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QMy daugh­ter is in her fi­nal year BSc maths. What are the good cour­ses and uni­ver­si­ties in In­dia and abroad. Also what is the po­ten­tial of a course in data an­a­lyt­ics?

AData An­a­lyt­ics (DA) is the process of ex­am­in­ing raw data with the aid of spe­cialised soft­ware to reach mean­ing­ful con­clu­sions re­quired for de­ci­sion mak­ing. Data anal­y­sis started its jour­ney since in­for­mat­ics took cen­ter stage and con­tin­ues to gain im­por­tance with the chang­ing dig­i­tal sce­nario.

To take in­formed de­ci­sions man­agers need to have data which is an­a­lysed in a mean­ing­ful man­ner. DA can be used to op­ti­mise busi­ness de­ci­sions, im­prove per­for­mance and re­duce cost by iden­ti­fy­ing more ef­fi­cient ways of con­duct­ing busi­ness. It is also used to an­a­lyse cus­tomer trends and sat­is­fac­tion and re­spond ac­cord­ingly.

Man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies can use DA to iden­tify bot­tle-necks in pro­duc­tion while con­tent com­pa­nies use DA to keep you click­ing and watch­ing, and ad­ver­tis­ing com­pa­nies use DA to en­sure that you get to only view ad­ver­tise­ments which are generic to your needs. Sim­i­larly travel, hos­pi­tal­ity, health­care and re­tail in­dus­tries an­a­lyse co­pi­ous amount of raw data to iden­tify trends and of­fer so­lu­tions to im­prove prof­its.

DA can be seg­re­gated into four types – de­scrip­tive, di­ag­nos­tic, pre­dic­tive and pre­scrip­tive with each hav­ing its unique def­i­ni­tion and role.

Data An­a­lyt­ics is ex­ten­sively used in the fi­nan­cial world in­clud­ing the pop­u­lar Six Sigma pro­gram. If you are not mea­sur­ing some­thing, be it your weight or de­liv­er­ies or num­ber of de­fects it is not pos­si­ble to op­ti­mise it.

A post grad­u­ate de­gree in Data An­a­lyt­ics is a nat­u­ral choice for stu­dents with a STEM in­cli­na­tion. Con­trary to pop­u­lar be­lief, a de­gree in DA is not just about data min­ing. It fo­cuses on data oper­a­tions and ad­vanced an­a­lyt­ics apart from sys­tem ar­chi­tec­ture. The course pro­vides in-depth knowl­edge of trans­form­ing raw un­struc­tured data into a us­able as­set by ap­ply­ing pro­gram­ming skills and tools.

These days with the ad­vent of dig­i­tal world, data an­a­lyt­ics have be­come pop­u­lar with In­deed. com re­port­ing the growth rate to have ex­ceeded 4,000 per cent. The de­mand for pro­fes­sion­als pos­sess­ing a deep un­der­stand­ing of ad­vanced math­e­mat­ics, data en­gi­neer­ing and do­main ex­per­tise has never been higher.

One closely re­lated and equally im­por­tant course is Busi­ness An­a­lyt­ics. Here the fo­cus would be on trans­form­ing data into spe­cific com­pet­i­tive in­sights for busi­ness ad­van­tage. This course equips you with tech­ni­cal as well as busi­ness skills and such peo­ple are usu­ally the link be­tween the IT sec­tion and the rest of the com­pany.

In In­dia, you could pur­sue a PG di­ploma in Busi­ness An­a­lyt­ics at IIT Kharg­pur. Tata Con­sul­tancy has col­lab­o­rated with some in­sti­tutes (St. Xavier’s, St. Josephs Col­lege, and Univer­sity of Ra­jasthan) which of­fer a Mas­ter’s de­gree in Big Data. These may worth ex­plor­ing. An­other promis­ing course is the MBA (Data Sci­ence and Data An­a­lyt­ics) at Sym­bio­sis Cen­ter for In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy.

In Dubai there is a course of Big Data and Vis­ual An­a­lyt­ics at SP Jain School of Global Man­age­ment. RIT in Dubai also of­fers a post grad­u­ate qual­i­fi­ca­tion in this field.

On the other side of At­lantic, there is Carnegie Mel­lon Univer­sity which of­fers MS in Com­pu­ta­tional Data Sci­ence. In UK, Lon­don School of Econ­omy, Univer­sity of Leeds, Univer­sity of War­wick which of­fer cour­ses of Data Sci­ence and An­a­lyt­ics.

Apart from these, there are com­pre­hen­sive on­line cour­ses from premium cam­puses.

SANJEEV VERMA

is an in­ter­na­tional ed­u­ca­tion coun­sel­lor

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