Data Analyst career is one of the most common options for people who want to pursue a career in Tech. There are abundant training materials and resources online to help you become one. While these are positive aspects of the career, some not-so-good aspects of being a data analyst are often not mentioned. This blog post will highlight the disadvantages or the downsides of the Data Analyst career you need to know.
The goal is not to discourage anyone from becoming a Data Analyst but rather to inform them of the challenges. But first, what is the job of a Data Analyst?
What Does a Data Analyst Do?
A Data analyst is a professional who analyzes raw data and creates useful insights from the data to solve problems. A Data analyst works with Data from businesses (or organizations) and helps such businesses make better decisions from data.
The specific responsibilities of a Data analyst may vary widely depending on the organization they work for. However, it will typically involve collecting and cleaning the datasets of interest, querying those data, interpreting them, and then visualizing those data in the form of graphs, charts, tables, etc. Data visualization makes it easy for the organization to make insightful decisions based on data.
Why Data Analyst Career May, In Reality, Hurt Your Expectations
It is important to know that the Data Analyst job is part of a larger sub-set of professionals who work with data. The other professionals who work with data include Data Scientists, Data Engineer, Machine Learning Engineer etc. These other career options can sometimes create conflicting interests, confusing job roles, and make the career of a Data Analyst less appealing. Some of the challenges or downsides of the Data Analyst career are as follows;
1. Data Analyst Job Is Seen As A Transition Career
The Data Analyst career is a transient career path to other jobs in many instances. This is because other similar jobs tend to offer better pay and opportunities than the strict data analyst career path. People move to other job roles like Data Engineering, Product Manager, Machine Learning Engineer, Data Scientists etc. It in effect makes a Data Analyst career more like an entry-level job even after some significant investment in training and experience.
This high attrition rate can be demotivating, especially for people with long-term goals in Data Analytics. You would want peers who still share the same interests as you or enjoy the mentorship of people who have had much experience on the job.
2. Low Entry-Barrier For Data Analyst
The Data Analyst job has a low entry barrier. You do not necessarily need to own a college/university degree to become one. There are tons of self-taught videos (free YouTube content included) and materials to help you become a Data Analyst. This is in addition to the fact that it is not very difficult to learn how to use some of the basic data analysis tools like Excel, SQL, Tableau, etc. While this is a good thing, it does have consequences – it sets the bar for getting your first Data Analyst job very high.
If everyone can become a Data Analyst easily, then, there is bound to be stiff competition from a large number of “qualified” candidates to a limited number of entry positions. There are many open positions but companies will only hire candidates who really “stand out” from the crowd. Getting your first Data Analyst job can be very challenging because of the stiff competition.
3. A Data Analyst Career Is Not Considered A Tech Job
It is a subject of debate within many cycles if the Data Analyst job is a tech role. The answer largely depends on the organization and its specific demand from a Data analyst(roles and responsibilities). Data analysts work with data and employ technical tools like SQL and programming languages (Python, R) to analyze data. They will typically not handle IT hardware or IT support
The fact that many companies may not consider a Data analyst job as belonging to the tech career ladder; is reflected in the salary they pay for the job. It is not typical of most tech roles, it is significantly lower. For example, within the same data-related niche, a Data Engineer earns on average $96,427/year, a Data Scientist earns $99,842/year but a Data Analyst earns $66,638/year (in the US according to Payscale.com)
Some Suggestions On The Career Path
If you are considering a career in data analytics and are aware of some of the challenges of the job, the following may be helpful.
- Your motivation should go beyond financial gains, you should enjoy working with data and draw satisfaction from the job itself.
- Work for organizations that will value your input as a Data Analyst and reward you according.
- Stay ahead of the competition by learning soft skills that make you much more valuable to prospective employers.
- Be good at what you do. Many organizations are looking for Data Analyst to help them meet their business needs.
- Do not limit your professional network to just Data Analysts, expand it to include others. Sometimes you can draw inspiration even from people outside your niche and use such be become better at your job.
The Data Analyst’s job is important to the growth of many organizations as they help analyze data and draw useful insights for decision-making. While being an amazing career, beginners should be aware of some of its downsides. It is not always put on the tech career ladder and this results in a lower salary than most tech jobs. It is often a transitional role as many people move to other fields. And there is stiff competition in getting your first job as a Data analyst.
Being aware of these challenges, the approach should be to embrace the career for its merits and strive for excellence to beat the initial competition. And look for companies that share your interests as they relate to your job as a Data Analyst.
Read more in this post – DATA ANALYTICS CAREER OPPORTUNITIES; WHAT’S ON THE MENU?