Data Analytics

What is data analytics?

Investopedia defines data analytics as “the science of analyzing raw data in order to make conclusions about that information. Many of the techniques and processes of data analytics have been automated into mechanical processes and algorithms that work over raw data for human consumption.

Data analytics techniques can reveal trends and metrics that would otherwise be lost in the mass of information. This information can then be used to optimize processes to increase the overall efficiency of a business or system.”

Why is data analytics important?

Data analytics helps organizations use their data to identify new opportunities and run their businesses more efficiently.

In his May 2013 report Big Data in Big Companies, International Institute for Analytics (IIA) Director of Research Tom H. Davenport interviewed more than 50 businesses to understand how they are using data. He found that data “can bring about dramatic cost reductions, substantial improvements in the time required to perform a computing task, or new product and service offerings. Like traditional analytics, it can also support internal business decisions.”

Who uses data analytics?

Pretty much all businesses are now using some form of data analytics to reduce costs and aid in business decisions. Industries that are using data analytics include banking, energy, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, government, and technology.

How do I prepare for a career in Data Analytics?

Start learning data analytic tools now.

Power BI       

Power BI is a business analytics tool developed by Microsoft. With Power BI you are able to do interactive data visualization so that the company can utilize data to drive business decisions.

  • MIS 4397 Cloud Data Visualization introduces Power BI.  The course covers how to use Microsoft PowerBI Desktop and the Microsoft PowerBI Service to create, view, and share data insights.
  • Learning has courses in Power BI which you can access for free through the Houston Public Library with a valid MY Link card. Learn more about accessing Lynda at 


Tableau is another data analytics platform that is commonly used in the workplace. It helps companies simplify data into an easy-to-understand format.

  • The Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute provides free courses to UH students and employees throughout the year and has a course with Tableau. The course schedule can be found at
  • Learning also offers many courses on Tableau.


R is a programming language for statistical computing and graphics. It is easy to use and the free software is supported by the R Foundation for Statistical Computing. You can download the software for free at

  • MIS 4397 Open-Source Programming introduces R for big data analytics.
  • The Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute provides a free course in R to UH students and employees throughout the year. The course schedule can be found at
By Amanda Ware
Amanda Ware Career Development Specialist Amanda Ware