Data Analysts use information they collect to advice companies on decisions that may help improve business strategies. Using statistics and logical reasoning, a data analyst quantifies information gathered on a certain subject and relays that information to companies. The field of data analysis is a lucrative and wide-ranging occupation.
A data analyst plays an important role in the development and maintenance of information technology (IT). Data analysts collect data and control all single typed measurements involved in survey processes. Using database applications and analytical tools, they are also required to tweak databases in order to make sure that they run optimally. Sometimes, data analysts also perform managerial duties by overseeing, coordinating, and planning operations. They write reports that are given to the appropriate upper management personnel and must sometimes present information verbally to customers. They also identify the limitations of a particular hardware used for an IT project. Data analysts also act as liaisons between the company they work for and the latest IT software development. They are always on the lookout for new data tools that will be able to help the company with its goals, and are also responsible for increasing company awareness of IT software.
Education and Training Requirements
A data analyst’s educational requirements depend largely on what the employer is looking for. Some employers prefer to hire individuals with a two-year or associate’s degree, while others require candidates to possess a 4-year bachelor’s degree in statistics, mathematics, computer science, information systems, or business administration.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements
Individuals interested in taking up a profession as a data analyst should possess exceptional people skills and advanced computer skills. Data analysts also have good organizational skills, analytical skills, leadership skills, interpersonal skills and strong written and verbal communication skills. Knowledge in customer service and business, ability to work with numbers and operate database systems will also prove to be advantageous in this field. It would also help to be proficient in analytical tools such as Excel and Microsoft Access.
Data analysts usually work in an office setting. They must be comfortable doing repetitive work while sitting for long periods of time on a computer. Data analysts also face varying levels of stress when meeting strict deadlines or when dealing with changing client demands.
Data analysts receive annual median salaries ranging from $40,000 to $60,700. Experienced data analysts move on to project management, senior data analyst or database administration positions with annual salaries of more than $60,000.