Data…it runs our world today. It drives our business decisions, our customer insights and our networking. It’s said that we produce 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day and with the pace set to accelerate even further with increasing digital activity and the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). We are sitting on a treasure trove of valuable data and it’s only logical that skilled professionals who can extract business insights from this data will be in high demand and this is the source of the phenomenal growth opportunity in career in data analytics. Data analytics jobs have gathered more importance than ever in the last few years. In fact, India now accounts for 1 in 10 data analytics job openings across the world. 

According to a study by Analytics India Magazine, India is the second biggest hub for analytics jobs after US with approximately 90,000 vacant analytic jobs. According to Teamlease Staffing Agency, India will face a demand-supply gap of 2,00,000 data analyst by end of 2020. The take-home message from these statistics is that there will be a constant need for data analytics talent across all industries. Data analytics is no more a buzzword, it has become an essential component across every organization and industry.  Data Analytics is the next red-hot job market after data science. Career opportunities for techies specializing in data analytics have grown exponentially in recent years. Enter the world of highly qualified and most sought-after analytics professionals –Data Analysts.

How to transition to a career in data analytics?

  1. Self-learn a few data analytic techniques
  2. Login to LinkedIn.
  3. Click on “Edit My Profile”
  4. Replace the current headline with “Data Analyst”

Accomplished! Wow, that was super easy. Unfortunately transitioning to a career in data analytics is not that easy. This blog acknowledges the pre-requisites and the hard yards to build analytical skills. 

Before we jump right in on how to make a career transition to analytics, let’s understand what exactly data analytics is and who a data analyst is.

What is data analytics?

Data Analytics -The science of examining data.

It is the process of examining data sets so as to derive conclusions about the information they contain using advanced statistical and algorithmic techniques to improve business-related decision making. Data analytics helps organizations optimize their performance by cutting down costs and identifying efficient ways of doing business. From Finance to Hospitality , every industry today has adopted the use of data analytics.

For example, manufacturing companies collate data on the downtime, runtime, and work queue of different machines and then apply analytics to plan the workloads such that the machines operate to maximum capacity. Web-based content companies make use of data analytics to keep users clicking and watching content. 

Who exactly is a data analyst?

In an over simplified description, a data analyst collects mountains of data, processes it, and applies statistical techniques to yield insights that improve business decision making. Data analysts make use of existing tools, systems, and data sets to tackle a specific business task.

A data analyst job role is similar to that of a data scientist but they are not responsible for building algorithms used for data discovery and data acquisition. The skills of a data analyst might not be as advanced as of a data scientist (for example- a data analyst might not be able to create new machine learning algorithms like a data scientist) but the end goal is same -making use of insights to answer questions and solve complex business problems.

What are the prerequisites to learn data analytics?

Wondering whether you can start a career in data analytics even if you have no background in it? Anyone can learn and become a data analyst, however there are a few prerequisites required as follows

Prerequisite #1 – Educational Qualification

The most common situation in the analytics industry is the pressure to get a Master’s degree or a Ph.D. to land a top gig as an analyst, However, having a Master’s or a Ph.D. is not mandatory to become a data analyst however most of the entry-level data analyst jobs require a Bachelor’s degree in relevant disciplines like Computer Science, Finance, Statistics, Mathematics, Information Technology or Economics. 

Prerequisite #2 Quantitative Aptitude and Statistical Concepts

Knowledge of basic statistics and linear algebra is essential to make sure that the data is interpreted correctly and to find out that any kind of apparent relationships in data are meaningful and not just luck by chance. Whether you want to work as a Business Intelligence Analyst, Marketing Analyst or a Data Analyst or as an analyst in any genre having a good understanding of fundamental statistics is necessary. Knowledge of below basic statistical concepts will make your journey to becoming a data analyst a smooth sail –

  • Mean, Mode, and Median
  • Variance and Standard Deviation
  • Z-Scores
  • Range, Interquartile Range and Box Plot.
  • Graphs and Shapes of Distribution
  • Elementary Probability
  • Random Variables and Probability Distribution
  • Normal, Binomial, and Poisson Distribution

Even if you do not have a thorough grounding in basic statistics the willingness to learn statistical concepts can take you a long way on your journey to becoming a data analyst. There are several free courses and resources available that you should begin to leverage and try to do your best learning these concepts.

 Prerequisite #3 Love for Number Crunching

Crunching numbers to spot patterns is what a data analyst does. If you have been in love with numbers since school and love being surrounded by numbers, then becoming a data analyst can be as much a passion as dancing, singing, or writing.

Prerequisite #4 Programming

While many traditional data analysts get away without being full-fledged programmers, having the basic know-how of programming helps ease the process of implementing statistical concepts. Mastering one of the most powerful statistical programming languages like Python or R or SAS is important for exploring data sets and doing ad-hoc analysis.  Though knowledge of  tools like Excel and querying languages like SQL helps begin a career in analytics but it cannot support petabytes of data.

Prerequisite #5 Passion for Learning

The job role of a data analyst is multi-faceted and learning is a continuous process to stay ahead of the game. Even if you do not have one or more of the pre-requisites mentioned above, having a grit to learning will accelerate the process of analytics skill-building.

Why should I transition to a career in Data Analytics?

Huge job opportunities and lucrative data analyst salary

Career prospects for a data analyst are amazing as tech giants and startups continue to add data analysts to their workforce. Thanks to the exploding demand for analytics professionals, there are thousands of open jobs and not enough skilled talent pool to fill them. A search on Indeed for the job title “Data Analyst” showed 10,480 data analyst jobs. This is a clear indicator of the fact that the data analyst job opportunities are currently at their prime in India.

Data analysts make a handsome salary and the salary range varies based on the experience and skillset. For an early-career data analyst in India with 1-4 years of experience, the average data analyst salary is 408,086, while a mid-career data analyst salary with 5-9 years of experience is 617,807. And if you are a mature data analyst who has been in the IT industry for a decade then you can make up to Rs 11,00,000 and above. With this information in mind, you now have a better roadmap as to why you should pursue a career in data analytics now!  

There is no time like the present to get started with a career in data analytics. Start learning today with Springboard’s Data Analytics Course and get working on a real problem from the best mentors brought straight to your hands, regardless of which corner of the planet you live in. Just keep learning and surprise yourself with your accomplishments to become a top-rung data analyst in the industry.