What is a Data Analyst?
Data analysts are the people who take that data and use it to help companies make better business decisions. The job of a data analyst is to take that data and use it to help companies make better business decisions. They're often responsible for:
- Interpreting data and analyzing results using statistical techniques and providing ongoing reports
- Developing and implementing data analyses, data collection systems and other strategies that optimize statistical efficiency and quality
- Acquiring data from primary or secondary data sources and maintaining databases/data systems.
- Work with management to prioritize business and information needs.
- Report on findings of analysis in an easy to understand manner by translating complex findings into simple, actionable recommendations.
Data analysts are often considered the go-to people for information in a business, as they are able to use software and statistics to interpret data more effectively than anyone else. Given the technical nature of the role and the new-found importance placed on data and business intelligence, data analysts are in high demand across every industry. They're also often the data stewards of an organization, especially if they're a one-person team or a part of a small data team.
While data analysts commonly work with large amounts of quantitative data, they also need to be able to communicate their findings in a way that non-technical people can understand. This is why they need to have both technical and soft skills.
Sample Data Analyst job description
From betterteam.com, here is an average job description for a data analyst.
Data Analyst Responsibilities:
- Managing master data, including creation, updates, and deletion.
- Managing users and user roles.
- Provide quality assurance of imported data, working with quality assurance analysts if necessary.
- Commissioning and decommissioning of data sets.
- Processing confidential data and information according to guidelines.
- Helping develop reports and analysis.
- Managing and designing the reporting environment, including data sources, security, and metadata.
- Supporting the data warehouse in identifying and revising reporting requirements.
- Supporting initiatives for data integrity and normalization.
- Assessing tests and implementing new or upgraded software and assisting with strategic decisions on new systems.
- Generating reports from single or multiple systems.
- Troubleshooting the reporting database environment and reports.
- Evaluating changes and updates to source production systems.
- Training end-users on new reports and dashboards.
- Providing technical expertise in data storage structures, data mining, and data cleansing.
Data Analyst Requirements:
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college in computer science.
- Work experience as a data analyst or in a related field.
- Ability to work with stakeholders to assess potential risks.
- Ability to analyze existing tools and databases and provide software solution recommendations.
- Ability to translate business requirements into non-technical, lay terms.
- High-level experience in methodologies and processes for managing large-scale databases.
- Demonstrated experience in handling large data sets and relational databases.
- Understanding of addressing and metadata standards.
- High-level written and verbal communication skills.