Data sets are larger and used more often than at any time in history. You’ve probably heard about how “big data” is transforming multiple industries.
Those types of sentiments aren’t an overreaction. The International Data Corporation’s (IDC) white paper on “the digitization of the world” described how digitization is “anything and everything that intersects our business workflows and personal streams of life.” Just think of the data that is tracked, collected and monitored from banking applications, cloud-based social media networks, self-driving cars and personalized entertainment. Every time you visit a website, stream media or make any type of digital interaction, data is in play.
The IDC has predicted that the amount of global data will increase from 33 zettabytes in 2018 to 175 zettabytes by 2025. A single zettabyte is equal to one trillion gigabytes (you use about three gigabytes an hour to stream high-definition video).
Given the size and speed of data in a digitized world, it’s natural to ask how businesses should analyze data in a useful way. It’s for this reason that data analytics has become an important topic and an in-demand employment field.
What is Data Analytics?
Data analytics refers to the science behind examining data to make conclusions about the information. Various techniques, processes and algorithms are often used to take data and turn it into useful insights that add value.
The concept is rather broad and can refer to many applications. For instance, social networks collect user data that can help advertisers target audiences that have specific preferences. Data analytics combines with technology to take the large amount of data those sites collect and make it profitable in advertising.
Other examples include manufacturing where data analytics can help ensure that machines are operating at peak capacity. In finance, data analytics can help identify fraudulent activity or provide insight into a company’s spending behaviors. Healthcare uses data analytics to better understand patient health and to evaluate the performance of practitioners. Sports analytics help fans and the media appreciate athletic performance and quantify greatness on the field or court. Nearly any industry and company can benefit from taking data and drawing actionable insights to determine current effectiveness, enhance efficiency and predict the future.
There are four major types of data analytics. Descriptive analytics looks at metrics and measures within a business. In other words, it examines what has happened. Diagnostics analytics reveals the source of a problem. Another is predictive analytics, which takes past data and uses it to predict the probability of an event happening in the future or to estimate the success of a new campaign or other event. Finally, prescriptive analytics uses advanced techniques to recommend data-informed actions and strategies.
Demand and Salary for Data Analytics Jobs
The size and speed of data in a digital world translates well to employment opportunities. Individuals with data analytics expertise are among those most in demand by employers.
More than 3,600 chief information officers (CIOs) and technology executives across 108 countries named “big data/analytics” as the scarcest skill in the job market. Forty-four percent of respondents saw it as an area of need. The Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO Survey 2019, the largest IT leadership survey in the world, added that skills shortages are the highest they’ve been since 2008. “Data analytics, cybersecurity, AI and transformation are driving technology investment,” the authors reiterated, with data analytics leading the pack.
Though the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn’t collect salary data or make employment outlook projections for data analysts, they do have information for professionals classified as operations research analysts. According to BLS research, operations research analysts are among the 15 fastest-growing occupations. The employment of operations research analysts is projected to increase 26% by 2028. They earn a median annual wage of $83,390. Based on nearly 15,000 data analyst salaries from Glassdoor, the average total pay for data analysts is $72,059 at the time of publication.
You can pursue a future in this field with an online data analytics degree or an online MBA. These programs feature some of the lowest tuition rates in the market, and there’s no need to have a background in mathematics or programming. Once you graduate, you’ll be able to explore a high-demand, lucrative role like using predictive analytics in healthcare.
Develop the skills and knowledge to thrive in any industry at Husson University. You’ll learn from dedicated professors who have years of experience in their fields in a convenient format that fits your life.