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Is data analysis a good stepping stone for going into data science?



Data plays a big role in the modern world and this is very true since technology has become central to our lives. The rise of tech and big data has also impacted the recruitment sector. This has seen both data analyst and data science roles increase in popularity. Data science jobs, for example, are pegged to have an annual growth rate of 37% in the coming years! Although these jobs might sound the same, they differ in key ways.

But can you start out as a data analyst and get a good enough grounding to progress into data science?

What are data analysis and data science?

As the names imply, both are concerned with handling the increasingly large amounts of data that companies collect on a daily basis now. Both are also important roles in terms of allowing companies to gain actionable insights from this data.

They are, however, two separate roles. Data analysts look at what is happening now, for example. Data science goes further than this and looks not only at why trends are happening but also how likely they are to impact the future. It is fair to say that data science is a more rigorous field because it needs advanced STEM skills and computer science knowledge.

This means that data scientists normally need higher-level qualifications for their role. Data science masters programs are a common requirement and many who are looking to move into this role study online with Kettering University. Not only does Kettering’s 100% online program in data science deliver superb flexibility, but it also ranks number one for graduates in terms of return on investment.

Does data analysis provide a good stepping stone for data science?

There is a case to be made for data analysis providing a good foundation to move into data science. It can, for example, give you experience of working with data, using interactive creative data visualizations, and interpreting data to gain insights. This allows you to see if you enjoy the work and get the experience required, before moving up to a higher level.

Although the math/tech knowledge requirement for data analysis is not as extensive, it is still a part of the role. Data analysis is also something that all data scientists must be able to do. Careers in data analysis, therefore, enable you to sharpen the skills that data science calls for and be ready to move up when an opportunity arises. Data analysts will also normally work closely with data scientists. This means that starting out as a data analyst enables you to pick up what a data science role involves first hand and learn how to succeed at the job from others.

Data analysis can be a good route into data science

It certainly seems true that working in data analysis can give you most of the experience and skills you need to move into data science. If you also get a specialist data science qualification to fill in any gaps in your knowledge, then it is a sensible route.


I'm Nikos Alepidis, blogger at motivirus. I'm passioned for all things related to motivation & personal development. My goal is to help and inspire people to become better.

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