Even if you don't actively notice it, data touches nearly every facet of our lives. As of 2013, 90% of the world's data had been created in the past two years, a percentage that is only growing. Online retailers use data to show you items that you want to buy, hospitals use data to decrease inefficiencies and save lives, and banks use data to detect financial trends with algorithmic trading. Even formerly non-technical areas like sales and marketing have now become data-driven. CBRE named Charlotte one of the top momentum markets for technology sector growth, which means that there is a huge demand for analysts across all the major industries in the Silicon Valley of the South. Dr. Cheryl Richards, CEO of Northeastern University and Charlotte's 2014 Woman of the Year, spoke to this growing demand at a Skookum Tech Talk. Here are some key points she touched upon:

On data analytics in business:

CEO’s are looking to improve their business performance and work smarter. They want insights into their existing consumer base and potential new markets, they want insights on how people are using websites so they can drive new keyword searches and marketing buys. They are looking at behavioral patterns, and they know they are going to use data analytics in some way, shape, or form.

On demand across industries:

96% of companies believe that this will become more important in their organization in the next three years. Job opportunities aren’t limited to one particular industry, but are rather industry agnostic, meaning all industries use analytics. Banking, technology, manufacturing, engineering, consumer products, and healthcare are becoming more driven through analytics. All these industries are prevalent in Charlotte right now.

On types of roles:

The most common roles in analytics will have analyst in the title, like Data Analyst, Business Analyst, Marketing Analyst, Financial Analyst, and Pre-Sales Analyst. However, there are also some like Consultant and Director of Marketing where you won’t find the world analyst anywhere in the title.

Are you interested in becoming an analyst? There are many different ways to learn data analytics, including self-taught, through a degree program, certification program, or bootcamp. Northeastern University offers Level Bootcamp, an intensive, non-credit data analytics bootcamp geared towards the application of data in business. *Skookum members get a 15% discount on Level tuition by applying from this link or mentioning Skookum in your application.