Where are The Analytics Officers Going?

In the previous post, I elaborated three typical tracks that an analytics officer may have gone through. While it may take a fresh graduate many years to reach this position, the analytics officer may not be their destination. Instead, it could be the beginning of a new chapter. In this post, I will name six directions to go for the analytics officer, including two within the same company, three to other companies, and one to academia. I happen to have taken four of them at different stages of my career.

Outcomes of The Analytics Officer

1. Climb up along the analytics track.

While many companies today have not yet established a mature analytics practice, the analytics officer may easily find many new business areas to leverage the power of data. The expanded footprints of analytics often result a in new and higher top position created for the analytics track. This can be a natural career growth direction for the analytics officer.

2. Become the business unit head.

The analytics officer is supposed to be on a supporting role, helping the head of business unit make informed decisions. These decision making processes also offer golden opportunities for the analytics officer to further understand the core business of the unit. When there is a vacancy of BU head, the analytics officer would be a viable candidate and may very well become the head of the business unit.

3. Take the analytics officer position from a competitor.

Back to the TSM example, the methodologies implemented by the analytics officer of TSM may be applicable to some of TSM's competitors. Consequently, its analytics officer may be approached by these competitors. The same title at a much bigger competition may be attractive enough to the analytics officer of TSM, while a smaller competitor may offer a higher title.

4. Join a vendor or startup.

If the analytical problem solved by TSM's analytics officer is commonly concerned by the other companies from the same sector, the solution could be packaged into a software solution and/or consulting practice. When there are already major software companies or consulting firms that have some presence in the same sector, the analytics officer could land a job in such firms. When the field is vacant, TSM's analytics officer may form a startup to commercialize the solution.

5. Jump to a different sector.

Although named differently, many analytical problems from different business sectors have their inherent connections and share similar solutions. For instance, forecasting the patient of a hospital's emergency department is similar to forecasting the incoming calls from a customer service center. When one sector is short of analytic talents, it may actively approach professionals from other sectors. Since mid and senior level analytics leaders are scarce resources nowadays, this allows the analytics officer of TSM switch career to a different sector.

6. Teach in academia.

Most of the professors were initially hired either from the doctoral programs or a pool of post-docs. Moving from industry to academia is nontrivial. If the analytics officer holds a doctoral degree and has been active in the scientific community, going back to academia could be a good choice too. I took this path in my last move four years ago. For more information, please read Why I left a great place to work - from industry to academia.

A career path is rarely straightforward. There may be many changes, zig-zags, or even U-turns in one's career. When answering where are the analytics officers from, I named three typical tracks from the same organization. The list from this post also tells where the analytics officer may be from outside the organization. For instance, TSM's analytics officer may be from its competitors, from a vendor, from a different sector, or from academia.

This concludes the first and short blog series on the career paths of the analytics officer. Regardless where the analytics officer is going, as long as the move is upward, it's typically a result of increased responsibilities and influence power of analytics. Hopefully they are helpful to your career planning. Best luck!