By Beau Peters
Numerous industries these days are utilising data analysis tools to improve their performance and make more informed decisions. Thus, those with analytical skills and an affinity for interpreting data are in high demand. However, you don’t need to hold a position as a data scientist, statistician, or data analyst specifically to work in other fields requiring data analysis experience.
At its core, data analysis is simply the process of analysing raw data to find trends, patterns, or biases to answer questions. However, there are many ways of analysing data and several different ways to then use and interpret that data for specific purposes. For example, some people use data analysis for diagnostic purposes, while others use it for predictive or descriptive purposes. No matter how someone uses data analysis, however, there’s often overlap in methods because, in the end, everyone is essentially using it for the same reason—to find and interpret data.
Depending on the field someone is looking to get into, the data analysis skill requirements may vary from one job to the next. Generally, however, those interested in working in data analytics should have the following skills:
- Math skills/an interest in working with numbers.
- Basic coding skills/good with technology and computers.
- Good communication skills (not only do you need to understand data, but you need to know how to interpret it and communicate your findings).
Again, you don’t need to be a data scientist to have and leverage these skills. Almost anyone can easily obtain the necessary skills to analyze data. Moreover, individuals with this kind of experience are not only sought after in the science and tech industry either; several other industries and fields value those with data analysis experience. The following are some of the lesser-known careers that make use of data analytics.
1. Project Managers
Good project managers are always in high demand, and if you can leverage the power of data analytics to enhance your role and improve outcomes and performance, it’s even better. While there are other skills, certifications, and education requirements one needs to have a successful career in project management, having the addition of being able to seek out and interpret data will give you a leg up in the field.
When most people think of meteorologists, they tend to think of the person on a news channel that stands in front of a screen, giving viewers a forecast of the weather. While this notion isn’t entirely wrong, it’s only half or even just a small portion of what a meteorologist does. Rather than being the on-screen face or celebrity for weather forecasts, their job is more about analyzing weather data and patterns to make the most accurate predictions possible. If you want to have a successful career in meteorology, you’ve got to enjoy interpreting dating more than you want to appear on TV.
3. Data Journalists
As the title indicates, data journalists essentially seek out data. Their work is similar to other investigative reporters; only they use data analysis to identify specific information and patterns and then share it with the public. Often, data journalists work for news stations or even freelance in the realm of investigative news and reporting.
Epidemiology is the study of diseases and epidemics. Their areas of focus can range from communicable diseases and non-communicable infectious diseases to chronic diseases, congenital disabilities, and a wide array of other public health issues and events. They utilise diagnostic, descriptive, and prescriptive data analytics when researching disease to determine when and where it occurs, what the root cause is, and how to prevent it going forward.
5. Survey Researchers
Survey research involves what you are likely thinking based on the title—performing research to conduct surveys. However, there is more to it than it sounds. Most survey researchers aren’t just sitting around coming up with fun questions to ask or making those silly polls you see on some websites. It’s a professional job that requires astute analytical skills. Survey researchers utilise data analytics to collect and analyse data to both inform what questions to ask as well as to analyze the responses they receive. They work in a variety of areas such as marketing, political, academic, and government research.
Though insurance companies exist to protect businesses and individuals, many find them frustrating and think they are just out to make money. However, what most people don’t know is that insurance policies and coverages are not just numbers and amounts that are thrown out there for them to make more money. There are individuals called actuaries whose job is to run numbers and analyze data to manage and determine risk. The data that actuaries collect and interpret is then used to inform decisions, such as how much someone should pay for insurance coverage based on their risk factor.
Pursuing a Career in Data Analytics
The careers listed above are just a few of many that value those with the skills necessary to interpret data. If you know that you are interested in a profession that may require analytical skills, it’s a good idea to have more than just a basic understanding of how data analytics works.
However, even those interested in other industries may improve their chances of getting a job if they have at least some knowledge of data analytics. As its something that is becoming widely used by nearly every business looking to boost their performance, recruiters and hiring managers may start to look for it as at least a basic skill on every resume. So whether you are specifically pursuing a career in data analytics or simply looking for ways to improve your skills overall to better market yourself as you look for a job, having experience in data analysis is something that can benefit everyone.
For more from Women Love Tech on how to navigate a career in STEM, take a look here.