Careers in data, particularly data analyses, offer the allure of higher salaries, unique, intriguing work, and the chance to create a lasting impact with companies. In the UK, jobs in the information technology and data industry are still in high demand in 2021.
But is a career as a data analyst one that will keep you interested, motivated, and feel good about your job each day?
Getting Your Education
Data analysts study “the concepts of probability theory, statistical modeling, data visualization, predictive analytics, and risk management” related to business operations.
A Master of Professional Studies in Analytics provides the theories and analytical approaches necessary for a career in data analysis.
The Day-to-Day Work Expectations
While some people choose a career in data analysis because it is a well-paying job, many people also like the isolation of a data analyst. Often, data analysts spend weeks pulling together the data and may only interact with their boss, if anyone at all, during the workday.
Because of this long-term isolation, it is crucial to know and understand that it can be a lonely experience.
Since analyst is included in the title, you likely already know there is a great deal of data mining or extraction involved. In addition, you interpret the data; you make sense of it to develop a picture for the leaders in the company to make decisions. This modeling and interpretation piece gets many data analysts excited about their job.
Your reports are more than a bunch of numbers thrown together. Data analysis includes modeling, planning, even getting into strategic discussions. You will write proposals, present results, and sometimes collaborate on the best approach for specific situations.
The Day-to-Day Work Realities
Even though many people entering the data industry enter intending to make a difference for their employers, as time goes on, this wanes either due to boredom, lack of opportunity, or getting pushed aside for more “exciting” projects like software application development.
The nature of the work involves aggregating statistics to create a story non-data analysts understand and presenting a visualization that everyone can see what innovative solution you are offering to the company. Unfortunately, your ideas and your analysis do not always turn out as expected. More often than not, what you thought was the result of your investigation becomes quite different. Of course, when it works out, then it’s exhilarating. But the realities are that it usually does not follow the expected path, and you have to go back to the drawing board.
Diving In or Stepping Out
Math and science lovers gravitate towards data fields. It is a career built on numbers, but, at its core, data analysis is problem-solving. It is fascinating, challenging work and, if you choose to pursue it, can provide a rewarding, lucrative career. However, it is not always easy, nor does it follow a clear path from a to z. Some people start out loving it and progress to other areas of the data industry or move into more scientific roles.
The key to knowing if data analysis is right for you, just like you would do in a future job, is to review the facts, create a picture of you in the role, and then decide if you like that model or if something else is a better fit. Then, with the ever-increasing need for quality candidates in the data industry, choose the career that will leave you fulfilled and happy for years to come.