The Importance of Business Analytics

Why is business analytics important? Because collecting and translating data into actionable insights is central to any business—new or established—that wants to thrive and remain relevant in a competitive global market. In addition to tech and finance, industries like health care, retail, transportation, communications, and hospitality are using analytics to solve long-standing and emerging challenges alike. 

We’re still discovering the many applications and benefits of business analytics. From identifying consumer habits and needs, to inferring market implications and anticipating future obstacles, well managed business data analytics helps organizations build more efficient operating models, reconfigure strategy, and improve performance. To realize these benefits, though, companies need data-driven leaders who intimately understand the importance of data analytics. These professionals are invaluable assets to their organizations because they can improve process and process design, plan effective strategy, and optimize productivity.

A Closer Look at the Online Data Analytics Program

The Harvard Business Analytics Program (HBAP) is offered by a collaboration between Harvard Business School (HBS), the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS).

Rooted in the rigor and tradition of all three schools, HBAP prepares executives and entrepreneurs from diverse industries and geographies to lead disruption through data. Our cross-disciplinary HBAP curriculum—created and delivered by world-class faculty in AI, business, data analytics, and statistics—ensures business leaders will gain the tools to lead at the highest levels of their organizations, through predictive modeling, artificial intelligence, quantitative analysis, data visualization, computer coding, and more.

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An Online Program for Experienced Professionals

The executive program in business analytics was created for seasoned professionals who see the value of diverse perspectives and who are driven to harness the power of data in their industries. Our students—many of whom are already pursuing senior-level career paths in their organizations—bring an average of 20 years of work experience to the classroom.

This means HBAP students can expect to form executive-level connections in industries ranging from pharmaceuticals and technology to consulting and financial services, to manufacturing and energy. Backed by a powerful network and real-world knowledge, these leaders learn how to jumpstart their organizations’ digital growth strategies, transform their existing expertise, implement new tools, and translate data into success.

An Analytics Certificate Program for Executives

Many HBAP students come to our program at the top of their game—58 percent of them hold director-level positions or higher, and are likely already or will soon be commanding senior leadership roles at Fortune 500 companies. These leaders understand that business analytics looks different in Singapore than it does in Puerto Rico, but they are also uniquely positioned to identify similarities. And whether they are 27 or 78 years old, they know innovation isn’t about climbing a ladder—it’s about seeing into the future and creating demand.

“This program is unique, in the sense that all industries and all strategic positions—whether you are an engineer, software designer, CEO, accountant, lawyer, or doctor—benefit from it.”

– Ruby Arce, HBAP ’21

An Analytics Certificate Program for Entrepreneurs

By using data to understand the global market, to shape consumer habits and segmentation, and to build forecasts, HBAP students and graduates have identified previously untapped markets; some even worked together to start new companies. The experience of being taught by world-class faculty, of tapping into an unparalleled Harvard network, and of attending two on-campus immersions can inspire entrepreneurs to both start a business from scratch and take that business to the next level.

“I entered the program with the aim of career advancement within the company I work for, and ended up collaborating with my awesome classmates to explore starting our own company.”

– Rajesh Nagle, HBAP ’21

Prepare for the Future of Business Analytics

Just as technology is continuously evolving, so are the new streams of information created by it. HBAP faculty unite across three renowned Harvard schools to deliver groundbreaking collaboration and to enable vital discourse between cultures, geographies, and verticals, so that students build skills at the absolute forefront of business analytics.

A Focus on Digital Strategy

Embracing digitization and data analytics will enable you to drive innovation and large-scale organizational change. It is also vital to product and operations strategy, and market disruption. But so is understanding how digital technologies and data analytics will transform your operating model and your broader supply chain ecosystem. With business analytics, you can manage rapid product proliferation, shorter product life cycles, inventories, demand forecasting, and global suppliers and customers.

A Focus on Leadership

It isn’t just about numbers. A knowledgeable, visionary leader who is fluent in technology-centric decision making can lead technologists and analysts—and influence decisions at the top levels of an organization—by aligning culture, people, tasks, structure, and executive leadership.

Take the Next Step

See how a certificate from the online Harvard Business Analytics Program can transform your career.

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