Don't be afraid of analytics: a sure path to employment

Expertise in business analytics has a significant impact on the success of companies now and in the future. Examining and understanding collected data leads to cost savings, the development of new, innovative products and services that meet the needs of the existing customer mass, and improved and accelerated decision-making.

Studies in industry and business show a distinct lack of experts in analytics. It has been assessed that in 2018, roughly 1.5 million analysis specialists will be needed in the US alone. The situation is similar in Europe and Finland. The demand for expertise in analytics will increase even though economic growth is stagnating. 

All fields of business and industry have awakened to the advantages of the development of digitalisation and knowledge-based business. They seek leverage from digitalisation, and in the core of this transformation is the collection, the refinement, and especially the analysis of data. The most competitive companies, which typically have the best expertise in-house, get the most out of their data and can utilise it to react to changes more rapidly than their competitors. Consequently, they are vigorously searching for specialists in analytics and digitalisation who also understand how business works.

Big data and its analysis alone provide a competitive edge by laying the groundwork for better decision-making. It is not enough, however, because companies must also be able to survive changes and respond to the right challenges in real time. For example, changes in pricing and more focused marketing facilitate the more efficient use of resources and the provision of better service to loyal customers.

Education must keep up with the times

Proactive analytics already enables dealing with e.g. equipment breakdowns or attacks of illness before they take place, making it possible to avoid a number of personal and financial setbacks. Customers benefit from better service and are prepared to pay for it; only companies with applicable expertise have a chance to survive in the competition.

Modelling and simulation facilitate modes of examination and testing that would be excessively costly, dangerous, or even impossible in the real world. Expertise in simulation is one way to increase the productivity of business at a fast pace. Modern software provides an opportunity to solve difficult problems rapidly with simulation. There is a great deal of development potential in e.g. the simulation of logistics networks and business and industry processes. Simulation modelling that combines technology and profitability accounting breaks down barriers between disciplines and helps to select the most financially viable solutions. At the heart of the matter is the fact that a technically optimal solution is not always the most profitable one, but the game is won by those who find the most profitable solutions.

Education must keep up with the changes and respond to the growing need for analytics expertise in the professional world. The right training equips students with skills needed in the corporate world and provides an opportunity to impact the changes taking place in the corporate world and to increase the role of analytics in them.

We are addressing the situation by launching an all new Master's Programme in Business Analytics in autumn 2017 together with our corporate partners to ensure that students receive business analytics education with business relevance.

Further information:

Mikael Collan, Professor, mikael.collan@lut.fi, +358 50 556 7185

 

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