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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