“Business Intelligence (BI) has revolutionized, well, business.”
That is the assessment of BetterBuys.com, a business technology review firm. It notes that the demand for big data professionals far outstrips the supply as companies are evolving to a culture of Data-Based Decision-Making (DDDM) because analytics have the potential to accelerate all their processes.
BI and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are sometimes used interchangeably, but TopTal.com, a data-professionals placement agency, reports they have overlap but are fundamentally distinct.
BI, on one hand, refers to use of technologies and tools that streamline data collection, reporting and analysis. AI, though, uses computer systems to mimic human behaviors such as speech and decision-making. BI is already making an impact; AI is in its infancy, though businesses already recognize its potential.
Companies Struggle to Adopt Data-Driven Decision-Making (DDDM)
Although businesses are committed to DDDM, they “still have a long way to go,” NewVantage Partners reports in its 2021 Big Data and AI Executive Summary. The strategic advisory firm’s survey of 85 Fortune 1000 C-suite executives goes on to report that only:
- 39% of companies are managing data as an asset
- 24% have forged a data culture within their firms
- 24% have created a data-driven organization
It is difficult to overstate the value of DDDM. Converting data into actionable intelligence encourages critical thinking about organizational goals and objectives at every level. Moreover, employees become more comfortable using numbers to develop, question and confirm insights that support data-driven decisions.
The platforms to produce, analyze and distribute metrics are up and running, according to Tableau, a global brand in DDDM technology. Companies, however, are struggling to adopt a DDMC culture because “the amount of information has never been greater, but it’s also more complex.”
The volume of data and its complexity, combined with the inability of legacy systems to turn it into actionable intelligence, contribute to the lag in corporate DDDM adoption. Harvard Business Review also notes friction in the form of cultural challenges as businesses struggle to overcome traditional leadership and management protocols.
The report quotes management guru Peter Drucker: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
The Upward Trend in DDDM Investment Is Lifting Demand for Data Professionals
Demand is strong for data analytics professionals across all economic sectors, exceeding the supply of talented professionals by a wide margin. Therefore, salaries in information analysis roles are lucrative, even at the entry level, Investopedia says.
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Concentration in Business Analytics is a ticket to a high-demand role such as data scientist, operations manager, insights and analytics manager, corporate strategist or data analytics consultant.
An advanced business program in data analytics exposes students to insights on how to:
- Build and enrich BI capabilities
- Assess BI systems architecture to improve decision-making
- Design databases using best-practice principles and techniques
- Critique the role of analytics in supporting processes and functions
- Formulate, articulate and communicate conclusions that inform DDDM
“An explosion of data in recent years — some experts estimate that 90 percent of existing data has been created just since 2011 — has given rise to countless opportunities for b-school grads,” according to U.S. News & World Report.