According to LinkedIn\u2019s 2017 U.S. Emerging Jobs Report, the number of data scientist positions at American companies has grown by over 650 percent since 2012. And yet, only 35,000 people in the U.S. currently have the requisite skill-set to fill these job openings, leaving companies in nearly every sector desperate for qualified candidates.\nThat means job-seekers who do possess these coveted qualifications will likely have their pick of roles over the next few years. But while the tech, energy, and telecommunications industries have long held a certain allure, there\u2019s one industry I\u2019d encourage every analytics professional to consider: health and wellness.\nAnalytics in health and wellness: success through collaboration\nThere are numerous data-related job titles and functions that fall under the expansive umbrella of the health and wellness industry. The subset in which I work \u2014 health and wellness marketing \u2014 provides a unique perspective at the intersection of healthcare, mathematics, data analytics, computer science, and traditional marketing. While I may be biased, I believe a job in health and wellness marketing analytics represents an unmatched opportunity for data professionals to interact with a diverse group of people and data, and to perform meaningful work that ultimately can impact the lives of patients.\nHealth and wellness ad agencies aren\u2019t just looking for one or two data scientists they can hole away in the basement \u2014 they\u2019re building out expansive teams, each member of which must have a specific set of expertise within the field. Data strategists create data-driven road maps to solve business problems; data engineers use set theory and big data technology to make sense of massive quantities of raw data; digital analysts work closely with creatives, UX designers, and media buyers to turn clickstream data into conversion-driving experiences; and data scientists apply algorithms to data to predict future outcomes and prescribe recommendations.\nIn health and wellness marketing analytics, we have the opportunity to analyze a wide variety of data, including traditional marketing datasets \u2014 website analytics, social analytics, etc. \u2014\u00a0as well as healthcare data \u2014\u00a0prescribing data, payer data, diagnosis data, etc. \u2014\u00a0to shape future engagement.\nWhen all of these experts work in tandem, health and wellness marketers are not tasked with simply identifying ways to sell products. Our job is to leverage data to more effectively forge meaningful connections with physicians and patients at what is likely a critical juncture in patients\u2019 lives.\nMaking a difference in patients\u2019 lives\nWhich leads us to the most satisfying aspect of working in health and wellness marketing: the opportunity to help improve communication between patients and the HCPs and health and wellness companies that have the power to bolster their health and, in some cases, help them manage and overcome disease.\nIn today\u2019s overwhelmingly digital world, the internet is a patient\u2019s first \u2014 and sometimes only \u2014 resource for learning about their specific ailments. Unlike analysts who work in other industries, data professionals in the health and wellness marketing space have the opportunity to investigate questions like:\n\u201cWhere do patient knowledge gaps exist?\u201d \n\u201cHow likely is a particular patient group to adhere to a particular drug or therapy?\u201d\n\u201cHow effectively are HCPs communicating information about a new therapy to the most highly-affected patient groups?\u201d \nIt\u2019s not just about pushing units or boosting profits \u2014 these are questions that have a real bearing on the health and wellbeing of our communities at large.\nUp for the challenge?\nHealth and wellness marketing is rarely straightforward. With so many parties\u00a0at the center of the decision-making process (patients, HCPs, comorbidities, payers, etc.), and the fact that many conversions take place offline in exam rooms, marketing in the health and wellness space is unlike selling any other product. But that\u2019s what makes it consistently interesting, challenging, and, ultimately, transformative for the people whose lives we impact. These qualities can be hard to find, and are a major reason why an analytics career in the health and wellness industry is well worth considering.