Digital Gold

The discovery of crude oil became the black gold of the early 20th century. Early in the 21st century, the color of gold has gone digital. There’s gold in data. It’s easy to assume that data rules, but we’d be wrong in doing so. It is insightful analysis and application of data that rules. Without qualified analysts to parse the data, identify trends, and devise strategies, all you’ve got is a database. All dressed up and nowhere to go.

An article in Investopedia describes data analysts as “some of the most sought-after professionals in the world. Because the demand is so strong, and the supply of people who can truly do this job well is so limited, data analysts command huge salaries and excellent perks, even at the entry-level.”

However, a data analytics career goes far beyond entry-level or purely a technical field limited to “lower-level” positions. While data analytics was once mostly considered an “esoteric and highly technical pocket of the large engine of a company,” today’s data analytics professionals find themselves in C-suite level positions making important strategic decisions affecting entire organizations.

The Evolution of Data Analytics

To find out more about the shifting landscape in data analytics, Eva Short interviewed Eoin O’Reilly for an article in Silicon Republic. A data science expert for Ireland-based EY, O’Reilly explains how the traditional tech focus of data analytics professionals has shifted to strategic leadership roles within organizations. “Now, people are seeing that a career in analytics is much wider,” says O’ Reilly. “It might start in that technical domain, but you have an opportunity to grow.”

The scale and scope of data analytics expand as Big Data nearly every facet of modern life. Machine learning, AI, and the blinding pace of information processing technology create an immediate and growing need for people qualified for both technical and affects leadership roles.

Considering a Data Analytics Career

As one might expect, data science and analytics is a seller’s market. Numerous reports over the years project strong job growth into the foreseeable future.

Highlighting a January 2019 LinkedIn report, TechRepublic notes a median base salary of $130,000. As of the report’s release, job growth expanded 56 percent year-over-year, with 4000 openings for data analysts in a multitude of sectors and specialization. GlassDoor rates data scientist number one in its 2019 list of the 50 best jobs in America.

As previously alluded to, data analytics is a broad category encompassing many roles and disciplines. Among the most sought-after specializations are business analyst, healthcare corporate strategist and healthcare informatics, web and social media analytics, financial analysts, AI and machine learning, and risk analysis. And the list goes on.

With the right education from New England College and a predilection for the skills and temperament required, many exciting and lucrative opportunities are available for anyone considering a data analytics career.