Data Analytics

Top 7 Data Analyst Career Paths To Pursue And Job Prospects

Undeniably, emerging technologies have enabled improved productivity for all types of businesses. Digitalization is booming, prompting new professions to arise. When you look at today’s job market, you can see many new roles with fancy titles — from junior analysts and analytics managers to chief data officers and data scientists. In general, the data analyst career is promising but requires hard work and dedication. So, immerse into this article that sheds light on this burgeoning calling. Discover all its nuances, job outlook, and salary perspectives. Find out what it takes to become a data analyst from scratch. Let’s roll.


Data Analyst Career: Booming but Demanding Profession

If you wonder what data analysts do, their primary duties entail collecting, organizing, evaluating, and interpreting raw data into useful information that enables organizations to understand the issue better and make informed decisions. Data analytics plays a crucial role in the decision-making process.

For this reason, skills for data analytics have found a wide application across various business domains — from education, finance, and insurance to healthcare, media, and manufacturing. Every company can benefit from data analysis, regardless of industry, type, or size. This opens up plenty of opportunities for you in this prosperous but challenging profession.

For instance, Netflix harnesses data analysis tools to collect and analyze information on customer habits to discern trends and patterns in what they are watching. So, when you browse the Netflix app, you get recommended TV shows and movies that align with your preference. Likewise, they can use this info to create new content following the demand.

Additionally, the advantages of data analytics techniques are entailed in that the correct information is imperative for doing business successfully in today’s dynamic and globalized world. So, data analysis tools and techniques fill the gap between being in the dark and being plugged into industry trends.

Data analytics can help enterprises transform and gain leverage by anticipating business directions, customer inclinations, competition, and future courses of action. Accordingly, contemporary corporations invest many resources in this discipline, providing numerous data analyst positions.


Types of Data Analysis Methods

As introduced, data analytics techniques enable companies to identify patterns, gather intel, predict tendencies, and come up with solutions. This produces favorable outcomes such as efficient marketing strategies, increased revenue, and reduced financial costs. In line with the market needs, there are several types of data analysis, such as follows.


Exploratory Analytics: Preceding Other Types of Data Analysis

Exploratory data analysis (EDA) comes before other data analytics types. It investigates and outlines critical information points utilizing data visualization (e.g., pie charts, bar graphs, and joint plots). For instance, a consumer sector company can apply EDA to recognize which products are bought together or are best sellers within different segments.


Descriptive Analytics: What Has Happened

The first step in processing information is descriptive analysis, which revolves around historical data, examining past actions, and answering what has occurred. It is the most elementary form and employs various data analysis tools, such as descriptive statistics, visualization, and machine learning — presenting findings in charts, panels, statements, and other illustrative means. This methodology is helpful to many professionals; for example, a digital marketer can use Google Analytics to find out about site visitors and monitor the progress of an ad campaign.


Diagnostic Analytics: Why Something Has Eventuated

The next phase is diagnostic analysis, which further discovers the event’s reason. It thoroughly examines available information to uncover genuine motivation, connections, and elements, utilizing data analytics techniques such as data harvesting and accumulation. For instance, this technique can give you actionable insights into why your sales have increased/decreased in a specific period, enabling you to make necessary adjustments.


Predictive Analytics: How Likely Something Is Going to Ensue

Predictive analysis exploits previously known information (past events) to anticipate the future. Employing data analysis tools, like artificial intelligence, it tries to assess the probability and impact of consequences. This allows you to be proactive and respond to adverse outcomes before they materialize. For example, this approach can be used for measuring demand, turnover rate, profits, and losses, among other things.


Prescriptive Analytics: How to Respond to Emerging Occurrences

As the most advanced technique, the main task of prescriptive analysis is recommending a best-suited game plan. To achieve this, it integrates other types of data analysis methods. Similar to predictive analytics, prescriptive analysis also forecasts future actions. Yet, it goes even further, employing various data pattern analysis tools (e.g., binary decision diagrams, bayesian networks, and artificial neural networks) to suggest a road map.

It brings historical records into bear by learning from them to realize the correlation between multiple considerations. Ultimately, this knowledge gives a clue about future occurrences, outcomes, and follow-up actions. Prescriptive analytics can be employed for various problem-solving tasks, from detecting threats and decreasing expenses to figuring out customer needs and boosting efficiency.


Data Analysis Skills

As you can assume, all of these types of data analysis require some advanced and unique proficiency. In this respect, here are the top skills for data analysts you must develop:


Machine learning is based on algorithms through which data analysts feed computers with information that artificial intelligence uses to analyze, predict, and advise without programming. This skill is essential in processing large amounts of data, enabling automated processes.


Data mining pertains to extracting and revealing unidentified intel from a data pool. It entails numerous data analytics techniques for meaningful observation about relations and tendencies contained in raw data, after which findings are transferred into valuable insights. In this connection, take a look at Data Analytics vs Data Mining.


