As we often hear, Data Science is the sexiest job in 21st Century. The allure of creating cool stuff and high salary really does attract many fresh graduates and current professionals to these data careers. However, increased interest means that the competition increases, which means that not everyone would secure a data science career.

Luckily, if you are interested in a data-related job, data science is not the only career out there. Many branches exist within the data career, and some are underrated compared to the golden child “Data Science”. What are these careers? Let’s get into it!

1. Digital Analyst

What is a Digital Analyst? It is a job role where the individual is responsible for analyzing the company's digital assets, such as an application or website. The person with this role is often tasked to create a report, develop a dashboard, analyse data, and decide based on the digital analysis.

A digital Analyst needs to work with Business Intelligence tools to acquire the data and analyze it to gain a competitive advantage over the brand competition. Also, Digital Analysts need to understand what happened in the market and know how to improve the company SEO. Overall, a Digital Analyst needs to do research analysis and work with a high amount of qualitative and quantitative data.

A Digital Analyst often needs to work with the sales and marketing department as their work are intersecting. Digital Analysts present the insight and analysis of the digital data for the marketing and sales team to enhance their sales activity.

There are various variations of this title, such as Digital Marketing Analyst, Digital Media Analyst, Digital Experience Analyst, Digital Research Analyst, and many more. However, Digital Analyst is not the same as Data Analyst, even though they are similar. To be more specific, Digital Analysts could be assumed as a subset of Data Analysts — where a Digital Analyst is specific to analyzing the digital data.

To summarize, Digital Analysts need to be able to:

  • Analyze a high amount of digital data to actionable insight
  • Understand the current market and navigate the digital environment
  • Use digital tools for accessing and analyzing data
  • Present the result to the organization in understandable ways
  • Develop insightful KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

So, why consider Digital Analyst as your data career? Digital is a big part of modern life, and pandemics sped up the digitalization process. Every industry virtually is now in the digital industry and consequentially increases the gaps to fill in the digital needs. As proof, many industries report a massive increase in their digital business, from 50% to more than 100% increased business. With how the world revolves right now, Digital Analysts would be necessary more than ever.

Salary-wise, Digital Analysts could make decent money for people without much experience, as shown in the Digital Analyst salary from PayScale. Overall, you could expect the start at $50.000 and increase as you gain more experience.

Overall, if you are interested in the Digital Analyst job, you need various skills such as reading the data, proficiency with digital tools, research capabilities, and good communication. To help you learn, you might want to look at this career guide or the introduction material.

2. Business Intelligence Developer

The Business Intelligence (BI) Developer is responsible for developing BI Interface, which we called the dashboard. This dashboard is something that we often seen used by the business user to gain an insight into their business and make a decision based on them. The below image is an example of a dashboard.

Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash

BI Developers are important in every part of the business line because they are the front-line of information sources to the business user. In my personal experience, many business users have difficulty making important decisions because much information is not translated well. A BI Developer came to translate the massive data into insightful business requirements — and the user request for this BI development is very long; that’s how you know how precious they are to the business.

While it sounds easy for your job to create dashboards all day, it is not. As a BI Developer, the job requires you to understand many layers, including:

  • The Data Source. The data you used in the dashboard needs to be stored somewhere, mainly at the Data Warehouse or Storage System. As a BI Developer, you would need to recognize where the data is stored and how the warehouse design because you would work closely with all this data. Understanding the data storage system and query, the data become an important skill for the BI Developer. Skill required: Querying, Understanding Database System.
  • The Processing. You already understand where the data is stored and the required data, which means the next thing you need is to do Extraction, Transformation, and Loading (ETL) the data to unified it in a single source. Every business user would have a different kind of requirements, and it means you need to understand what the business wants and weave the data from the source into the actual information they need. Skill required: Data Understanding, Business Understanding, Communication, Research.
  • The Reporting. After you process the data into an informative data source, you must present it in the Business Intelligence tools interface. In this part, you need to create an interactive yet insightful visualization interface that business users could understand instantly. This exercise needs you to set all the business's components and maintain quality in the long run. Skill required: Data Visualization, Data Management, BI Tools Understanding, Creativity.

