A data analyst is a person who works handles data analysis. It could mean somebody who downloads and organizes data from various sources (like company records) at the most basic level. Still, more complex analysis requires knowledge of statistics and programming and competency in different specialized areas.
Most people begin their careers in data analysis as business analysts. Modern companies depend on data to make decisions, so there is always a need for people who can work with that information and help their company gain insight into its operations or market.
Much of this work requires traditional business understanding and communicating findings clearly to executives and managers within an organization. At the same time, data analysis requires the technical know-how to access and assess large amounts of information. For example, a data analyst might need to make sense of geographic location coordinates to better target marketing efforts.
The jobs that a data analyst does:
1. Analyze and organize data
In this role, a data analyst will have an integral responsibility in ensuring that the organization is as efficient as possible. Every business decision made by executives should be backed up by solid analysis. So a good data analyst will be able to identify problem areas where lack of information or poor access prevents accurate decision-making.
By helping the company become more efficient, a data analyst helps free up valuable resources to be re-deployed elsewhere. For example, if it becomes clear that certain territories are not profitable. If there is a problem with production or logistics, then these issues need to be resolved. Otherwise, this will lead to losses for the company.
2. Develop reports and deliver presentations
Sometimes, companies will need to deliver large quantities of data to interested parties outside their organization. For example, they might provide market research firms with the latest sales figures for a given product line. It needs the analysts to check apps details and ensure the reports are updated and accurate.
To do this effectively, data analysts need to develop presentation skills to deliver the information in a concise and easy-to-understand manner. In addition, they need to be professional in responsibly presenting their findings because this data could impact the company’s profits or losses.
3. Identify problems and opportunities
Many people who work as data analysts want to find new and innovative ways of improving their company’s operations, possibly with an eye for starting a business of their own down the line.
So they need to practice skills beyond those described above. They also need to look at current processes or methods used by the organization and identify areas where it might be possible to make improvements.
Data analysts need to have an analytical mind and work on their own with little supervision. Data analysis can be a very solitary occupation, so it requires people who are self-motivated and organized.
4. Work directly with customers
Some data analyst jobs will require them to work more closely with the public, helping customers make sense of data in a way that they can understand.
Data analysts will need to communicate findings clearly and concisely so that customers can take advantage of insights offered by the data. For example, the marketing director for a company might approach a data analyst to get information on how best to target advertising efforts for their next campaign. It might include information on location, spending habits, or other preferences.
5. Work with IT teams
One of the skills that a data analyst needs is good technical know-how about data processing systems to properly store and organize information in usable formats.
When considering a career as a data analyst, you must research the various responsibilities and requirements to figure out if the role is proper for you. It will take a lot of time and effort if you want to be good at it, but the effort will pay off to positively impact your company’s results.