Data visualization is one of the most useful data analysis tools, creating illustrative displays of information that present data explicitly and succinctly, enabling better understanding.


Data analysts widely use programming languages such as MySQL, R, and Python. For those who don’t like coding or aren’t good at math, this profession might be challenging since it involves a lot of algebra and statistics. However, don’t let this discourage you from going after a career in data analysis.


Knowledge of software applications like Microsoft Excel, Tableau, Alteryx, and Power BI is also necessary for working with data. These tools aid data management, manipulation, analysis, and other processes.


Apart from these data analysis skills, it would help if you were adept at troubleshooting, critical thinking, and communication and possess analytical skills and relevant industry experience.


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Data Analyst Career Paths: Top Occupations in Data Analytics

If you are keen on a data analytics path, go through the info below to get an idea of what data analyst positions are your best match.


Risk Analyst

In a globalized world, companies face a broad array of risks; operational, financial, reputational, security, and safety are just some of them that must be taken into account. Otherwise, neglected risks cause substantial costs, losses, and business disruptions. As a result, the role of risk analysts becomes vital. In said position, you employ a broad spectrum of data analytics techniques to identify and assess internal and external challenges that could negatively affect your organization.


Quantitative Analyst

Quantitative analytics appeal to you the most if you are engaged in the financial sector. Quantitative analysts employ mathematics and statistics to find answers to financial issues. Therefore, the most benefits from these data analysis skills are banking and financial institutions, investment companies, and other businesses that need to mitigate economic risks and develop more effective selling strategies.


Data Analyst

In this position, you use different types of data analysis for gathering, cleaning, and analyzing data to identify trends and patterns. Due to the considerable advantages this role offers, skills for data analysts are highly sought-after by a large number of private and public organizations worldwide. That’s why the average salary for this profession is between 80K and 140K USD in the USA, depending on your experience.


Business Intelligence (BI) Analyst

Although data analytics and business intelligence share common grounds, they differ. However, if you equip yourself with data analysis skills, you can apply them in a business intelligence analyst role. If you wonder what BI analysts do, in a nutshell, their work is an enabler for enhanced business operations.

They also process data from various sources (e.g., surveys, research, reports, etc.) to produce decision-supporting insights into crucial issues (e.g., understanding weaknesses and opportunities). No wonder the median wage for this position is around 60K GBP per year in the UK, according to Glassdoor.


Business Analyst

Business analytics is very similar to data analysis and previously mentioned business intelligence. You can find more details about their principal distinctions and subtleties in the following post: business analytics vs business intelligence. Back to the topic, business analysts take business intelligence to the next level. They evaluate data to seek out fields of advancement.

At this job, you cooperate closely with stakeholders to devise and assign optimal solutions. As for the business analyst salary, let’s take India for example; these professionals can expect between 8,00,000 and 10,00,000 INR yearly.


Data Scientist

Here comes one of the most essential data analyst positions — a data scientist. If you opt for this data analyst career, you will harness data to resolve complicated challenges by applying sophisticated data analytics techniques like machine learning and data mining. For instance, the data scientist’s role comes to light in logistics.

So, let’s take Walmart as an example; at this company, you need to use data to upgrade supply chains by spotting potential failures and delays. Consequently, these skills for data analytics play a crucial role in today’s business environments; hence, the demand for data scientists is projected to climb by 35% in the coming period. Speaking of the salary, the highest-paid jobs go up to 200K USD annually.


Data Engineer

Data engineers enable all other data analyst positions to perform their duties by developing infrastructure, including cloud service, databases, and algorithmic technologies. Understandably, this is one of the most coveted data analyst career paths. Have a look at the average salary for data engineers in the EU countries:


  • United Kingdom: 52K GBP
  • Germany: 70K EUR
  • France: 65K EUR
  • Netherlands: 60K EUR
  • Spain: 55K EUR


Corporations such as BMW, Lidl, and Societe Generale offer these wages.

There are many more data analyst career paths out there. Which one to choose depends on your preferences, skills, and goals. I advise researching each of them to understand what they entail clearly.


Is Data Analyst Career Promising

As can be imagined, a data analyst career is opportunistic and pays off because of practical grounds — high wages and high job outlooks. A snowballing demand for professionals equipped with the skills for data analytics impacts earnings. That said, the salary for entry-level jobs ranges from 61K to 80K USD monthly. On the other hand, the average salary for senior data analyst positions exceeds 120K USD. These numbers are relevant for the US market, with over 500K vacancies in this field. Regarding the annual median salary in the rest of the world, figures show the following:


  • Australia: 110K AUD
  • New Zealand: 92K NZD
  • Canada: 86K CAD
  • Japan: 4,8M JPY
  • Hong Kong: 50K HKD


Speaking of data analytics jobs, the market is expanding. According to statistics, the need for qualified personnel is expected to grow 25% in the next ten years, much faster than other professions. Besides that, the additional benefit of a career in data analysis is the possibility of working remotely and globally. So, no matter your location, you can work from home as a freelancer or for multinational corporations.

