By Braulio Giron, Jr. on September 13, 2019
Along with companies benefiting from what data can tell them about their target markets and their business overall, are opportunities for professionals to create a career in the field
In today’s highly digitized world, Data Science plays a significant role in the continued development of almost every major business or industry.
Big data and analytics, for example, gathered from customers online allow marketers to better develop digital marketing campaigns. Similarly, city planners around the globe now have data collected and analyzed to know more about how people move around their locales and using the findings in their efforts to build ‘smart cities’ that can run more efficiently.
Indeed, data and analytics are high in demand, and as companies continue to look to it to drive business innovations and competitive differentiation, professionals with Data Science qualifications are similarly in huge demand. Many career opportunities in the field are available and continue to be created, with the amount of talent barely able to keep up. In fact, across the Asia-Pacific region, it is estimated that only about a third of Data Science jobs are presently being filled.
Digital careers are not only ‘digital media’
Due to the industry being relatively new, there continues to be some misgivings about data. According to Mari Arambulo, Senior Digital & Research Executive at Cobena who recently spoke at the first CareerCon held in Makati last July, one of these is that digital careers are only in media, and not data.
“When you talk about digital careers, it’s not just about ‘digital media’. Along with creatives and designs, it’s also about answering business problems.“The internet used to be a tool for telling customers about your business. Now, its real value lies in what it tells you about them. So data is the new oil.”
She elaborated how careers in data established its footing when the internet evolved into more than just an avenue to reach potential markets digitally, but also as a means to conduct research that help businesses in making key decisions.
“Research is the process of distilling data into knowledge, knowledge into principles, and principles into actionable wisdom.”
As a data professional, you’ll be in demand for some time
As already touched upon, the rapid growth and evolution of the data industry continues to leave the increasing need for professionals unmet. This is due to data professionals being the key in being able to turn the massive amount of data which companies capture into information and into action. They’ve always been in high demand, but for a few years, were only willing to be invested on by large enterprises or the most digital natives. These days, jobs in data are in almost every company.
According to Arambulo, companies will continue to gravitate towards data, even at times that they don’t have the means, all in an effort to get the most ‘oil’, which is knowledge of their respective markets.
“People and organizations are undergoing a digital evolution, but not all are able to keep up with the rapid change. But, they’ll still try, especially to be able to collect social data, and ‘listen’ to social conversations and to identify customer journeys.”
There’s plenty to do in data
Another aspect with data that will seemingly ensure career longevity for professionals in the field is that there is plenty to do. The potential uses for data is endless as this point and, as mentioned previously, companies are unable to keep up due to the lack of available talent, which is compounded by different specialization also constantly emerging in the field.
According to Antonio Yamzon, a Data Analyst from Cobena who also spoke at CareerCon, data professionals presently fulfill three key responsibilities, which as things are, may eventually evolve into individual specializations in the data industry.
“Data scientists are ‘janitors’. They ensure that data is sufficient, in that there is enough; accurate, where they are correct and in the right format; and unbiased, or representative of the scope being studied.”
He adds that “data scientists are also ‘translators’”, where, as already touched on, the data is made to help companies make key organizational and business decisions.
“They have to understand what their organizations need, then be able to design an analytics solution to that need– eventually investigating and testing its feasibility– then making the results/recommendations easy to understand.”
Finally, Yamzon shares that data professionals, also take on ‘magician’ roles, in that what they do can be mind boggling to those not familiar, but the process behind it is intricate and requires plenty of trial and error.
“Data science is also like magic. It’s impressive on the surface. But quality magic requires a lot of unseen, backstage preparation. It has to fail many times to succeed once.”
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