Professions in Data science and analytics are among the fastest-growing occupations in the U.S., according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS estimates a 36% growth rate from 2021 to 2031, one of the fastest among all jobs, resulting in about 13,500 job openings annually. Data professionals are in high demand across industries and business functions, from audience analysis for marketing departments to supply chain analytics for logistics companies.

While technical skills are undoubtedly necessary for advanced data analytics roles, the array of business knowledge and soft leadership skills students develop in an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Concentration in Data Analytics program are equally indispensable to career versatility and success.

Business schools develop the abilities to think critically, structure thinking to foster team collaboration and solve problems using proven methodologies. These skills enable data professionals to work in unison with leaders and specialists in every department of their organizations and to lead teams of their own. Here, we closely examine a few of the most critical business skills for a successful career in data analytics.


A data scientist must be able to communicate technical concepts to both non-technical and technical audiences. It does not matter how accurate your model is if you cannot convince others to trust it. The University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s online MBA with a Concentration in Data Analytics program prepares you to explain data findings and terminologies in ways that cross-departmental leaders can understand. The program also emphasizes asking the right questions to the right personnel at the right times, essential to understanding how to use data and nurturing organizational data transparency.


This non-technical skill helps you identify trends and patterns to derive meaningful insights and make informed business decisions based on data. The first step is to solve the data cleansing problem and then move on to higher processes. Informed data analytics professionals recognize the characteristics of a problem and ask the right questions to solve it. They can reach effective solutions by judging which approximations are reasonable, understanding organizational constructions and contacting the right people.


How do you stand out as a potential manager or executive from other data analytics professionals? Experience with statistical models and a thorough knowledge of hypothesis testing, probability and inferential statistics are vital to reaching advanced leadership roles. Using statistics, you can help stakeholders design and evaluate experiments and make measured decisions with optimum probabilities for successful outcomes. Data leaders must be familiar with the statistical methods taught throughout this program, such as maximum likelihood, distributions, estimators, logistic regression, clustering and linear regression.

The Foundations in Statistics and Economics course provides training in this area, focusing on descriptive statistics, probability and expectations, theoretical distributions, sampling distributions, estimations and hypothesis testing.


Skilled data analysts come away from projects with many findings and insights. However, the ability to translate and simplify results for the benefit of company decision-makers is just as vital to long-term career success. Data visualization tools, including dashboards with charts and graphs, help to succinctly relate key insights in a structured and relevant way that resonates with non-technical leaders. Working with cross-departmental executives requires choosing appropriate data visualizations to represent findings and leaving out extraneous metrics so they will be receptive to recommendations.

Strategic Thinking

In data analytics, it is essential to focus on the data itself and understand how it fits into the broader context of the business. This program provides students with a solid understanding of business concepts and practices, enabling graduates to understand the crucial business drivers that impact their data. By understanding the business context, data analysts can identify key business goals and develop data-driven strategies to achieve them.

The Advanced Strategic Management course offered in UW-Parkside’s online MBA with a Concentration in Data Analytics program provides training in strategic management concepts, including business-level and corporate-level strategy formulation, implementation and control.

Develop a Full Complement of Analytics and Leadership Skills

According to the 2022 GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey, 86% of corporate recruiters across industries planned to hire business school graduates with data analytics expertise, up from 73% in 2021, and 7 in 10 agree that their organization’s leaders tend to have a graduate business education. The UW-Parkside online MBA with a Concentration in Data Analytics program develops the skill sets that correlate with corporate recruiters’ confidence in program graduates.

In the words of one recruiter, “Companies need colleagues who can learn and adapt quickly, (and) MBA students have had to do that in their studies and learn both the hard and soft skills we need to be successful.”

Graduates of UW-Parkside’s online MBA with a Concentration in Data Analytics program will develop the skills to become flexible professionals with data analytics expertise.

Learn more about the University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s online MBA with a Concentration in Data Analytics program.