Great Lakes’ PG Program – Business Analytics Selection Process Demystified

Every year, thousands of professionals apply to our Post Graduate Program in Business Analytics and Business Intelligence (PGP-BABI). We believe it is our responsibility to give enough time and attention to every candidature even if it means going through hundreds of profiles to select one professional that could benefit from our program. So here is a glimpse into our detailed selection process:

  1. Online Application Form – Interested candidates need to apply by filling up a simple Online Application Form. You will be prompted to create an account or login if you are already registered with us. Before starting the process, it is advisable to have your professional experience and educational background details ready and think in advance about why you would like to learn analytics. It is required that you are completely truthful and as elaborate as possible when filling out your professional and educational background. Once you fill in the details, you will be prompted to answer a simple question about “Why do you want to learn analytics?” to complete your application. The form doesn’t take more than 10 minutes to fill.
  2. Shortlisting and Panel Review – A panel of 2 to 3 faculty members reviews every application in detail to identify candidates suitable for the program. They shortlist based on your profile – which comprises (but is not limited to) your bachelor’s stream, percentage, post qualification work experience, and relevance for analytics. Please make sure that you have checked the eligibility criteria before you apply.
  3. Interview/Screening – The shortlisted candidates then go through a telephonic interview/screening. Since we receive thousands of applications for every single batch and only a few are selected, it becomes increasingly difficult for us to process your information objectively. That’s why we use a set of analytical tools and techniques that help us evaluate your candidature and interview responses.
  4. Offer Stage – After a final faculty review, every candidate is assigned a score that includes interview and faculty score. Candidates with the highest total scores are invited to pursue the program.

Admissions are conducted on a rolling basis and our admission process closes every time we find the requisite number of candidates for a batch. Being the most comprehensive industry-driven program in the country, PGP-BABI has a selection rate of 1 out of 10 applicants and our batches usually fill up way before our closing deadline!

As you can tell, our selection process is thorough but very learner-centric. We carry the load of providing you with the right opportunities, requesting as little as your basic information and 10 minutes of time to get started.

So Join PGP-BABI now for a rewarding career in Business Analytics!

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Which Professionals Will Benefit Most from Taking Up Business Analytics Right Away?

In our The Demand and Supply Gap in Business Analytics blog, we established that all professionals (irrespective of their industry or experience level) need to upskill and it is a golden opportunity for them to not only close the gap between organizational expectations and professionals skill-sets but witness unprecedented career growth. Let’s look at the 5 categories of professionals who would benefit most from pursuing business analytics:

Mid-Career Professionals Who Feel Stagnated in Their Jobs

While business analytics provides opportunities for everyone from senior leadership positions to entry-level professionals, the most value from the analytics wave can be driven by mid-career professionals who feel stagnated in their jobs. A business standard article revealed that “Around 52% of the total number of professionals with 1-10 years of experience (mid-career professionals) in India would consider moving to another job within two years, according to a study by LinkedIn which has more than 28 million professionals in Indian and 332 million worldwide.” Business analytics presents an enormous opportunity to professionals in “all domains” to leave behind a stagnated job for a more lucrative career. According to Harvard Business Review, “For mid-level professionals, who have typically spent 5-10 years in a specific industry and developed skills in a core discipline, the next level of growth demands familiarity with many other aspects of the business – strategy, operations, negotiation, and finance to name some. Individual contributors need to develop a more generalist approach to make better business decisions. For example, when a mid-level doctor or healthcare professional working for a hospital transitions to a senior or leadership role in hospital management, she needs to be able to make decisions, weighing multiple aspects, for several functions of the organization. This requires skills such as interpreting data, studying the market landscape and developing differentiated offerings, understanding the financial implications of operational decisions and analyzing pricing and consumer behavior.”

Professionals on a Sabbatical

Let’s start by saying that the target audience in this category doesn’t have to be women necessarily. Men on a break for their entrepreneurial adventures or women on maternity leaves can both make the best use of their break by taking up a course in business analytics and entering the workforce again with a bang. Upskilling also shields you from all the questions about why you took a break, are you still relevant, etc. in job interviews. A break was earlier a taboo on a good professional resume but it is no longer so thanks to the opportunities in every domain to grow and bring your ideas to the fore. Pursuing business analytics is not only fruitful to cover the gap on a resume but also for staying abreast with the smartest way of making decisions.

