Originally posted by our Co-founder, Sarita Digumarti on LinkedIn.
We are back with yet another interesting article by Sarita originally posted on LinkedIn ‘When to Switch Over To Analytics?’. If its time to make a career switch to analytics then you just got to read this.
The buzz around analytics has more or less settled down, and the hype and maze around it maybe diffusing. However the word analytics continues to echoes in the corridors of a wide spectrum of industry and everyone still wants to jump onto the analytics bandwagon. And yes, much has changed as well in the way the gargantuan volumes of data is collected, stored, managed and analyzed.
According to Max Levchi, PayPal co-founder, “The world is now awash in data and we can see consumers in a lot clearer ways”. Analytics is apparently the key as it helps understand the missing bits in the Jigsaw puzzle, acts a guide to manipulate data, get useful insights, make suggestions in an effort to keep the bottom line- increasing revenue and lowering costs- steady.
Analytics is extremely important and even the sceptics are sitting up and getting into the act themselves. There is a frenzy all around and CNBC (a couple of years ago) rightly called it the “sexiest job of the 21st century,” which it still seems to be. However, the question begs –when is the right time to make a career transition to analytics?
That’s the million dollar question!! Apparently it’s not enough if you just know how to spell Apache Hadoop – data analysts need to go beyond that to make that career switch. For starters, you need to be convinced that an analytics career is what you actually want and then see if you have what it takes to move into that sphere. Switching to analytics involves a lot! Let’s take a peek at what that is…
Good analytical thinking skills
You need to be good at analytical thinking, have the capacity to pair organizational problems and solutions together, be good at solving puzzles, willing to take technology head-on, have a healthy curiosity and enjoy teaming up with other people. Obviously you need to harness the power of your frontal lobes and work towards acquiring analyst certifications. This is because if analytics is to be the valuable tool that it claims to be, you ought to know how to use it and having the above abilities will ensure that you’re on your way ‘there.’
Understand the relevance of data
When you are swimming in an ocean of data, you shouldn’t flounder –you need to be quickly able to separate the chaff from the grain, isolate it and identify its relevance to the present context and make sense of it.
Have a multi-tool skillset combined with interpretation skills
Finding meaningful solutions requires domain knowledge and more specifically experience in domains that are bound with analytics – market research and data warehousing to name a few. A few technical skills such as knowledge of SQL, Excel, SAS is a pretty valuable asset in this context as they are the ones that will strengthen your thought processes while analyzing data. These tools will remain just that till you know how to use them usefully to advance from problem solving to solution building. Clearly then what you need to be able to do is to leverage technology to its optimum level.
Your mother may have told you that ‘curiosity killed the cat,’ but if you’re not curious about data – why and how it’s being used and when– you can’t hit the nail on the head and get the right solution.
Be hungry and keep learning
Data analytics is an ever-evolving landscape and the data analytics industry needs a multi-disciplinary approach. It’s perhaps unfair to expect everyone who wants to make that switch to be a power house of all those ‘analytical traits’, but the will to do, the passion to be and the interest to hone your skills augur well for you.
McKinsey Global Institute’s report on big data predicts “that by 2018, there will be a shortage of 1.5 million analysts/managers who can make data-driven decisions versus 140,000-190,000 positions open for data scientists.”
The opportunity to make that switch to Analytics as a career, is NOW! Identify your strengths, know your areas of weakness, bridge the gaps, get the right training and take that job!
If you are looking to move into analytics from a different domain and need some advice take a look at this article: Looking to Move into Analytics From a Different Domain?