operations for their clients.

Business analyst salaries might range widely based on factors including field, region, and years of experience. Glassdoor reports that the median annual income for a business analyst in the United States is $72,000, with top earners receiving $100,000 or more. 

Senior business analysts and data scientists tend to make more money than other types of business analysts and data scientists, although this isn't always the case.


Data Science 

Data science is the study of information retrieval that makes use of computational, statistical, and machine learning methods. It covers everything from gathering raw data to analysing and visualising it. Data scientists are responsible for analysing massive databases in order to draw conclusions, create prediction models, and advise on strategic moves for companies.

Both hard and soft skills are required for a career as a data scientist. A technical background includes familiarity with data analysis and machine learning technologies like TensorFlow, PyTorch, and scikit-learn, and fluency in Python, R, and SQL. Data scientists generally work in teams and must be able to successfully convey their results to stakeholders who are not technically savvy, making soft skills like as communication, problem-solving, and project management crucial.

Healthcare, finance, e-commerce, and technology are just a few of the fields that might benefit from the expertise of a data scientist. Data analysts, engineers in machine learning, engineers in data science, and data scientists are just few of the many fields where they might find employment. Consultant employment is another viable option for data scientists, since they can assist businesses in optimising their data strategies and operations.

Data scientists may make anywhere from $60,000 to $120,000 per year, although that number varies widely by field, region, and years of expertise. Glassdoor estimates that a data scientist's annual compensation in the United States might range from $113,000 to $150,000 or more with expertise. Senior data scientists and managers tend to make more money than junior data scientists and analysts, although this isn't always the case.


Comparison of Business Analytics and Data Science 

There are distinctions between the issues that can be solved by business analytics and those that can be solved by data science. Using data analysis to optimise processes, decrease costs, and enhance the customer experience, business analytics often aims to resolve operational, financial, and marketing issues. 

However, data scientists tackle more intricate issues in the realms of machine learning, AI, and predictive modelling. Data scientists have a greater grasp of the underlying algorithms and statistical models required to tackle such challenges, and they often deal with unstructured data.

Data science and business analytics don't employ the same methods of analysis. Descriptive and diagnostic analytics are the backbone of business analytics, and they are responsible for summarising and analysing historical data in order to spot patterns and diagnose issues. To forecast future outcomes and prescribe steps to optimise results, data scientists utilise statistical and machine learning models. This is known as predictive and prescriptive analytics.

The software and technologies used in business analytics and data science are distinct from one another. Excel, Structured Query Language (SQL), and Tableau are common tools used by business analysts for data analysis, data visualisation, and report creation. 

When it comes to creating and deploying machine learning models, working with massive data, and visualising outcomes, data scientists instead employ a broad variety of tools and computer languages including Python, R, and TensorFlow.

Last but not least, business analytics and data science operate in distinct professional contexts and organisational cultures. Traditional industries like banking and retail are common places to find business analytics jobs because of the growing importance of data-driven decision making in these sectors. 

Data scientists, on the other hand, tend to work for software startups and established Silicon Valley businesses where risk-taking and creativity are highly valued. Typically, data scientists are given greater leeway to undertake innovative research and are supported in their efforts to push the field forward.


Pros and Cons of Business Analytics and Data Science 

Some of the benefits of business analytics include better customer service, more efficient operations, and more informed corporate choices. Business analysts are in demand across many sectors, and they may expect to see significant salary and promotion increases. Cons of business analytics include over-reliance on historical data, less chances for innovation, and incorrect data usage.

Some benefits of data science include its new approaches to solving issues and its exposure to cutting-edge research. Data scientists are in demand, with promising job prospects and competitive compensation. There are a number of drawbacks to working in the field of data science, such as the need for highly specialised technical skills, the potential for ethical considerations around data privacy and prejudice, and the intense rivalry for top employment.

When weighing the benefits and drawbacks of both fields, it is evident that business analytics and data science each have their own special features. While business analytics may provide greater security and a more defined professional path, data science provides more room for exploration, experimentation, and discovery. 

Data scientists may like working with unstructured data and building novel algorithms and models, whereas business analysts may find greater satisfaction in dealing with organised data and well-established business processes. Ultimately, one's own interests, skill set, and professional aspirations will determine which of these two paths one pursues.


Which Career Path is Right for You? 

When deciding between business analytics and data science, it's crucial to take into account your interests, technical abilities, and desired work environment and culture. Think about where you want to go professionally and how much room there is for advancement.

A self-evaluation of one's abilities and interests is crucial for finding the right career path. Business analytics might be a good match if you like working with structured data and finding solutions to issues in the areas of operations, finance, and marketing. Data science may be a better match if you appreciate dealing with unstructured data and creating complicated algorithms and models to address challenging issues.

It is vital to evaluate elements such as demand for specialists in each sector, the possibility of career progression and income increase, and the level of competition for top positions when evaluating the employment market and potential for growth in each field. Both disciplines are in great demand, and provide excellent opportunities for advancement and lucrative compensation packages. Data science, on the other hand, is a more recent and niche subject of research, thus there is greater rivalry for the best employment.

Finally, it's essential to think about your own values and priorities while choosing a choice. Think about things like having time for yourself and your family, feeling secure in your employment, and opportunities for advancement. Talking to working people and sitting down for informative interviews will help you learn more about the job and career options available in each industry. Your talents, hobbies, and professional aspirations should all factor into your selection between business analytics and data science.



In this article, we compared business analytics with data science to help you decide which is best for your job. We discussed what is needed to succeed in each sector, the career prospects, and the benefits and drawbacks. 

We also spoke about the things to keep in mind while deciding between the two sectors, such as your abilities and interests, the state of the employment market, your hopes for the future, and your current and future priorities.

One's unique set of abilities, interests, and professional aspirations must be taken into account while deciding between business analytics and data science. Before choosing a choice, it's vital to learn about the two options and consider their advantages and disadvantages. In the end, it's up to the individual to weigh the pros and cons of each option and make a choice based on what would bring them the most happiness at work.

If you've settled on a future in data science and want to learn as much as possible about the field, you should definitely enroll in a data science course. You may set yourself up for success and establish a meaningful career in data science by taking the appropriate measures to enhance your abilities and obtain experience in the industry.