At one point, it was mostly sufficient for businesses, particularly small ones, to be primarily interested in tracking their financials – their revenues, expenditures, and profits. Information on customers’ spending habits or product preferences would be largely anecdotal. However, with a much wider array of data available and far less expensive ways to attain it, having an in-house statistician has gone from being a luxury to a necessity. The role of data in business is substantial – consider how it could be used:
- Benchmarking – how does your business stack up with similar ones?
- Network analysis – what role could social media play in growing and sustaining your company?
- Consumer behavior – what products do your consumers prefer? When do they tend to buy it?
- Competitive advantages – understanding your customer and customizing their experience with your company.
Strategic use of data in business gives evidence for when it may be time to shift business practices or divert resources to other areas in order to minimize waste and maximize profits and growth. The usefulness of statistics in business extends as well as being able to predict the future behavior of consumers and covering their needs.
The Importance of Data Analytics in Business/Industry
Name any business, and you will find that data analytics is a critical part of how it all comes together. Consider:
- Manufacturing, where statisticians help drive design into production. Statisticians are needed in various capacities in manufacturing, particularly in the area of quality control and assurance. For the statistician who enjoys travel, this ability could potentially take you around the globe.
- Marketing, where understanding the customer means more successful advertising campaigns targeted to the audience most receptive to the product.
- Statisticians are often employed in the area of electronics, electrical engineering, pollution control, and chemical engineering. Engineering is a wide-open field for statistical knowledge.
- Education, where accountability and the ability to accurately and appropriately measure and assess outcomes is crucial for student success.
- Health care – statisticians are key in experimental research, the study of disease prevention, disease prevalence, pharmacology, and genetics/genomics. With the emergence of electronic health care systems and records, data are collected at a rate never experienced before. Statisticians and analysts are needed to not only help clinicians maintain the data safely and appropriately but to use it to guide treatment and interventions.
- Law – statisticians are frequently used as expert witnesses in cases ranging from domestic disputes to criminal trials.
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This list is certainly not exhaustive, but it illuminates the need for people who have studied in programs such as Michigan Technological University’s online MS in Statistics and have learned how to organize and interpret data, and tackle the practical problems inherent in most industries.
Importance of Studying Statistics
Business leaders who have a solid background in statistics could have a very positive effect on the company’s bottom line. Rigorous programs such as the online masters in applied statistics offered by Michigan Tech provides those in business with a very real competitive edge – such as being able to conduct or readily evaluate quality control processes, perform assessments, and determine the major factors that can be used to predict growth outcomes. An education in statistics provides an enhanced capability to discern important relationships, such as how customers spend and when.
The consideration of alternative business scenarios is enhanced with an understanding of how to best calculate the odds of success. Even participating in something as seemingly basic as survey research is best left in the hands of the applied statistician who understands how to ask for and obtain the most meaningful information from a survey – ensuring that the effort doesn’t fail. Statisticians also have expertise in producing and presenting results that inform the business practice and guide the decision-makers for stronger outcomes.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that the role of statistician will be the fifth-fastest growing job in the US over the next decade with a median income of $80,000. This job growth is outpaced only by careers in the health industries, in which statistics also plays an important role. If you are looking to learn more about how to be a part of this growth, request information.
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