Gone are the days when job applicants rushed into offices to grab paper cutouts of job postings. Today, employers are keeping an eye out for people who can advance their business and their own careers. And a career in data analytics is one of the on-demand career prospects. Data analysts serve as data translators for people in the organization who are unsure of what inferences to draw from their data sets.
Why choose a career in data analysis? : According to the World Economic Forum (WEF) Future of Jobs report 2020, data analysts are expected to be in high demand by 2025. The career of a data analyst can be attractive for a variety of reasons, including a high median salary in a fast-paced environment. -Growing sector. With a good mix of technical and communication work, plenty of interesting learning resources with opportunities for career advancement, and a wide variety of roles, the field of data analytics is indeed lucrative. As companies seek data experts to convert their raw data sets into intelligent information and make data-driven decisions, career opportunities in data analytics only keep improving.
Career options for a data analyst: There are different avenues to explore in the field of data analysis depending on several aspects, such as business analyst, data visualization specialist, data scientist, data reporter, financial analyst, functional analyst, etc. Among them, business analysts, data visualization specialists, data scientists, functional analysts, project managers and quantitative analysts are the highest paying data analysis positions with an average salary range of 82 $ 343 to $ 178,606, according to payscale.com.
Skills and qualifications required: Employers in the data analytics field care more about skills than specific degrees or certifications. Until now, a bachelor’s degree in either a technical or non-technical discipline is required for any data analyst position. Next, have a solid understanding of all basic programming languages such as R, Python, SQL (Structured Query Language), etc. will give the necessary skill to work with large databases. In addition, data manipulation, analysis and visualization skills are essential for understanding and visualizing data and finally, explaining the results of the dataset. In addition, advanced abilities in software such as Microsoft Excel, Tableau and cognitive abilities such as problem solving, critical thinking, as well as their proficiency in programming languages should be within the domain of knowledge of a data analyst. .
What a teacher says: Assistant Professor of Economics at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST), Dr Munshi Naser Ibne Afzal often talks about various skills that matter to student careers on his YouTube channel, “Dr. Munshi Naser – Skill Tone “.
In one of his lectures, he discussed the two main data visualization tools available for free to beginners, stating, “Without knowing any programming language, you can start with ‘Tableau Public’ and ‘Power Bi’ for your career as a data analyst. “
He doesn’t just recommend taking different courses, as those won’t improve skills unless you use the learning outcomes. He further advised users to start the data analysis journey using R and then move on to Python.
“Make friends with the Kaggle platform, which contains over 6,000 datasets and allows aspiring data analysts to upload projects, create notebooks, and experiment with data in very fundamental ways.” , he added.
Opinions of two graduates: Susmita Dutta Prita, who received her Masters of Social Science in Economics with Distinction from SUST, is currently working as a Research Associate at the Economic Research Group (ERG). Since data analysis is an indispensable part of her research, she said, “students from all backgrounds can become data analysts provided they master particular skills such as the ability to use various software and models specified by the respective companies ”.
From her perspective, data analysis methods for various topics are multiplexed, so it may not be appropriate to simplify the skills required to be a data analyst. She advised prioritizing learning about data management, analytical method, and relevant tools above anything else.
“If you slowly work on certain projects at university, you will become a data analyst.”
Farhin Islam did a master’s degree in economics at Dhaka University and a research assistant at the South Asian Economic Modeling Network (SANEM). She won a national data analysis competition and has strong expertise in MS Excel and Stata for data analysis.
According to her, data analysts explore meaningful information from meaningless values and data tools can broadly be categorized into three types: data collection, data cleansing and analysis, and data visualization. ” , she said. “To stand out from the crowd you have to gather knowledge of all these types and should know at least one tool of each type.”
She mentioned widely used tools like Google Form, KoBo Toolbox, ODK for data collection; Excel, SPSS, Stata, Eviews for data analysis; Tableau and Power BI for data visualization. “All tools have advantages and disadvantages, so individuals can determine which one is suitable for specific needs,” she continued.
The basic skills of a data analyst include statistical expertise, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Learning to deploy a tool is always a second priority for her, the first is to perceive how to think about a problem in order to solve it. “If the theoretical knowledge is not strong enough, the application of these tools can surely generate results, but the results can be wrong,” she warns.
Life is nothing but moving forward towards higher goals, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. There is every chance to accomplish more advanced skill combinations. So, all data analysts need is specific passion, skill sets, working consistently with data sources, and building a professional portfolio.