Hays’ Martin Pardey explains what a data analytics professional does, what they can expect in their career, and how to develop their skills.
Data analytics has become an essential part of many businesses, but even within the realm of analytics there are many roles available including data analyst, data engineer, data scientist, and data manager . All of these roles contribute to the goal of deriving meaningful insights from data.
Data analysts derive insights from data, while data engineers extract and manipulate data from systems and create data capabilities.
Data scientists, on the other hand, are able to create predictive models that help organizations make decisions based on potential future events, as well as drive automation and artificial intelligence systems. Finally, data managers watch over the data to ensure its quality, governance and security.
Previously, data roles were mostly focused on extracting simple management information and creating reports for key stakeholders so they could accurately analyze business performance. Now, as organizations become more data-centric, these roles have become complex.
More emphasis is placed on ensuring that large amounts of data can be analyzed and accessed at any time across the organization, as well as use to build predictive models and power AI systems.
As a result, many organizations now have internal data practices in place that employ many different types of data professionals.
We’ve seen salaries for these roles rise steadily over the past few years as demand grows among organizations for better data.
An entry-level data analyst in a permanent job can expect to earn between £25,000 and £30,000 in the UK, while advanced data engineers and data scientists could even earn six-figure salaries. Contract rates vary greatly depending on roles and skills.
Advice for data professionals
First, decide which data domain you want to work in. Are you very analytical? Do you like crunching numbers and solving business problems? Or are you more technical, with a thirst for building data platforms and extracting the right data?
As much as possible, try to develop your skills. See if you can get hands-on experience where you can actually apply the skills – although admittedly it’s much easier if you’re already in an organization or educational institution.
If you work, look for opportunities to work with data within your current company. I’ve heard of companies training employees in non-data roles to become data professionals at in-house data academies.
For those in higher education, find out about projects you can work on. Many universities now have partnerships with large companies so you can contribute to real data projects.
Data skills for non-technical professionals
Although the data and analytics profession is strong, the need for data insights at all levels of the business means that data skills have become essential, even outside of the technical sphere.
A study by Digital Realty found that more than one in five IT managers (21 percent) globally noted that the lack of internal talent to analyze data and the lack of talent to build technical capabilities (21 percent ) are some of the biggest hurdles their organizations face. when they learn from their data.
Luckily, there are tons of online courses, depending on the area of data you want to dive deeper into. For example, My Learning, Hays’ free online learning portal, offers courses in data science and analytics for those interested.
Data analysis is part of a lot of roles these days. If you are working, you will likely have access to data and reporting systems in your current role. Make sure you are fully trained in their use.
Look for the data manager in your current company and talk to them about what is needed and if they can provide support. Find out what learning resources your employer already provides and if there are courses, classes or even modules that are directly relevant to what you want.
The value of being able to work effectively with data is high, so organizations will likely see the benefit of helping you improve your skills, as they will benefit from your new skill set at the same time.
By Martin Pardy
Martin Pardey is Director of Technology Solutions at Hays UK with over 20 years experience in staff recruitment in the industry.
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