Oracles of the New Age: Data Analysts and Why Your Company Needs One

Oracles of the New Age: Data Analysts and Why Your Company Needs One

It’s no secret that our world was gradually shifting towards a greater dependence on ever-developing technologies even before the pandemic struck. The proliferation and widespread usage of social media platforms, digital market spaces, and other online environments have invited a massive cultural embrace of the internet, with companies and consumers integrating these digital spaces into every aspect of their lives and modes of functioning. The pandemic made companies in particular double down on this, forcing those that were lagging behind to catch up rapidly as public spaces became unsafe and more consumers demanded online, remote options for conducting their transactions.

Now, looking directly into a future that heralds further, greater technological developments, it is clear to companies large and small that if they want to stay competitive, they have to learn how to enter and navigate these digital spaces. Aside from increasing customer demand for companies to provide better online service and more remote options, the popularity of social media has also resulted in a massive accumulation of marketing-relevant data online, a goldmine for any associate that can sift through the data effectively.

These associates, now essential components of any successful marketing team, are known as data analysts, and companies that are looking to take advantage of the full spectrum of available information are seeking data analysts with an almost religious fervor.

Data analytics is a rapidly growing, increasingly-viable career field with lots of available opportunities for people looking to make the switch. Here’s everything you need to know about it, as well as an easy way to get the qualifications you need to jump straight into a job without the massive investment of time and money required by most higher education programs.

Data Analytics: A Crash Course

While often used interchangeably with data science, the scope of the field of data analytics is much more limited than that of its sister science. Data analysts are given questions by their parent company, the answers for which they are asked to scry for, and are then in charge of processing large amounts of data from various disparate sources, identifying patterns in that data that may prove useful to their parent company, and using those patterns to answer the required questions. Data scientists, by contrast, are much more big picture, doing much of the same preliminary work to identify and extrapolate patterns, but then taking those patterns and designing testable models through which various outcomes are run. A data scientist’s role is to develop systems based on data that can be used to predict a variety of futures, whereas a data analyst’s job is to ask questions of the data and derive useful answers.

The people who are typically best suited to become data analysts are those who are able to parse minuscule details, have skills with statistics and databases, and have basic knowledge of programming languages. They must also be able to communicate their findings in a way that is easily understood and translated to marketing, usually through visual media such as graphs or charts. Depending on experience level and the breadth of duties (i.e., whether their discipline crosses over with data science), data analysts get paid anywhere from 40,000 to 120,000 dollars annually on average.

Back to School: Data Analytics Bootcamps

If any of the above has rung a bell with you and you believe data analytics is a career you’d be interested in, but you’re worried about the potential costs associated with going back to college, you’re in luck: data analytics bootcamps exist. These bootcamps are flexible, short-term, intensive programs that usually last anywhere from 8-36 weeks and typically cost less than a single semester at a four-year university.

With a variety of providers available, there’s a bootcamp out there to fit every lifestyle, with providers offering both full-time and part-time schooling options. While you won’t get a degree from attending a data analytics bootcamp, you will get equipped with everything you need to jump straight into a job, as well as unique mentorship opportunities and projects with potential employers that might boost your chances of being their preferred candidate.

The future of business is in technology, and with companies rapidly becoming aware of that in the wake of the pandemic (which made the old ways of conducting business not only obsolete but dangerous), attaining employees that can help companies take advantage of the opportunities digital spaces offer is a must for most. Data analytics isn’t the right path for everyone, but for those who are suited to the practice, a bootcamp may be the quickest way for them to enter the field and start making a killing.