Data Analytics as a Career Option?
What do data analysts/ statisticians usually do in a day? Does the job get stressful? Is the field more or less competitive than average?
Data analytics is a great career path to pursue with skills that are translatable to almost any industry. A typical day would vary depending on the specific field, but there are certain aspects I believe would be fairly consistent. The bulk of the time is spent looking at raw data and organizing into groups and analyzing that data to identify trends or outliers. An example of how to think of the work of a data analyst is to imagine a pile of Legos on a table. You can then sort those Legos by size, shape, color, etc. Next you would arrange that data in a visually meaningful way (charts/graphs) and then use those visuals to tell a story (the Legos can be used to build xyz) and the final step would be to make actionable recommendations based on the information you have gathered.
With regard to stress levels, it would be dependent on the given field or organization that you would work for but generally it is low stress as long as you have the ability to meet or exceed deadlines and have meaningful insight to provide that helps propel the business forward. Additionally, to set yourself up for success, try and learns as many different skills and platforms as you can that are commonly used by data analysts such as SQL, Teradata, Tableau, etc. as well as brush up on your data visualization skills in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets as these are widely used in almost all industries. Staying on top of these skills will keep you competitive when seeking employment in the role.
Data Analysts and Statisticians are career paths that deal with data, numbers, etc., but they are two separate entities. Both roles are challenging, competitive and rewarding. Stress is all relative and how one handles the stress. If one becomes stuck looking for, analyzing and deriving insights from the data, it is best to seek advice and help from teammates, colleagues and other professionals who have experience in the field.
Speaking from experience from being a Data Analyst and now a Consultant, there are several major components of analyzing data:
1. What is the ask? Why are you pulling data?
2. Who is your target audience?
3. Where to find the data, how to pull the data together and how to tell the story within the data?
4. How to transform the data into visualizations for the target audience to understand the relationships/trends in the data?
If you have interests in becoming a Data Analyst, it is recommended to build up you tool arsenal background by learning and getting certifications in the following:
1. Teradata SQL - www.teradata.com or Miccrosoft SQL Server - https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/sql-server/sql-server-2019
2. Tableau - www.tableau.com
3. Qlik - www.qlik.com
4. Thoughspot - www.thoughtspot.com
Other data languages that can help you as a Data Analyst - R, Python and Hadoop.
Hope this helps and best wishes in your career journey!
Michael recommends the following next steps: