Gaining Competitive Advantage through Analytics

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Noshin Kagalwalla, Managing Director, SAS Institute (India) Pvt Ltd

Noshin Kagalwalla, Managing Director,
SAS Institute (India) Pvt Ltd

Noshin Kagalwalla, Managing Director, SAS Institute (India) Pvt Ltd, talks to Elets News Network (ENN), about data analytics, its demand as a career option, role of education in bridging the skill gap and more

What is business analytics? Why has there been a demand for business analysts in the recent past?

Business analytics is the broad use of data analysis and quantitative techniques that empower organisations to transform their data into actionable intelligence, helping them drive better decisions and ultimately, better business outcomes.

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As compared to earlier days, adoption of analytics in Indian industries has rapidly moved-up the maturity curve. Today’s highly competitive and fastmoving global economy demands organisations to take decisions in realtime. Organisations across sectors have realised that these decisions can no longer be made based on gut feeling or hunches and the fact that by embracing an analytical culture, they stand to gain a competitive advantage. Consequently, we are seeing a very high demand for data scientists and data analysts who are equipped with great problem-solving skills and can identify creative ways of incorporating analytics into the DNA of a business or the very product or service which the organisation has to offer to the clients.

Is there a skill gap today? If yes, how is education sector trying to bridge the same?

According to IDC, in the US alone, there will be 181,000 deep analytics positions in 2018 and five times that many positions requiring related skills in data management and interpretation. In India too, there is a serious deficit of analytical skills and data-literate managers. The education sector has already recognised the fact that analytics has gained prominence as one of the most sought after career options today. The top institutes in the country have, in fact, embarked on the journey towards bridging the demand-skill gap by partnering with industry leaders like SAS to launch tailored programmes and courses to nurture the talent in business analytics.

Please share any joint programmes that SAS has along with universities and educational institutes.

SAS has primarily offered joint programmes on analytics with leading schools in India, including IIM Bangalore, ISB, NMIMS, IIM Lucknow and recently with WeSchool and Vivekananda Education Society Institute of Management Studies & Research (VESIM).

Some of the case studies are:

ISB, Hyderabad

ISB Biocon Certificate Programme in Business Analytics (CBA): Some of the best minds in management education have been involved in creating a curriculum that is global in scope. This particular programme is designed in partnership with SAS on a schedule that minimises disruption of work and personal pursuits. It is a combination of classroom and technology-aided learning platforms where participants will typically be on campus for a five-day schedule of classroom learning every alternate month for a span of 12 months.

IIM, Bangalore

Business Analytics & Intelligence (BAI): The course in partnership with SAS is designed to provide in-depth knowledge of handling data and Business Analytics tools that can be used for problem-solving and decision-making using real-time case studies. At the end of the course, the participants are able to:

  • Understand the emergence of business analytics as a competitive advantage;
  • Understand the foundations of data science; the role of descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics in firms;
  • Analyse data using statistical and data mining techniques and understand relationships between the underlying business processes of an organisation;
  • Learn data visualisation and the art of storytelling through data;
  • Analyse and solve problems from different industries such as manufacturing, service, retail, software, banking and finance, sports, pharmaceutical, aerospace, etc;
  • Get a hands on experience with software such as SAS.

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