Analytics jobs in the UK
Our digital footprint is something which more and more, businesses are having to consider far more carefully, both as a source of customer insight and as a means of improving internal efficiencies. There is a great demand for analytics professionals in the UK, as British organisations recognise the value of hiring data experts, particularly those with an advanced skillset. The need of course comes from evolutions in technologies like machine learning and AI, which have bred a new way of working. In turn they require the ‘technology-whispering’ prowess of data professionals who can unlock their potential for the benefit of the business.
Professionals including data scientists, data engineers, statisticians, biostatisticians, economists and financial quantitative analysts are all on the priority hiring agenda as the nature of work adapts to more automated processes and overall a more data-driven landscape.
Fundamentally, working in analytics requires strength in mathematics, computer science and statistics, as well as knowledge of two or more coding languages and SQL databases. Analytics professionals are also expected to possess transferable skills including, problem solving and clear communication skills. However the British education system is currently not supplying aspiring data analytics candidates with the skills they need, something the European Commission is aware of. Steps are being made to bolster British universities’ programs with short courses and MSc qualifications in order to equip the next generation with the knowledge they will need to apply advanced analytics to real life scenarios.
This is an important point to be aware of due to the current talent shortage of data science candidates. Businesses like HSBC too are working collaboratively with data management and analytics firms like SAS to further promote the accessibility of data analytics courses.
As far as where the analytics jobs can be found, candidates who can afford the higher living expenses should look at London, which has the majority of UK analytics opportunities. The truth is though that data expertise is a growing necessity across the majority of the UK with Northern Ireland and the West Midlands also strong contenders for UK analytics jobs. On the other end of the spectrum, companies in Scotland and the South East have yet to truly pick up the analytics baton.
UK data professionals can expect an average annual salary of around £64,376, though this will of course depend upon experience, skills and seniority. For candidates at the more experienced stage of their analytics careers, opportunities for Chief Data Officer roles have definitely gathered pace as businesses recognise the importance of placing a representative with deep analytical knowledge at the boardroom table.
Looking ahead to 2020, the expectation is that there will be many more analytics jobs available than there are qualified data professionals. Employers are looking for individuals with relevant skill sets, practical work experience and those who can demonstrate professional development through self-directed learning, qualifications and analytics projects. Since companies do prefer entry level candidates with some hands-on experience, it’s worth pursuing an internship in data science, which some of the bigger employers offer, though similar opportunities may be available at the smaller and medium-sized firms as well.
In addition to the financial services sector, candidates should also focus their job search on sectors including telecoms, oil and gas, transport, government departments, healthcare (the NHS) and academia (universities and research centres) which are all becoming increasingly reliant on data and its insights in impacting their operations, processes, sales and personnel.