According to “The Future of Jobs Report (2023)” there is expected to be “a 30-35% increase (1.4 million) in demand for roles such as Data Analysts and Scientists, Big Data Specialists, Business Intelligence Analysts, Database and Network Professionals, and Data Engineers that is driven by advances and growth in adoption of frontier technologies which rely on big data."
These startling percentages prove how much businesses value data analysis skills and how they view them as a critical part of their business strategies, both now and in the future.
Fig 1: “The human-machine frontier” source: “The Future of Jobs Report (2023)” by the World Economic Forum.
The diagram shows which business processes people expect to be automated in 5 years compared to now.
What is data analysis?
Data analysis is the process of examining, transforming, and interpreting raw data to uncover meaningful patterns, insights, and trends. It involves applying statistical and mathematical techniques to extract valuable information that can inform decision making and drive business outcomes.
The way organisations are using technology today has made data so readily available to us. But without the right training, we can’t expect to use this data to its full potential. Luckily, with the right upskilling in data analysis, your workforce can have a significantly positive impact on the growth of your company.
What is a data analyst apprenticeship?
A Level 4 Data Analyst Apprenticeship equips your workforce with the relevant data skills needed to extract, manipulate and visualise data.The skills that professionals develop on this apprenticeship help organisations to answer complex questions around their data and enable them to drive strategic value.
How data analyst apprenticeships can impact your business
Giving employees the necessary skills in data analysis means unlocking valuable insights for an organisation that can bring a real positive change to a business.
Below are our top 5 impacts upskilling your team in data analysis can have on your business:
1. Increased efficiency and productivity
A data analyst apprenticeship holds immense potential for enhancing efficiency and productivity within a business. Data can give organisations the chance to understand which day-to-day business processes are efficient and successful, but will also pinpoint processes that aren’t as effective. This gives businesses the opportunity to adjust and grow. Ultimately, this improves organisational efficiency through automation of manual processes.
Because of this automation, apprentices can efficiently collect, clean, and analyse large volumes of data, uncovering valuable insights that may otherwise go unnoticed. These insights can inform strategic decision-making, allowing businesses to optimise operations, streamline workflows, and reduce costs.
Dorota Kowalska, a reliability engineer at easyJet, studied as an apprentice, completing Cambridge Spark’s Level 4 Data Analyst Apprenticeship. The knowledge she gained from her apprenticeship enabled her to automate her workload and integrate existing processes with python programming.
"By applying the analytical skills I learned on the programme, I have automated
multiple reliability reports using PySpark and SQL, replacing manual processes
and decreasing data processing time by about 80% in some cases."
And as the old saying goes, time is money. So by automating previously laborious tasks, you not only save valuable time but also on money, which brings us to our next point.
2. Cost savings and return on investment
We all love to save on costs where we can. Improving ROI in your business is probably the number one desired outcome of applying data analysis within your organisation. This is particularly true when it comes to sharing results with your stakeholders and higher management teams, as spend and profit are a clear indicator of how your business is performing.
Upskilling in data analysis can significantly impact an organisation's bottom line by driving cost savings through various avenues:
Effective resource allocation - Data analysis enables effective resource allocation by analysing historical data and allowing organisations to gain a better understanding of where business assets are required for optimal functionality.
Optimised advertising spend - As a result of thorough data analysis, marketing campaigns can also be optimised. Targeted marketing efforts and developing appropriate customer retention strategies based on analytical findings helps optimise advertising spend accordingly.
Protection against fraud and improved risk management - Data analysis plays a crucial role in fraud detection and risk management by identifying patterns and anomalies in data, reducing financial losses, and minimising legal expenses.
Ability to predict trends and be proactive - Upskilling in data analysis empowers organisations to develop predictive models, anticipate trends, and make proactive decisions, resulting in better resource planning and reduced costs associated with reactive measures.
A great example of how data analysis can help your organisation save on costs is Saad Abdullah, who, by applying his skills developed from the Level 4 Data Analyst Apprenticeship, is estimated to have saved GSK a whopping £30,000 through task automation via a Python script.
“I wanted to get a strong grip on Python as a programming language and develop an understanding of data analysis. GSK collects a lot of data in various formats, with the right skill set, I would be able to identify patterns and unlock value for my team”.