Professionals Who Would Like to Switch Careers or Transition

It won’t be easy to switch from one domain to another. But by learning business analytics, people can switch from one domain to another. It is actually a very clever way of transitioning from a field that once sounded glorious and is now boring you. As an example, a software test engineer can look for business analytics opportunities within his own firm to make a switch. Once he/she has an experience of a year or so, he can make a shift to another organization even if it is a different domain. Several Great Learning alumni have successfully transitioned from one domain to another. 66% of our alumni transition into business and functional roles within 6 months of completing our business analytics course. But when it comes to making this reality, 15-hour courses will not be able to give you either the confidence or the skillset to make this change.

Non-IT Professionals

I believe we have already established that business analytics is not a career choice just for IT professionals. An HBR example states that “when a mid-level doctor or healthcare professional working for a hospital transitions to a senior or leadership role in hospital management, she needs to be able to make decisions, weighing multiple aspects, for several functions of the organization. This requires skills such as interpreting data, studying the market landscape and developing differentiated offerings, understanding the financial implications of operational decisions and analyzing pricing and consumer behavior. If she is comfortable with business concepts and armed with the right tools, she can drive better operational performance and profitability, as well as enhance patient experience at the hospital. This ultimately leads to achieving both individual and business growth.” This example is one of the many that clearly demonstrates that automation and technology are transforming the world and anyone should capitalize on this trend.

Senior Leaders

Senior leader and PGP-BABI alumni Sreevasan Ps says, “Anyone who holds a senior position now needs to have a basic analytics mindset. All the organizations talk about social media and analytics and cloud these days. When you take a deeper look at things, data analytics is something that touches everyone’s life in every industry. It is an all-pervasive subject.” He further added, “It is almost certain that we are moving into a data-driven world which means decisions are going to be increasingly data-driven. The traditional heuristic decisions, experience-based decisions, or hunch-based decisions will be giving way to data-based decisions.  If that is the world coming up, then it’s very important for one to be data-literate.” Need we say more?

business analytics and business intelligence great learning

The Demand and Supply Gap in Business Analytics

Wither or Thrive? Bloom or Gloom? Flourish or Perish?

Do any of these antonyms ring a bell? May be in the context of the changes brought upon by the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

The world has heard enough about IT layoffs and how it is inevitable for everyone in IT to either upskill or perish. IT guys think that they need to upskill or find alternate careers like management or a safer option for a government job through civil services or public banks. But what about the non-IT guys? Are they safe? If that were true, why would Amazon let go of 25000 employees or banks layoff more people than ever before? The truth is that disruption in the digital economy has caused a paradigm shift in the way all businesses function and churn revenues. There isn’t an industry, domain, or field that is not impacted by the big data boom and business analytics. Mohan Lakhamraju, Founder and CEO. Great Learning, often points that “Like all knowledge professionals in the 90s had to learn to use computers; today, they need to learn data-driven decision making.” That speaks volumes for the change the world has witnessed in the last decade or so.

Earlier business models and strategies for revenue growth were based on ideas from senior leadership backed by intuition and experience. But things started to change as we started to capture more and more data, not in gigabytes, but in petabytes and zettabytes. Organizations started using this data to draw meaningful insights that brought them profits, revenue, and astonishing growth. But this wouldn’t have been possible if for the human resources. Such a perfect scenario – companies invest more and more into analytics and professionals quickly try to adapt to business requirements. Then, why is it that there is a huge demand-supply gap when it comes to analytical roles? Let’s find out.

Why is there a human resource scarcity in Business Analytics Across Domains?

