My daughter is in her final year BSc maths. What are the good courses and universities in India and abroad. Also what is the potential of a course in data analytics?

Data analytics (DA) is the process of examining raw data with the aid of specialised software to reach meaningful conclusions required for decision making. Data analysis started its journey since informatics took center stage and continues to gain importance with the changing digital scenario.

To take informed decisions managers need to have data, which is analysed in a meaningful manner. DA can be used to optimise business decisions, improve performance and reduce cost by identifying more efficient ways of conducting business. It is also used to analyse customer trends and satisfaction and respond accordingly.

Manufacturing companies can use DA to identify bottle-necks in production while content companies use DA to keep you clicking and watching, and advertising companies use DA to ensure that you get to only view advertisements which are generic to your needs. Similarly travel, hospitality, healthcare and retail industries analyse copious amount of raw data to identify trends and offer solutions to improve profits.

DA can be segregated into four types — descriptive, diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive with each having its unique definition and role.

Data analytics is extensively used in the financial world including the popular Six Sigma program. If you are not measuring something, be it your weight or deliveries or number of defects it is not possible to optimise it.

A post-graduate degree in data analytics is a natural choice for students with a STEM inclination. Contrary to popular belief, a degree in DA is not just about data mining. It focuses on data operations and advanced analytics apart from system architecture. The course provides in-depth knowledge of transforming raw unstructured data into a usable asset by applying programming skills and tools.

These days with the advent of digital world, data analytics have become popular with reporting the growth rate to have exceeded 4,000 per cent. The demand for professionals possessing a deep understanding of advanced mathematics, data engineering and domain expertise has never been higher.

One closely related and equally important course is business analytics. Here the focus would be on transforming data into specific competitive insights for business advantage. This course equips you with technical as well as business skills and such people are usually the link between the IT section and the rest of the company.

In India, you could pursue a PG diploma in Business Analytics at IIT Khargpur. Tata Consultancy has collaborated with some institutes (St. Xavier’s, St. Josephs College, and University of Rajasthan), which offer a Master’s degree in Big Data. These may worth exploring. Another promising course is the MBA (Data Science and Data Analytics) at Symbiosis Center for Information Technology.

In Dubai there is a course of Big Data and Visual Analytics at SP Jain School of Global Management. RIT in Dubai also offers a post graduate qualification in this field.

On the other side of Atlantic, there is Carnegie Mellon University, which offers MS in Computational Data Science. In UK, London School of Economy, University of Leeds and University of Warwick offer courses of Data Science and Analytics.

Apart from these, there are comprehensive online courses from premium campuses.

Sanjeev Verma is an international education counsellor. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer 
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