A Beginner’s Guide to Data Analytics: Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Advances in technology have given businesses access to increasingly large volumes of data. It can be challenging to know how to analyse it. 

Yet, insights from the data are waiting to be unearthed. These insights can drive smarter business moves and make operations more efficient. And, in the case of the healthcare industry, even save lives.

We’ve put together a complete guide to data analytics detailing everything you need to know about the industry. 

What is Data Analytics? 

 A man and a woman sit together in front of a laptop with printed data visualisation sheets to analyse big data sets


Think of the last time you opened up an app on your phone and the app crashed. Often, when that happens, a box pops up. And it usually says something along the lines of “This app has crashed. Do you want to report it?”
It allows you to report the app crash. Or you can ignore it. 

If you opt to report the app crash, your device sends a data report to a data hub. Someone pulls the reports of the thousands of people who also sent one in. And then? They use data analysis to determine what’s happening with the app. This better helps them figure out how they can make the app more efficient. 

That entire process all revolves around data analytics. 

But that’s just a small picture of how our world revolves around data analytics. Keep reading to find out more about data analytics and the role that big data plays: 

What Are Big Data and Big Data Analytics?

You may be wondering what’s the difference between big data and data analytics. Well, knowing what big data refers to is key to understanding the main question: “what is data analytics?”

What is Big Data?

Big data is a term for the large, difficult-to-manage information sets that typical analysis software can’t manage on their own. With advances in technology, data sets are growing at a quick rate. All of this information is collected from mobile devices, computers and other devices that use the Internet, cameras, and wireless sensor networks. 

What is Big Data Analytics?

Big data analytics is the field that finds ways to analyse and extract information from these large data sets. Much of the data industries are gathering now is too difficult, complex, or fast for traditional methods to process. So in this line of work, people find ways to pull information using data analytics tools. And then, they analyse it so it can be used to better help the industry they’re in.

Why Does Data Analytics Matter? Why Is It Important?

 A hand reaches out to use a data analytics tool on a laptop


It’s no secret that we’re continuing to move towards a technology-centred world. But to continue moving forward, technology industries need to make sure their products and systems are working efficiently. 

That’s why the big data landscape is so important. All of this data allows analysers to sort through it and determine: 

  • how to improve products and systems

  • how to make products and systems more efficient

  • how to increase growth and revenue for businesses

In turn, this provides a better experience for people using certain products. It provides more advancements in technology throughout many industries, including those in the health industry, which can save even more lives. 

Big Data Analytics and Innopharma

At Innopharma, we understand the importance of this career field. That’s why we offer a course to help you and other students take your first steps into the world of big data analytics. 

A key focus of Research and Development efforts at Innopharma has been in the Process Analytical Technology (PAT) space.  PAT has been defined by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a mechanism to “design, analyse, and control pharmaceutical manufacturing processes through the measurement of Critical Process Parameters (CPP) which affect Critical Quality Attributes (CQA).”

The practical implementation of PAT involves the online or in-line integration of “smart technology”, such as process control sensors to conventional process equipment and using the real-time data from the sensors to model and control the process.

Of course, the application of PAT leads to the generation of large and complex datasets also known as ‘big data.’ By harnessing the storage, distribution and processing capacity of ‘The Cloud’, innovation opportunities for Innopharma Technology have progressed. Now it is possible to apply advanced analytics against PAT-generated big data to help decode complex manufacturing processes.

Big data is a genuinely game-changing technology. There are only a few areas of the pharmaceutical and medical industries that will be unaffected by the implementation of data analytics in the coming years. 

However, it’s not an area of the industry without challenges. Harvard Business Review stated in 2016 that the biggest challenge ‘by far’ when it comes to pharma and big data has been finding the right talent. 

This offers a unique opportunity to upskill in one of the top ten jobs in Ireland that are crying out for qualified candidates.

How Do Business Analytics and Data Analytics Work Together? 

Businesses and data go together like a scientist and a lab coat. Without data analytics, businesses often struggle to determine what’s doing well and what can be improved. 

So, in this section of your beginner’s guide to data analytics, we’re discussing how business analytics and data analytics work together to achieve business success. 

Business Analytics, Data Analysis, and Decision Making

As mentioned previously, business analytics and data analysis go hand in hand. And right in the middle is decision-making. 

