Infographic: Business Analytics vs. Data Science

Source: Taylor Meadows, Comparing Data Science and Analytics, Data Science Central, October 22, 2015,

One may think that all big data experts are created equal, but nothing could be further from the truth. However, the terms “data scientist” and “business analyst” are often used interchangeably. It’s a common and confusing use of terminology, which is why Analytics@American, a masters in business analytics, created this infographic to help create further clarity about the two roles

Both business analysts and data scientists are experts in the use of big data, but they have different types of educational backgrounds, usually work in different types of settings and use their skills and knowledge in completely different ways.

Reflective of the increasing need to extract value from the mountain of big data at our fingertips, business analysts are in much higher demand—with a predicted job growth of 27 percent over the next decade. They dig into a variety of sources to pull data for analysis of past, present and future business performance, and then take those results and use the most effective tools to translate them to business leaders. They typically have educational backgrounds in specialties like business and humanities.

In contrast — data scientists are digital builders. They have strong educational backgrounds in computer science, mathematics and technology and use statistical programming to actually build the framework for gathering and using the data by creating and implementing algorithms to do it. Such algorithms help with decision-making, data management, and the creation of visualizations to help explain the data that they gather.

To find out more about who will fit the bill for your organization, dig into the infographic to make sure the big data expert you’re hiring is the right one to meet your needs.


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