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Survival of the savviest

Companies are increasingly dependent on insights as a competitive advantage. In an era where data is the new oil, advanced knowledge in business analytics is recruiters’ holy grail.

Lena Houge Holter

Stilling: Head of Employer Branding

Arbeidsgiver: Gjensidige

MSc in Business Analytics

The world is awash with data. Chief economist at Google, Hal Varian, reported in 2018 that we are generating the same amount of data every two days as was generated between the beginning of civilization and 2003. This has created a dire need for people who can make sense of it all.

“Our Business Analysts and Data Scientists contribute by transforming large amounts of data into insight which provides great business value,” explains Lena Houge Holter, Head of Employer Branding at Gjensidige. Her job is to attract and retain critical competence the company needs now and in the future. This includes acquiring business analytics talents.

Endless opportunities

The revolution of big data affects all industries, but also a great deal of different functions. In a recent survey by McKinsey, 50 % of the respondents said that analytics and big data have fundamentally changed the practice of sales and marketing. Other areas are not far behind.

“As a business analyst you have many opportunities at Gjensidige where you can work with a wide range of tasks. For instance you can develop statistical models, analyze customer behavior, trends and profitability, or build solutions for analytical monitoring and control,” Lena explains.

In order to extract the full potential and power of data, analysts need to develop a broad skillset. Not only do you need to understand the methodology and tools, you also need to understand why you do it, and be able to communicate it. Many tasks are highly complex and require training at the master level.

A means for decision-making

“With a master degree in business analytics you will work with transforming data into insight through statistical- and programming tools like Python, R, SAS and SQL.”

More importantly, business analysts need to be able to see the whole picture to create value for companies and end users. That means they need both comprehensive knowledge on the technical side, and strong business acumen. Oftentimes, this much sought after competence is a means to transform data already available to the company, into a basis for decision-making at the top management level.

“Candidates that we recruit with advanced knowledge within the field also get the opportunity to work with complex business issues and data sources. The analysis you conduct and the insight you create will be directly used in customer activities and decision making processes.”


We always try to interview former students in working life, but certain programmes are so new they have yet to produce their first graduates. In this case, you instead get an industry expert's perspective on the future of the field and current job opportunities.