As the world continues to generate and gather a growing amount of data, different organizations are hiring data analysts to interpret the huge volumes of data they collect. The evolution of technology and the rise of data-driven decisions across industries creates a wider job market for data analysts.
What is Data Analytics?
Data analytics involves analyzing raw data to derive actionable insights that are meaningful in solving business decisions. Data analytics helps businesses use past data to predict future trends and behaviour. This allows businesses have a better understanding of their audience and the market as a whole.
Primarily, a data analyst is responsible for gathering and organizing data to understand trends and insights and make informed decisions beneficial to a business or an industry.
What background and skills do you need to start a career in Data Analytics?
As one of the most in-demand careers in tech, data analytics offers a rewarding compensation to its professionals. However, before starting a career in data analytics, you should ensure that you have the right background and skills to succeed in this role.
The duties and responsibilities of a data analyst are directly related to statistical analysis. Therefore, a background in computer science, statistics, finance, economics or information management will prepare you for a career in data analytics.
While a background in computer science or any related field may be a great foundation for a career in data analytics, this does not mean you cannot start a career in data analytics without this background. All you need is the right skills, training and certification. Asides from the technical skills needed in data analytics, here are the typical soft skills employers look out for when hiring data analysts:
- Numeric skills:
Data analytics involves using probability and statistics to conduct analysis. To succeed in a data analytics role, you should have great math skills. Having a strong understanding of statistics and math will help you figure out how best to solve problems and translate the results of findings. With great math skills, a solid foundation is created for learning and understanding the key technical skills needed in data analytics.
- Communication skills:
Communication skills are almost as important as math skills. Though a data analyst role is mainly technical, effective communication and collaboration skills are necessary when it comes to explaining results from the analysis. As a data analyst, you should be able to present complex ideas and findings clearly and concisely to experts outside your industry.
- Analytical and problem-solving skills:
Data analytics seeks to solve complex challenges in a business. A data analyst should have natural curiosity driven by the need to get problems solved. Critical thinking and an analytical mindset help to focus on the right types of data and methods of analysis. Intuitive and analytical thinking allows data analysts to suggest smarter business decisions based on conclusions from the analysis carried out.
Is data analytics an in-demand career in 2021?
With the world relying heavily on technology, there is an ever-growing need for skilled data analysts. Data analytics offers a wide range of opportunities across various industries. Data analysts are very much in demand in 2021 and will continue to be in demand as long as the world generates data.
As one of the most in-demand careers in 2021, it is not surprising that these roles offer very competitive salary compensation and job security at entry-level roles. The average base salary for an entry-level data analyst in the US is about $70,000. This salary average will depend on the industry, location and many other factors.
Though data analytics is an emerging career in tech, the job outlook according to the BLS is projected to grow by 25% by 2029, which is a more impressive growth rate than the average of many other careers.
Top UK universities to study Data Analytics
Here are top 5 UK universities you should explore for a degree in Data Analytics:
University of Strathclyde’s Data Analytics programme for undergraduate and postgraduate level are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills that are in high demand by industry and the public sector. The University’s lively and diverse research spans the whole spectrum of theory and application from fundamental algorithms and programming language design to human-centred computing and information.
The data analytics course at University of Sheffield focuses on managing vast amounts of information and transforming it into actionable knowledge. It teaches the key skills that are required to carry out practical analysis of the types of data sets that need to be interpreted in the modern world. These include large data sets as well as structured and unstructured data. The course makes use of techniques developed within a range of disciplines, including computer science, artificial intelligence, mathematics and statistics.
The Data Science and Analytics programme at University of Leeds combines expertise from the Schools of Computing, Geography and Mathematics with that of Leeds University Business School. This collaboration allows students to benefit from a range of data science perspectives and applications, and to tailor the course to match their specific career ambitions.
The Data Science and Analytics programme at Brunel University is a strong academic degree course that provides students with hands-on experience of leading commercial technology, and the chance to gain industry certification. Students will develop critical awareness of the very latest developments in data science and the practical skills to apply data science more effectively in a wide variety of sectors.
This course provides a distinctive perspective on data analytics that combines aspects of computer science, business, engineering and mathematics. Alongside the technical skills and expertise the course develops, this means that graduates can pursue opportunities at the forefront of an emerging discipline that will continue to revolutionise science and industry for years to come.