A data analyst will collect and analyze vast amounts of data. The type of data they’ll analyze isn’t just limited to numbers (structured data) either, it can include data such as customer reviews and even comments on websites (unstructured data). Because the type of data businesses need analyzed can be vast, data analysts are hired to make sense of that data so that good business decisions can be made.
How to Become a Data Analyst
Data analysts must learn computer programming, statistics, and math in order to collect data and start to analyze it. Then, they use computer software programs to illustrate their findings to the leadership in their organization so more informed business decisions can be made. Most companies require data analyst applicants to have earned a bachelor’s degree.
Most analysts gain a bachelor’s degree in a field such as computer science or applied statistics. Depending on the employer, a blend of education and experience will be required.
Job Description of a Data Analyst
Data analysts are there to support data-driven decision making. This means they help identify and collect the data key stakeholders need to make an informed decision and take that information and analyze it for common themes and useful insights. Data analysts must also take that data and their findings and report it in an easy to understand way using visual representations of the data in reports. These analysts will also identify key data necessary to evaluate the impacts of a decision or situation and report back their findings.
They use their unique skillset in computer programming, statistics, and business to accomplish their daily tasks. This means data analysts must be business savvy, tech savvy, and good at math.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Computer and Information Research Scientists.
National Center for O*NET Development. 15-1111.00. O*NET OnLine.
Occupational Outlook Quarterly Working with big data