There are many career options these days, and it can be difficult to decide which one is the best fit for you. One option that may be worth considering is a data analyst. A data analyst is responsible for taking large amounts of data and organizing it in a way that makes it easy to understand. They then use this data to make business decisions. This role is becoming increasingly important as more and more businesses rely on data to make informed decisions. So, is data analyst a good career? Let’s take a closer look.
1. What Is a Data Analyst?
A data analyst is a professional who helps a company understand and use the data it collects. They work with numbers and statistics to find trends and patterns and then recommend ways to improve the business based on what they learn. Data analysts are essential in today’s world, as almost every business relies on data to some extent in order to make informed decisions.
Data analysts can help a business build a detailed profile of its customers to better understand what they want and how best to sell them. They also help a business figure out the most effective methods of advertising, which can help increase sales or lead generation.
Data analysts work in many different industries, from marketing and healthcare to retail and manufacturing. Their daily responsibilities may vary depending on what industry they are part of.
2. What Does a Data Analyst Do?
A data analyst begins by learning as much as they can about the company and its operations. This often includes becoming familiar with their products, how they are made, and the process for getting them to market. Additionally, it is important for the data analyst to understand how the is structured, the overall goals of the company, and what kind of business model that they are using.
A data analyst will then begin examining different areas of their operations, depending on what they are trying to discover. For example, if a restaurant wanted to increase sales, a data analyst might look at the relationship between the time of day, how many customers they have, and what people are ordering. He or she would then use this data to create a graph that showed when they had the highest number of patrons and then recommends increasing their operating hours at that time. On the other hand, if a company wanted to improve their advertising methods, they might look at how the number of people using their product changes over time and then recommend creating new ads targeted towards the times when most customers are buying their products.
They will present their findings in several ways so that it is easy for business owners to understand. This can include making graphs, building charts, or even creating websites that showcase their work. The data analyst will then make several specific recommendations that the business owner can follow. While all of this sounds easy enough, it can be very time-consuming and difficult to do correctly.
3. What Skills Are Necessary for a Data Analyst?
Data analysts are skilled at math, statistics, and in most cases, computer programming. Most of the work in contemporary data analysis is done with software that performs what is called “data mining .” This means that the analyst will write a program to sift through the raw data to help them discern which factors are important.
Data analysts must also be able to interpret their results, so excellent knowledge of statistics and mathematics is important, as is the ability to clearly communicate what they have discovered. The field has only come into existence recently, so many professionals who excel at data analysis do not have formal college degrees in business or technology.
4. What Type of Salary Can a Data Analyst Expect?
Data analysts can expect salaries that will vary depending on the company and industry. According to Glassdoor, a data analyst for a big corporation will have an average salary of $68,438 per year. For someone working in the non-profit sector, the average annual salary is just under $51,000. For small or medium-sized companies, an entry-level data analyst should expect to earn between $42,000 and $50,000 a year. Data analysts with more expertise and experience can make between $75,000 and $100,000 per year.
5. What Is the Job Outlook for Data Analysts?
According to projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the career outlook for data analysts is very good. In fact, by 2020, there will be 211,500 jobs available in this field.
Data analyst is one of the most promising professions of the current labor market. People with such skills will always be in demand, as long as they have a good knowledge of technologies that are relevant at this time. It is enough to keep up with the times and learn new developments to receive a good income for life. A data analyst can work in any field, from medicine to engineering, or even art, as long as they have a desire to study statistics and analysis of accumulated data.
There are many areas where you can apply your skills as a Data Analyst. Here are some examples:
Media Companies: Data analysts are in extremely high demand at all media companies (TV, radio, print). All these kinds of companies need people who can make sense of their data and figure out who is listening/watching/reading and what they like. They will then use the data to target the right advertisers.
Health: The medical field is using more and more data to help them make decisions on how to treat patients. A data analyst can work with medical researchers to sift through the data and find patterns that could be used to develop new treatments.
Finance: Banks and other financial institutions need people who can sift through their mountains of transactional data and identify trends and opportunities.
Insurance: Many insurance companies are starting to use data analysis to find patterns in accidents and claims that can then be used to identify risky drivers, dangerous intersections, or even entire towns where the risk of an accident is greater. Analytics helps them set premiums accordingly.
Retail: Data analysts help retailers figure out what people want from their website so they can develop the right items, set the best prices, and decide how to deliver them.
Other industries where data analysts are needed include transportation, utilities, entertainment, telecommunications, management consulting, education. The list goes on and on. Data analysis is everywhere!
6. What Certifications Are Available for Data Analysts?
There are several certifications that a person can obtain in order to improve their chances of landing a job at a company. Earning the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) credential is one way to make yourself stand out from other job candidates. The International Society of Certified Technology Pros (ISC2) also offers a certification that is geared toward network security, which may be very useful in the field of data analysis. Since data analysts also do quite a bit of programming, another certification to consider is the PMI-SP, which tests one’s knowledge in this area.
