Data matters. “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted,” attributed to Albert Einstein, explains the purpose of business analytics perfectly. We live in an age of bigger and bigger data—and businesses need ways to sift through it all, to figure out which combinations of data count—and which ones don’t. The success of business in today’s global economy depends on it. The Rady School of Management at UC San Diego offers a forward-thinking Master of Science in Business Analytics that teaches its students how to grapple with the reality of big data using business analytics.
Professor Vincent Nijs, co-director with Professor Terrence August of the Master of Science in Business Analytics program at the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego, describes the field this way, “I think of business analytics as the field focused on how to use data and models to make better business decisions. Data Science uses many similar tools (e.g. machine learning) but the set of questions they seek to answer are often different. You can think of business analytics as ‘data science for business.’”
The Amount of Data That Companies Collect Gets Bigger and Bigger…
Just how big is big data? Really big, and getting bigger all the time. The EMC Digital Universe Study predicts that by the year 2020, 1.7 megabytes of new data will be created every second for every human on the planet. What does that mean? There will be 44 trillion gigabytes (44 zettabytes) of data in the digital universe. Where does the data come from? Just about everywhere—1.2 trillion searches per year on Google alone, over 1 billion people using Facebook every day, trillions of photos taken, and billions shared. By 2020, there will be over 6.1 billion smartphone users, and at least 1/3 of all data will be transmitted through the cloud. We haven’t even talked about online banking, business, movies, television, music, and games.
…But Businesses Don’t Always Know How to Use the Data
The Rady School‘s Professor Nijs states, “Companies are collecting more and more data but often lack the people to use it effectively.” He referenced a quote from a well-known report by the McKinsey Global Institute (2013): “Big data promises big things—but only if organizations have the right people in place who know what to do with it. A recurring theme among senior leadership across all sectors is a shortage of professionals trained and experienced at the intersection of disciplines necessary to capture, analyze, and generate meaningful business insights from big data.
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