Critical analysis of “Why Data Analyst is The Sexiest Job of the 21st” Century?
“The ability to collect and present information in a way that a business can understand, so it can make decisions faster, will be key to keeping competitive” Lisa Kelly in “Computer Weekly”
Having chosen and on being on the finishing line of current course – Diploma in Big Data my biggest question which I wish to transfer to critical analysis of jobs advantages and disadvantages would be: Why would be data analyst jobs so attractive?
Before going into research it would be good to define who are data analysts and which duties would they be doing?
Data analysts search through numbers and translate them into plain English. There are many different types of data analysts in the field, including operations analysts, marketing analysts, financial analysts, etc.
Data analysts perform a variety of tasks related to collecting, organising, and interpreting statistical information. In any capacity, though, people with this job look for ways of assigning numerical values to different business functions, and are responsible for identifying efficiencies, problem areas, and possible improvements.
What data do they collect? It depends on a business, it could be sales figures, market research, logistics or transportation costs. Data analysts make research to uncover hidden patterns, unknown correlations, market trends, customer preferences and other useful business information.
A data analyst’s job is to take that data and use it to help companies make better business decisions. These analytical findings can not only to lead to more effective marketing and new revenue opportunities but also provide a better customer service, improved operational efficiency, competitive advantages over rival organisations and other business benefits.
Growth of Data
Data analysts are in extremely high demand, but the work itself is equally demanding. Data science sits at the intersection of statistics, business intelligence, sociology, computer science, and communication.
Data is the new frontier of the 21st century, ripe for exploration. Data science—obtaining, analyzing, and reporting on data insights ranging from business metrics to user behavior—is an ultra-buzzy field right now.
According to data analyst market specialist predictions – it is expected that over the next five years the growth of data of structured and unstructured data which in its turn would require more employees to serve data analysis needs. As per Dave Lounsbury who is chief technology officer at “The Open Group” both economic and social changes are pushing the rise of data analytics together with big data and organisations to be successful have to respond to these changes. Things like social networks, mobile devices and information in a real time it all are producing big data which should be handled appropriately. For every company it is important to know and to understand competitive data.
If you’ve got what it takes, there are plenty of companies eager to take what you’ve got. The McKinsey Global Institute has predicted that by 2018 the U.S. could face a shortage of between 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills, and a shortage of 1.5 million managers and analysts who know how to leverage data analysis to make effective decisions.
In a survey by Robert Half Technology of 1,400 U.S.-based CIOs, 53% of the respondents whose companies are actively gathering data said they lacked sufficient staff to access that data and extract insights from it. Translation: you are sorely needed.
Ireland and Dublin – offers a lot of jobs in the area when there are so many IT, software, pharmacological companies having their headquarters in the country. According to research by Forfas and the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs up to 21,000 data analytics jobs could be generated here between 2014 and 2020. Due to rapid growth in the area, there is currently a shortage of professionals with the required skills to fill direct high-end positions in the field of data analysis around the world. But although data analysis is a booming growth area, no one country has taken the lead in the area.
The authors of the Assessing The Demand For Big Data And Analytics Skills Report say this presents a significant opportunity for Ireland. 3,630 of the positions would be in deep analytical roles and 17,470 for big data type roles. However, the experts found that in order for Ireland to become a world leader in the area, it must have sufficient skilled professionals available to fill roles in indigenous companies and foreign multinationals working in the sector. In the short-term, the best way to bridge the skills gap is through up-skilling and retraining.
Big gap between what is on market right now and between people with the skills to take the job. What’s clear about big data and analytics is there is scale right across the board for job-seekers. Companies of all sizes seek their own variant of analysts, with that scale subsequently offering a clear ladder to use to guide your career. The talent pool is becoming stretched as businesses of all sizes seek to garner more and more information from the data they consume.A report into the Irish software landscape by the Irish software engineering research centre Lero back in June highlighted this area in particular for future growth, and indeed its immediate importance.
