Career Spotlight: Data Analyst

Career Spotlight: Data Analyst

Career Spotlight: Data Analyst banner

The most efficient and profitable businesses understand the value of gathering and analyzing data on a large scale. Increasingly every business, regardless of the industry, relies on data analysts to gather information about anything from transportation costs to pricing for new materials to customer satisfaction.

Data analytics holds ample promise in today’s information-driven economy but requires considerable understanding of statistics and computer science. Read on to learn more about this exciting career field and the many opportunities that a Master of Science — Data Analytics can provide.

What is Data Analytics?

Data analytics involves advanced statistical methods to make sense of raw data. Ideally, conclusions derived from analyzed data will make business processes more efficient and less costly.

Data Analytics versus Data Science

The terms ‘data analytics’ and ‘data science’ are frequently confused. Technically, data science is an umbrella term that encompasses several practices, including data analytics. Data science may also involve predictive analytics and machine learning. Data analytics can also incorporate these practices, but generally, it involves a narrower scope. With analytics, the goal is to use gathered data to produce insights that are immediately actionable.

Job Responsibilities for Data Analysts

The facts and figures data analysts handle may differ radically based on their industry of choice, but all spend considerable time working with numbers. No matter where or how data analysts are employed, they can expect to take part in extensive data collection efforts — and to use the insights gained from this data to compile reports featuring both predictions and potential solutions to company problems.

Job Outlook for Data Analysts

“It is such a huge area right now,” says Lisa Nademlynsky, department chair and associate professor, College of Engineering and Design at Johnson & Wales University Providence Campus. “There is already a shortage of between 140,000 and 190,000 potential employees in that area, because people just don’t have the very deep analytical skills.”

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Employment prospects for data analysts depend largely on academic credentials, time in the workforce, and the industry of choice. For example, analysis from Springboard indicates that data analysts working in the mining industry regularly command over six figures. According to a report from Accenture and Microsoft Survey, 89 percent of oil companies and oilfield services firms believe that leveraging analytics will result in added business value. Other top industries for data analysts include finance, manufacturing, and technical services.

Data Analyst Qualifications

While opportunities abound in this growing field, competition remains strong for top positions. Increasingly, employers demand graduate-level education, even for entry-level data analysts. A Master of Science – Data Analytics could be the key to your success. It not only grants you the credentials that employers desire but also an in-depth understanding of key concepts in this rapidly changing field, including:

  • Data mining
  • Predictive modeling
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Time Series Analysis
  • Big data
  • Machine learning

A variety of courses develop students’ understanding of the concepts mentioned above. Graduate students gain not only a theoretical understanding of such concepts, but also a clear idea of how they play out in the real world.

In addition to standard coursework, the online Master of Science – Data Analytics program includes a capstone, which involves the application of theoretical knowledge gained in core courses to real-world scenarios. During this project, students collect and analyze data and then apply appropriate analytic methods. Like the program’s core courses, the capstone can be completed and submitted 100-percent online.

If you enjoy working with numbers and hope to use data-driven insights to increase company efficiency or profits, you could be a prime candidate for a career in data analytics. A Master of Science in Data Analytics could be your first step on the road to a highly rewarding career path.

Want to learn more about earning your Master of Science – Data Analytics with Johnson & Wales University’s College of Online Education? For more information, complete the Request Info form on this page or call 855-JWU-1881.

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