== Mismatch between organizational expectations and individual profile – Several organizations have positions in business analysis and data science that they are unable to close. According to a recent study, “HR departments of several firms take around 2-3 months to close one business analytics position.” This is an insane amount of time. Several candidates are taking up online and offline courses in order to upskill, then why is it that organizations keep on adding more and more number of job openings on portals? Individuals rely on learning a few techniques and tools whereas organizations are relying on finding people with developed business acumen, the ability to lead and drive instead of executing and performing tasks. Organizations are greatly focused on attracting and nurturing talent that understands the business model and requirements well. A lot of focus is hence on domain-knowledge. You may only know R, but you will still be a better candidate than someone who knows R, SAS, and Tableau if you have acquired the wisdom to get to the bottom of a problem and the business sense to bring solutions to the table.

== A Quick-Fix Approach on the Part of Professionals – We all have a tendency of taking shortcuts. Why invest a year when you can learn something in 3 months, right? This is exactly where professionals fail. A quick fix approach to propelling one’s career ahead has never worked for anyone. This is a major issue, especially with non-IT folks as they tend to believe that IT is the only sector that was swept off its feet by Industrie 4.0. Learning once and working off the same skillset for the next 20 years is no longer a viable option. Finding a higher package job or a meatier role and settling in are no longer the criteria for guaranteed success. Learning is a life-long process and every professional needs to understand the macro environment to know how the business world changes.

Why are we not able to bridge the gap?

== Lack of Quality Education – Most of the graduate courses offered in our country do not prepare the entry-level workforce to contribute from day one. 3-6 months of training period was the conventional approach IT companies would take and non-IT would also follow the same. Also, professionals would have no clue or real exposure to what an analytics role entails. Not just the undergraduate programs, but also advanced courses and post-graduate programs fail to meet the learning needs of professionals and synchronize with the current industry ask. Not every type of program is suited to everyone, especially when it comes to professionals with 2 or more years of professional experience. Matters get worse when most of the programs are trying to target IT candidates with a myopic approach.

== Lack of Learning Techniques That Actually Make an Impact – Another crucial factor is of course the learning method employed in programs and courses. Do you think you and other people with, let’s say, work experience in IT, finance, marketing, or manufacturing will all have the exact same learning needs? A program needs to cater to different groups. IT may sound tricky but take a look at the batch profiles of any of our programs and you will see huge diversity in all our batches. 90% of our learners still go ahead and recommend our programs to other professionals. Whether it is our weekend program PGP-BABI or completely online program BACP for business analytics aspirants, we ensure that their learning needs are met to the T.

== Averse to the Idea of Continued Learning – Our Machine Learning course director Harish K Subramaniam states that a professional needs to learn every two years and add something to their resume. It could be a skill, or a project that required the effort of finding a holy grail, or simply facilitating out of the box ideas but one should constantly strive to reinvent. But Gen X is averse to the idea of continued learning. The mindset of reaping the benefits of learning once is nothing but the wall that separates you and a future-proof career. Harish recommends the following steps to an exciting future-proof career:  

  • o Inculcate the ability to pick up a new skill quickly and methodically
  • o Contribute to a community to develop reputational capital
  • o Work on an open source project you really enjoy
  • o Contribute to a community developed project
  • o Check out firsttimersonly.com to get started on a beginner friendly platform

Also read: Which Professionals will Benefit Most from Taking up Business Analytics Right Away?

business analytics and business intelligence great learning

5 Types of Business Analytics Jobs

Much like business administration, business management and other types of business programs, business analytics jobs run the gamut from database administrator to data scientist and everything in between.

According to a recent study by India Jobs, data science is the fastest-growing job field in India.  Companies ranging from manufacturing to retail to healthcare are all becoming technology companies, and the need for skilled data analysts has never been greater.

Fortunately, there exist new and innovative programs across India to help with this pressing need.  You can now go beyond just a business analyst course in Bangalore or a business analyst course in Pune to get the full benefits of a BA certification in less time than you may think.

Here are a few of the best high-paying business analytics jobs worth pursuing with the right kind of business analyst training:

Data Scientist/Data Analyst

A data scientist or data analyst collects and interprets data using qualitative analysis.  From their analyses, they can predict, evaluate and share information that impacts a variety of departments and operations within the company. They often use technologies such as SQL, R, SAS and Python, so getting data analyst certification in these areas will help you tackle even the most complex data sets with ease.

