Image of a woman with glasses laughing while looking left. She is positioned to the right of the image with a dark grey cement wall in the background. To frame the bottom there are lines and dots meant to represent a graph. The colour underneath the graph line is dark blue with the Lighthouse Labs logo. Question: what do Netflix, the federal government, your local university, and Scotiabank all have in common? Answer: they are all highly dependent on data to drive their business.

With big data expanding exponentially, companies are actively seeking data analysts who can interpret vast amounts of data and provide meaningful insights that can help improve operations, marketing strategies, and customer satisfaction. Given the ever-growing need for data analytics, it is no surprise that it has become a top career choice in recent years, with no signs of this trend slowing down anytime soon.

Is data analytics in demand?

Yes, and the demand is set to grow over the next ten years, especially for those based in Canada. According to the Government of Canada Job Bank, there is expected to be a shortage of data analysts from 2022-2031. In general, the tech sector is growing at a rapid pace and has proven that it stands the test of hard times.

With nearly every industry in need of data professionals, the demand for analysts has never been higher. That being said, certain areas may need a little extra help from data analysts than others.

Where Data Analysts are needed

A quick sweep of Glassdoor shows the following industries are among the top looking for data analysts.

  • Finance

    The finance industry relies heavily on analysts, from risk analysis to fraud detection and deciphering the best investment moves.

  • Healthcare

    Data collected and compiled over time provide physicians with comprehensive information on patients' well-being and offer them actionable insights. It helps medical practitioners improve care and reduce waiting times.

  • Entertainment

    How we consume content has undergone massive changes in the last few years. Where movie theatres were once the kings of movie consumption, streaming platforms like Netflix, HBO, and Amazon Prime, among many others, have become our go-to for movies and TV. These services need people to analyze trends and see which genres are a hit or which book series needs an adaptation so they can pump out the most relevant content for streamers.

  • Education

    Analytics can help improve teaching strategies by highlighting areas of learning to which students don't attach as much and how they could be improved. Analytics is also used to plan better bus routes and classroom cleanliness.

  • Retail & Wholesale

    The retail industry is up against some stiff competition from online retailers. Analytics allows them to stay one step ahead and anticipate customers' needs. They also use analytics to optimize supply chains and logistics, maximize sales, and personalize the customer experience.

  • Telecommunications

    Many large telecom companies are looking to expand internet services to rural areas and need data analysts to help identify which areas need it most. Analysts also help companies personalize their services by aggregating billing data, customer responses, purchase history, and location. They can also help these conglomerates optimize prices by analyzing customers' reactions to various price changes.

  • Government

    Governments touch on all of the areas mentioned above and, as such, need a great deal of data analysts to make sense of enormous datasets the government collects and tracks daily.

Like many tech careers, data analysts usually start with a junior title and move up the ranks to "Senior X Analyst" or whatever their career path has brought them. Take a look at the [typical career path] for most data analyst jobs below.

Data Analytics career path

  • Junior/Entry-level Data Analyst

    Your first data analyst job will have you working on a range of projects that you can use to beef up your portfolio. You'll spend your days on data collection, database design and maintenance, producing reports and making presentations, data visualization, and learning to communicate with a non-technical audience (a highly valued soft skill).

  • Mid-level Data Analyst

    This is the part of your career where you've moved up to a supervisor role or are in charge of a small team. If you haven't already, you can start specifying what type of analyst you'd like to be (Marketing Analyst, Business Analyst etc.). From there, you can begin to nab more certifications that will either allow you to advance your career faster, hone in on that specialization, or both.

  • Senior Data Analyst

    At this stage, you're an expert. You're heading up multiple teams, or you've become the director of something. You're most likely bringing home a six-figure salary and definitely have the stuff to branch out into roles not directly related to data.

  • Other streams

    Though it may take a bit of outside training or the right mentor, data analysts have been known to make their way into consulting, teaching, or entrepreneurial endeavours (how does your own data firm sound?).

  • Become a data scientist

    This may be achievable with the right data roles or career progression. Still, it'll most likely require some extra technical training. The good news is if you decide to add the required data science technical skills to your portfolio, you'll be more than ready to take on any challenges, as you'll already have a solid foundation to build on.

If you're wondering just how many different options there are for your data analyst career, here are just a few options. And yes, the list below is long, showing the sheer number of choices available to data analysts!

Different data analyst roles

  • Data Analyst

    Data Analysts work with technical resources to identify a stakeholder's best approach using the right databases and tools. Working to make sense of large, unsorted amounts of data, analysts establish a workflow while working with the client to automate their processes.

  • Marketing Analyst

    Marketing Analysts gather, clean, and sort data to provide marketing insights to a company. They review marketing campaign results, use tools to understand current consumer trends, and research competitors to help the company improve their marketing efforts.

  • Systems Analyst

    Computer systems analysts, sometimes called systems architects, study an organization's current computer systems, procedures, and design improvements.

  • Database Administrator

    Database administrators and architects create or organize systems to store and secure various data, such as financial information and customer shipping records. They also make sure that the data is available to authorized users.

  • Business Intelligence Analyst

    Help businesses make data-driven decisions by making sense of complex industry data. Extract insights from large data sets and present them in a way a non-technical audience can understand.

  • Business Analyst

    Similar to the Business Intelligence role but focusing more on diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive analytics. Business Analysts apply their knowledge of designing, developing, and testing software to evaluate an organization's business and IT systems. They make recommendations to reduce inefficiencies and costs and identify ways to streamline the business' structure.

  • Financial Analyst

    Analyze data to derive actionable financial moves for a business, forecast financial markets, and predict their potential outcomes.

  • Quantitative Analyst

    You'll use mathematical and statistical techniques to inform those in the financial industry on the best investment moves and balance risk management, portfolio management, and trading.

  • Risk Analyst

    Use a variety of tools to identify potential risks within an organization and what impact those risks may have. Next, they devise solutions to mitigate or avoid potential problems altogether.

  • Data Governance Analyst

    Help organizations keep their data accurate and in line with legal requirements. Establish policies and standards for data management and follow up to make sure they're followed.

Sectors like finance, healthcare, and education tend to pay higher overall. Again, it can depend on the specific company as well as the location. Having a data background also offers a ton of flexibility. Regardless of what industry you start in, you can easily switch to another, as the skills, tech stacks, and programming languages you pick up are largely transferable.

Do data analysts have a future?

That's a huge yes. Big data analytics is only set to explode over the coming years. The number of people needed to collect, aggregate, analyze, and inform others how to best use it all is set to boom.

Many data analysts can work from home or in a hybrid environment. All in all, they benefit from flexible schedules. Given that many work from home, some can even work from anywhere in the world, but that is something to discuss with your future employer. Of our own grads, 95% either work hybrid or fully remote.

As previously mentioned, the demand for future data analysts is enormous, meaning getting your foot in the door should be easier. It's also an upward-moving career with numerous opportunities for growth and promotion. Let's not forget the salary benefits with the pay increases usually coming hot and fast.

Ready to make the switch to a fulfilling, limitless, profitable data analytics career? Lighthouse Labs offers an 8-week Data Analytics Bootcamp and an 18-week Data Analytics Flex Program so you can pursue your tech education in a way that works best for you. Sign up today and start your journey to become a data analyst and create a transformational career.