A while back, “Big Data” became a huge buzzword and few people really knew what it meant. A couple of years have passed and data has become a key stake for all companies, whether they are in tech or not. The digitalization of clients’ information and products have generated a huge amount of data that companies can now use to different ends. No matter the company you work in, you have probably been exposed, at one point or another, to a positive or negative issue related to data.

Yet nobody can improvise himself as a data analyst, data scientist or data engineer. Though age is not an issue to start learning about data, it does require time and consistent effort. We’re convinced that learning about data is a great investment, and here are 6 reasons why.

1. Data is also about you as a person

Every week (day?) now reveals a new scandal about the misappropriation or misuse of personal data, be it by private companies or governments and, in Europe, GDPR (RGDP in French) has been a key evolution of the laws governing the use of data.

Learning how to manipulate data sets contributes to your understanding of your own data, how it is used and whether or not you should let others use it. Do you want to know about how Google and Facebook are using your personal data? Or who you can trust vs. who you can’t? Then learn about data analytics and you’ll understand a website’s terms and conditions and will be able to read through its code to understand how it all works behind the scenes.

 

2. It is a key position in companies

Data professionals are of huge importance in all companies. They hold the skills that will allow them to gather and analyze data so it can serve as crucial information in all decision making processes. What are the most popular products we sell? What products should we upsell when someone buys something from our website? What services should we add to our current business model? Are our employees happy? And by the way, are we following diversity laws in our company? These are all questions data professionals can help answer.

 

3. There are thousands of open positions for data professionals

Forbes Magazine has ranked Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and Data Science respectively as #1 and #3 of the most wanted tech skills for 2018. That’s not even mentioning the fact that Analytics positions are also in very high demand and featured in that ranking. If you just give a quick look at Welcome To The Jungle (the leading website for startup jobs in France), you’ll see around 3000 open positions for data professionals. This allows for good salary and benefits. In Paris, the average salary for a Data Analyst is between 40K€ and 50K€ according to Glassdoor. Not bad!

 

4. If you already work in tech, data will serve you well

It’s totally understandable that you don’t want to switch jobs for a career in data. But no matter what position you hold, it’s also very likely that knowing how to manipulate and visualize data will help you in your current job. Marketers, Product Owners, Growth Hackers, Business Development, these are all fields where a knowledge of data analytics will become a solid asset to provide added value to the company. As we said earlier, all key decisions go through data analytics nowadays.

If you are trained in data analytics, the best case scenario is that you’ll be able to analyze data yourself for your own department. Worst case scenario : you’ll be an excellent stakeholder that the data team can communicate with. In both cases, you’ll save an enormous amount of time, either waiting for data to be gathered, or waiting for someone to explain it to you.

 

5. You’ll actually learn to code

Think Data Analytics is about knowing a few Excel formulas? Think again. Excel is a great tool, but a true master of data knows how to code in a programming language called Python. The syntax of Python is quite easy to understand, and yet Python is powerful enough to be able to gather, organize and interpret data sets with great precision.

Learning a programming language is a fantastic experience by itself, doing it so that it becomes useful in your job and career is simply awesome. Oh and once you learn how to code in one language, the next ones are a lot easier to learn.

 

6. Data is not just for logical geeks, it’s also for the creative minds

When we talk about MySQL, Machine Learning, A.I. or coding in general, creativity may seem like a far away thing that has nothing to do with this geeky stuff. And yet, creativity is essential in those fields. A huge part of Data Analytics is also about having creative ideas about how to answer a difficult question or provide solutions to a complex problem. Another key stake for companies is making data accessible to the many so all employees can benefit from it. Here enters Data Visualization, which is about how you can creatively take sets of data and turn them into graphics and infographics people can actually understand. A few examples of this are “a day in the life of Americans”, “the daily routine of the most creative minds”, the “most spoken languages in the world”, or “from the nanoscale to the universe”.

Are you interested in data and how learning about it can either help you switch careers or improve in your current field? Check out our Data Analytics Bootcamp program which will help you become a true data expert.

I love education technology, startups, and I work at the Ironhack Paris campus.

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