As businesses rely more heavily on data analytics to optimise their operations, the need for professionals with the knowledge and skill set to analyse large volumes of complex data will only continue to rise. Data Analysts are in high demand, and there’s no better time to pursue a career in this fast-growing field. 

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As highlighted in recent reports from McKinsey and Forbes, data analytics is the new ‘It Girl’ of the workplace. By 2025, it’s estimated that companies across all sectors will cultivate a data-driven culture, with employees using data to optimise nearly every aspect of their work. According to the McKinsey report, “smart workflows and seamless interactions among humans and machines will likely be as standard as the corporate balance sheet.” 

To survive and thrive in the new era of the data-driven enterprise, skills in data analytics are essential. Drawing on Big Data and Machine Learning technologies to unearth patterns from substantial volumes of data, Data Analysts serve a critical role in helping organisations make effective decisions and optimise processes that drive growth. 

In the disruptive, high-growth field of big data, pursuing a Data Analyst career path is the right move. Here are six reasons why:

1. Data Analysts are in high demand

By 2029, the value of the big data analytics market is expected to reach over 655 billion U.S. dollars, almost 3 times the estimated value of 241 billion in 2021. Data Analytics is a fast expanding field, and the demand for skilled talent to harness its potential continues to grow. A report predicted over 3 million job openings in data analytics in 2021. It is safe to assume that these figures will continue to increase as the value of the data analytics industry continues to grow.

2. Data Analyst salaries are competitive

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Most entry-level jobs in the field of data analytics command a healthy starting salary, and there is room to grow into significant earning potential over time. Many companies offer competitive salaries that reflect the importance they place on having top professionals conducting their analytics. There is also the potential for individuals with advanced skill sets or specialised expertise in certain areas to receive even higher paychecks compared with those in entry-level positions.

3. The most successful businesses use data analytics to make evidence-based decisions 

Analytics helps drive better decision-making based on insights and behaviour patterns rather than hunches or outdated data. This evidence-based decision-making benefits multiple aspects related to business development including production of pricing models, marketing, sales funnel optimisation, understanding consumer behaviour patterns etc. As a result, recruiters are always on the lookout for candidates who possess data analytics skills, and careers in that field are highly respected.

4. All industries need Data Analysts

From healthcare and technology, to finance and retail, all organisations are utilising large datasets for various reasons. This presents an exciting opportunity for individuals who want diverse work experience or those who want to specialise in one particular industry. Data analysts have the potential to help shape business decisions by leveraging their knowledge of market trends, customer behaviour patterns, and other key insights.

5. Data analytics encourages creativity and innovation

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What Data Analysts primarily do is make discoveries while swimming in data. They identify rich data sources and produce useful information out of them. In a competitive landscape, where challenges keep changing and data never stops flowing, Data Analysts help decision-makers shift from ad hoc analysis to an ongoing conversation with data. They search for novel solutions despite limitations, and use their discoveries to suggest new implications for business directions. 

6. It’s an opportunity to be part of a growing field 

A data analytics career is becoming increasingly important as businesses strive to make more informed and data-driven decisions. In recent years, data analytics has been used to improve customer service, increase efficiency, reduce costs, identify patterns and trends, inform marketing strategies, and much more. With technological improvements, companies have been able to increase the sophistication of their data operations and analytics. While the tools are getting better, Data Analysts looking to excel in the marketplace will still need to have a solid understanding of the basics, including data modelling, relational databases, and basic statistical analytics. Those are critical skills that are likely to survive any future shifts in data-related job functions.

Kickstart your career in Data Analytics with ALX

The first step in becoming a Data Analyst is to gain the skills and expertise required to excel within the role. A good Data Analyst is able to utilise the four types of data analytics to improve a business’ decision making ability:

  • Descriptive Analytics, which answers the question, “What happened?”
  • Diagnostic Analytics addresses the next logical question: “Why did this happen?”
  • Predictive Analytics is used to make predictions about trends and events by asking, “What might happen in the future?”
  • Prescriptive Analytics answers the question, “What should we do next?”

If you’re ready to take the next step towards kickstarting your Data Analyst career, apply today to the ALX Data Analytics programme, offered in partnership with ExploreAI. ALX’s world-class tech training programmes enable individuals to future-proof their careers and become agile digital leaders for the 21st century.


ALX is at the forefront of equipping young professionals with the most in-demand career skills that will power the future. Find out more about the world-class tech training programmes available at alxafricastg.wpengine.com.

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