A data analyst is an individual who brings sharp analytical skills to the table to help businesses make important decisions based on big data. If you are considering embarking on a data analytics career path, this guide will provide you with key information to help you decide if it’s a good fit for you.
What does the Job Involve?
While each data analyst position has its unique attributes, there are commonalities between them. For example, the focus is on gathering, cleaning, and analyzing data to discover trends and insights for businesses to utilize moving forward.
Along with interpreting the findings, you will also need to communicate them clearly to executives within an action plan that meets the organization’s goals. For example, you might spot an opportunity for improvement and provide the solution in a business meeting.
Depending on the employer, you may also be asked to design relationship databases and maintain them for one or more business departments. Given the typical job description of a data analyst, clearly, you must have good analytical and communication skills to do well in this field.
What Cleaning Data Means
One part of your job will be cleaning data, which is a term you might not have heard of before. After gathering information, you must clean it before the interpretation stage.
The point here is to make it the data workable before modeling it. Among the activities that cleaning involves are removing errors and converting numbers into consistent formats. For example, if you have centimeter and inch measurements, you must convert them all into either centimeter or inch before beginning the analysis.
What are the Qualifications?
Being successful in your analytics career path involves having the right qualifications when applying for jobs. By going back to school, you can gain the skills and knowledge base necessary to advance as a data analyst in a short time.
An online business analytics master’s program is a great example. This program teaches students how to provide an overall picture of the collected data, as well as how to make predictions based on the data. You will also learn how to display and communicate the results to management and others.
While an employer who wants you on their team will likely offer on-the-job training, the skills necessary to be a great data analyst go beyond that. A master’s degree can provide you with the know-how to take on work more confidently and advance to higher positions. Many employers also require a master’s degree or other post-graduate level education before hiring a data analyst.
What about the Future?
Great question! The job outlook for data analysts is promising. According to the 2020 Future of Jobs Survey by the World Economic Forum (WEF), data analysts are among the top positions in growing demand.
Knowing that your skills will be in high demand after graduation will give you motivation during the school years. You will also take comfort in knowing that you will receive a good return on the investment you made by going to university.
In the UK, the WEF survey shows that organizations rated data analysts as the most in-demand role in an organization. The surveyed UK companies also identified analytical thinking and innovation skills as being the focus most often in their reskilling or upskilling programs.
Having a stable future is excellent news for anyone wanting to start on the analytics career path. Realizing you will have job opportunities and a steady income ahead of you means a lot; there is a sense of security in knowing that information.
What Industry will You Work in as a Data Analyst?
A great part of data analysis is that organizations of all sizes in various industries can benefit from it. Thus, you have many different work environments available to you, depending on personal preferences.
For example, you can work as a data analyst in the UK financial industry. The data you analyze can help companies improve their investment strategies, boost profits, and more.
Or you might enter the insurance sector where you determine the risks of policyholders instead. Other data analyst career opportunities are available in sales, IT technology, media, and marketing.
The future for a data analyst is bright. Projections show it is in-demand. As big data technology continues to become available, your ability to use it and interpret the results will make you extremely valuable to employers. To build your skills to succeed in a data analysis career, consider enrolling in an online business analytics master’s program.