[This is second in a series of articles on business analytics. You can read the first one about What is Analytics?]
So you want to work with an IBM, HP, Accenture, Genpact etc. in the latest field of ‘Analytics’ or ‘Data Science’ and you want to be absolutely sure if this is the career for you ? Check out these 5 questions that you should answer to make this decision .( If you have a YES for 3 out of these 5 questions and an OK for 2, then Analytics is a viable the career option for you .)
- Do you believe that data should be the basis of all decisions? :- Take up Analytics only if your answer to this questions is an unequivocal YES . Analytics is the process of using and analysing large quantum of data (numbers, text, images etc.) to aggregate it , visualise / create dashboards on it , check repetitive trends and create models on which decision scan be made . And only people who innately believe in the power of data will excel in this field. Incase some prediction / analysis is wrong , the attitude of a good analyst is that it is because the data was not appropriate for that analysis or the technique used was incorrect . He/ she will never doubt that a correct decision will be made if the relevant data and appropriate technique is used.
- Do you like to constantly learn new stuff? Take up Analytics only if your answer to this questions is an unequivocal YES .Analytics is a new field . There is a constant increase in the avenues of data , currently w.r.t internet data , social networking information, mobile transaction data , near field communication devices . And there is a constant change in technology to store, process and analyse this data . Hadoop, Google updates etc. have become increasingly important. Cloud computing and data management is common now. Economic cycles have shortened and model building has become more frequent as older models get redundant. Eleven the humble excel has an Analysis Toolpak in Excel 2010 which has statistical functions. Be ready for change .
- Do you like to interpret outcomes and then track it to see if your recommendations were right? :- Take up Analytics only if your answer to this questions is an unequivocal YES .A data analyst will work on a project . The implementation of the recommendations will generally be valid for a reasonably long period of time of perhaps a year or even 3-5 years. A good analyst should be interested to know how accurate has been his understanding of the outcomes and should want to track the performance periodically. HE/she should ideally also be the first person to be able to say when the analysis is not working and needs to be re-worked.
- Are you ready to go back to a text book and brush up / pick up concepts of maths and statistics ? :- Take up Analytics only if your answer to this questions is an unequivocal YES . To accurately handle data and interpret results you will need to learn / brush up concepts of maths and statistics. It becomes very important to justify why you choose a particular path during analysis vs. others. The business users do not accept your word blindly.
- Do you like debating and logical thinking?:- Take up Analytics only if your answer to this questions is an unequivocal YES . As there is no one solution to all problems, an analyst has to choose the best way to handle the project / problem in hand. He has to be able to not only know the best way to analyse the data but also give the best way in the given time constraints and budget constraints. This sector generally has a very open culture where the analyst working on a project / problem will be required to give his inputs irrespective of his position in the hierarchy.
Do check your answers to the questions above . If you have a YES for 3 out of these 5 questions and an OK for 2, then Analytics is a viable the career option for you . Welcome to the world of Analytics !!
[Hi this is Shubhashini. I hope this has provided you some clarity on Analytics. Please feel free to contact me for any query or discussion at firstname.lastname@example.org , 9731107798.]
In my next articles I will cover:-
- How to get into Analytics
- Analytics as a career option for women
- The career paths in Analytics
- Salaries in Analytics