The term ‘analyst’ in the analytics field is a very broad one and could mean a number of different things. However, when we’re talking about a career in analytics, the analyst role focuses on using data to solve business problems. The analyst may not necessarily be responsible for collecting or creating this data, but they are responsible for analyzing it and reporting their findings to stakeholders within an organization. In this respect, careers in analytics can vary from database administration roles where you focus on storing and organizing data to more strategic roles such as predictive modeling or financial analysis.
As with many other IT roles, however, what you’ll generally find is that there will often be a degree of specialization within these areas. In the case of an analyst, you’ll find that they generally specialize in a particular industry such as marketing or finance. In the latter role, analytics is used mostly for accounting and financial reporting purposes.
The skillset required is typically more technical compared with other roles in Big Data. Analysts will need to be able to retrieve and process data from a number of different sources using a range of tools including programming languages such as Python and Java. Data visualization skills are also highly sought after by employers when looking at potential candidates for this kind of position.
In terms of career progression, many analysts start out within entry-level positions before working their way up to management roles depending on their experience and. There are some exceptions to this rule, however, as some employers will opt to hire very experienced individuals for certain positions.
In short: The analyst is the one bringing data from different areas together and making sense of it by using statistics and other analysis techniques. Depending on the kind of business, he or she may need to be able to display their findings through various kinds of visualizations such as charts and graphs.
Careers in Analytics: Who does what?
As with any growing field that’s built on a range of specializations, there’s no definite answer to that does what in analytics – especially because roles can vary quite dramatically depending on the industry. However, we’ve put together a list showing you an overview of typical roles within analytics and how they differ from each other:
Business analyst –
As the name implies, a business analyst is mostly responsible for analyzing data to help a certain part of a business streamline its processes and make more sense of its data. In terms of technical skills, this role requires understanding how databases work as well as knowledge about programming languages such as SQL. He or she will likely need to review existing reports and dashboards as well as implement new queries that might be necessary for the analysis process.
Data scientist –
Data scientists analyze large amounts of structured and unstructured data in order to find patterns that can then be used for predictive analytics. This job role has recently become popular due to the growing amount of Big Data available on a regular basis. It’s important to note that there are certain overlaps between the skillset of a data scientist and that of a business analyst – which is why some companies might opt for hiring BI analysts with additional training.
Data engineer –
Similar to what we’ve mentioned before, data engineers’ main responsibility is to collect and organize structured (and unstructured) data. This role requires knowledge about different programming languages as well as databases such as Hadoop – which is used for distributed storage and processing of very large datasets across clusters of computers.
Machine learning engineer –
If you like coding, but want more than just building algorithms and analyzing data, then becoming a machine learning engineer could be just what you’re looking for. This role typically focuses on the development of machine learning as well as predictive analytics systems. In this position, you can expect to use a range of different programming languages such as Python and C++ to build large-scale models that process millions of data records in real-time.
Data visualization specialist –
This role combines both a technical and an artistic aspect. Data visualization specialists work on the creation of various kinds of charts and graphs that display results from data analysis processes. This job role is often required to interact with business users who need the information presented visually instead of just through reports or dashboards. This might be because they aren’t able to understand these formats themselves, which means that the analyst will also need some communication skills for this position.
Data architect –
If you’ve already worked as a business analyst, a data scientist or a data engineer, then going one step further and becoming a data architect could be what you’re looking for. It’s an approachable job role that requires knowledge about both the technical and management aspects of working with data. This role is responsible for organizing different kinds of information in order to help companies define their roadmap from Big Data to Big Insights.
Analytical skills are needed across the whole organization – no matter which department you work in, whether it’s finance, marketing or IT. That being said, there are different roles within analytics depending on the industry and specific projects – so make sure to research what these entail before making a decision on the role you’d like to pursue.