Why data is the new oil, according to a Master of Business Analytics student

Why data is the new oil, according to a Master of Business Analytics student

With billions of connected devices sharing info all around the world, data has well and truly become a red-hot resource. But how can we sift through the incomprehensible amount now available and actually put it to good use? That’s where a business analyst comes in.

Former software developer Mahesh Krishnan had a natural flair for finding patterns in data, which he was keen to explore further. Now in the final semester of a Master of Business Analytics degree at La Trobe University, Mahesh chatted to us about why he decided to shift career paths and what he loves about plucking out data insights to help businesses grow.

La Trobe postgraduate student Mahesh Krishnan says the coursework completed during his Master of Business Analytics has helped him extensively while interning as a data analyst at Moreland City Council.

My work at my previous employer in India involved a lot of data. This led me to analysing customer information, which helped me realise that I had a natural sense for understanding hidden patterns in data and deriving insights that would help businesses drive growth. I found this interesting and decided to do a course that would help me fortify my analytical skills by learning different analysis methods.

The Master of Business Analytics at La Trobe attracted me because of its highly experienced teaching faculty and the curriculum of study. It offers the right mix of technical and business skills, which are highly valued in the global market. The course coordinator, Associate Professor Dr Kok-Leong Ong, has been a mentor and role model. He has extensive teaching and professional experience in the sector and is welcoming and down-to-earth.

What I like about Business Analytics is the fact that it makes use of the plethora of data at the disposal of an organisation and produces valuable insights. These insights help the business to reap rewards in terms of spiking profits and huge market shares.

As the saying goes, ‘data is the new oil’. Business analytics blends the technical aspect of statistical evidence with the business aspect of converting these insights into easily interpretable business terms. An analyst who is technically sound, but unable to convey the message to the business in a way they understand, isn’t useful to an organisation.

The course has taught me ways to gather data, wrangle it and visualise the insights. Extracted data isn’t always ready for analysis, so data wrangling becomes one of the most important steps to learn. Data visualisation is also an important skill. Generating insights alone does not benefit an organisation if they can’t be visualised. Numbers in a table look better in visuals because they can then be easily understood. With so many graphs to choose from, selecting the right graph for a particular dataset is really important. It goes a long way in delivering the right message to the business.

Choosing the right graph for the right data is vital to communicating business insights. Image: Shutterstock.

The course assignments I’ve done have helped me work effectively during my internships. I’ve undertaken a one-month internship with the Victorian State Government, a three-month internship with ME Bank in Melbourne, and as part of my final semester I am interning with Moreland City Council as a data analyst. My work at Moreland City Council requires me to extract data from different sources, then align the data to make it ready for analysis. This data can be used to generate insights about businesses in Moreland and suburban growth in its suburbs can be generated to benefit the council’s Economic Development team.

I have secured a full-time role as an associate consultant at Servian, a leading data analytics consultancy based in Melbourne. The skills I have learned through my course will be of great use.

With a plethora of data being stocked up by organisations and a rising demand for analytics to drive business growth, there is no better time to pursue a Master of Business Analytics at La Trobe. It was something I was looking out for, and there’s been no looking back.

Looking to advance your career in an industry that’s highly valued and in hot demand? Study a Master of Business Analytics at La Trobe.