Data scientists are perfectly at home analyzing large and complex data sets and leverage a wide range of machine-learning and visualization tools to help them coalesce such information into a more meaningful form.  Proper business analyst training helps teach these tools using cloud-based software, hands-on teachings and online mentorship from around the world.

And the timing has never been better. Many well-known companies are starting to set up the foundations for data sciences in these emerging markets, including Walmart, PayPal, Mercedes-Benz and more.  New research from the Everest Group shows that India holds as much as 50% of the global market in analytics services, and as the need for skilled data scientists rises, so too does the global demand.

And because data science tools are always changing and evolving, you’ll need to be adaptive and pragmatic about using different tools to solve varied problems. In short, becoming a data analyst helps give both form and function to the information collected, so that the company, in turn, can make impactful decisions with measurable results.

Data Engineer

Today’s companies make considerable investments in data, and the data engineer is the person who builds, upgrades, maintains and tests the infrastructure to ensure it can handle algorithms thought up by the aforementioned data scientists.

The good news is that the need for data engineers spans many different types of industries.  As much as 46% of all data analytics and data engineering jobs originate from the banking and financial sector, but business analyst jobs can be found in e-commerce, media, retail, and entertainment industries as well.

The best business analytics courses in India make use of all of the skills needed to become a proficient data engineer, including getting hands-on training in Hive, NoSQL, R, Ruby, Java, C++, and Matlab.  Many data engineers are also expected to have experience working with popular data APIs and ETL tools as well.

For those that have these skills, you’ll be glad to know that the job market in analytics is growing by leaps and bounds.  From April 2016 to April 2017, the number of analytics jobs almost doubled, following a pattern of nearly doubling the previous two years.

And all of these jobs rely on a data science engineer to make sure the data infrastructure is solid, sound and scalable.

Database Administrator

The database administrator oversees the use and proper functioning of enterprise databases.  They also manage the backup and recovery of business-critical information.   It doesn’t sound like much on the surface, but when you realize that everything about the business’ operation relies on properly functioning databases, you’ll see just how critical this job really is.

Because of the sheer demand for database administrators across all sectors, you can take a business analyst course in Bangalore or a business analyst course in Pune and still get the hands-on skills you need to succeed.  Learning about data backup and recovery, as well as security and disaster management, are crucial to moving up in this field.

You’ll also want to have a proficient understanding of business analyst courses like data modeling and design.

The best part is, the market for database administrators is wide open. Bangalore accounts for around 25% of business analyst jobs according to an India Jobs survey, while Delhi isn’t far behind, with 22%.

But even if you don’t live or work in one of the major cities, you’ll be glad to know that even smaller cities are experiencing a surge in business analytics jobs thanks to many start-ups establishing their respective presences there.

Data Architect

The data architect is responsible to creating the blueprints that help with data management, thereby allowing the databases to be centralized, integrated and protected.  The data architects provide the data engineers with the tools and platforms they need to able to carry out their tests with accuracy and precision.

Data architects typically have experience in data modelling and data warehousing, as well as extraction transformation and loan (ETL). Proficiency in technologies like Hive, Pig and Spark are often required.

If you’re looking for a job as a data architect, you’ll be glad to know that captive centers, GICs, and back offices have seen the highest analytics growth in India in recent years.  Over half of all analytics demand is found in captive centers and even though they typically use analytics for their own internal use (and thus spread the data to their respective global businesses), they nevertheless need knowledgeable data architects to help them manage it all.

Analytics Manager

Last, but certainly not least, is the analytics manager.  An analytics manager oversees all the aforementioned operations and assigns duties to the respective team leaders based on needs and qualifications.  Analytics managers are typically well-versed in technologies like SAS, R, and SQL.

But beyond the technical requirements, analytics managers also need to have good interpersonal and social skills as well as good leadership qualities.  They need to be creative, “outside the box” thinkers who can easily manage a team with far-reaching abilities and skills.

Getting Started with a Business Analytics Job

You may be surprised to learn that over half of those recruiting for business analytics jobs are looking for candidates with less than five years of experience.  On the flip-side, there’s also a definite surge in the need for senior analytics professionals as well – reaching a high of 20% in 2017.

