Business Analytics Vs. Data Analytics – What is the Difference

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Updated November 18, 2017

Similar in nature and data centric these to position would allow you to use data skills and help develop solution to your employer or clients. However each role requires a different set of specific skills. How do you choose between the two. Data analytics is not a field you want to be to much of a generalist in. You want to hone your skills in order to obtain the position that is best for you.

Let’s take a look at the difference between Business Analyst and Data Analyst

1 ) Business Analyst

Business Analysis has risen in the past decade as a key component to any successful company. As the business goals continue to change with the ever-changing needs of the consumer it can often be very difficult to keep up with the change. How does a business navigate their market and discern pop-culture flashy trend versus and real shift in the market place the will have longterm impact on the companies success.

The role of a business analyst can be best understood by creating an avatar to represent the perfect candidate for a position as a business analyst.

Business Avatar:

  • Proficient in a certain field in the business sector.
    • Marketing, Finance, Banking, Stock Market, etc…
  • Great oral communication skills.
  • Presentation skills.
  • Planning, Monitoring, and Leadership Skills.
  • Excellent Knowledge of the Industry Standards and Protocols.
  • Skilled at Implementing new information then putting it into action.
  • Great people skills to conduct one on one interview for specific data extraction.

These are the standard Business qualifications that will make an excellent Business Avatar, but we must add the analyst part to this creation we are assembling.

Analyst Avatar:

  • Good understanding of the “R” Programming Langauge (python is good to know as well, but R will be best).
  • Can Make Use of Data Analytics tools.
    • Hadoop
    • Tableau
    • Data Cleaning
    • Couldera
    • MongoDB
    • There are many more but you get the idea…
  • Know how to clean/scrub data sets to remove inaccurate and faulty data.
  • Translate findings into actionable data sets to be used in the decision making process.

By combing these two Avatar Profiles you have the business Analyst

  • Highly proficient in his/her industry.
  • Solid understanding of data analytics.
  • Great communication skills.
  • Ability to Lead a project efficiently.


2 ) Data Analyst

The role of a Data Analyst has received a lot of attention lately. It is truly a buzz word in tech, business and even household conversation I have been having recently. People are starting to realize the shifting job market and they realize they need to make a move, and fast! So, let’s define the role of a Data Analyst.

The main reason that the role of a Data Analyst differs from that of a Business Analyst is specialization. Let’s create another avatar

Data Analyst Avatar:

  • Higher Proficiency in “R” or Python Programming Languages.
  • Deep Understanding of Data Analytics Tools.
    • Hadoop
    • Tableau
    • Data Cleaning
    • Couldera
    • MongoDB
    • There are many more but you get the idea…
  • Able to extract, clean/scrub, and process LARGE sets of data.
  • Higher level of expertise in the technical aspects of Data Analytics


Business Analyst Vs. Data Analyst

The role of a Business Analyst and a Data Analyst is similar in nature. The key to understanding the difference is their specific niche expertise.

1 ) The Responsibilities: A business analyst will be in charge of leadership, specifying the research, and informing each part of the data process (communicating between laymen and the data experts. A Data Analyst has a deeper understanding of the Data Analytics, retrieve data more efficiently, and create automated processes because of their higher level of programming abilities.

2 ) Income differences: As in most careers you will be rewarded with your ability to exemplify specialized skills. The Data Analyst will earn a slightly higher wage according to glassdoor est.

*Average Salary Based on the Entire USA

3 ) The specific skills required for each speciality defines the role of the job. Business Analysts will be required to have a working knowledge in data science as well as good communication skills, critical business thinking, ability to negotiate, manage projects, and conduct one on one interviews. While it would be good for a Data Analyst to practice some of the skills required for the Business Analyst it will not be a necessity to land a job as a Data Analyst. The Data Analyst role will focus on a deep knowledge of data science, the ability to extract and analyze data with a higher proficiency, and automate data extraction processes via the stronger knowledge of coding abilities.

Which Role is Right For you?

If you are in the business world looking to maximize your value and learn a new skill set than the role of a Business Analyst is right for you. You love to lead projects, communicate with people, and you want to know more about the facts that drive business.

If you like to work primarily on your own, you are self motivated, you enjoy analyzation, and problem solving than Data Analytics is where you need to be focusing you efforts. You may have to put together presentations and connect with people in the role of a Data Analyst, but not to the extent of a Business Analyst.

Developing Skills in each of these roles:

Business Analytics for Data-Driven Decision Making from Boston University








This is a great course to get you started in Business Analytics. A fantastic overview of the knowledge you want to be building in the field of data science. Also you will be introduced to the formative ideas of the technical aspects in data science.

Data Analytics Recommendation:

Now that you know the four skills you need to purse a job in data analytics you are ready to get going! One of the greatest opportunities in data analytics is the amount of companies willing to train you AFTER they hirer you! As wonderful as this opportunity is, I would suggest getting ahead of the other applicants and start training. When you get to the job interview you want to be a cut above the rest. If the company is willing to train you, but you are already working on your skills that will show them you are a motivated individual. This is what companies are looking for, the self starters!

Start Developing Skills now in Data Analytics with a Course to Master Data Analytics from Edureka. This Guided Course is Going to Set You on the Best path to success in Data Analytics!

Start a Full Mastery Course in Data Analytics for a Step by Step Guide to Success!

data analytics tutorial for online education

  • This program will walk you through 12 courses and give you excellency in 27 new skills


If you have any more questions fell free to reach out and connect with me. I would love to answer any questions and clarify details for you.


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