Why? Because through big data analysis and understanding of a business’s analytics, business owners can make proper decisions. 

When a business owner, or someone within a business who can make decisions, properly assesses data, they can expect to achieve much greater results. 

For example, McKinsey Global Institute estimates that using big data to inform decision-making could generate up to $100 billion in value annually across the US healthcare system alone. In the pharmaceutical industry, the analysis of big data puts companies in a stronger position to identify new drug candidates. These can be developed into life-saving medicines at a faster pace.

What Are the Skills Required for Data Analytics? 

A man faces away from the camera and touches a data visualisation graph as he analyses big data sets


To land an in-demand job as a data analyst, you’ll need a certain set of skills and knowledge of specific data analytics tools. 

The excellent news is, even if you feel you’re not phenomenal in each of these skill sets, you can always improve. 

There are top 6 skills required for data analytics. 

Some of these are soft skills you can work on in and out of the classroom. Others are technical skills that you’ll learn as a part of the many data analytics courses in Ireland.

The Top 6 Skills Required for Data Analytics

Just like any other career, there is a multitude of skills you need to know to fulfil your responsibilities. 

We’ve gathered together the top 6 skills required for data analytics: 

Probability and Statistics

Probability and statistics refer to the mathematics behind compiling, analyzing, and interpreting numbers. And it’s the foundation behind big data analytics. 

When you build this skill, you’ll be able to identify patterns in the data sets you’re looking at, produce accurate results, and avoid errors in your analysis. 

Data and Statistical Visualisation

Once you pull data, you’ll often have to present your findings. And the best way to do this is by creating data and statistical visualisations for people to better understand what you’ve found. Knowing how to compile data into graphs and charts is crucial for job success. 

Statistical Programming

Many jobs in data analytics require you to know statistical programming methods. These are types of programming like Python and R that help you work with data analytics tools. And they’ll help you better analyse and understand the reports you’re looking at. 

Critical Thinking

Knowing how to process and analyse big data sets is crucial to your job responsibilities. So using critical thinking skills to determine the best data sets to pull and analyse is important. 

You’ll hone your critical thinking skills as a part of the data analytics courses in Ireland, especially through the courses at Innopharma. 

SQL Knowledge

SQL, or Structured Query Language, is a code language. And it’s the primary language used to communicate with databases. You’ll need to know how to properly update, organize, and pull data from databases. And you’ll do this through SQL. 

It’s one of the most important data analytics tools you’ll use in your daily job. It’s so important, you may be asked to complete an SQL technical review as a part of your job interview. 

Written and Oral Communication

You’ll need to effectively communicate with your teammates and those who work with your department. Once you analyse data, you’ll need to discuss your findings.

So practice your written and oral communication skills so you know how to effectively work with those around you. 

Data Analytics Courses Ireland - What’s Available for You?

For just about every job in big data analytics, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in data analytics or a comparable area of study. 

And to set yourself apart from the rising competition, you may want to level up your knowledge and skill set in data analytics by obtaining a degree or certificate in the specific industry you want to take part in. 

The great news, here, is there are plenty of data analytics courses in Ireland. In these courses, you’ll learn the ins and outs of how to pull data and properly analyse it to detect trends and patterns. You’ll learn how to use specific data analytics tools like Python, SQL, R, Tableau and the like. 

There are also data analytics courses in Ireland for numerous industries such as the pharmaceutical industry, marketing, software development, and applied business. 

Innopharma offers a part-time Master’s programme specifically for those who are wanting to step into data analytics in the health industry.

Innopharma Data Analytics Courses

Our Digital Transformation Courses have been specifically developed for those who wish to use data analytics to improve the operational effectiveness and capabilities of businesses.

If you’re analytical and enjoys spotting patterns, then it’s worth considering upskilling for this emerging digital transformation industry.

There are many opportunities upon graduation from the course. Some of the roles you’ll be gaining the skills for include: data analyst, data scientist, digital transformation consultant and much more.

At Innopharma, we have strong ties to the industry and we use these to help our students to achieve their career goals. If you want to be a part of the exciting new world of big data, this course is the perfect first step.

Interested in finding out more about this course?

Get in touch with us for more information or call us on (01) 4853346


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