Do you have the aptitude to become a data analyst?
As is the global trend, The Forfás & Expert Group report of 4th November 2013* highlights the key demand for high-level ICT professionals – with an estimated 44,500 new job openings in Ireland alone over the next 6 years. We would like to encourage far more students into IT and ICT courses, especially girls, who currently don’t pursue this career path as often as boys, according to the report. In an economic climate where jobs are scarce, it’s good sense to make more potential students aware of the openings in our sector.
As Diver BI Group professionals we have developed the skills required for work in our sector over the years – by combining IT and business skills. We probably didn’t set out to become what we are, but as times and technology have advanced, we’ve just kept on learning.
So how can you find out if you have the aptitude for, or interest in, a job in analytics
Here is the first of a series of simple Analytics “Challenges” – which we have put together using Diver and some publicly available data from www.propertypriceregister.ie. The screenshots below are very basic examples of what it is possible to do with the Diver Solution from raw data – though they don’t convey the interactive and dynamic aspects of Diver analytics and self-service BI, they serve our purpose for this blog.
Displaying data in visual formats can help us to understand the underlying figures. If you enjoy puzzles, and working out what the data below is telling us, you might wish to consider some sort of analytics as a module in an ICT based career path. There is much more to analytics than what you see here, of course, but it will give you an idea of the kind of thought patterns required to be comfortable working with data.
If this post is popular – please let us know on our Facebook page and then we will add to these challenges over the coming months.
At the end of each set of challenges you can check your answers.
Let’s start with some easy ones to get you going.
- Looking at the graph below (Click on image to see full size), we have collected and displayed the data relating to Irish Property sales over the last few years from January 2010. We have worked out an average sale price by dividing the total sales value by the number of properties sold. The graph displays a trend. Is it a downward, or upward trend?
- What is the average sale price over the whole time period?
- In the second set of measures below (Click on image to see full size), which size of property has suffered the worst drop in average sale value compared to last year?
- And which size of property has had the greatest % drop in total number of properties sold compared to last year?
- Is the difference year on year in the total amount of money spent on properties reflected in the change in average property value?
- Why is the average property price % difference smaller than the Sale value % difference?
- In the data as extracted and presented below, what do you see as the biggest problem for the person trying to analyse this particular data set?
- Can you tell what is the most popular size of property sold?
- In the measures below (Click on image to see full size) it is clear that the volume of sales in Dublin is by far the highest, both this year up to 31st and the same period last year. But which county has had the highest % increase in sales volume?
- Which county had the highest increase in sales value?
- Which 2 counties sold more properties than last year but didn’t reach the same total value as last year?
- What would this mean for the average sales value in these 2 counties?
- Which county do you think would have had the most similar average value in 2013 compared to 2012?
See also this related article from CNBC: Why your kids will want to be data scientists