How To Get Started In Risk Analytics

Rosalind Madge our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 5/20/2021 10:38 AM
Risk Analytics has been an integral part of teams across several industries for years. After the 2008 financial crash, whereby $8 trillion was wiped from the stock market’s value in the space of two days in the US alone, the need for businesses to be savvier and more ‘switched on’ to the potential downturns and crises the economy may face was imperative. The kind of devastation the financial crash caused in a matter of days had knock-on effects to businesses of all shapes and sizes for years afterwards, and nobody could risk the same level of destruction again. 

For a long time prior to this key event, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to suggest that a lot of business owners and C-Suite executives depended on gut instinct to make critical business decisions. But, as we began to enter not only a more economically turbulent time but also an era that became dominated by technology, the need for hard evidence to support ‘intuition’ was crucial.

With endless reams of data now at our fingertips, which has only evolved in reliability and accessibility over the decades, companies’ ability to manage risk-related issues through state-of-the-art technologies and tools is changing. And because of the capabilities of said technologies, companies are now able to look further than just financial risk; competitor risk, supply chain risk, technical risk, these are all everyday examples of where Risk Analytics come into play. 

It’s clear Risk Analytics is a crucial part of businesses today, and its importance will continue to take centre stage as we move into an even more technological and data-driven era, but where do you begin if you’re considering becoming a Risk Analyst?

Are you the right fit for the job?

You need to be sure that risk analysis is truly for you. As with any job, skills are something that can built upon, but a good attitude, willingness to learn and some core characteristics will set you up in good stead too. 

Risk Analysis suits individuals with a keen eye for detail and are unafraid of spending time going through data with a fine-tooth comb to unearth any anomalies that could present themselves as serious risks later down the line. A love of and proficiency with numbers will also be a brilliant asset to bring to the role, along with an interest in data analysis. 

While most of the job will most certainly be dealing with the hard facts and figures, you’ll also need to be someone who is comfortable with communicating in an open and jargon-free manner. Ultimately, you’ll be responsible in not only identifying potential risks, but feeding the information back to members of the team who have no prior knowledge of data and analytics, as well as giving them viable solutions to avoid or reduce any risk where possible. 

That sounds like me, what’s next?

Great! So, if you think you’ll be a perfect fit, the next step is to think about which route you want to take to get your foot in the door. As per a lot of Data & Analytics roles in this day and age, a university degree isn’t necessary, but it is still favoured amongst many employers. 

Nevertheless, just because you don’t have a degree doesn’t mean you won’t be considered, so keep your options open. Diplomas or online study courses are two other brilliant avenues to take as well. 

Of course, if you’re a total whizz, you may have a lot of skills and knowledge on a self-taught basis which is fantastic. Before applying for a job in Risk Analysis however, make sure you have some extra-curricular learning under your belt to showcase your initiative and drive to learn. 

Do I need to have experience?

Much like university, while not a mandatory requirement for all Risk Analysis jobs, having work experience within your portfolio will put you a significant step ahead to your peers who may not have had that hands-on learning. 

Do I need to know how to code?

Analysts who code will always be in demand, and the sharper and more on top of those skills you are, the better. Different employers will work with different languages, but the most common are Python, SAS, C++ and Java. 

Ensure you’re always learning too. Code is an element of all Data & Analytics roles that is always evolving, and employees who fall behind in their knowledge will very quickly see a drop in their ability and productivity. 

What can I expect from a role in Risk Analytics?

Each day in this role will be completely different. The challenges you may come up against will change rapidly, especially if you are based in a fast-moving sector such as Finance or Banking. You’ll need to be prepared to work under pressure and showcase impeccable problem-solving skills. 

At entry level, you can expect to be taking home a salary of around £20,000, or just over $60,000 in the US. For those who show eagerness to learn, initiative and determination to always better their understanding of risk analysis, progression opportunities are vast here too. With the right attitude and mindset, reaching the top of the career ladder can see employees earning in the remit of £75,000+ / $191,000+. 

Risk Analytics in an incredibly exciting role, and the demand for highly skilled analysts will undoubtedly continue rising, especially as we recover from the pandemic and companies look to implement firmer, more grounded, risk-management procedures in place.

If you would like to learn more about Risk Analytics, take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

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