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The volume of data created and consumed globally is growing exponentially and businesses depend on business analytics professionals to make data-driven decisions. As the demand for business analysts increases online degrees can prepare graduates to meet this growing demand in industries across the next page economy.

In addition to improving the efficiency of existing operations, a company can use its data to identify new growth opportunities. For example by determining the areas where a particular population spends their money the most often, a company can develop services or products to be appealing to these areas and improve the relationship between the brand and consumer. Business analysts gather data on consumer habits and use this information to improve marketing strategies.

Predicting the performance changes over time, whether seasonal or annual, at a greater scale is a crucial aspect of business analytics. With the proper data companies can prepare for these changes and anticipate the need for additional resources, like new marketing campaigns or increased staff during peak seasons. Business analysts can also forecast how much inventory a company will need to order from suppliers, which allows to minimize waste in warehouses and maximize sales.

Business analytics professionals utilize various software tools for analysis and reporting. Many of these tools are free to use, including popular programs like Microsoft Excel, which is used by nearly all BAs to track requirements management and storage of data, as well as data manipulation. Other tools that are popular include Balsamiq and Axure for wireframes, Visio, Tableau, PowerBI, Bokeh and LucidCharts to display data.