Business Analytics vs Data Science

posted at Sept. 27, 2022, 1:02 p.m.

Which is the best choice for a master’s degree between data science and business analytics? The best choice would depend on your academic background and career goals. If you are concerned about job opportunities, you will be pleased to know that both Data Science and Business Analytics have great scope across the board today. Let me explain to you what the key difference between these degrees is so you can make an informed choice.

If you aren’t one for reading longer answers, I’ll summarize this in a couple of lines- Business Analytics deals with using existing libraries and algorithms to draw insights from existing structured data that can help decision-makers. Data Science deals with the core statistical models that go into building these algorithms. Hence, BA is more focused on getting you industry ready whereas DS has a strong technical bent to it (still prepares you well for a corporate career apart from research options).

Here is the key fact you need to keep in mind about Data Science degrees though - You need to have a strong math background in your undergrad education or strong research experience to make it to top Data Science programs.

You need to have an education in concepts of advanced statistics and probability which is a little lacking in most engineering curricula in India. Often, students with math undergrad degrees are more suited to these programs. Another way to look at it is this - Data Scientists can play the role of business analysts but the opposite won’t be possible.

If your academic background isn’t on point or you haven’t done the research, you might be better off applying to analytics programs. You’ll have a chance of making it to better universities in this case without compromising on your career path.

In America, data science has a different meaning when compared to our interpretation. US DS programs focus more on the core statistical/mathematical principles behind the algorithms we use for practical applications. Hence, there is far deeper research expertise required for the degrees. In a lot of cases, you will find that analytics master's degrees will suit your interests better. Do your research on the curriculum and don't be caught up with titles.

Hence, if your math background in your UG isn’t as strong, if you don’t have too much research experience, and if you are looking for degrees that take you into business intelligence roles instead of academia, you might be better off going for a Business Analytics or Data Analytics degree. You will do very well in your career!

However, if your academic background and interest lie in more core coding and academia, then Data Science should be your pick as an analytics degree may not satiate your interest.

Do reach out to Gradvine if you have any further queries! We’ve guided applicants to the best DS and BA programs at Columbia, NYU, UT Austin, Minnesota Twin Cities, and Purdue among scores of others. Reach out to our mentors from the finest global universities today!

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Still unconvinced? You can always reach out to us at ( for any further questions. Remember to choose your sources of information wisely. At Gradvine, you can speak to master's students and graduates from the finest global universities to help you with your application queries.