Hailing from India, Dublin City University MSc student Paritosh Gupta tells us about the major differences between a Business Analytics course and a Data Analytics course.

Business Analytics vs. Data Analytics

It can get really confusing when it comes to choosing a career; especially when the courses have a lot of similarities. I noticed that the difference between Business Analytics (BA) and Data Analytics (DA) was of great confusion to a lot of the students who were planning to do these courses. Despite both being data focused courses, they are quite different. I have spoken to few of the students from both courses to bring their insights into this blog post.

The major differences

Business Analysts utilise data such as current work habits and identifying challenges in an organisation to create functional documents that address those challenges, and thus helps to make business operations more efficient.

Data Analysts work with a large dataset to extract hidden trends and fetch meaningful information from it. The BA course is more focused on the major legs of business-oriented subjects, like Decision Theory and Project Management, which are blended with an overview of business application programming. DA is purely based on Statistics, Data Mining, Machine Learning and Advanced Mathematics and it exposes you to multiple programming languages.

Your background

A person pursuing BA needn’t necessarily have a deep background in programming, whereas for DA, one of the major criteria for the course is to have knowledge of multiple programming skill-sets and a thorough understanding of data structure and algorithms. From the market perspective, DA is a highly demanding course and available in almost every college of Ireland but it can land you in a highly paid jobs. BA courses are somewhat less demanding compared to DA and you can only study them in UCD and NUIG — which are both competitive courses to get admission to.

Choose what is right for you

If you are looking to move towards a business orientated career and are aiming to land a role such as technology consultant or business analyst but have little interest in programming, then BA will be an obvious choice for you. However, if you are more into programming, excel at mathematics and love to play with numbers, then DA will be suitable for you.