How to become a Data and Analytics Manager – A complete career guide
The data and analytics manager leads the data science team. This position combines advanced knowledge in database systems and programming languages with strong interpersonal and project management skills. The data and analytics manager sets priorities for the team and communicates findings to senior management within the company.
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Six steps to launching a successful Data and Analytics Manager career
Step 1: Earn your undergraduate degree
Relevant degrees include statistics, computer science, information systems, and business administration, or related fields. You’ll want to have a firm grasp of data structures, database design, data mining, distributed architecture, security applications, and applied systems analysis.
Step 2: Gain work experience with data analytics
The data and analytics manager is a senior administrative position, and thus you must first have several years of work experience in this field. Look for a position as a database developer or data analyst. These are not necessarily entry-level roles, however, so you may need prior internship experience or a college job as an IT assistant. As you progress toward becoming a data and analytics manager, look for projects in which you manage databases, analyze data, or design the databases themselves.
Step 3: Obtain professional certifications
Professional certifications are very important for the role of data and analytics manager. These certifications demonstrate that you are committed to developing your skills and that you are up-to-date with current technologies. Good options include the Microsoft Certified Professional, or the Certified Analytics Professional via the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, both of which you achieve through qualifying exams. Some roles also require certifications in the specific software used by a company, such as SAS/SQL certified practitioner qualifications.
Step 4: Get promoted to be a data manager
After you have work experience as a data analyst or database developer, you can apply for jobs as a data manager. This role requires database design skills and 1-5 years of experience in the field.
Step 5: Pursue an advanced degree
Master’s degrees are preferred in high-level management positions. Since the role of the data and analytics manager has as much to do with team leadership and project management, a master’s of business administration is generally the best option, though master’s degrees in mathematics, statistics, or computer science are also beneficial. Look for an MBA that allows you to concentrate in information systems. If you are interested in a particular industry, you can also consider a master’s in that field, such as government or public health.
Step 6: Become a data and analytics manager
After you have built up significant work experience, completed professional certifications, and earned an advanced degree, you can look for roles as a data and analytics manager. Most of these job listings require 7-10 years of experience.
What is a Data and Analytics Manager?
Data science teams are often comprised of many different specialists: data scientists, data architects, data engineers, statisticians, data analysts, business analysts, and database administrators. To keep projects running smoothly, the data and analytics manager harnesses all of this talent and steers the direction of the team. The data and analytics manager liaises with members of the team to ensure that each person has a strong sense of purpose within the project, and then translates conclusions and recommendations to other stakeholders in the company.
The data and analytics manager thus must have a firm understanding of the role of each of these different job titles, and an ability to negotiate between different parties with diplomacy.
What does a Data and Analytics Manager do?
The data and analytics manager coordinates the different tasks that must be completed by their team for a big data project. Tasks may include researching and creating effective methods to collect data, analyzing information, and recommending solutions to a business. The data and analytics manager motivates the data specialists to complete projects efficiently.
Data and analytics managers communicate with managers in different departments in a company in order to strategize and align goals. They must also manage schedules for future developments, and implement technological improvements of a company’s databases.
Data and Analytics Manager job description
- Identify and address client needs; develop client relationships
- Manage teams of data specialists and produce project deliverables
- Analyze purchase trends and customer data to gain business insights
- Develop strategies to solve problems in logical yet creative ways
- Create custom reports and presentations accompanied by strong data visualization and storytelling
- Present analytical conclusions to senior officials in a company and other stakeholders
Skills needed to become a Data and Analytics Manager
Unlike most of the other roles in the data science team, exceptional business and interpersonal skills are equally important to technical skills, if not more so. However, all of these are fundamental for success, as the data and analytics manager must be able to translate between the technical side of data analytics and the business side. The manager’s role often includes presenting technical information to non-technical colleagues in an understandable and actionable way.
- Superior communication and interpersonal skills
- Ability to meet deadlines and manage project delivery
- Excellent report-writing and presentation skills
- Critical thinking and problem solving capabilities
- Proficiency with the programming languages of R, SAS, Python, MatLab, and Java
- Database systems of SQL and NoSQL
- Data analytics and data visualization tools, such as Tableau, Qlikview, and D3
- Operating systems, especially UNIX/LINUX
- Machine learning
- Big data tools, such as Hadoop, Spark, Hive, and Cassandra
- Understanding of cloud platforms, such as Azure, IBM, and Google
- Data mining and data cleansing techniques
- Data modeling and data architecture
Data and Analytics Manager salary
According to payscale.com, “Pay for analytics managers in the United States sits in the ballpark of $93K annually.” Higher earnings are associated both with experience and skills in SAS, R, big data analytics, and business analysis. People often stay in this role for several years before advancing to roles such as director, vice president, or Chief Technical Officer. The highest-paid data and analytics managers are in San Jose, California. San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, Seattle, and Dallas all offer higher-than-average salaries as well for data and analytics managers.
Data and Analytics Manager job outlook
Businesses recognize both the importance and the rarity of skills that a good data and analytics manager provides. Many people are able to excel at either the technical aspect of the job, or at the communications side, but data and analytics managers must straddle both worlds with ease. Therefore, they are highly sought-after individuals in the big data revolution.
This is certainly a growing field, with some estimates predicting an increase by 27% of data and analytic managers over the next 10 years. It’s important to note, however, that some companies prefer promoting their data and analytics managers from entry-level positions all the way up to management, so consider that fact as you plan your career.