Insights Blog

Business Analytics vs. Data Science

November 4, 2019

Tablet screen with analytics displayedIf you open any business journal or newspaper, you are likely to see headlines that include the terms "business analytics" or "data science." Many articles seem to use these terms interchangeably, but are they really referring to the same thing? What do these terms mean, and what is the difference between the two? This post will help answer those questions.

Data Science

Data science is focused on developing problem-solving methods and tools to bring meaning out of data. At the core of data science is a statistical and programmatic approach to create and use algorithms to extract meaning out of data. The focus of each algorithm has a specific type of problem in mind that can be applied across multiple fields. For example, a common algorithm like multiple regression can be used to understand the relationship between one variable and a set of other variables. It doesn't matter to the data scientist if those variables are related to the hard sciences or to application areas like business.

Business Analytics

Business analytics is the application of data science methods and tools in an attempt to answer a business-related question. At the core of business analytics is a statistical approach to solving problems. One way to use statistics is to describe the current state of the business (i.e., descriptive analytics). For example, we may want to know the average revenue generated per salesperson over the past fiscal year. The average is a "statistic." Another way to use statistics is to predict what the future might hold for a business scenario (i.e., predictive analytics). For example, a business might want to predict the profitability of its product line next year, based on a few assumptions they have about their potential market. One other way to use statistics is to recommend a specific choice when confronted with a business-related scenario (i.e., prescriptive analytics). For example, a business may want to streamline their production flow in a manufacturing facility.

The Difference

Based on the definitions offered above, we can say that business analytics is really just the use of the tools created by data science in the business world. Where it can get confusing is that those doing business analytics can sometimes dive down into the weeds of data science to tweak the algorithms for more efficiency, and those who do data science can sometimes apply their algorithms to business-related scenarios. In the end, the two fields are heavily related but generally differ based on the level of focus.


Cedarville University offers an online master’s in business analytics that is preparing professionals in this exciting field. Our distinctly Christian M.B.A. in business analytics will prepare you to effectively and ethically use statistical tools to interpret data and forecast financial outcomes.

Posted in MBA

Innovation Labs Offer Creative Business Solutions

September 18, 2019

Woman standing in front of whiteboardWe’ve been hearing for years of the impending “death of retail.” Now, retailers are having to find creative, innovative solutions to gain customer’s attention. One way that is happening is through retail innovation labs.

Retailers use labs to discover new ideas, partnerships, and collaborations to meet consumer demands and industry challenges. Well-known brands such as Coca-Cola, Ikea, and Home Depot are using labs to come up with innovative solutions that will make them stand out within their industries.

These labs allow retailers to test out forward-thinking concepts before introducing them in stores, potentially saving wasted money on a bad idea. One form of a retail lab is an experimental store that companies create to exclusively test out new concepts. These stores make it easier to focus on a new idea than in an existing environment.

Cedarville University offers an online M.B.A. with a concentration in Innovation and Entrepreneurship that is preparing professionals to meet these demands of a changing retail landscape. With an M.B.A. in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, you’ll explore the intersection of design, innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, and sustainable business modeling to develop a leadership mindset to solve the complex opportunities in today’s demanding marketplace.

Posted in MBA

Is Christianity Incompatible With Science?

June 11, 2019

Science and religion are like oil and water — they just don’t mix. You have to choose: You can either love God or love science, right? Wrong. That's what skeptics want you to believe, but we don’t have to choose between our faith and science. Dr. Dan DeWitt, Associate Professor of Applied Theology, shares 6 reasons why Christianity is not only compatible with science, it is foundational.

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Posted in Apologetics MMin

What Is the Ontological Argument?

June 4, 2019

There are many arguments for the existence of God. Perhaps one of the most famous — and most often misunderstood — is the ontological argument. Dr. J.R. Gilhooly, Assistant Professor of Theology at Cedarville University, explains this argument in the video below.

Unlike most arguments that start with an observation about the world and work back to a Creator, the ontological argument starts with the idea that based on the meaning of the word “God,” there has to be a God. There are many ways to make this argument but the simplest way is this: If it’s possible that God exists, then God exists.

As Christians, we should know and understand that there are good, sound arguments for God’s existence and be prepared to explain them to our skeptical friends.

Watch the video below for more with Dr. Gilhooly.

Posted in Apologetics MMin