What is Data Analytics: Could This Be My Career?

Data analytics is the science of making meaning from raw data. People who practice in this field find ways to discover meaningful patterns in huge quantities of information. Their skills are essential now that many businesses rely on Big Data.

People who practice data analytics are sometimes referred to as data scientists. It is their job to apply insights from statistics and computer science to help organizations model reality. Through these models, decision-makers are able to set strategies to increase profit and serve others.

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Why is Data Analytics Important?

Big Data has ushered in the era of the modern data analytics professional.

In short, Big Data is the idea that organizations must continually collect and interpret very large quantities of unstructured information. Unstructured means that the information being captured has not been prepared in advance so that it “makes sense” in and of itself.

For example, a library’s catalog of materials is a form of structured data. The way the catalog is set up gives you a clear idea of not only what you might find, but how you can go about finding it. However, businesses must evaluate data that comes in many unusual forms.

When a company wants to understand what people think about its brand or what drives them to make decisions, they must turn to data like social media messages, online browsing, and records of other behaviors that are spontaneous – not structured in any way.

Plus, they must figure out the patterns while facing an unprecedented quantity and velocity of data. You can think of decision-making data as coming from a fire hose that continues to get wider and faster on a daily basis. The data analyst must make sense of it all. Novel algorithms and models are required.

Just as Big Data did not exist 20 years ago, many of the techniques used by today’s data scientists are just being pioneered. There is still plenty of time to find yourself at the cutting edge of a field where you can become one of the best – and even make a permanent mark.

How Can Someone Make a Career Out of Data Analytics?

Data analytics is a field of great importance to many industries. It is part of any workplace where large quantities of data must be interpreted to take action. In sectors as diverse as finance, healthcare, marketing, public policy, and many others, you’ll find data analytics.

Data analytics can help you forge your path to a more satisfying career in areas like mobile app development, game development, database administration, business analysis, and, of course, software development. The number of opportunities is increasing rapidly.

Modern organizations seek and use data in many ways depending on their relationship with their customers, users, or the public. A data analytics pro can fit into an organization as a solo contributor, the head of a team, or even the leader of an entire data analytics division.

One of the most interesting things about data analytics is the sheer volume of places where it is in use today. Data analytics professionals can often enjoy the opportunity to try out many kinds of employers until they find the ones that truly resonate with their goals and interests.

Why is Formal Education Helpful in Data Analytics?

A formal education is absolutely vital in data analytics.

Data analytics owes a great deal to the traditions of mathematics and computer science, but it is not something most people can expect to learn on their own. To be successful, students must understand a complete set of complex formulas and tools.

Not only must you grasp this information, but you also must understand when and where to apply it. Data analytics is, at root, a problem-solving discipline: Formal education gives you a set of problem-solving patterns you can use until you dig down to the real nature of a question.

Although there are some aspects of data analytics you can practice on your own, only a formal education allows you to bring them all together into a cohesive whole. This also demonstrates to prospective employers that you’ve developed rigorous skills in the field.

Detecting errors in data analytics isn’t always easy. A small mistake in the way data is organized may lead to a large misinterpretation of what it all means. Formal education means you can go forward with confidence knowing that your work is accurate. That, in itself, is worthwhile.

Last, but not least, there is the problem of reinventing the wheel. Formal education allows you to learn from current leaders in the field and apply proven techniques that really work. A book that’s even a few years old may be deeply misleading about today’s data analytics.

Ready to Start Your Journey?

Are you interested in data analytics and want to turn that interest into a career? If you want to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer and Information Science with a Major in Software Development Data Analytics Track, consider ECPI University. For more information, connect with a friendly admissions professional today.

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