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What is Data Analytics and How Do I Start a Career in It?

What is Data Analytics and How Do I Start a Career in It?

11 Apr 2022

What is Data Analytics and How Do I Start a Career in It

More organisations around the world are relying on big data to solve business challenges and keep their brands relevant in an increasingly digital and saturated market. Given Singapore’s reputation as a booming business hub, it’s easy to see why there’s a demand for data analysts in the island nation, making it a rather lucrative career choice. However, before you jump into IT courses in Singapore, let’s find out more about what data analytics is exactly and, if it indeed is something you’d like to explore, how you can begin a career in the field.

What is Data Analytics?

Data Analyst Data checking

Generally speaking, data analytics is the process of examining and interpreting datasets using specialised systems and software to derive conclusions from the given information. This is widely used in commercial entities to make decisions that optimise business performance by: increasing revenue; improving operational efficiency; optimising marketing efforts; responding quickly to emerging market trends; and gaining an edge over competitors. 

Data analytics also comprises four primary sub-fields that will also be touched on in relevant courses such as a Masters in Data Analytics programme in Singapore:

  1. Descriptive analytics — Metrics like return on investment (ROI) and key performance indicators (KPIs) are derived from descriptive analytics. Simply put, it describes what has happened over a stipulated period of time; for instance, customers’ responses over the past month.
  2. Diagnostic analytics — Here, findings from descriptive analytics are further scrutinised so data analysts can find out why things happened the way they did; for example, why a particular KPI improved or worsened.
  3. Predictive analytics — Using techniques to study historical data, predictive analytics help answer questions about what will happen in the future. This allows businesses to better anticipate sudden shifts in trends and so on.
  4. Prescriptive analytics — Data analysts use this to answer some questions about what can be done to address the findings made through predictive analytics. This allows business to formulate strategies and policies to stay ahead of the competition.

How Do I Get Started?

Common career paths for data analysts

How does one even begin to find a foothold in such a vast industry with so many different options and possibilities? Here are three essential factors that will shape your journey.

  1. Essential skills — Being a data analyst isn’t simply about crunching numbers and statistics; it is also a programming-heavy role. You will need to be adept in basic database languages like SQL, as well as other programming languages, such as Python. As data analytics is used in many sectors, you will also need to be familiar with the business practices of these respective sectors in order to be an effective contributor to the organisation that you will eventually be working for. Additionally, data analysts are required to present their findings to stakeholders, even those who are non-technical, so excellent presentation skills are vital in making your findings understood by your audience.
  2. Career path — It’s important to be able to visualise how your career as a data analyst might look like five to ten years from now. Typically, there are five “end-game” paths that data analytics will take you along: business analyst, reporting management, data scientist, budget analyst, and data analyst consultant. Explore what each role entails and pick the path that best fits your aspirations and ambitions.
  3. Getting certified — Finally, find out what accreditations you’ll need to start working as a data analyst. A good place to start would be to enrol in IT courses in Singapore that will equip you with the fundamentals of data analytics and enable you to work your way up in the industry. If you’re looking to transition into a more advanced role, you might even need to get a Masters in Data Analytics in Singapore.

However you want your journey to be, knowing exactly what you’re shooting for will go a long way in shaping the steps you’ll take to get there. No journey is smooth, but it doesn’t have to be longer and more tedious than it should.  

If you’d like to take your first step into a fulfilling career in data analytics, check out our website for more information about the relevant IT courses in Singapore that we have to offer to get you started.

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