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Explore a Career in Big Data and Analytics – Purdue Krannert

Monday, September 16, 2019

Why is it important to talk about big data and analytics? Simply put, data is everywhere. Businesses are collecting more information than ever before—but data is no good if you are unable to understand it. This is where analysts come into play.


Professionals trained to make sense of data are a vital part of any organization’s growth and development. Translated data helps businesses craft strategies, direct operations, and improve their overall effectiveness. It is no wonder the data industry has grown by more than 300% since 2013.


Today’s businesses need skilled, intuitive analysts who can help translate the data they’ve collected and implement creative solutions to foster development. Common positions business analytics graduates pursue include:

Data Scientist:

Data scientists work with large volumes of both structured and unstructured data to transform analyses into actionable information. They can collect new data or mine relevant information through the creation and application of models and algorithms. Most of a data scientist’s time is spent cleaning, validating, and organizing data to ensure an accurate result. The starting salary for individuals with a Master’s degree in the field typically sits around $120,000, though experienced, management-level data scientists can make upwards of $200,000. Data scientist positions are increasing at a rate of 32% year over year, creating great opportunities for qualified individuals.

Management Analyst:

Management analysts, sometimes also referred to as management consultants, work closely with managers across various industries. Their role is to help make strategic decisions and improve operational efficiency based on information from employment reports, expense and revenue data, and more. While some management analysts choose to specialize in a certain field, specific responsibilities and roles can vary from project to project based on the needs of the organization at hand. Obtaining a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation from the Institute of Management Consultants USA (IMC USA) may help open additional doors—certified professionals must re-apply every three years to maintain their status. Salaries for management analysts with a Master’s degree start at around $80,000, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates a 14% growth rate in the field from 2016-2026.

Market Research Analyst:

Market research analysts gather and study data regarding consumer wants and market conditions to help companies better operate. This can be via polls, surveys, interviews, trend analyses, or many other digital and in-person methods. Insights can influence promotional targeting, products, price, and much more—all aimed at maximizing profits. These professionals are often required to be both analytical and creative as they must first decode the data and then craft it into engaging, easy-to-understand content for consideration. The average salary for a market research analyst is approximately $60,000. Additionally, the field is estimated to grow by as much as 23% through 2026, according to the BLS.

Operations Research Analyst:

Operations research analysts engage in high-level problem-solving using data modeling, statistical analysis, and more to provide solutions for organizations seeking to function more efficiently. Interpersonal skills are paramount for these professionals as a great deal of their job revolves around interpreting research and rationalizing recommendations to an organization’s decision-makers. Their findings can be applied to strategy and planning in a variety of functions including human resources, finance, and organizational structure. Businesses spanning every industry rely on these professionals to foster organizational health and growth. Consequently, the industry is expected to see 27% growth through 2026, with a median salary of approximately $80,000.

Big-Data Architect:

Big data architects study the data infrastructure of an organization to identify deficiencies and opportunities for advancement. From there they formulate steps to either resolve existing issues or enhance current structures to achieve a desired level of operation. Designing and managing the large databases that keep an organization’s information organized and safe comprises a bulk of this position’s responsibilities. Due to an increased emphasis on data security, big-data architects are highly sought-after professionals with incredibly lucrative skills, often earning salaries around $145,000.

Your degree in big data and analytics can set you on the path to a challenging, rewarding, and profitable career in an industry promising exponential year-over-year growth. With experience in an analytics graduate program, you’ll be fully prepared to navigate the complex world of data and provide valuable insights for your organization. Start building your future today with Purdue Krannert’s M.S. Business Analytics and Information Management program.