Overall, a BI Developer is a well-rounded individual who understands the technical tools as well as the business. This role suits those who love to analyze data and translate data into insight for business users.

There are many variations of these job titles, including Business Intelligence Consultant, Data Warehouse Developer, ETL Developer, Database Application Developer, and many more. The main thing about this title is that you produce the result from the end-to-end process.

Why considers the BI Developer career path? Similar to the report I mentioned previously, many businesses are going digital, which means much more data is processed digitally — and the need to understand this data is bigger than ever. It is proven by the data mentioned in this article where the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expected the job growth rate would be at 14% through 2024.

BI Developers’ salary is making good money from early in their career, shown by the salary spread at Payscale. People without experience in this role could have an initial salary of around $60.000 yearly and increase when they gain more experience, although it is a little bit stuck when you have already been ten years to the job.

If you are interested in this position, you might want to check out this guide by IBM who would introduce all the job descriptions and the skill you need in more detail.

3. Data Architect

A Data Architect is an individual who creates an organizational framework that is suitable for business requirements. In other words, a Data Architect creates the organization data blueprint that would meet the business requirements. The data blueprint would then be used to become the base of the business data framework for the database and how the data flow.

Seems simple? Actually, it is not that simple. As we know that business requirements are a complex web that has different requirements for each department. A data architect needs to understand all the department business requirements and somehow managed them together in the same blueprint because they would intersect together.

Let’s break down what the Data Architect’s responsibility is. We already know that a Data Architect needs to create a data blueprint for the organization. With this responsibility, Data Architect is in charge of:

  • Translate Business Requirements into the Technical Requirement. This is because of the business needs that would be transformed somehow within the blueprint to be ready tech-wise. For example, the business needs to have real-time streamed data used by the machine learning model to predict — in this case the Data Architect needs to think about how the database structure is to be able to take the real-time stream data and how the data flow from end-to-end to meet the business requirement.
  • Setting the data standard. A Data Architect is responsible for meeting the business policy standard including legal, security, technical requirement, and many more because Data Architect is the one who set up everything in the front. This individual needs to think about every standard aspect that would be followed by everybody using this framework.
  • Defining Data Flow. The data blueprint would need to address how the data flow in the organization. The flow of data including where the data is stored, where it would go, who could access the data, how fast it needs to go, and many more. Data Architects do not need to know the end data processing result as the others usually transform it; however, they still need to know where the source is and where it is going.
  • Collaboration. Data architects are responsible for discussing different departments' business requirements and making them possible in their blueprint. Also, because sometimes you would not have every technical tool in your company, you need to collaborate with the vendors.

If I need to summarise the skills required from the responsibility above, you need to be an all-around individual with business and technology knowledge.

The Data Architect role is not the same as the Data Engineer. Think of the Data Architect as the planner and the Data Engineer as the executor of the plan. Data Architects’ responsibility is actually quite high and usually not an early career choice. Many Data Architects are senior Data Engineers who want to be more involved in the business.

Why should consider becoming a Data Architect as a Career choice? If we look at the survey data, the need for Data Architects is increasing over the years by 15.94%. As Data Architect is an evolving role, there is still no standard in the world — this means whoever gets involved in this career earlier would become the standard. It is a unique career choice but would be rewarding especially the salary.

Here is the Data Architect salary from PayScale for people with 0–1 years experience. It seems they make quite some money here yearly. You could start at close to $70.000 and could reach more than $100.000 yearly if you have more than 5 years' experience.

Conclusion

Data jobs are not limited to Data Scientists or Data Analysts. In this modern era, many data jobs have a high prospect in the future because of the needs of these positions. The job is:

  1. Digital Analyst
  2. Business Intelligence Developer
  3. Data Architect

I hope it helps!