DETROIT – In various business environments today, the term data science seems to carry with it a particular misconception, whereby, it seems to be erroneously equated to business analytics. This notion is further being flamed by businesses and organizations making the mistake of defining these roles and using them interchangeably. This has led to data science being the more widely known concept, yet having its definition blurred. To remedy this, identifying and understanding the key difference between data science and business analytics is needed, so let’s get to it.

What is Data Science?

Simply put, data science is the use of various fields like mathematics, statistics, algorithms, and technology to study data, extract valuable information, and prepare data for analysis. Data science further encompasses the analysis of gathered data like web and cellular data, to achieve actionable data-based insights. The individuals who practice data science are called data scientists, and under a business structure, their primary aim is to use data to find solutions and predict outcomes for the business.

The Role of Data Science to a Business

When data is processed properly, it is an advantage to all businesses, as it makes a difference in the success of the business. The reason for this is that most businesses handle large volumes of data or big data that can’t be handled by the usual traditional business tools. Therefore, to sort through the big data and extract meaningful and actionable information, the business would need a data scientist. The data scientist would be tasked with gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data, and also forming theories, and looking for patterns in the data.

What is Business Analytics?

On the other side, business analytics is the use of data analysis, statistical models, and other quantitative models to solve business problems. It acts as a bridge between business and information technology, as it consists of a deep understanding of business, and a deep understanding of data and statistics, utilizing both aspects to provide data-driven recommendations for businesses. Check out the Data Analytics Training for gaining expertise on the subject.

The Role of Business Analytics to a Business

Business analysts serve as a link between business and information technology services, especially since they utilize data analysis to produce insights and make business choices. As a result of this, business analysts work at almost all levels of a business, with their duties comprising of setting project goals and objectives.

Key Differences between Data Science and Business Analytics

  • A key difference between the two is in data structure. While data science primarily makes use of unstructured data, and structured data when it needs to, business analytics needs structured data.
  • Data science is a superset of business analytics and a data scientist can easily transition into business analytics, but the reverse is not the same, as a business analyst will need to learn a lot to transition.
  • In the practice of data science, there is a need for a lot of coding and generally good computer skills, however, this is not needed in business analytics.
  • Data science mostly tackles general and unstructured questions, with no clear-cut answers, but business analytics deals with specific business-related questions that need direct answers and results.
  • Data science requires a vast availability of data to operate, whereas business analytics do not, as they can function with the business aspect alone.

If data science is something that interests you, a data science course is a good next step.


Drawing from the details above, it is clear that there are various and distinct differences between both concepts, with the key difference being in the role they both play. In data science, the focus is primarily more on the development of data, while business analytics takes a more hands-on approach by having to manage data and accrue results from it.

Bio: James Daniels is a freelance writer, business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading and knowing about the latest gadgets and tech, whilst offering views and opinions on these topics.