Career Guide – Data Analyst

Career Guide – Data Analyst

If you enjoy plunging into a pile of statistics and finding the hidden meaning or correlating collections of data into something usable, then a job as a data analyst may be ideal for you.  This is the kind of role that needs a certain type of mind and approach to work and if you have it, then the various data analyst careers might be perfect for you.

Data analyst responsibilities

Data analyst jobs can feature across many different industries including financial sectors, manufacturing, government and education.  The exact specifics of what the job entails will be a little different depending on the industry you are working in but some general duties will include:

  • Gathering numerical data
  • Interpreting this data
  • Finding trends, patterns and algorithms in the data
  • Looking at market research
  • Present the findings of this research

Data analyst jobs may also involve setting up and maintaining automated data processes to gather the data required for the above jobs and also the development and supporting of any reporting processes.  Data analysts often use analytics reporting tools and create data dashboards, graphs and visualisations to present the information that they gather to other, non-analyst members of the business.

Skills and qualifications

Data analysts definitely need a certain mindset to do their job – pattern recognition, critical and analytical thinking and attention to detail are three of the most important.  You need to have highly developed organisation skillset to be able to deal with the many avenues of data that you will be working with and also the different requirements you will need to fulfil with that data.  You also need to be a problem thinker who can use the data that they generate to overcome the problems that a business is facing.  Written and verbal communication skills are also important in order to deliver the summaries of the data to others.

In terms of qualifications, generally, it is required that you have a degree in statistics, mathematics or a subject relating to maths such as economics or geography.  Some social science courses may be acceptable if there is a statistical element to the research.

Career prospects

Typical data analyst roles start at a salary of up to £30,000 depending on qualifications, experience and the region of the country in which you are working.  The next career progression from the role would be to move into something like a business analyst, a more specialist variety of the job.  Alternatively, you can even look to being a project manager.

Generally, these roles are a standard office hours’ job, usually working weekdays with the occasional weekend or late shift depending on deadlines.  Higher level analysts can be asked to be much more flexible about their working hours to suit the needs of a project.

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Data analysts careers are not suitable for everyone but if you have a statistical approach to your work and a sound ability to collate and understand data then transform it into something useful for other areas of the business, then it may be the job for you.


Keywords: data analyst careers, data analyst jobs


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