Now that the data analytics training is at its peak in India with most of the regular colleges for a degree in Analytics and many online and offline institutes joining the bandwagon; it could really be quite overwhelming to choose not only the right course but also the right institute for the analytics course of your choice.
By following following steps, we believe that you would be in a better position to find the right analytics course.
Step 1: Why enter Analytics industry?
“Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine.” –Peter Sondergaard
You have been hearing a lot about analytics, big data, machine learning and have finally decided that this is the perfect time jump into analytics as its still in its nascent stages and the potential is really mind boggling. It may sound too good and business analytics is indeed an emerging market; however, you need to be sure about your decision to join analytics not as an escape from your present position but as an opportunity to explore if have analytics mindset or our willing to develop one. Answer to the following questions would help you ponder over the thought a little more:
1. Are you willing to start from scratch just to enter Analytics Industry and completely change your career?
2. Are you willing to invest money and time to start a career in analytics? (Free courses definitely help but only using them generally won’t help you cover much ground)
3. Are you willing to have a sedentary job for the rest of your life where the only happiness is making some insightful decisions from enormous amount of data?
Though there are more things to clear before going ahead with a career in analytics but those things could be taught and learned. The above are the things that are going to stay with you for the rest of your life and you need to be certain about them.
If you are still not sure about Analytics, complete all 5 free online analytics courses and if you are still not thrilled about analytics, then analytics is not your cup of tea.
Step 2: Where you want to use Analytics?
“Without big data analytics, companies are blind and deaf, wandering out onto the web like deer on a freeway.” – Geoffrey Moore
Analytics is a broad field with application in many sectors like Retail, Finance, online to name a few. If you have a particular interest in any one particular domain then you can enroll into specialized courses for that particular domain which would impart you teaching that are relevant to that particular industry. Though the answer to above question is for most of us is vague and we do not yet know how analytics is helping healthcare companies to target the right doctors to promote their drugs or how Walmart knows much more about you and your family then your best friend. The best way to know which industry you would like to apply analytics depends on your interest for that particular industry. Though this could be developed later on when you are working hard to solve analytics problem.
Step 3: Selecting the Right Tool
To the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail. – Abraham Maslow
Now, that you have made up your mind to join the analytics industry. The next big question to answer is which tool you want to excel. If you are going for a complete degree in analytics then you would be introduced to some of these tools like MS-Excel (this is the foundation, so make sure it’s pretty solid), SAS (most commonly used), R (opensource, gaining popularity, would overtake SAS soon), Paython (considered to be backbone) and some other tools. Each of these tools has their pros and cons and you would always be at an advantage if you are aware and have worked with them. However, to excel in analytics you need mastery not acclimation. Hence, when you are getting to know these tools better watch for your special tool that you would like to make your weapon of mass analytics and when you have done it focus all your energy and gain as much knowledge for that particular tool.
Step 4: Free or Paid Courses
The price of light is less than the cost of darkness. – Arthur C. Nielsen
It would be very difficult to find someone who does not like free stuff and so is the case with us. There are some pretty amazing free analytics courses out there that would definitely help you. However, you need to be cautious about the free courses as the courses might be free but your time and energy is not. There is also an opportunity cost involved that you need to keep in mind; while enrolling for any free course that you come across. Further, it’s a human behavior as to not to take a free thing or an easily available thing seriously; one’s commitment level is low. These factors might be the reason why course completion rate for Coursera is 4% only!
If you are serious about Analytics, then you would do a world of good for yourself if you enroll into a good course that gives justice to your time and can guide you better and these courses are generally paid ones.
Step 5: Online Courses or Full time Courses
Most of the online and full time courses in India are designed keeping in mind a working individual and hence time or leaving a job is not a constraint for joining a full time analytics course. A full time course offers students the opportunity to network with fellow students and more importantly to be a part of an acclaimed university from where they are pursuing their analytics course. Being a part of a university, the job prospects, networking, and industry exposure is far more than any online course can provide.
Online courses on the other hand provide you the freedom to attend these courses at any moment during night or at office timings. Also, there are many reputed online business analytics courses in India that provide placement assistance and have made their mark in analytics industry.
Step 6: Format of the Analytics course
After you have decided to do ahead with online or full time, which tool to excel at and industry you want to apply analytics; then, you can decide on the format of the course. It is important to have a format that initially explains in detail about the analytics basics and then narrows down to your specific tool and area of interest. Also, one needs to make sure that the apart from theoretical knowledge the course format has some practical application of analytics so that you can use the tools to derive meaningful information. Further, if you are able to get data sets from real world business problems then unlike that as it would give you an edge as to how you can use analytics to solve business problems.
Step 7: Industry Ranking & Placements of the Institute
With most of the colleges and many more local and national institutes claiming to provide analytics education; one needs to check what the thoughts of the industry about these institutes and the best way to judge this is by knowing the kind of companies that recruit from these institutes. Also, if you have some friends in the analytics domain a little help would take you a long way. Also, there are now various online portals dedicated to the analytics industry. Take help of these portals as they do a complete analysis of various institutes and courses. Interact with fellow students and decide for yourself.
By keeping in mind the above steps you, you would be able to select the right analytics institute and the course that you can help you start your career in analytics. Do let us know in the comments section your thoughts.