Data Analytics

It's not just about number crunching

Data science is one of the fastest growing job functions out there at the moment: as technological solutions to help businesses grow, reach new customers, optimise their operations and assess performance become increasingly sophisticated, the demand for professionals who can interpret results and track improvements is growing exponentially too.

So what exactly does a job in data analysis involve? Well it's not just about number crunching, although having strong maths is valuable for those looking to embark on a career in the field. Data scientists have to be able to think analytically about the results they uncover: they need to think about WHY a trend is emerging, not just identify what it is that's happening. And they need to be able to communicate the story behind the data to key stakeholders in the business (who might not be savvy with numbers!) effectively and succinctly, in both written and visual formats. Companies rely on data analysis teams to provide the business case for investing in new technologies, solutions or approaches; for entering new markets; for pivoting on business strategy. Ultimately, EVERYTHING in our digital landscape is increasingly coming down to the data, as every element of the consumer journey and experience is trackable and open to optimisation.

The really exciting thing about data analytics is that there are jobs in almost every industry and sector imaginable: so whether you're interested in finance, marketing, sales, education, pharmaceuticals, name it! There will be data analysis teams looking for new recruits.

What kind of work is involved? Your typical roles and responsibilities might include:

  • Setting up automated data collection processes
  • Using tools and software to measure performance - for example, using Google Analytics to asses traffic to your company's website. Through which channels are users arriving at your website? Which pages are most popular? How long does the average visitor stay on your website?
  • Tracking key performance indicators (number of sales/average delivery time/average spend per customer)
  • Developing reporting dashboards to share key insights with other departments, including graphical representations of data
  • Creating surveys to gather user information
  • Benchmarking against industry averages and competitors
  • Mining large data sets to help understand context of your own business
  • Cleansing data to eliminate error

It's the perfect role for people who are looking to combine their mathematical skills with a problem-solving mindset, in an environment reliant on teamwork, collaboration and excellent communication skills to really move the needle on business performance. Read on below to find out how you can best prepare yourself for applying for a job in data science! And hear from a Data Analysis apprentice currently learning and earning in the sector...

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