Learn analytics with online courses and programs
What is analytics?
Analytics is a process that helps people make informed, data-driven decisions. That process can include acquiring information often in the form of data, running a series of tests to determine what that information means, and using the results to identify trends or make predictions.Footnote 1 For example, experts in business analytics can help make organizations more efficient and profitable by converting data related to consumer behavior, finance, and sales into useful insights and visualizations that help inform decisions related to planning, budgeting, forecasting, and more.Footnote 2
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Analytics course curriculum
There are several ways professionals pursuing careers in analytics can build their knowledge base. Earning a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in business or computer and data sciences can provide learners with in depth instruction on working with and analyzing data. However, learners also have the option of pursuing a more specialized course in analytics through edX that can cover topics such as:
How to apply fundamental models and methods of analytics
How to use essential analytics tools like R, Python, and SQL
How to build a data analysis pipeline
How to identify and work with different data types of varying quality
How to develop visualizations and models
How to work with large data sets
Analytics training courses can focus specifically on business or can teach you how to apply your new analytics skills in other contexts, such as the health space, in order to make strategic decisions.
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Regardless of the position, success in an analytics career requires skills in mathematics, critical thinking, reading comprehension, complex problem solving, active listening, active learning, speaking, judgment and decision making.Footnote 3 Experts in analytics can work at all levels in various departments of any industry, either across an organization or in one specialty area.
Some examples of analytics jobs and associated responsibilities include:
Financial Analysts: Evaluate financial data; study economic trends; examine a company’s financial statements to determine its value; assess company leadership; attend earnings meetings; recommend investments and develop investment strategies; and prepare written reports.Footnote 4
Management Analysts: Collect and organize information about problems; study methods, equipment and staffing requirements; examine financial data including revenue, expenses and employment reports; and recommend new systems, processes, or organizational changes.Footnote 5
Market Research Analysts: Monitor and forecast sales trends; measure marketing strategies’ effectiveness; gather data that will provide insight about consumers, competitors and market conditions; turn findings into reader-friendly tables and graphs; and prepare reports for clients and management.Footnote 6
Operations Research Analysts: Identify problems in logistics, manufacturing or other departments; collect and organize information such as sales histories, delivery times, employee insights and customer feedback; develop and test new processes, hardware, and software; and produce written reports.Footnote 7
Statisticians: Decide what data would address questions or problems; design surveys, experiments or opinion polls to collect data; develop mathematical or statistical models to analyze data; interpret data so that experts and non-experts can understand it; and communicate conclusions to various stakeholders.Footnote 8
How to begin an analytics career online
There is no specific path to becoming an analyst and requirements for any job in this field can depend on the position and the company. A bachelor’s degree in data science or a master’s degree in data science can be required for certain analytics jobs. However, some professionals may only need to supplement their existing knowledge with an analytics boot camp.
The field you choose to work in also matters. Certain jobs may require additional skills in writing, computer science, electronics, economics, accounting, and marketing. Explore the different courses available through edX that can help build knowledge on topics such as programming languages, digital marketing, financial accounting, supply chains, healthcare, and more.