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Data Analyst Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Data Analyst, or a Digital Data Analyst, collects and analyses data to identify trends and provide clients or management with valuable information that they can use to improve marketing, operational and businesses practices. Their main duties include identifying, gathering, analysing data and making their insights accessible to the company through easy-to-understand graphs, charts, tables and reports.

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Data Analyst duties and responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of a data analyst include more than collecting and analysing data. They also have to make this data accessible to those who need the information to streamline business processes. In general, the day-to-day activities of a data analyst may include the following:

  • Using data mining to extract information from data sets and identify correlations and patterns
  • Organising and transforming information into comprehensible structures
  • Using data to predict trends in the customer base and the consumer population as a whole
  • Performing statistical analysis of data
  • Using tools and techniques to visualise data in easy-to-understand formats, such as diagrams and graphs
  • Preparing reports and presenting these to management or clients
  • Identifying and recommending new ways to save money by streamlining business processes
  • Monitoring data quality and removing corrupt data
  • Communicating with stakeholders to understand data content and business requirements
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What does a Data Analyst do?

Data Analysts collect, process and analyse data relating to various business functions, including production, marketing, sales and IT, so that decision-makers can make more informed business decisions. The conclusions Data Analysts reach after analysing relevant data may, for instance, lead to a change in product pricing or a reduction in transportation costs. Data analysts may specialise in a specific field. For example, Financial Analysts focus on the financial side of things, whereas Marketing Analysts scrutinise marketing data.

Data Analyst skills and qualifications

Data Analysts need to possess strong analytical skills. They need the capacity to work with large amounts of data, extract relevant information and draw logical conclusions. A successful Data Analyst candidate requires specific prerequisite skills and qualifications including:

  • The ability to pay attention to detail when working with data in order to make accurate conclusions and predictions
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills to effectively share findings with shareholders
  • A solid understanding of data sources, data organisation and storage
  • Strong IT and mathematical skills
  • In-depth knowledge of statistical methodologies and data analysis techniques
  • Knowledge of relevant relational databases

Data Analyst experience requirements

Typically, a candidate who’s applying for a Junior Data Analyst post doesn’t need any previous on-the-job experience, but they should have a Bachelor’s Degree in a related field like maths, statistics or computer engineering. Candidates who have completed an apprenticeship are also equipped to apply for junior positions. Those who are seeking a more senior position, however, should be able to demonstrate proven experience in important aspects of the job, such as statistical analysis and working with data sets, data analysis tools and relational databases.

Data Analyst education and training requirements

To gain an entry-level Data Analyst position, candidates typically need a bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline, such as mathematics, statistics, computer science or economics. Candidates can also enroll for an apprenticeship or a graduate training scheme. Those who want to learn analysis skills and gain more specialised knowledge in the field can opt for a postgraduate qualification, such as a Master’s Degree in Data Science or Data Analytics. Candidates can also expand upon their qualifications through professional courses at institutions like the General Assembly, The Data School and the Open Data Institute.

Data Analyst salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Data Analyst is £30,627 per year. Junior Data Analysts make on average £23,498 per year, whereas those in more senior positions earn around £40,616 per year. Salaries will vary depending on factors like location and employer.

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Data Analyst job description FAQs

Which industries offer the most opportunities for Data Analysts?

In general, demand for Data Analysts is on the increase and these professionals should find it relatively easy to find employment. A wide range of businesses and industries are making use of Data Analysts, including banks, universities, pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers and software developers. The business sectors, however, that are employing the most Data Analysts are the finance and investments, technology and marketing sectors.

What is the typical work environment of a Data Analyst?

This is an office-based job that involves a regular Monday to Friday work week with 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours. During important projects or when deadlines are approaching, these professionals may occasionally work evenings and over weekends. Those in senior positions may be able to negotiate more flexible hours and the ability to work remotely.

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