6 Tips for Business Students to Sharpen Analytical Skills

Harvard University introduced the case study method in the 1870s. Since then, business students from all across the globe have benefited from this technique to learn about real-life business scenarios and the implementation of management principles.

Although the case study method is still valid today, the rise of big data and analytics has considerably impacted business studies. It has become compulsory for business students to learn about statistics, analytics, and storytelling through data. Universities are now using case studies to learn about data analysis while aiming to develop managerial competencies.

Tips to Sharpen Analytical Skills

Most business schools have introduced analytics courses in business programs on both bachelor’s and master’s levels. However, similar to how case studies help polish management concepts learned in class, analytical skills need polishing through different techniques. 

Students must learn and practice various analytical tools and programming techniques to develop analytical skills. Polishing these skills means perfecting them and choosing the right tool or combination of specific tools for any given scenario. 

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Here are some tips that can help business students to sharpen their analytical skills: 

  • Go for a Degree

You might be held back by the thought of financing a master’s degree, but online degrees are comparatively affordable. Besides, by pursuing a higher degree like an MBA, you’ll become well-versed in applying your business knowledge in your professional sphere. So, enroll in an MBA in business analytics and reap the benefits in your career. Universities also use case studies to help you learn how to implement your analytical skills. 

Another benefit of a university degree is networking with individuals and professionals working towards or in the same field. Networking helps you get an edge over individuals who only develop and polish their skills through online courses and tutorials. 

  • Perfect the Basics 

Two basics are essential to learning analytical skills – coding and statistics. If you have never coded, you will face a huge hurdle when learning SQL and Python. Learn and polish these basics first to analyze data and get visuals you cannot get from Power BI and other automated tools.

Secondly, if you need to improve in statistics, you must work extra hard to grasp the concepts. It is essential to refresh the concepts, take tutorials, and study courses to understand basic statistical concepts before you learn about the other tools. 

  • Partner-up to Skill-up 

If you partner with someone who also wants to polish their analytical skills, you can help each other identify and tackle coding, analysis, and visualization issues. The best way to access such a network is to pursue a degree related to analytics.

However, you can always find people on the internet willing to help you. Use public datasets on Kaggle to run your analysis. People also post datasets and their analyses on Kaggle. You could do your analysis and then compare it with the online one. Through the comment option, you can share your analysis with them. They might check your comment and help you identify issues or show you a direction to analyze the dataset you didn’t think of before. 

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  • Go for an Internship

Nothing can improve your skills and capabilities more effectively than practical experience. If you want to polish your skills, go for an internship. However, you could go for a part-time role if you are employed. It’s a long and tough journey, but it will yield fruitful rewards.

If you learn the basics through a degree or paid courses, you can also land an entry-level position in a company. Even if the pay is low initially, the learning opportunities will be worthwhile, so go for it. 

  • Practice is Key

Practice is the key to perfecting your skills. You can participate in challenges on top coding platforms to polish your programming skills. You can also participate in coding-based events in colleges and universities. Or explore case studies that require data analysis. If you have a basic knowledge of analytical tools, you can also participate in case-study-based competitions at universities. 

If you aren’t enrolled in a university yet, you could always seek help from online platforms. With the rise of data analytics in many jobs, you will find like-minded individuals who participate in online forums to share and seek knowledge.

YouTube is also a treasure chest that millions of people are benefitting from. Knowledgeable YouTubers solve many common bugs and mistakes in programming and analytics. 

  • Practice General Analytical Skills 

While learning about business analytics tools is important, so is developing general analytical skills. You can do so by playing mind games. Riddles and logic puzzles can also help sharpen your analytical thinking abilities. Even games played for a few minutes daily can help you develop out-of-the-box solutions. These games are like exercises for the brain that can help you think clearly when faced with a data-based problem. 

You can also play simulation games online to improve your critical thinking and analytical abilities. What’s convincing is that simulation games have been found to improve computational problem-solving and the intrinsic motivation to learn. As a business student, you’ll benefit from trying out such games since employers these days conduct simulation games as part of their recruitment process. 


Business students know that analytical skills are necessary to set them apart from others. These skills can help them land jobs that are high-paying and rewarding. However, they can only do this if they understand the importance of analytical skills and stay committed to learning the tools and techniques to attain the skill.

The best option to learn analytical skills is to pursue relevant degrees like a master’s in analytics, including basic to advanced-level courses. Plus, you could make an effort yourself or seek an opportunity to get hands-on experience with data handling and analysis. However, in both cases, practice is the key.

So, if you’re a business student hoping to learn analytics to help you stand out, following these tips will prove worthwhile. Eventually, once inside the corporate world, you’ll realize how crucial it is to sharpen your analytical skills.