3. Knowledge transfer and skill enhancement
Our data analyst apprenticeship programme provides a platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration. Apprentices bring their fresh analytical skills while benefiting from the expertise of experienced data analysts and professionals within the organisation. This exchange of knowledge helps foster innovation, encourages creative problem-solving, and can drive business growth.
Upskilling team members with more basic data analysis skills frees up the data analysis experts within your organisation to focus on high-value work and research. It allows for the experts in your team to be the primary data knowledge source whilst giving them more time to not only concentrate on higher-value work, but to share their knowledge with junior data analysts or data analysis trainees. This, in turn, will bring added value to more areas and departments within your company.
“We have been thrilled to work with Cambridge Spark. Our apprentices are already bringing back new skills and applying those, not only in their own work but sharing their new knowledge with other colleagues too.” Tammy Palmer; Health Data Research UK, Head of People
4. Adaptability and innovation
Data analysis apprenticeships foster a culture of continuous improvement. Apprentices, equipped with the latest analytical techniques and tools, can help implement data-driven systems and processes, enabling teams to stay both innovative and proactive in business developments.
They can develop dashboards, automate repetitive tasks, and in some cases, even create predictive models that streamline operations and enhance productivity across various departments. This enhances decision-making accuracy and promotes agility in responding to changing market conditions.
Data analysis is critical in identifying emerging opportunities for staying ahead of competitors, too. By mining and analysing data, organisations can uncover patterns, trends, and customer preferences that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. These insights allow businesses to identify new market segments, develop innovative products or services, and tailor their strategies to seize untapped opportunities.
When employees are equipped with data analysis skills, they are empowered to generate and test new ideas, experiment with data-driven prototypes, and iterate quickly based on insights gained. This fosters a spirit of innovation within the organisation, enabling it to adapt rapidly to market changes and drive forward-thinking initiatives.
5. Better understanding of your customer base
Upskilling your workforce in data analysis also enhances the ability to understand your customer base. By analysing customer data, organisations gain valuable insights into their preferences, behaviour, and needs. This knowledge enables companies to personalise their offerings, improve customer experiences, and develop targeted marketing campaigns. By adapting to evolving customer demands, businesses can maintain a competitive edge and foster customer loyalty.
Dominic Graydon is a planning and forecast analyst for Simplyhealth. Working with a Cambridge Spark Technical Mentor, Dominic has developed a dashboard that his team can use to analyse marketing performance.
“In my project, I was looking to create a report or dashboard that would be accessible to the whole marketing team to use, that would be filterable by a range of variables. This Dashboard would make it easy to analyse how different sets of customers, on different products, levels and sources perform, and in the future will make it possible to easily measure the ROI of each of them.” Dominic Graydon, Planning and Forecast Analyst
6. Diversity and Inclusion
According to Forbes: “Inclusive teams make better business decisions up to 87% of the time.” Not only that, “Decisions made and executed by diverse teams delivered 60% better results.”
But how do we ensure our teams are inclusive and diverse with supportive evidence? With data analysis, or more specifically, people analytics, organisations can get a holistic view of the diversity and inclusion initiatives within their company.
By analysing employee data, such as demographics, performance metrics, promotions, and compensation, organisations can uncover any existing disparities or biases that may hinder diversity and inclusion efforts. This data-driven approach provides a factual basis for recognising and addressing areas of improvement.
Data analysis also allows companies to set measurable diversity goals. By examining diversity metrics, businesses can establish realistic benchmarks and targets for representation across different dimensions like gender, ethnicity, and age. These quantifiable goals provide a framework for measuring progress and holding the company accountable for its diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Data analysis also allows HR departments to more efficiently analyse employee feedback. By examining feedback, engagement surveys, and sentiment data, businesses can better understand how employees feel about their workplace environment. This information guides the development of inclusive policies, practices, and training programmes that address specific challenges and promote a more inclusive culture.
Want to accelerate your team's data analysis skills?
Cambridge Spark's Level 4 Data Analyst programme can equip your team with the skills to successfully drive digital solutions in your organisation and to enhance business decisions with data.
Visit the programme page to learn more or get in touch with us below.
Fill out the following form and we’ll contact you within one business day to discuss and answer any questions you have about the programme. We look forward to speaking with you.