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How to Become a Data Analyst

Is Data Analytics a Good Career?

Ready to start your career in Data? Find out more about BrainStation's Data Analytics Course

Yes, data analytics is a very good career. Simply put, there has never been a better time to be a data professional. About 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day—and that pace is only quickening. That explosion of data is driving the industry that leverages it; as organizations’ data collection grows in scope and sophistication, it’s inevitable that they’ll want to make use of that data, and Data Analysts are at the forefront of this trend.

Fittingly, high demand for Data Analysts correlates to an increase in salary—many Data Analysts’ salaries sit quite comfortably above the $70,000 line, even in junior positions, with senior and highly specialized positions typically reaching over $100,000.

Besides the high demand and commensurate salary, Data Analysts have the opportunity to work collaboratively and contribute to the decision-making process at the highest level, which can also translate into an opportunity to move into more managerial positions. Many Data Analysts also enjoy an ability to travel and work remotely or relocate easily, even internationally. Whether the nature of the work itself is a good fit depends entirely on the individual, but the salary, perks, and job security are considerable.

Is Data Analytics in Demand?

Yes, data analytics is in great demand. In 2017, IBM predicted that the number of jobs for data professionals in the U.S. alone would surge another 364,000 (to 2,720,000) before the end of 2020. Other sources confirm the trend of companies making big investments in big data; according to a recent study by Dresner Advisory Services, big data adoption in enterprise businesses surged from 17 percent in 2015 to 59 percent in 2018.

It’s not just tech companies jumping on board, either. There are opportunities to apply data analysis skills across a wide range of industries. The Dresner study found that adoption of big-data analytics was highest in telecommunications (95 percent adoption), insurance (83 percent), and advertising (77 percent), followed by financial services (71 percent), healthcare (64 percent), and technology (58 percent), and was most often applied to research and development (75 percent) and operations (63 percent).

As adoption of data analytics grows, so does the range of its applications—in fact, entire industries are on the brink of total transformation by big data. A recent McKinsey report forecasted the ways digital analytics will change marketing—with the promise of data-activated, one-to-one marketing interactions—as well as operations and manufacturing. Still more industries have yet to fully tap this potential. Another McKinsey study, for example, found that if the U.S. healthcare industry were to use big data to improve its efficiency and quality, the sector could create more than $300 billion in value, and a large retailer using big data to its fullest potential could increase its operating margin by more than 60 percent. In other words, we don’t expect this growth to slow down anytime soon.

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