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Big Data Business Analytics

a.k.a. Data Science, Quantitative Research, Econometrics

By Quintus C. Hegie, MSc

It has been vowed the most sexiest job of the 21st century.

(Well maybe not that sexy but at the least a profession that offers great carreer opportunities for a lifetime.)

What is this super hot job I'm talking about?!?

It's called Big Data and/or Business Analytics.

Sometimes referred to as Data Science or Econometrics as well.

These and more questions I'll answer for you now.

Any I am the right person to tell you, because I work in this specialization area since my graduation in Econometrics in 2006.

What is Big Data Business Analytics?

Big Data Business Analytics means analysing big volumes of complex data for systematically optimizing business goals.

How on earth are you going to analyse this big data for getting actionable insights?!?

Luckily, there are solutions for exactly that!

That is what a Big Data Business Analyst, Data Scientist or Econometrician helps you with.

Steps in analyzing and using big data

  1. Formulating an accurate problem description (often a hypothesis for a business case)

  2. Retrieving many data sets that may contain information on the cure for the problem

  3. Ordering and preparing the big data sets for easy scientific analysis

  4. Modelling the hypothesis as a statistical problem description to solve

  5. Crunching the numbers in data science software that tries to find relations between your hypothesis and the ingested data

  6. Evaluating the accuracy of the model outcome of training set data on test and validation data sets

  7. Presenting your findings to your stakeholders

  8. Coming up with a general statistical approach that can be productionalized at scale

Why Big Data Business Analytics?

Big Data Business Analytics (or Data Science, for that matter) isn't new. Actually, this profession already exists for decades. It is also known as econometrics and management science. So Big Data Business Analytics isn't something new. It's just a long-time proven fact-based approach to structurally achieve higher business goals, with a new trending fancy name.

However, due to the massively increased computing power over the last 10 years, complex business problems can now be solved within an acceptable amount of time using scientific techniques and advanced mathematics. The smart phone you now have in your pocket or purse contains more technology and has more computing power than a space station. The same holds for enterprises, that now have access to sophisticated big databases and worldwide computing power. In other words, business now has the tools to compute the answer right when it is demanded.

At the same time, due to the digitalization of the world, the pile of data increases more and more rapidly. In essence, there's so much data worldwide, that you'll never have enough time to organize, understand and utilize all that data. And we as a society keep adding data to this stock every day, so the amount of data doesn't stop to grow. Therefore smart computer algorithms are needed to help business find the right answers within that (sometimes messy) data.

So, because nowadays more and more people are acquainted with more data and faster devices every day, we get to understand that Big Data Business Analytics is more than before needed to achieve business success.

Big Data Business Analytics specializations

The business goals can be in the area of corporate finance and risk management, marketing intelligence and strategy, operations and supply chain management or general macro/micro economics.

Big Data Business Analytics university degrees

In The Netherlands (the country I live in) there are 6 universities that teach econometrics. Some of them have labelled their courses Big Data Business Analytics. Other educational institutions call it Quantitative Research or Data Science.

Big Data Business Analytics Universities in The Netherlands
City (Province)UniversityStudent Association
Amsterdam (Noord-Holland)Universiteit van AmsterdamVSAE
Amsterdam (Noord-Holland)Vrije Universiteit AmsterdamKraket
Groningen (Groningen)Rijksuniversiteit GroningenVESTING
Maastricht (Limburg)Maastricht UniversitySCOPE | Vectum
Rotterdam (Zuid-Holland)Erasmus Universiteit RotterdamFAECTOR
Tilburg (Noord-Brabant)Tilburg UniversityAsset | Econometrics

Top notch education is where the areas of business administration, computer science and data analytics are combined. Preferably with the entitlement of a Masters Degree in Science and Business Administration once successfully completed. Why? Because of this simple formula:

Big Business Targets × Scalable Enterprise Technology × Fact-Based Continuous Improvement = Lasting Enterprise Success

Programmes can be followed both full-time as well as part-time. The part-time option is very interesting for people who already have a Master's Degree and a solid quantitative background and relevant work experience. Be sure to look out for education where theory and practise is combined: learn & apply.

Typical courses that are taught are:

Help with study choice for scholars

If you're a scholar interested in obtaining an university degree in econometrics in The Netherlands, be sure to visit www.econometrie.nl as this website contains lots of information in Dutch about studying econometrics in The Netherlands. The website is maintained by Stichting Landelijk Orgaan der Econometrische Studieverenigingen (LOES), where the six student associations in econometrics are united.

Books on Big Data Business Analytics

Recently, I've reviewed the book Creating Value with Big Data Analytics by Peter Verhoef, Edwin Kooge, Natasha Walk for ManagementBoek.nl and my professional contacts at Platform voor Klantgericht Ondernemen. It's an excellent English book on Big Data Analytics, targeted for both managers and data specialists, written by Dutch experts.

Companies using Big Data Business Analytics

Because Big Data Business Analytics is so hot, there are many companies that are using Big Data Business Analytics. At the same time these companies regularly have vacancies for both junior and senior positions in Data Science and/or Econometrics.

Econometrics job sites

Big Data recruiters & traineeships

ATTENTION COMPANIES / RECRUITERS: contact me to list your company or vacancy here

In conclusion

For scholars, obtaining an University Degree in Big Data Business Analytics may be a very good career choice for the next 10 years. Employees with affinity in Data Science and Econometrics will become more in demand by employers, and are encouraged to get even better at data analytics skills through education and experience. If you have a true entrepreneurial spirit, consider partnering up with other professionals to set up your own Big Data consultancy firm.