No matter what your experience with business analytics, companies both large and small are scrambling to hire t qualified individuals with a plethora of data literacy skills.  This makes now the perfect time to take advantage of rewarding career opportunities that span these and many other types of analytics jobs.

What is Upskilling and why you need to pay more attention to it than ever?

As per the latest NASSCOM report, up to 40 percent of the estimated 4 million workforce in India would undergo re-skilling over the next 5 years. 

You must have come across articles blaring data points like the one above in the past few months and would’ve brushed them aside conveniently, but if you are planning to make 2018 a milestone year in terms of Career Growth it’s time you took the latest corporate buzzword seriously. ‘Upskilling’ has arrived and it is here to stay.

In light of the layoffs witnessed by the IT industry last year Reskilling/Upskilling has become the new mantra to success, and for the all the right reasons. But before we get into why it is super important to upskill yourself more than ever now let’s understand what upskilling really entails.

What is Upskilling?

Upskilling refers to improving the skillset of professionals, usually through training to enable them to perform better in their jobs and help them progress through the company into various job roles and opportunities. Upskilling opportunities can be provided using a number of formats, ranging from short courses to getting higher qualifications or gaining certifications through part-time or full-time programs.

Here are the top reasons Why Upskilling is important for you now more than ever:

  1. It helps you keep up with latest Industry Demand & trends– Learning new skills or improving existing skillsets ensures that you are up to pace with the shift in trends your domain is witnessing. As an example take The Union Budget 2018 and its clear focus on AI, Big Data and Robotics and their application in the Digital Economy. We can clearly see career opportunities are set to rise exponentially in these domains within the next 2-3 years. So if you were to acquire a new skill or develop expertise in a new domain, Analytics, Big Data, AI or IOT could be a great option.
  2. You can increase your pay-check in no-time- According to a staffing solutions company, TeamLease Services, India will face a demand-supply gap of 2 lakh data analytics professionals by 2020. This lag between demand and supply exists not only in India but is a global phenomenon. As per the estimates of McKinsey, the gap between supply and requisite demand for analytics skills in the US will reach 50-60% by 2018. With the industry all set to witness such a huge demand gap you can utilize the opportunity to get a lucrative pay package in the respective domain. A sure shot way to develop a new competency in it would be to take up an industry-oriented program focusing on a new-age skill. You might have to invest a year or 6 months with such a course but the gains in terms of better employment opportunities and rise in pay scale will all be worth it.
  3. You can future-proof your career– More technological advancements sometimes translate to more and more people being replaced at their jobs. A recent threat to millions of jobs is posed by Automation and Artifical Intelligence, although the number of jobs that will be automated due to AI is debatable it is always better to future-proof your career by developing new competencies. It is hence beneficial to become an irreplaceable asset to your organization by constantly proving that you have the grit and enthusiasm to learn new things and stay updated.
  4. Enable a successful career transition– In case you are planning to transition into a new role or enter a new domain altogether, Upskilling will help you facilitate the shift with much more ease. A program or course that enables you to build a body of work through industry-based projects will surely be helpful in tackling interviews with prospective employers with confidence and will display domain knowledge. Look for a program which has a good mix of industry participation which will allow you to network with industry experts and thought leaders and give you opportunities for referrals and endorsements.

The bottom line

With newer employment avenues opening up in the IT industry, the emphasis is slowly shifting from Scale to Skill. Technical competencies aligned with the Digital Economy are therefore in high demand. The time to explore new waters and ride the new wave is now. Re-skill or perish is the only way forward.

The only resolution you should be making in 2017

Every New Year brings with it the hope of a new beginning in our lives and along with it, come the myriad of resolutions we make to ourselves. Research indicates that most of the resolutions made by people are towards fitness and weight loss. As a result, January becomes a windfall month for most gymnasiums and fitness studios while most of us don’t become any leaner or fitter with passing years the one thing that we can definitely achieve is being a better version of ourselves. To achieve that you don’t have to make tall promises to yourself just Make Learning a Habit.

Learning new things is simple, achievable and one of the most profitable investments you can make each year.

