BusinessBuzz is a business blog that features content written by faculty, staff and students from Grand Canyon University’s Colangelo College of Business. In addition to profiles about events, students and faculty on campus, you’ll also find great resources for online students or anyone interested in attending business school. Learn about the modern business landscape, and how business today continues to grow and evolve to meet the needs of organizations and consumers in the 21st century. Check in every week for the latest news from the business community and around GCU.
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The Applied Business Analytics Degree vs. The Big Data Analytics Degree


By Jessica Meyer
Marketing Major, Colangelo College of Business

When it comes to choosing a bachelor’s degree in analytics, you may find yourself asking: What is the difference between an applied business analytics degree and a big data analytics degree? Which degree program is right for me? Below, we compare the two programs to help you explore the fields and decide which area may be right for you.

Business Analytics

First, we need to answer the question, “What is business analytics?” In short, business analytics is the process of gathering and organizing data to evaluate the current state of a business. This information provides descriptive insight, predictive insight and prescriptive insight, which gives managers a greater insight into what happened, what might happen and what should happen within their business. This allows managers to more accurately assess their business and make smart decisions for their future.

Grand Canyon University offers a Bachelor of Science in Applied Business Analytics degree that is designed for students who have a business mindset and an interest in data analytics and information technology. In this transfer-friendly program, students participate in class discussions and lectures to examine the fundamentals of database structures, data mining and analytics modeling. The curriculum challenges students to frequently use their problem-solving and critical thinking skills, as they are exposed to technological tools, engaged with databases and taught foundational analytics concepts.

Upon completion of the program, students will have the ability to successfully interpret and communicate analytics-related information to multiple stakeholders to support effective decision-making within data-driven businesses. Graduates will be prepared for a career as a business analyst, business intelligence analyst, data analyst and more!

Computer Science Big Data Analytics

Big data analytics is the science of identifying patterns and drawing conclusions through collecting and analyzing large sets of data. It is very similar to business analytics, as both aim to convert raw information into useful and meaningful material. However, unlike business analysts, big data analysts rarely use their findings to predict the future of their organization; instead, they use their data to compare their organization with surrounding competitors.

Grand Canyon University offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with an Emphasis in Big Data Analytics degree which focuses on exploring the problems and trends that impact heavy volume data management. Students in this program learn how to perform a variety of functions in information systems, such as analyzing data, improving processes within an organization and extracting data sets by creating new applications. In addition, through class discussions and lectures, students study rigorous topics like large scale data processing and data mining and interpretation.

Upon graduation, students are prepared to work in the dynamic environment of software development and big data analysis. Graduates may pursue a fulfilling career as a computer systems analyst, network specialist, database manager, programmer or software engineer.

Want to learn more about the Colangelo College of Business? Visit our website or contact us today to find out which GCU program would be the right fit for you!

About Jessica Meyer
Jessica Meyer headshot
Marketing Major, Digital Marketing Assistant

Jessica Meyer is a senior at Grand Canyon University. She was raised in Tucson, AZ, but recently moved to Phoenix to attend traditional classes at GCU. Jessica is majoring in marketing in the Colangelo College of Business. It is her first and last year studying at the main campus, and she wishes her time at GCU could last longer! She loves GCU so much, that she hopes to continue to work for GCU’s marketing department after graduation. When she’s not studying or working on campus, she likes to practice and perform with her dance team and spend time with her friends and family.

Read more about Jessica