While Industrial engineers
have been around for longer, business analytics has become the new talk of the town recently. No single function is attributed to these roles, and there is a general confusion between the two. To explore this difference, we will not only discuss their jobs here but also the subjects they study to become one.
Who are Industrial Engineers & What do they do?
Industrial Engineers are people with a background in mathematics & engineering who apply their knowledge to complex system integrations and operations. In one sentence, their job is to optimize system processes. From statistical analysis to interpersonal communication, quality control, to computer simulation, there are several different roles they need to play in their job. They streamline production processes by managing their components (employees, machines, materials, partners, & vendors).
What do Industrial Engineers Study?
In their bachelor’s degree, Industrial Engineers learn the following subjects –
- Engineering Physics
- Probability & Statistics
- Engineering Orientation
- Occupational Safety Ergonomics
- Methods Engineering & Work Management
- Engineering Economy
- Deterministic Operations Research
- Operations Planning & Control
- Manufacturing Systems
- Programming & Database Applications
- Stochastic Operations Research
- Statistical Quality & Design Control
A Master’s in Industrial Engineering generally covers the following areas –
- Warehousing Systems Management
- Manufacturing Systems
- Supply Chain & Transportation
- Facility Planning & Design
- Quality Control & Improvement
The study area is not limited to these as universities offer various other electives.
Who are Business Analysts & What do they do?
Business Analysts are people with a background in statistics who are comfortable with collecting & processing data
, putting it into the business context, and drawing actionable information from that. They identify trends, patterns, problems & causes, using these insights to drive business decisions. What they do includes –
- Data Collection
- Data Mining
- Descriptive Analytics
- Predictive Analytics
- Visualization & Reporting
- Taking Business Decisions (Optional)
What do Business Analysts Study?
In Undergraduate programs, Business analytics is generally available as a second major. Here’s what the Business Analytics undergraduate program teaches its students –
- Business Econometrics
- Business Analytics and Modelling
- Predictive Analytics & Business Strategy
- Business Data Programming
There are several other electives for students to choose from during such courses. A Masters’ in Business Analytics teaches its students the following –
- Business Analytics (Marketing, Finance, And Operations)
- Analyzing Data
- Web Data Analytics
- Collecting & Analyzing Large Data
- Big Data
- Supply Chain Analytics
- Fraud Analytics
- Financial Analytics
- Business Prediction
- Customer Analytics
- Price Analytics
- Market Research
- Business Intelligence
- Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence
- Statistical NLP
- Strategy & Decision Making
- Web Mining
- Recommendation Systems
- BA Project Management
Industrial Engineers and Business Analysts are two completely different breeds. Even though there might be an overlap in a few business operations that they might do, there is a lot more that doesn’t. So, it becomes crucial that you know what is what before making a career choice.