6 jobs for people who love data
You could be a marketing analyst, an actuary and even a sports reporter.
Big data, clean data, deep dives into data — as technology advances and companies can get detailed insights from any data they collect, people who love data are finding a wide variety of job opportunities. No matter the industry, companies are looking for ways to improve their bottom lines by crunching data and using what they find to improve processes.
If that sounds like the kind of work you’d like to do, consider any of these six jobs.
A lot of people think marketing is strictly creative, says career coach Angelina Darrisaw. But data is an increasingly significant part of how companies develop and evaluate their marketing strategies. “While there can be creative elements, a lot of the decision-making in marketing is led by industry research and an understanding of the audience. Data is also frequently used to evaluate the success of paid marketing spends.”
Andrea Berkman Donlon, founder The Constant Professional, agrees. Data lovers have found a home in the world of digital advertising. Digital advertising is entirely trackable and performance metrics rely heavily on real-time data, she explains. People who are comfortable working with data and can glean insight from the reporting technologies available to brands can help craft effective campaigns.
Actuaries are the “deep sea divers of data,” says Jennifer Lewis Priestley, director of a new Ph.D. program in analytics and data science at Kennesaw State University. They enjoy collecting, analyzing and predicting with great certainty the next logical answer in the logarithmic chain of events. Actuaries work for insurance companies and in other risk-management positions. Data is the lifeblood of these professions, Priestley says.
While journalism doesn’t necessarily come to mind when thinking about data, Priestley says many reporting positions require a love and understanding of data. For example, it would be useful for a sports reporter covering the NBA Finals to understand the difference between the average number of free throws completed versus the median number attempted, she says, or team's winning percentage on the road versus at home.
Data science may involve statistics, computer programming, machine learning or other business operations, says Max Galka of Metrocosm. People who work as data scientists may work in almost any industry, scouring the data that their employers gather and translating it into information leaders can use to set business strategy.
Human resources analyst
Human resources is a great place for people who love data. Many companies are now looking at workforce analytics and how they can help improve hiring and retention, says Tim Toterhi, author of “The Introvert’s Guide to Job Hunting”. People in these roles help companies monitor labor costs, effective staffing levels and the ROI on various HR initiatives.
People who work with data may find roles as business strategists for entire companies or individual departments. If you’re comfortable working in Microsoft Excel and using data to support your recommendations, these roles may be a good fit, Darrisaw says. People who work as business strategists may be hired on at companies, or work as consultants.