Data Analyst Graveyard — The Valley of Death and Despair

Data Analyst Graveyard — The Valley of Death and Despair

A piece featuring why work as a data analyst can lose its meaning. The purpose of today’s article is to offer a different perspective, a pessimistic view discussing why work as a data analyst can feel meaningless.

In my recent post, Data Analyst Primer, I elaborated on how demand for data analysts is growing and highlighted the steps you can take to get a foot in the door, and land that first entry-level job.

The purpose of today’s article is to offer a different perspective, a pessimistic view discussing why work as a data analyst can feel meaningless.

Often, expectations of a dream job deceive us. There are plenty of unpleasant responsibilities analysts have to carry on their backs, that separate what appears to be an ideal career, from the actual reality of the situation.

The Dunning-Kruger Effect for Data Analysts

Unskilled and unaware: Difficulties in recognizing one’s own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments.

As with any shiny new skill or passion that excites you, it proves easy to feel confident about a topic by Googling and doing extensive research online. New analysts run into this problem where they have sky-high expectations of the value they can contribute within the organization.

This is but another instance of the Dunning-Kruger effect; Lack of work experience leads to overconfidence in one’s own ability to make an impact.

The Valley of Despair

After diving headfirst and gaining on-the-job experience, do they begin to understand it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. Countless obstacles arise; Endless data requests, lack of analytical rigor, non-technical managers, you name it.

New analysts fall into the valley of despair due to crushed expectations, unable to climb the slope of enlightenment. A feeling of dread starts to set in. And then you wonder whether this is the right career for you after all.

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