“The firms (surveyed) highlighted a number of key technology platforms they believed important for future competitiveness,”
“These included cloud computing, data analytics and cyber-physical systems, all closely related to emerging R&D priority themes in Ireland and around the world.
“I think we’re just actually at the beginning of the curve of a tremendous development,” he said. “I think data and analytics has the potential to change many industries, even society, without wanting to exaggerate.”
Median salary according to research for Data Analyst job would be around €33,731 PA (data as per 18 Mar 2016 from http://www.payscale.com source ) while www.glassdoor.com provides estimated €31,522 national average with remark – Salaries estimates based on 23 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor.
American national salary ranges according to DataJobs are the following:
- Data analyst (entry level): $50,000-$75,000
- Data analyst (experienced): $65,000-$110,000
- Data scientist: $85,000-$170,000
- Database administrator (entry level): $50,000-$70,000
- Database administrator (experienced): $70,000-$120,000
- Data engineer (junior/generalist): $70,000-$115,000
- Data engineer (domain expert): $100,000-$165,000
Benefits – in addition to payment many companies are offering money bonus on a yearly conditions, which might be a from 5 to 10% from yearly wages , health and life insurances, gym and other benefits.
Education to have:
Research has been done and majority of companies are looking for candidates with education in fields like math, statistics, computer science, or something related to these fields.
Skills to have:
General analytical skills – Because data analysts are working with huge volumes of data – it is necessary to have a good analysing skills to see the roots, to compare and to draw conclusions.
Information Compilation – There are several different strategies people can use to compile data, but there are typically three universal goals. The data must be regulated, normalized, and calibrated such that it could be taken out of context, used alone, or put in conjunction with other figures and still maintain its integrity.
Extrapolation and Interpretation – when the information has been collected, analysts are usually responsible for coming up with some conclusions about what it means, as well as educating business executives on how to use it.
Projections and Advisory Responsibilities – advising project managers and leaders about how certain data points can be changed or improved over time. They are often the ones with the best sense of why the numbers are the way they are, which can make them a good resource when thinking about making changes.
Research and Writing Tasks – some of project goals might involve writing tasks like drafting company memorandum, press releases, and formal reports. Analysts also collaborate with database programmers and administrators to write system modification recommendations or in-house instruction and training materials.
System Expertise and Troubleshooting – most of the work analysts do is completed with the help of computers and digitised statistical software programs but job usually also requires program troubleshooting and system security measures, as well as an ability to adapt to changing technology and keeping updates current and useful across multiple platforms.
Attention to details: job would require to see even small difference in data and to draw conclusions based on what has been found.
Math Skills – data analysts need math skills to estimate numerical data.
Critical thinking – based on the variety of data received data scientists should by looking must look at the numbers, trends, and data and come to new conclusions based on the findings.
Good communication skills: it is not only working with data itself but sharing findings with different departments, so important would be communicating clearly across different departments and shoving findings in simple and understandable way/ language.
Programms that normally required – according to payscale.com the mainly popular programms to obtain and to know to be able fully operate the job would be : Mycrosoft Office, Excel, World, Access, SQL, familiarity with Hadoop.
Simple research on showed the list of well-knowns which are hiring in the area:
Silicon Republic’s Featured Employers hiring in the area of big data and analytics include:
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch
- Fidelity Investments
- Information Mosaic
Just by doing some basic research in linkedin jobs (as per data on 20-04-16) there are 681 vacancies for data analyst positions in Ireland.
There are several universities which are offering courses for data analyst, short courses are offered by National College of Ireland and Dublin Business School.
As we can summarise from research this profession is on demand right now and many companies are looking for already experienced data analysts. But when asking around it was discovered that some companies were happy to take on board people who just recently completed Data Analyst course.
It seems according to surveys and researches that demand for data analyst will be growing in next few years.
Seems that course Diploma in Big Data for Business is taken at the right time and would bring good dividends like a new job to many of course completers.
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