Finally, if you are interested in becoming a Certified Analytics Professional (CAP), check out the website of the Analytics Institute. This is an organization that offers training and certifications in many different areas related to data analysis.
Finally, remember that becoming certified in your field doesn’t mean you should stop learning. It is important that you continue to learn all the new developments and practices of your chosen industry if you want to stay on top of things. When it comes to data analysis, there is always something new to learn!
7. Is It Hard to Become a Data Analyst?
It’s never easy to start a new career, but it can be especially challenging if you want to become a data analyst. It requires education and good skills in math and statistics as well as computer programming. But there are some steps you can take that will help make the process easier. If you don’t have the time or resources to get such formal training, then try some of these other ways:
1) Learn about Excel – This is one of the most popular programs for analyzing data and has many functions that may interest you. You might find out that this program is more than enough for your needs and save yourself from years of school work and tuition fees;
2) Find someone who knows how to use Excel and learn from them;
3) Check out free online courses, tutorials, and e-books on data analysis – They can be a valuable source of information, especially if you find experienced instructors who know what they are talking about. Be careful with the information you find on the Internet as not everyone is a professional, but there are a lot of good resources out there that can help you learn a lot about data analysis;
4) Take courses – these may be more expensive, but they also provide you with a valuable certification and give you a head start in your career. You can attend courses right at home or even online, which saves time and money as well as accelerates the learning process.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend years of your life studying data analysis. You can make progress very quickly if you are keen and learn new skills as soon as they become available. It will also give an extra boost to your resume, which makes it even more attractive for potential employers.
Just bear in mind that it may take a little more time and effort, but it will be worth it in the end.
8. Top Recruiting Companies for a Data Analyst
There are many top recruiting companies for data analysts. Some of these companies include illustrious names such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, and IBM. They all have a strong reputation for providing excellent opportunities for their employees. Some of the companies are famous for their perks, which include free food and beverages, a gym membership at work, games rooms, etc.
Amazon – Amazon is an American electronic commerce company with its headquarters in Seattle. The e-commerce giant recruits data analysts from a multitude of disciplines such as mathematics, statistics, or economics. They also value analytical skills, the ability to solve complex problems and contribute new ideas.
Facebook – Facebook is an American online social networking company with its headquarters in Menlo Park. The website has over 1.86 billion active users monthly as of 2018. It was founded by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes. Data analysts are hired to work on complex algorithmic problems or business intelligence projects.
Google – Google is an American multinational technology company with its headquarters in Mountain View, California. The internet search engine was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were Ph.D. students at Stanford University. Data analysts are involved in gathering and analyzing user data to improve the company’s products and services.
IBM – IBM is an American multinational technology company with its headquarters in Armonk, New York. The company hires employees from a myriad of disciplines, including engineering, science, information technology, mathematics, statistics, and economics. They are often involved with projects related to statistical analysis, big data, predictive analytics, or operations research.
All these companies are additionally hiring business intelligence analysts who work within an enterprise with its various departments such as production, marketing, sales, or finance. These professionals are responsible for reporting vital information about the company’s performance to senior management. They are also skilled in visualizing complex data for more efficient decision-making.
Data analysts are often employed by third-party consultancies, government institutions, or non-profit organizations across the globe. They use their skills to design and implement a system that provides valuable insights into a business’s performance, security, or risk management. Data scientists also analyze huge datasets using machine learning and statistical analysis to extract meaningful information.
9. Pros and Cons of Being a Data Analyst
- You get to work with data and learn a lot about it
- You get to solve problems and help businesses make money
- You can make a good living as a data analyst
- Most of the tools and resources you need to get your job done are readily available
- It’s a pretty hot career right now
- You don’t own your time. You work for someone else, and they determine how long you work and when you can take a break or go home
- Depending on who you work for, you may not get all the resources you need to get your job done
- If a company doesn’t see the value of data, they may not want to pay for it. And if you work for that company, you’re out of luck
- The field is still growing and changing rapidly. It’s easy to get left behind or fall behind on the latest techniques and tools.
- Your boss may not value data or know how to use it effectively, so you have to spend time teaching them how to work with data, which is frustrating at times.
- The work can be tedious and boring at times
- You have to be able to understand complex technical concepts
- There is a lot of demand for data analysts, so the competition can be stiff
10. Best Colleges to Study Data Analysis
There are many colleges that offer data analysis courses, but some colleges are better than others. The best colleges to study data analysis include Harvard University, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley).
These are all excellent colleges to study data analysis. However, there are other great options that offer data analysis courses as well, including the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Cornell University, Columbia University, The Johns Hopkins University (JHU), New York University (NYU), Northwestern University, and Yale University.
A data analyst is a good career for people who enjoy working with and interpreting numbers and statistics. They use these skills to analyze trends in the data they collect, which can be used by companies or individuals. Data analysts may work in fields such as business intelligence, finance, healthcare, government administration, marketing research, psychology, and more. With so many opportunities available in this field of expertise, it’s no wonder that one would consider becoming a data analyst.