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Setting your sights on an analytic future

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.

Comments anyone?

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