Comparing Data Science and Analytics [INFOGRAPHIC]

October 23, 2015
537 Views

Data is increasingly the new currency of enterprise—which is why companies are scrambling to tap into its potential to make better decisions. In order to do it, they need the right experts who know how to get at the big data stash and interpret it in meaningful ways. A data scientist and a business analyst are both such professionals, but they’re definitely not one in the same—and use different approaches when it comes to decision-making.

Data is increasingly the new currency of enterprise—which is why companies are scrambling to tap into its potential to make better decisions. In order to do it, they need the right experts who know how to get at the big data stash and interpret it in meaningful ways. A data scientist and a business analyst are both such professionals, but they’re definitely not one in the same—and use different approaches when it comes to decision-making. Since the two titles are often used interchangeably, Analytics@American, a masters in business analytics, created this infographic to help clarify the difference.

Although both types of experts use data in their work, they apply different skills to do it. The contrast can be attributed to their educational backgrounds. Business analysts are educated in specialties like business and humanities, and extract data from a variety of sources to evaluate past, present and future business performance. Data scientists use statistical programming to create and implement algorithms to do the work, since they have backgrounds in computer science, mathematics and technology.

These differences are translated into the skills they use to support business decisions, as well. Business analysts instigate change by transforming business insights from interdisciplinary data analysis into tangible resources for business decision-making. In contrast, data scientists work at more foundational levels, discovering the opportunity in datasets by mining data and writing machine learning algorithms to support the decision-making process.

To learn more about how these two types of big data experts can uniquely help your company make better business decisions, dig into the infographic below.