What is the role of a Data Analyst?

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Data Analyst jobs have increased by 112% in the past two years due to the unprecedented amounts of data being produced every day. Companies are collecting data in multiple ways including asking their customers directly, consumer activity, indirect tracking, and even external sources such as third-party sources. Businesses can use this data to improve customer experience, refine marketing strategies, and increase cash flow.

What is a Data Analyst?

When a company wants to make data-driven decisions they turn to Data Analysts to find the answers to complex questions. A Data Analyst can gather valuable information and uncover trends from large amounts of data. They use data modelling and visualisation tools in order to present their findings clearly and concisely to other stakeholders.  By sharing these insights, Data Analysts assist companies in making informed decisions, streamlining operations, and identifying emerging trends.

Which skills are required to be a Data Analyst?

Hard skills of a Data Analyst

  • Business intelligence tools including Power BI and Tableau
  • Programming languages including SQL, Python and R
  • Data Quality
  • Data Visualisation
  • Data Management
  • Quality Assurance
  • Data Warehousing
  • Data Modelling
  • Data Governance

Soft skills of a Data Analyst

  • Business intelligence
  • Analytical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Attention to detail

What are the responsibilities of a Data Analyst?

  • Use specialist tools and platforms to extract relevant data.
  • Analysing data to uncover issues and identify trends.
  • Produce reports and graphics communicating your findings to non-specialists.
  • Present information generated from data to clients and managers.
  • Respond to data-related queries and keep track of these.
  • Set up processes and systems to make working with data more efficient.
  • Research new ways to make use of data.

What qualifications do you need as a Data Analyst?

Whilst a degree in computer science or a similar field can be useful, it is not always essential. If you have a degree in the following areas, it is most likely you already have a lot of the relevant skills needed for an entry-level Data Analyst job.

  • Computer science
  • Economics
  • Mathematics
  • Information Management
  • Statistics

If you didn’t go to university and are looking at a career change instead, there are courses you can complete in order to gain the relevant qualifications and skills. Data analysis is a developing industry, with standards and technologies continually changing. The best way to stay on top of these changes would be by completing the relevant courses, be sure to check that you will be learning the relevant skills we have listed in this article. Some qualifications include:

  • Microsoft Certified: Power BI Data Analyst Associate
  • Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate
  • IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate
  • IBM Data Analytics with Excel and R Professional Certificate

How much does a Data Analyst earn?

The average salary for an entry-level Data Analyst is £28,000

The average salary for a mid-level Data Analyst is £47,000

The average salary for a senior-level Data Analyst is £72,000

What career paths are there for Data Analysts?

After gaining some years’ of experience as a Data Analyst, you can choose a few different career paths. I you want to continue your career as a Data Analyst, you can work your way up to a managerial role, where you can become a Senior Data Analyst, Analytics Manager or even a Director of Analytics.

Another career path is data science, as data analysis skills are an excellent starting point for anyone looking to become a Data Scientist. To make the transition it is important to look into the type of skills you need to focus on or extra qualifications you need to take in order to take this career path.

Data Analysts are in demand across many different industries, and often you can specialise in certain fields to help businesses dive deeper into their data. Other Analyst job titles could include:

Business Analyst

  • Financial Analyst
  • Operations Analyst
  • Marketing Analyst
  • Systems Analyst

  • Healthcare Analyst
  • What industries can Data Analysts work in?

    Data Analysts can work in many different industries, as data provides detailed insights into what is working and what is not working on all sides of business operations, such as marketing & sales, risk analysis, supply chain management and more. Analytics allows for appropriate actions to be taken towards business goals instead of guessing.

    Industries in which Data Analysts can work include the following:

    • Business intelligence
    • Education
    • Finance
    • Retail & Warehouse
    • Marketing firms
    • Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare
    • Telecommunications
    • Information technology
    • Manufacturing
    • Energy & Utilities
    • Government & Public Sector
    • Media & Entertainment

    The demand for Data Analysts is rapidly growing, and they are highly sought after in all industries. In the coming years, there will undoubtedly be an increase in the demand for IT professionals specialising in this area. So if you are highly analytical, have strong mathematical skills and are curious and inquisitive then a career as a Data Analyst will suit you.

    Find all Data Analyst jobs here.

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