How do you know that Analytics is the right career for you?
Author: Charanpreet Singh, Co-founder Praxis Business School
Business Analytics, Data Analytics, Data Science are the new stars on the career horizon – Harvard Business Review triggered the zeal by calling Data Science the sexiest job in the twenty first century; and Forbes put the issue beyond doubt by ranking Data Science as the top job in the US in 2016. Add to that the fact that McKinsey reported a shortage of about 200,000 data scientists in the US alone, and, add to that the fact that India accounts for about 70% of the total analytics work across the globe – and you have a heady cocktail of glamour and opportunity.
An obvious fallout is that almost
everyone who can spell (or not spell) analytics is rushing to embrace data
science as a career. The question is – how do you know Analytics is the career for you? Remember, if it’s
not, you could have been doing something more worthwhile and more rewarding.
Before we start judging your suitability for analytics, let us explore the parameters one needs to consider while examining a career.
To my mind, we should look at three things:
1. What is the skill/ knowledge/ temperament set required for success in the area – we can loosely call it ‘aptitude’ – and do I, honestly, have the aptitude to be competitive and successful?
2. What kind of work would I be doing if I join this field and do I have the passion, or at least a good level of interest, in this kind of work to keep me going?
3. If points 1 and 2 are in place and I do create a competitive advantage for myself in this domain, can I foresee adequate growth and scope, at least in the medium term – or, in other words, is this domain at all worth serious consideration from a career perspective?
If we are doing well on all three factors – aptitude, interest and scope – we have an excellent choice of career.
Ask yourself the following few questions:
ü Do I love numbers? – not just simple arithmetic but complex problems;
ü Am I better than most others around me when it comes to solving problems involving data?
ü Would I rate myself high in terms of analytical thinking, and have I demonstrated that throughout my academic and professional career?
ü Would I prefer sitting in my workplace going through several iterations trying to build the right model to spending the same time elsewhere, maybe achieving sales targets?
If the answer to all these
questions is a firm yes, you may want to look at analytics as a career. The
next step would be to find out more about the field, the kind of work it
entails, the applications of this science and where it is heading. Once you do
this research, you will be surer of whether this is the place for you or not.
Singh is the Co-founder and Associate Dean of Praxis Business School – a
leading business school with campuses in Kolkata and Bangalore and offers top
ranked analytics programs in the country. Charanpreet has completed his B.Tech
in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Kanpur and his MBA from University of Iowa.