According to projections by IDC (a well-known research firm), the amount of computing, web and digital data will increase fivefold by 2012 as a result of an upsurge in sensor signals, surveillance tapes, social network chatter, public records and more.
The increases in availability and storage of corporate transactional data within the last decade has left companies scrambling for data analysts trained in interpreting or making inferences based on data.
With the help of data analysts, companies can improve the speed and quality of their business decisions, manage risks better, predict the likelihood of favorable or unfavorable outcomes or provide their management team with improved predictive business intelligence.
Competing On Data
Hiring data analysts helps companies compete favorably using insights, trends or patterns gleaned from their corporate data. This is part of a global trend towards competing on data analytics.
For example, in 2009, IBM announced plans to hire or train 4,000 more data analysts!
According to Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM’s chairman, president and chief executive officer,
“Advanced analytics are increasingly essential to help companies and organizations confronted with vast amounts of data and systemic change, and who are looking to build smarter business systems.”
“All organizations today need to sort through myriad choices, make smarter decisions quickly and accurately, and act decisively”
Organizations looking for ways to leverage mountains of corporate data want to improve marketing effectiveness, customer relationship management (CRM) process, website usage, reduce costs or capitalize on opportunities and trends before their competitors.
According to Michael Maoz, vice president and distinguished analyst, Gartner Inc.
“As a result of the economic slowdown, business leaders are focusing on the central role of customer service to simultaneously lower costs and build customer loyalty.
The loss of a profitable customer, or a potentially profitable customer, is expensive and preventable.”
Data Analysts are positioned to help businesses improve their customer relationship management (CRM) systems using their analytical, statistical and predictive skills.
Job Outlook for Data Analysts
Data Analysts are employed in a number of industries, careers or domains include:
Web Data Analysts: Web sites produce enormous quantities data (website log files, site polls or survey results, web usage reports) which is interpreted by web data analysts or web developers with statistical data analysis training
CRM Data Analysts: Data analysts discover the gold in customer relationship management (CRM) systems. CRM data analysts help sales and marketing departments spot under-served markets, identify best customers, fine-tune advertising campaigns or predict new markets!
Marketing / Sales Data Analysts: Marketing data analysts work with marketing data stored in databases. They also import, validate, analyze or report on marketing data for their sales team.
According to Hal Varian (Google’s chief economist):
“More than ten years into the widespread business adoption of the Web, some managers still fail to grasp the economic implications of cheap and ubiquitous information on and about their business.”
Hal Varian makes the point that with data in huge supply and data analysts in short supply, Data Analysts have a favorable career outlook!