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Would You Become a Data Strategist? | by Marie Lefevre | Nov, 2023

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Understanding yet another job title in the data industry

Marie Lefevre
Towards Data Science
Would you become a data strategist? (Photo by Dan Burton on Unsplash)

Data Analyst, Data Engineer, Data Scientist… If you’re familiar with the broad range of data roles, you may have heard about all these roles. A few years ago a new role appeared together with the rise of transformation tools like dbt: the Analytics Engineer role. In January 2021 Atlan also predicted the emergence of Data Platform Leaders. Whether these predictions are craze or trend, my feeling is that the range of data roles is set to continue expanding.

As I have been working in a data role for over three years now, I would argue that a new role is on the rise in the data industry: the Data Strategist. I have been in this position since October 2022. My guess is that this kind of position is to become more and more important within organizations. The reason for that is simple: Data Strategists are at the crossroads of data individual contributors, strategic consultants and team managers.

As listed by TechCrunch since the beginning of 2023, layoffs are on the rise in the tech industry. With budgets allocated to data teams being reduced, data teams tend to be of a smaller size. Yet they are still expected to deliver a similar amount of work. Leaders have to do investment tradeoffs between data analytical vs. data engineering vs. data science vs. team management roles. Thus having one person who can master several aspects of data roles will be of a strategic advantage in this new context.

If you reached this article you may already have on the jobs mentioned above. Do you already know what your next career step will be? Could you be a data strategist without even knowing it? Would you like to become one? In this article I would like to explain what a Data Strategist is, and help you better understand whether this position might be of interest to you.

From my own experience and some research conducted on job boards, a Data Strategist fulfills three types of roles: Data Consultant, Head of Data, and Data Team Lead. Depending on the context one role may take more time than another. Similarly the organization’s structure and the Data Strategist’s prior background will influence…

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