 

1. Learning is like weight-loss

train

Let me make an uncanny analogy here: Aspiring to becoming leaner is very similar to wanting to learn something new. Ultimately, you have to change something that’s core in your behaviour to have the desired results. Both these goals need focus, determination and lots of discipline. And lastly, just as in weight loss as in education, there are no low-hanging fruits or express results. Both take time to fructify, but once you go the distance, there is no looking back.

 

2. Why ‘Learning’ in 2017?

Why we need to learn in 2017

The right question here should be ‘Why Not’. There has never been a better time to learn and frankly speaking, with the changing dynamics of businesses and technology disruption impacting us, if we don’t make learning a habit in 2017 and onwards, our professional credentials would be questionable at best and irrelevant at worst. Learning new skills and upgrading one’s professional capabilities is no longer a matter of choice but a necessity to have a fruitful career. In today’s time and age, the half-life of knowledgehalf-life of knowledge is forever decreasing which means that one needs to keep learning always to stay professionally relevant. The new reality is that what you learn at 25, will not take you till 35.

 

3. What should I learn?

What should you learn

This is like standing by an ocean and trying to find the perfect starting point for your swim. What you can learn is limited only by your intellectual bandwidth and interest. For the sake of brevity, let us focus on what the professional in you needs to learn. Depending upon the industry you are in or aspire to be in, you need to understand the trends that are driving growth. If you are unclear about it, you should talk to your seniors from the industry and pick their brains. Pick an area that is affecting most companies in your space and eventually will impact everyone and build your skill sets in that. Professional competencies such as analytics, big data engineering, product management, information security, intellectual property, digital marketing etc. are high growth areas where most companies are struggling for ‘good’ talent. Finding a sweet spot like this and making yourself competent in it will ensure your career benefits from this talent shortage.

 

4. Where should I learn?

e-learning

Learning in 2017 will be easier than ever before. From blogs to YouTube or TED, from companies offering online learning to mobile apps, ‘lack of access’ cannot be your excuse to not learning. But having said that, having a plethora of options makes it overwhelming and confusing.

I come across some candidates who know what the skills they need to acquire but are not sure if they will be able to learn. I usually advise them to first test the waters by accessing some free content online. YouTube is usually a good source for this. See if you like what you are learning and are able to grasp it.

 

5. Why do we fail to learn online?

why we fail to learn

If you are the kind that does not suffer from such starting troubles, you will usually find your learning options to be either completely online courses or blended courses (online + occasional weekend classroom sessions). Given this spread, how do you decide which format to go for?

Completely online courses provide convenience since you don’t need to attend any classroom sessions. But, online learning has been plagued by abysmally low rates of completion. The main reason for this is that for most of us, we learn better when we learn in a classroom setting with peers and faculty, who we can talk to in person.

The flexibility of attending class room sessions over few weekends in a month gives you the advantage of mixing the best of two worlds – the flexibility of online learning and the learning effectiveness of classroom learning. In our blended analytics program, we have seen hundreds of candidates do our program after having done one or multiple online courses. When asked, the most common response we get is because they feel that their learning in the online programs was incomplete. Also, when it comes to acquiring hard skills such as analytics, big data or machine learning, it is important to focus on programs that are more exhaustive and immersive and don’t take a superficial approach by promising to teach something in a matter of some hours.

 

6. What will it take?

learning in 2017

Learning is for everyone. Amongst the thousands of candidates who take our programs every year, we see about 30% of them to be with in the 15-30 year experience bracket. While there is no age to imbibe the habit of learning, just like with all good habits, the sooner you do it, the better you are. Having said that, learning is hard work. Depending upon when was the last time you were in a class, you would need discipline, focus and perseverance to go the whole distance. Usually, we have seen that the first two months are the hardest but once you settle into a routine within the first sixty days, you will go one to achieve the results you desire. The advice that we give to all our learners is to start small. Begin by dedicating an hour every day for the first 2 weeks, then about 8-10 hours a week for the next thirty days. Small changes in your habit will ultimately lead to big gains in your learning and professional success.

On that note, in 2017, make a promise to yourself. To learn something new and to challenge your professional status quo. Make Learning a habit and build the career you’ve always wanted. Oh and as for fitness, try playing a sport – 5 days a week. It is fun and just as effective (or ineffective) 🙂