If you didn’t already know, let me be the first to break the good news to you: data on the Indian data analytics sector is very encouraging. Today, India’s BI (Business Intelligence) and Data Analytics industry is worth a princely $10 billion and is expected to skyrocket to $26.9 billion by 2017.

These numbers aren’t surprising. India’s dominance as an IT services hub, in conjunction with its small but highly skilled white collar workforce—one that is well-trained in computational technologies and quantitative research methodologies such as mathematics and statistics–has allowed it to reap the benefits of the data revolution.

And according to an article written in Times of India Rituparna Chakraborty, co-founder & senior VP of TeamLease Services is quoted saying:

“India will face a demand-supply gap of 2,00,000 analytics professionals over the next three years. Even in the US, only 40 out of 100 positions for analytics professionals can be filled.” Today, India has emerged as a key player in the global data analytics sector, particularly in the domain of B2C service provision. The speedy transition from IT to next-generation technologies like Big Data and Data Analytics can be attributed in part to Indian institutes of higher education like the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institute of Management (IIMs).

Applied data analytics is a hybrid beast

This makes it clear that not only is India a major data analytics hub–it is also evolving into a powerful educational destination for data analytics neophytes.

Analytics in the corporate sphere is a hybrid beast. By this I mean that it is an agglomeration of motley skillsets, including strategic planning and business development. In an entrepreneurial milieu, big data analytics has to serve an overarching, organisational imperative. It is typically used to answer questions such as: How best can our company grow? What systems and processes must we change/replace/reimagine to do so successfully? When/how do we change course?

To work within the parameters of such questions, the analyst must not only have a solid grasp of analytics tools; he or she must also have a keen understanding of the vertical/company in which they work, the industry at large, and wider socio-economic trends. Think of it this way: knowing how to use a scalpel doesn’t make you a surgeon—first you must understand human physiology, and its discrete pathologies and their treatment, before you can even approach a patient, scalpel at the ready.

In the case of our intrepid analyst, this would mean acquiring analytics skills in an interdisciplinary context from the get-go. When learning how to use a tool or device, it is best to do so in the interests of serving very specific ends.

The interdisciplinary data analytics eduscape

So what makes India’s analytics-friendly higher education landscape so exceptional?

India, it turns out, has an embarrass de riche of quality interdisciplinary Business Analytics courses. As home to a rapidly burgeoning array of training programs, the Indian post-graduate scene is geared towards producing analytics professionals with an understanding of business management.

Every year, Analytics Vidhya, a resource platform for aspiring and practicing data scientists and analysts, puts out two carefully curated lists: one of India’s top 10 Business Analytics programs specifically; the second list enumerates India’s best analytics training programs.

A significant number of the institutes on both lists have been accredited by globally recognised ratings agencies for their rigour and high quality.

Out of the 10 institutes that Analytics Vidhya deems to have the best Business Analytics course offerings in India, three are AMBA or Association of MBAs accredited (AMBA is a premier UK-based rating agency.) They are:

  • The Post Graduate Program in Business Analytics – Great Lakes Institute of Management
  • The Certificate Programme on Business Analytics and Intelligence – IIM Bangalore
  • The Executive Program in Business Analytics (EPBA) – MISB Bocconi
  • The Certificate Program in Big Data and Analytics (BDAP) – SP Jain School of Global Management (SP Jain’s Dubai campus is #10 on Forbes 2015 list of Best International MBAs.)

This demonstrates the importance these schools accord to the business management side of applied analytics. According to AMBA:

“It used to be that Indian students who wanted MBAs had to go abroad — often to countries like the US and the UK — to find decent business education through accredited business schools. But in the past few years, a number of business schools in India have been garnering international attention, as well as accreditation from AMBA, EQUIS, or AACSB.”

Number three program on the list—the EPBA programme–is a collaborative effort between Italian business school SDA Bocconi, (#7 on Forbes list of The Best International MBAs: One-Year Programs) and Jigsaw Academy, a leading Indian institute that offers courses in Big Data and Analytics, designed and taught by industry professionals. .

Another school (not on Analytics Vidhya’s list) is the Indian School of Management (ISB) in Hyderabad, which has both Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and AMBA accreditation. (Only 5% of management institutions globally have earned AACSBs.) ISB offers courses in Business, Forecasting, and Web Analytics in addition to more traditional MBA fare.

The Indian analytics services sector has become a pivotal component of the global data analytics ecosystem. A key driver behind its ascendance has been its capacity to institute world-class training programs and facilities, allowing it to provide the Data Analytics market (at home and abroad) a skilled and seasoned workforce. And luckily there is no shortage of educational resources, which makes India one of just a handful of global destinations for students looking to learn applied data analytics.

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