By Vishal Shah, Director, TresVista
“Data is a precious thing and will last longer than the systems themselves,” said Tim Bernes Lee, Inventor, World Wide Web.
We are constantly getting exposed to data. From being aware that summer temperatures have been going up the last few years to knowing how much we have improved over the years in our outlook on life or numbers, or just being able to see that we have cheated on our diet. This ‘noticing trend’ is possible with the data we keep and analyse, no matter where it is coming from and the interpretation.
As an ever-pervasive part of every part of our life, technology has led to creating data stockpiles, giving organisations the ability to understand their stakeholders better. Be it employees, customers, competitors, investors, markets, or even a chance at the future. Data analytics as a career is the start to rapid professional growth to find insights from innocuous data entries, data gathering, sifting and analysing.
What is Data Analytics
Simply put, it is the practice and science of gaining insights from raw data by analysing through algorithms, models, and tools. These insights help decision-makers augment higher efficiencies, understand unique customer requirements and create optimised product offerings. Once collected, a Data Analyst organises data in various modeling applications like MS-Excel, Tableau, R, etc., to analyse and glean insights and give meaning to data.
Data Analytics: A fulcrum for organisational change and growth
Data study and analysis is a continuous process, helping monitor an organisation’s health and proactively identifying processes requiring a course correction. Data helps find relevant benchmarks, analyse the movement of desired goals, identify strong and weak spots, create action plans, etc. Given the immense value that data study can generate, Data Analytics is becoming an integral part of all future-facing organisations and consequently changing the career landscape. Industry roles like data specialists, data analysts, data engineers, business intelligence analysts, and Chief Data Officers (CDOs) are becoming common, offering compelling compensation and are both appealing and challenging.
The Data professional
There are several roles to specialise in when exploring a career in Data Analytics. Knowledge of Data Analysis, Statistics, Data Visualisation, an understanding of technical tools involved, and communication skills for explaining data interpretations are requisites for anyone looking to build a career in Data Analytics.
- Business Analyst: Defines the problem and breaks down objectives and tasks; the Business Analyst is to understand the business and related processes
- Data Engineer: Gather and scrape data from multiple sources, mine, and store data for easy retrieval
- Data Analyst: Fix data inconsistencies and perform primary data analysis, navigate through data volumes, spot inconsistencies and errors, and clean data for meaningful analysis
- Data Scientist: Feature, engineer, and make predictions, basis data models- the Data Scientist derives meaningful insights, spots trends and relationships for value-added data interpretations
- Data Visualizer: Communicates key insights by creating and using plots, interactive visualisations, charts, graphs, etc.
Growing in the Data Analytics field, like any other, needs an individual to have both working and soft skills. The soft skills allow such a person to interact with colleagues, be receptive to new information, and give out understandable information in an acceptable manner.
- Good communication skills are essential as having technical skills and love for numbers: the ability to communicate data complexity to others in a simple language will give you an edge over others
- The job of a data analyst starts with analysing oneself; A data analyst can never be satisfied with the status quo and results, a successful data professional will continuously question everything, it is essential to learn, unlearn and relearn continuously
- Adopt flexibility to succeed. With rapidly evolving technology and analysis mechanisms/schema, it is vital to be ahead of the curve by embracing change
The proliferation of technology has given rise to new roles, which have increasingly become an integral part of organisations across industries and sectors. Data professionals are commanding high demand considering the sizable value they add to organisational growth and stability. Thus, a career in Data Analytics is becoming both lucrative and full of opportunities.