Career Opportunities for Data Analysts In South Africa


Data analysts are some of the professionals who continue to enjoy career progression and advancement even in this new emerging world controlled by data and technology.

The amount of data generated daily by companies, governmental agencies and even yourself needs to be properly analysed for effectiveness and progress monitoring. Hence creating an ever-growing market for data analysts all over the world.

What Does A Data Analyst Do?

Like I said earlier, the role of data analysts in organizations are in high demand because organizations rely heavily on data to make important decisions such as they type of product to develop, the target market for products, consumer behaviour in the market and other business-related issues that need more insight.

Depending on what organization you might be working with, data analytics can be of four types;

  • Descriptive analytics which examines the business operations in the past, some parameters include quarterly sales, procurement of equipment, electricity used, website traffic e.t.c
  • Diagnostic analytics tries to understand and answer questions as to why something happened by identifying trends and patterns within data sets.
  • Predictive analytics make use of observations from descriptive and diagnostic analytics in determining possible future outcomes. This helps businesses make decisions and source for alternatives in the face of a disappointment.
  • Prescriptive analytics tries to identify what steps to take, they try to address potential problems, market trends, and production processes in organisations.

Of all these types of data analytics, the most important to organizations are diagnostic and prescriptive analytics mainly because they are looking for ways to solve problems and optimize their function.

Having a master’s degree in data analytics also helps to equip you with relevant skills such as statistical modelling, programming languages, data visualization and risk management in business environments which are important in your daily activities as an analyst.

Relevant Skills Data Analysts Should Have

It doesn’t matter if you would be starting as an analyst with a small organisation or a multinational firm, you would need these set of skills to succeed as you advance in your career. These include:

  • problem-solving skills
  • Knowledge of database languages such as SQL, R or Phyton
  • Efficient in using spreadsheet tools e.g Microsoft Excel or google sheets
  • Can use data visualization software e.g Tableau
  • Knowledge of statistical techniques and concepts
  • Experience with database querying
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Project management
  •  Teamwork
  • Time management

The Requirement to Study Data science in South Africa

Working as a data analyst would require you have a degree in data science, mathematics, statistics, computer science, Accounting, Economics or any courses in which modules of statistics and data analysis is taught. Prospective candidates into such courses should;

  •  Pass the entrance examination with excellent grades
  • Have good NSE result with good scores
  • Must be sound in mathematics, accounting, economics or commerce.

What Kind of Job Can I Get As A Data Analyst?

The options to where you can work as a data analyst are unlimited but if you are an entry-level analyst looking to start your career here are some of the industries you can consider working in;

  • Military
  • Government agencies
  • Embassies
  • Tech-related companies
  • Aviation industry
  • Hospitality industry
  • Hospitals
  • Audit firms
  • Banks
  • NGO’s such as UNICEF, UN
  • Manufacturing Industries
  • Logistics companies e.t.c

Work Experience As A Data Analyst

I said earlier on in this article that a degree in mathematics, computer science, economics, statistics can get you entry-level jobs in any industry you are looking to enter, but what would make you advance into senior positions and management level would be your skills which only gets better through practical experiences that are gotten through internships or volunteering positions.

Universities in South Africa Where You Can Consider for a Degree

To work in South Africa as a data analyst would require that you have a bachelors or masters degree in universities such as:

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