According to the World Economic Forum, Data Analysts are expected to be in the Top Ten Jobs in Demand by 2020. Coupled with this there is a current skills shortage in this profession in Ireland and a growth rate of over 8 per cent; Ireland needs to create 21,000 jobs in data by 2020. These statistics show great job prospects and makes Data Analysis a very attractive career area for many up and coming professionals.
Some forward-thinking school leavers are already showing interest in this area. DCU have recorded a surge in CAO applications to their Data Science course this year. First preference applications for this course went up by 17 per cent. The first of its kind in Ireland, the programme was launched in 2016 to meet industry demand for world-class graduates interested in a career in Big Data, data analytics and related data science roles. (Courses linked to data analysis can also be studied at Higher Education in UCC, ITT, NUIG, and DBS.)
So What is Data Analysis All About?
Big Data is one of the fastest growing areas of computing and Ireland has become the European data centre location of choice for world leader including: IBM, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, MSN and Adobe, and is now poised to become a global cloud centre of excellence.
Up to this, the type of data generated has been 'structured data' – from financial institutions, bank accounts, and big institutions. Today we have unstructured data – the type of data being generated by social media, mobile phones for example.
Every day 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is being created! 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. This data comes from everywhere:
- From the sensors used to gather climate information
- From posts to social media sites
- From digital pictures and videos
- From purchase transaction records
- From mobile phone GPS signals - to name but a few
This data is big data and it is already hugely relevant to daily life.
Today, it is users who are creating data, in particular, mobile data. The amount of data continues to grow rapidly and all that data not only needs to be managed and stored securely, it also needs to be indexed and made accessible so that it can be used efficiently. The management of data is big business now, and it will continue to grow as long as more and more devices, technologies and services harvest more and more information from society.
Data Scientists, Data Analysts, Data Governance Managers- these are the people required to do this job and these are the new job roles emerging to meet this need - people who can understand and provide meaning to the piles and piles of data — the tons of information about customers, products, and habits, that may one day help people sell advertising, build better gadgets and products, or even save lives.
People with skills that marry business acumen, with the technical aspects of data analytics will be in high demand across industry sectors.
Am I suited to Data Analysis?
If you are still reading this article then there is a good chance that you are interested to this area. People who are curious and like to trawl through information to make logical conclusions are usually a good candidate for data analysis. A good numerical ability is definitely an advantage. You will also need to communicate your findings so good communication and interpersonal skills are important here.
You can take the free CareersPortal Interests-Profiler to see if your career interests match those associated with Data Analysis. If your results show an interest in Investigative, Administrative and Realist you may have a match for Data Analysis. Why not take 15 minutes to complete the Careers Interests Profile now, click here to sign-up. Having an interest in working in the ICT and Computers sector and Business Organisation and Management is also an advantage.
If you are in school, you may have taken aptitude tests such as the DAT. Showing ability in Numerical Reasoning and Abstract Reasoning are also indicators of good potential in the area of data analytics.
Don’t be put off if your interest assessment or aptitude tests didn’t hit the right notes for data analytics. You are the best judge to know whether this is a career that may interest you. Do your research. Look up college courses and go to college open days to find out as much as you can before you commit to the course. One of the best ways to find out if a career suits you is to gain some work experience.
In Summary. . .
90% of today’s data was created in the last two years! So as long as people continue to use technology, Data Analysts will continue to be sought-after employees. With over 5,000 tech companies in Ireland, ranging from Start-Ups and SMEs to larger international and multinational companies, all accumulating information, there really are some great career opportunities in the field of data and the tech sector in general.