I got a comment posted on my blog from Phil and it seemed to me that the question – what can and should someone who is not a math specialist do to make themselves more able to take advantage of analytics and an analytical approach to decisioning in general – is a good one. To that end, here are some thoughts:
- What background in math would you regard as a minimum for someone who wants to become an analyst?
- Most MBA programs have a class in data mining, mathematical optimization (linear programming etc.), and decision analysis (decision making with uncertainty or risk).
- An MBA student that took these three classes would have a good foundation for becoming an analyst.
- Beyond this you could add on as many statistics and econometrics classes as possible or consider a degree in industrial engineering, operations research, or statistics if you want something more.
- What kind of post-graduate study
- This is a more difficult question. Many universities are offering a data mining class these days and they would be a place to start.
- My sense is that most of the post-graduate stuff is for people who already have a deep math background
- If someone does not have the math skills to become an analyst, what kinds of classes help them become a better user of analytics
- Focus on a few basic statistics classes. Not much beyond algebra is required.