The most prominent enterprises with a high demand for these experts span diverse industries, including technology, banking, and healthcare, such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup.

Nonetheless, a looming challenge is the increased use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that some experts foresee will replace human data analysis skills. However, this isn’t accurate since AI will enhance your productivity and make it easier to develop in-demand skills for data analysts. Learn more about data analytics and artificial intelligence.


“Although one of the growing data analytics trends in which professionals rely on the AI-powered data analysis tools, you shouldn’t worry since AI can’t replace critical reasoning of data analysts.”


How to Learn Data Analytics

Starting a data analyst career requires careful planning. You can begin learning with numerous online data analytics courses; select an accredited one that awards you an industry-recognized certification. Similarly, you can start your learning journey with data analytics books that will give you insights into this subject. Data analysis is precious to you if you are engaged in one of the following fields:


  • As a decision-maker, it will enable you to make well-informed decisions, facilitating innovation management and streamlining other operations.
  • It strengthens your competence if you are a recent graduate or undertaking a bachelor’s or master’s in relevant studies (e.g., computing, IT, mathematics, finance, etc.).
  • If you work as a digital marketer, it allows you to create better marketing strategies.
  • Suppose you are in any other position (e.g., IT specialist, banking manager, sales executive, logistics officer, etc.). In that case, it will help upgrade customer experience, increase turnover, and decrease costs.


All in all, the right training program will give you an edge regardless of your competency level. Remember that a career in data analysis is highly competitive, so choosing the right provider is significant.


Check here the best data analytics courses:


IIM SKILLS: The Best Data Analytics Course

One course provider stands out from the rest — IIM SKILLS. This leading institute has earned a world reputation by delivering first-class distance learning to many students worldwide — 35K+ and still counting. The most significant advantages of its programs are the best price-quality ratio and a learn-by-doing approach to teaching. Many employers, including global brands like IBM, Oracle, and Adobe, welcome this and hire IIM Skills graduates (check out hiring partners). Along with the devoted employment support from the school, landing a job is as easy as rolling off a log. Watch video testimonials from satisfied students of this Indian e-school.


On the subject of the IIM SKILLS online Data Analytics Course, here are quick facts:

  • Pricing: 710 USD (tax incl.).
  • Duration: 6 months of live e-learning data analysis course + 2 months of the apprenticeship program.
  • Structure: Over 160 hours of instructor-led online training + more than 100 hours of practical learning.
  • Modules: Take all 9 modules or choose from 7 electives.
  • Tools: Master a range of skills for data analytics, including Microsoft Excel, Tableau, Power BI, Python, SQL, R, and Alteryx.
  • Qualifications: A data analytics certificate accredited by the Indian government and issued by IIM Skills.


In sum, IIM Skills has what it takes to provide you with the most sought-after data analyst skills. Not only that, it enables you to become an intern and put your knowledge into practice. This educational provider goes above and beyond by helping you get your foot in the door and jumpstart a data analyst career.


Check out other professional programs:


Frequently Asked Questions


How to start a data analyst career from scratch?

If you wonder how to start a data analyst career without experience, opt for one of a myriad of online data analytics courses, earn employer-recognized certificates, and build in-demand skills. For the best value for the money, hands-on learning, and job placements, the IIM SKILLS training program is an absolute favorite.


Can I learn skills for data analysts online?

Yes, absolutely. The best part of learning data analysis is the possibility of distance education. Thus, both acquiring skills for data analytics and working in this field can be done from home, contributing to the booming popularity of a data analyst career.


Is taking a data analysis course worth it?

It all depends on what course you take. It goes without saying that a certificate with a poor provider holds no value, wasting your time and money. In contrast, choosing from renowned online schools will open the door for you to a smooth career in data analysis.


How fast can I develop data analysis skills?

It hinges on several factors. How eager you are to learn skills for data analytics and what training program you select play critical parts. If you put enough time and effort into gaining employer-recognized data analyst qualifications, you can become industry-ready in less than a year.


Can I find work with a data analytics certificate?

Some companies require a degree to join them. Yet, many entry-level data analyst positions would accept professional courses that award you an approved credential. All in all, kick-starting your data analyst career relies on your level of skills for data analysts and post-course support. Thus, choose your training provider wisely.


Conclusion: Career in Data Analysis

When all is said and done, this job occupation is bright and auspicious. With the growing need for skills for data analysts and high earning potential, pursuing a well-trodden data analyst career path is worthwhile. Certainly, the right education program will help you achieve a long and profitable career in data analysis. In particular, IIM SKILLS is highly suggested for boosting your employability and acquiring knowledge.

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