Will AI replace Data Analyst ?

You are becoming a data analyst or already working  as a data analyst but everybody keeps telling you that your job will be automated in five years  and it makes you wonder if you should change  your career path. If the advancement in AI and tools such as Chat GPT, Bard AI, GitHub Co-Pilot will automate data analysts. 

Forbes recently published  an article with this Sensational headline specifically targeting the Analyst job family.  when I saw the article and the headline I was  immediately taken back. I was like why are analysts being targeted specifically by not other job families, that are at more risk. In my  opinion it is a scary headline if you don’t read the entire article so as somebody who has worked in the data science domain for almost 10 years I wanted to dedicate this article.

Will data analytics be automated with AI  ?

The short answer is yes and no . Let me explain  this with a few examples so we’re going to take  hypothetical example we have two people who  work as data analyst. We have Jack and we have Jessica. okay I came up with those names so Jack  and Jessica, they sound like brother and sister sorry getting off topic. So Jack and Jessica works as a data analyst and Jessica works as a data analyst now what is different about their  roles. Jack’s primary job is to prepare daily sales, report and send it to the VP. He basically  pulls the data using SQL query puts the data in Excel creates  some pivot tables on top of it create some nice plots and tables and then sends that email to  the VP.

Jessica also works at the data analyst. Her primary work includes reporting but as well  as doing some critical thinking to improve the product using data. Her day-to-day work is not as straightforward. She has to do a lot of critical thinking and analytical thinking to come up with  new creative ideas to solve the problems or find existing problems in the product that customers are facing so we have Jack and we have Jessica  so in this two hypothetical cases Jack’s role  includes a lot of repetitive work basically his work pretty much every day he does the same thing but Jessica her work involves a lot of thinking a lot of analytical skills so in  this case whose job is going to be automated in five years, two years or whatever years that is  going to be Jack because Jack’s job is pretty repetitive. There’s a process around it and it  can be easily automated using AI tools whereas  Jessica uses a lot of critical thinking,  a lot of analytical thinking, her role is also a   data analyst but and she does do some repetitive  work and there will be some element of her job  that will be automated but the core of her job  will not be automated.

How you can future  prove your skills as a data analyst ?

So the  takeaway from these two from Jack and Jessica’s role is that there are going to be certain  elements of the job that will be automated  but there are going to be a big chunk of the data  analytics role which involves solving problems using data is big chunk of that that involves the analytical skills involve the critical thinking, skills will not be automated and if you read  the Forbes article in its completion, you will  actually get to that conclusion but for somebody  who’s not in the data industry. They probably don’t understand what those repetitive tasks mean so  hopefully having these examples held clarified for you what exactly when they say that repetitive tasks will be automated that’s what they mean. So for anybody who’s currently working in the data  analytics domain or trying to enter here are three things that you can do to Future proof your skills

  • Number one is prioritise the work that involves critical thinking and analytical thinking. Prioritise the work that involves  the bright side of your brain that involves critical thinking that involves problem solving  that involves a lot of analytical skills.
  • The  second is AI is not going anywhere so in order to keep yourself up with the technology learn  these tools learn how to use these AI tools such  as ChatGPT, Bard AI and any other coding tool to make  your work more efficient automate the repetitive work so you can focus your time on more critical  and analytical work.
  • Third is keep ups-killing , whether you take Advanced data analytics courses, learn new coding language, advance in existing coding language.

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