Data Analyst vs Data Scientist: Which One is Better?

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The field of data science has emerged as one of the best fields to start a career in that is if you are thinking of a career switch or adding to your skillset. Many organizations are looking to hire data analysts and scientists who have adequate knowledge which would contribute to the growth of their company, in fact, this field would see an influx of new people in the coming years as there is a shortage of data scientists all over the world.

What is Data Science?

Data science as a profession helps one understand data from a business point of view, it requires the data scientist to understand data using skills of statistical technique and machine learning.

Data scientists have a good knowledge of computer applications, statistics, programming, and maths as they are sometimes required to come up with data related applications that can help data analysts perform better at their jobs. They usually have great communication skills because they have to work alongside people from different organizations in solving their IT-related problems.

A Bachelor’s degree in computer science or any science-related field with a master’s degree in data science would give you the chance to start your career as a data scientist.

What Is Data Analysis?

Data Analysis is an important aspect of data science, in fact, data analysts help with the collection, organization, and presentation of data in a way that the target audience understands.

As a data analyst, your understanding of statistical tools would be used in data manipulation and presentation. To achieve this you need to have a knowledge of statistics, maths, and how to conduct statistical analysis using appropriate software programs.

Most times schools offer a master’s degree in data science with a focus on data analysis while some others offer data analysis as a course on its own. It typically takes 2 years to complete a postgraduate degree in data analysis.

Career Opportunities for Data Science

As a data scientist, your area of expertise is required in the following areas:

  • Business Intelligence Developer: it involves designing and offering possible strategies to assist both small scale and large scale businesses. They also help to develop business analytics applications that people can use with little or no supervision from experts.
  • Data Architect: data architects ensure that analytics applications built are suitable for the platforms which require their services.
  • Applications Architect: they are more concerned about how applications built are used within organizations and how the user experience on the application is like.
  • Data Scientist: They analyze large amounts of data to find similar or new patterns that would be useful in making strategic decisions.
  • Machine learning Scientist/ Engineer:  they carry out research on new algorithms and software solutions.

Career Opportunities for Data Analysts

As a data analyst, your area of expertise is required in the following areas:

  • IT Systems Analyst: involves using and designing systems to solve critical issues in information technology. depending on what type of company you work with, you may be required to either use third party tools or develop new tools specific to the company’s needs.
  • Healthcare Analyst: as a healthcare analyst you would work alongside a professional medical team to find trends and possible solutions to problems in the healthcare industry using relevant information provided
  • Operations Analysts: they work at large companies to optimize the internal processes of a business. having an understanding of how the business is run in addition to your technical skills is important in your success in this area.
  • Data scientist: As a data scientist, you would need to equip yourself with other technical skills such as programming languages eg Python or R, and also data visualization skills for effective communication.
  • Digital marketing manager: digital marketing requires a strong knowledge of data analytics, therefore you can make use of your analytical skills within organizations looking to employ a digital marketer.

Data Analysis Vs. Data Science Which is Better?

Both data analysts and data scientists work with data but the difference in their job description is based on how they make use of data. As an analyst, your work is tailored towards using data to identify trends and make presentations that would aid the decision-making process. Data scientists, on the other hand, try to examine how algorithms and new software can be created for data analysis.

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