Alastair Majury on the Difference Between a Data Scientist and a Business Analyst
As I’ve mentioned before in previous blogs, as well as on this website, I am both a data scientist and a business analyst. While many view these two positions as being synonymous, they are in fact different. Admittedly, they are both very similar to one another, and they do feature similar functions and objectives; however, there are subtle differences that make the positions different enough to be considered separate. In order to dispel any confusion around the subject, I will be providing a brief overview of both positions, and how they differ and relate.
In order to simplify it as much as possible, business analysis is the process of taking an incredibly detailed look at a business or company, either non-profit or otherwise, identifying its various problems or areas of weakness, and devising insightful solutions to said problems. These solutions come in various forms; software development, process improvement, and organisational skills are all potential areas of interest. Most business analysis deals with IT.
Data science, in its simplest form, relates to the process or systems of gathering vast amounts of data and developing insights and gaining knowledge from it.
Where do these Two Differ?
While business analysts and data scientists are both masters of taking large amounts of data and utilising it to make informed decisions, they both go about it in different ways. Business analysts tend to sift through large amounts of data, and gather a deep understanding of a business’ past, present and future performance; data scientists, on the other hand, sift through large amounts of data and develop a visual means to display that information more clearly. They also work on devising algorithms in order to support business decision-making. In short, data scientists work heavily with analysing and interpreting data and creating a foundation on which business problems can be solved and business analysts take that a step further by presenting methods of how the data can be used to actually solve the problem. It’s a very fine line between the two positions, but there is a difference.
Alastair Majury is a highly experienced and respected Senior Business Analyst / Data Scientist with a proven track record of success planning, developing, implementing and delivering migrations, organisational change, regulatory, legislative, and process improvements, when providing my Senior Business Analyst / Data Scientist services for global financial organisations, covering the Challenger Bank, Retail Banking, Investment Banking, Wealth Management, and Life & Pensions sectors.
Alastair Majury also resides locally in Dunblane, and is an IT Consultant working across the country. Alastair is also a volunteer officer at the local Boys’ Brigade company, a charity which focuses on enriching the lives of children and young people, and building a stronger community.