The meaning of data is raw facts and figures from which we derive organized and meaningful information. A data analyst uses data analysis/analytic tools to scrutinize meaningful information and generate insights. In this article, we are going to cover everything related to a data analyst, that is,
- What is Data Analysis?
- Duties and Responsibilities of Data Analysts.
- Skills required by a Data Analyst.
- The lifestyle of a Data Analyst.
- Certification, etc.
So, without wasting any further time, let’s dive into the article.
What is Data analysis?
Data Analysis can be defined as the systematic application of statistical or logical techniques to describe, illustrate, condense, recap, and evaluate data and a Data Analyst collects, processes, performs, and evaluates statistical analysis on a large set of data. Their role is to find out the answers to critical business questions.
The purpose of data analysis is to discover useful information and arriving at conclusions from large pieces of data for decision making. In today’s technological world, data analysis is helping businesses from all industries operate more systematically and efficiently. As Lisa Utzschneider says, “the data is the new currency, it’s the medium of exchange between consumers and marketers”, and that is why
“Without big data analytics, companies are blind and deaf, wandering out onto the web like deer on a freeway.” – Geoffrey Moore
Duties and Responsibilities of Data Analysts
- Identification of sources through which a data analyst can retrieve data.
- A data analyst collects data through the identified sources.
- Designing data systems and databases and maintaining them to create a mechanism of dividing the data into structured, unstructured, and semi-structured for better organization.
- A data analyst takes care of the confidentiality of data.
- They use automated statistical tools to interpret data sets to derive trends and patterns for better performance.
- Convert data into readable form.
- They manage metadata that includes meta keywords, meta description, meta tags, etc. They also remove corrupted data and proofread coding to remove errors.
- A data analyst assesses data quality.
- They convert information into insights.
- Prepares systematic data reports and creates documentation that can be further used by businesses and stakeholders to arrive at marketing, financial and, company decisions. They collaborate with managers of the business, programmers, and engineers.
Skills Required by a Data Analyst
To be a successful data analyst, a person should have a combination of hard and soft skills, that is, a mixture of techno-leadership skills that are required in order to get hired by an employer. To become a data analyst, a person could be from various backgrounds like
- Management Science
- Computer Science, etc.
Some of those skills are:
Data Collection and Data Mining
A data analyst should know how to gather a large amount of data and should be able to mine the data, that is, he should be able to analyze data into useful patterns.
A data analyst should be well versed with the knowledge of computers. For example,
- Structured Query Language
- R or Python
- Machine Learning
- Microsoft Office
- Data Visualization
Critical Thinking Skills
A data analyst must have critical assessment skills combined with problem-solving skills to make decisions as they have to deal with a large set of data and interpret it.
A job of a data analyst requires the usage of statistics and probability on daily basis.
Writing Skills and Communication Skills
As a data analyst, you need to prepare reports and document organized data very frequently. Therefore, the need for writing skills arises. To demonstrate those documents and reports to the business owners or stakeholders one needs to have good communication skills so that the other person can understand what they have to say.
To identify different primary and secondary sources of data, researching skills are very important.
- Attention to detail
- Project management skills
- Collaboration skills
- Data warehousing
- Analytical mindset
- Time management skills
- Organization skills
The lifestyle of a Data Analyst
Not all people in the world are blessed with the technical skills required to be a data analyst, that is why all types of companies offer fair and steady pay to a data analysis specialist. The higher the experience and the more the skill set, the higher the pay.
As data analysts can work in different industries, they spend most of their time developing systems to collect data and organize them into reports and explaining and handing over those reports to senior managers or business owners.
A data analyst spends most of their time in front of the computer doing all the technical activities. A day in data analysts life starts as they acquire data from different sources, create queries for fetching data from data repositories, look for insights in data, create reports and dashboards, and at last they interact with stakeholders for gathering information and presenting findings followed up with cleaning and preparing data for analysis.
Talking about how much a data analyst makes, it depends upon the industry they work in, most industries like technical-based or financial businesses tend to pay higher salaries to data analysts than industries where the need for data analysts is less impactful. The level of expertise varies from
- Data Analyst to Senior Data Analyst
- Senior Data Analyst to Analytics Manager
- Analytics Manager to Business Analyst
A data analyst must have
- A Bachelor Degree in field in IT (Information Technology), Mathematics, Economics, Computer Science, Management Science.
Apart from that some certifications that an analyst can have are:
- Certified Course of Data Analysis from any platform teaching data analysis from beginners’ level to advanced.
- Certified Analytics Professional
- Data Management and Analytics Certification
- Cloudera Certified Associate Data Analyst
- CAP (Certified Analytics Professional)
- Microsoft Data Analyst Associate Certification
So, this was all about a data analyst. If you are thinking to build a career in this field, we would suggest you go for it as data analysts are in great demand nowadays, and therefore, if you have an interest in this field, it will be a smart choice to invest your talents in this field.
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