It is not hard to see why data analytics skills are so in demand. Want to earn a competitive salary with plentiful opportunities for promotion? Become a data analyst. Eager to make a difference in medicine, finance, climate change and education? Become a data scientist. Keen to be the hero in a global enterprise or take the lead in a dynamic start up—you get the drift!
Not convinced? How about some data. The global big data and business analytics market was valued at $198.08 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $684.12 billion by 2030. Meanwhile, The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the employment of operations and research analysts (including data analysts) is expected to grow 23% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations..
Higher salaries, greater job satisfaction for data analysts
The rules of supply and demand mean that data literate employees command a higher salary or have greater opportunities for promotion. According to Glassdoor, the average salary range for a data analyst in Europe is between $72,000 and $113,000.
Data analysis also a satisfying career. It demands both creativity and critical thinking skills to solve a problem that’s holding back an organization. It also requires patience and the ability to think outside of the box. Some data analysts liken problem solving to untying a knot. Rather than pull hard and make the situation worse, you have to tug gently over a period of time to loosen the cord.
We’re also seeing a difference in the way that employers perceive the role. As well as dedicated data teams, data specialists now have a role in multiple business functions including finance, HR, operations, and marketing. Many of these roles are taken by existing employees who learn the data skills necessary to identify hiring trends, manage the supply chain or determine the return on investment for an Instagram campaign, for example.
That said, there are plenty of opportunities to branch out into cutting-edge roles in artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science. All these steps offer an opportunity to make a difference by helping an organization save money, increase revenue, and improve customer satisfaction.
An effortless way into a career in data analytics
The entry points into a career in data analytics have also grown in recent years. Gone are the days when you needed a specialist statistics or maths degree to start out—today’s data analysts come from a variety of academic backgrounds including the humanities. But many also achieve success without tertiary education. Coding boot camps and online courses are equally valid routes to a data analytics career. The point is that data analytics is for everyone.
These courses include the Alteryx SparkED program which is aimed at data analytics learners of all abilities. If maths is your thing, you can leap right in with module aimed at your experience level. If you want a grounding in the basics, then start with sessions that explain the fundamentals of computing and statistics.
SparkED also focuses on the creative as well as the scientific aspects of data analytics. You are not just learning how to use data analytics tools; you also get coaching on how to become a creative problem solver. It makes the skills accessible to people who might not otherwise consider a career in data analytics.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, data analytics can be fun. There’s great joy to be had by solving problems by yourself or with your colleagues. And there’s no better feeling than watching faces light up as you share your conclusions with a wider audience. Suddenly, you can do amazing things that make other people sit up and take notice. Fancy a role as the new business superhero? Data analytics is a wonderful place to start.
In the next article, we’ll look at the importance of soft skills for a career in data analytics.