Careers in Information and Data Analysis - CV Plaza

Careers in Information and Data Analysis

Overview

Are you good at handling and understanding large amounts of data?
Do you have excellent reading and analytical skills?
Then a career in Information and Data Analysis could be the right choice for you!

This sector is one of the fastest growing sectors across the country, with large companies constantly looking for bright students to learn, apply and develop their analytical skills through internships, apprenticeships and graduate schemes.

Professionals working in this sector range from Student Advisers, Content Writers and Librarians to Statisticians, Information Scientists and Data Analysts.

Specific areas of work

As the name suggests, this sector is divided into two key areas:

1) Information

library

Those working in this area of the sector tend to focus on finding, retrieving, accessing, compiling and or utilising information-based resources such as books, magazines, journals, websites, etc.

Professionals working in this area tend to be in advisory or customer-facing job roles such as Librarians or Careers Advisors. Therefore, to succeed in informing roles it is essential that you have excellent communication skills on all levels.

2) Data Analysis

data-analysis

Those who work within this area of the sector are often known as Data Analysts.

These roles can be extremely broad, especially those who are working for large companies. Data analysts in corporations may be presented with varying forms of data from across the company which they are then expected to analyse and present the outcomes to their superiors accordingly. Often, data analysis involves using highly sophisticated software and spreadsheets, especially when large amounts of data need to be processed. Having technical confidence is thus a huge bonus in this profession.

As well as working for large international companies; professionals may also be hired by government bodies to collect national information focussed on crime rates, health statistics or the nature of the economy.

This role is very much based on report writing, so excellent written skills are crucial. Sometimes you may be required by your manager to create presentations based upon your findings; being a comfortable public speaker is beneficial. Because of the highly transferable skills involved in data analysis (such as writing reports, creating presentations, analysing data), professionals could also broaden their work in areas including HR, Market Data and Internal Systems.

Some of the duties in this area of the sector include:

  • Collecting data from different areas;
  • Analysing any new and upcoming market trends;
  • Forecasting a company’s future needs from an internal and external point of view;
  • Creating documents and presentations which highlight the key points of their work;
  • Checking of data standards and quality control.

The main aim of this role is to ultimately provide up to date, accurate and relevant data analysis for the company in which the individual works for; this data is often used for things such as tracking employer or customer satisfaction, or incorporation into marketing schemes.

Education and qualifications

Those wishing to enter through a trainee programme or an apprenticeship will be expected to have 5 GCSEs grades A-C; some employers may also request A-levels.

Internships are also available within this sector as part of a sandwich year at university, along with an application for a graduate scheme, candidates wishing to apply for this will need to have a degree or working towards a degree in any of the following subjects:

  • Maths
  • Economics
  • Statistics
  • Business

Employers often accept no less than a 2:1 degree classification and will sometimes consider other degree subjects as long as a candidate has some relevant work experience.

Skills and personal attributes

  • Communication skills: Professionals are expected to have high levels of both written and verbal communication skills as they will often be expected to produce clear and concise reports for a variety of different stakeholders.
  • High attention to detail: It is very easy to make mistakes in this sector when dealing with large amounts of data (or information) and therefore individuals must be capable of paying a high attention to detail whenever they are working on a project.
  • Mathematical skills: This sector is primarily based around working with large quantities of numbers and as such professionals are expected to have excellent mathematical skills in order to make sense of the data.
  • Problem solving skills: Information and data analysis is all about finding and looking at the information that is available and accurately interpreting and presenting the results or outcomes. Whilst completing these types of tasks, professionals may come across problems or issues and therefore it is extremely important than an individual will be able to think outside the box and deal with the issue effectively.
  • IT skills: The rapid growth of IT and Technology is prominent in all sectors including this one. The majority of jobs in this sector involve working on a computer; from working with spreadsheets to creating presentations and documents. It is, therefore, vital that an individual is capable of using standard computer programs such as Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, Access and PowerPoint).

Pay and benefits

Individuals working within this sector receive a good salary with an entry-level salary starting between £18,000 and £25,000. With experience this could increase to and in excess of £40,000.

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

Salaries may differ depending on what sector they wish to work in and studies have shown that the salary is significantly higher within the finance department and those working in large cities such as London.

Likes and advantages

  1. Opportunities: Because Information and Data Analysis is at the heart of many companies and jobs, this sector can offer numerous opportunities to the individuals working in it; ranging from gaining vital transferable skills to progressing into different job roles.
  2. Work from home: Given the style of the job, many companies do allow their employers to work from home, making the working environment a lot more relaxed.
  3. Location & Pay: Individuals in this sector are often based at a company’s headquarters and therefore are often expected to live in large and vibrant cosmopolitan cities including London, Birmingham and Edinburgh. In addition, many companies will also pay a higher and more competitive wage to those who work in large cities.
  4. Personal growth: Professionals in these roles will have a great opportunity to grow as individuals, both personal and professionals, since they will always be working on a variety of different projects involving researching, analysing, writing, advising, presenting, etc. Individuals who have worked in this sector have gained transferable skills which could take them to other sectors including marketing, business and HR or it could result in them working for a significantly larger company working either overseas or in the UK largest cities.

Challenges

  1. Desk job: This is very much a desk job with professionals spending a lot of their time working at computers producing reports and analyses. Professionals may be asked to attend meetings to discuss their work, which, incidentally, may also be around a desk!
  2. Stressful: This is a very stressful environment with professionals working to strict and intense deadlines; it may be a desk job, but you will always be busy!
  3. Long hours: Professionals working in this sector are often required to work late nights to ensure that projects are completed, especially during busy times or the announcement of a new policy or marketing scheme.

books-in-shelf

With information being at the heart of every company, there is an increasing demand for information and data analysis services required by businesses and enterprises of all sizes.

This sector is one of the fastest growing and rapidly-changing industries, heavily affected by evolving technology. The industry is expected to continue with its upward trend in the years ahead.

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    OVERVIEW

    • SALARY RANGE
      £16.000 – £30.000
    • ENTRY
      Degree or Relevant Work Experience
    • WORKING HOURS
      35 – 38 hours per week

    SKILLS PROFILE

    • Communication Skills
      Excellent language skills to interact with customers and clients
    • Reading
      Ability to read large amount of information without compromising on accuracy
    • Computing Skills
      Having basic knowledge of computers and Microsoft Office
    • Writing Skills
      Excellent writing skills to write clear and concise reports
    • Analytical Skills
      Ability to analyse and evaluate data and information
    • Organisational Skills
      Excellent organisation skills to balance a heavy workload
    • Knowledge
      Expert knowledge in the technical aspects of the job
    • Public Speaking
      Ability to speak in front of a large audience in a clear and audible fashion

    JOB DESCRIPTIONS