Business Analytics

Opportunities for business analysts have exploded as major organizations have adopted data-driven and technology-focused approaches. A recent Computerworld survey ranked business analytics as the second most difficult skill to find. McKinsey Global Institute reports that the United States could face a shortage of between 140,000 and 190,000 individuals who possess deep business analytic skills and an additional 1.5 million managers with the skill set to implement the results.

The growth in the field is expected to continue. According to Computerworld’s “Forecast 2016 Survey,” 41 percent of the IT executive respondents said their companies plan to increase spending in business analytics and 34 percent said they planned to hire for business analytic skills in the next 12 months.

As demand for business analysts grows, their compensation has followed. Computerworld’s “Salary Survey 2015” listed an average total compensation for business intelligence analysts at $89,227, up 3.4 percent from 2014.

Analytics careers are available in variety of industries, such as retail, health, finance, marketing and supply chain.

Where is Business Analytics used?

Analytics plays an important role in customer selection and loyalty building. For example, at Harrah’s, Capital One, and Barclay, analytics is used to identify customers with the greatest profit potential, retain their loyalty, and increase the likelihood that they will want to buy the products and services.

In sports, analytics has been used by the New England Patriots, Oakland A’s, and Boston Red Sox to select the best player for a position, at a particular compensation level.

Honda and Intel both use analytics to detect quality problems early and minimize them to improve product and service quality.

Verizon has used analytics to improve business understanding of the drivers of financial performance and the impact on non-financial factors.

Companies like Amazon and Yahoo have used analytics in R&D to improve quality and efficacy of products and services.

The Business Analytics Major

The Business Analytics major prepares students for professional careers working with data, with an emphasis on the extraction of business meaning from data. The program is not targeted to any one industry; rather, it provides a flexible, practical skillset that can be applied widely.

Graduates of our program learn:

  • How data is used in guiding decision-making in industry
  • How data is generated, stored, and accessed, and data security maintained and ethically used
  • How to use statistical methods to derive actionable information from data
  • How to use multiple statistical and data analysis software programs, such as SAP, R, and SAS
  • How to apply Hadoop Distributions across larger structured and unstructured data
  • How to communicate detailed, technical information to a variety of audiences clearly and concisely, without the use of jargon, and
  • How to work effectively, both as an individual or as a member of a team

Business Analytics Degree Requirements

For more information about the Business Analytics major, contact Dr. Haya Ajjan at

Perspectives on Business Analytics




The above videos were produced by Elon management students.