With more and more viable, tech-driven opportunities opening up these days for those seeking employment, you may be wondering—what does a Data Analyst do? Data Analysts solve problems for companies by collecting, optimizing, understanding and presenting data. There is increasing demand for Data Analysts in pretty much every major industry—from healthcare, to finance, to engineering, to fashion, to law, to media, and more.
Examples of the types of questions Data Analysts answer include how companies should spend their marketing and advertising budget, what types of people are most vulnerable to a specific illness or condition, and what social issues are most important to a particular demographic.
As you may have gathered, there are opportunities to apply data analytics to almost any topic that interests you. Read this blog to determine whether you could apply your skills to a rewarding career as a Data Analyst.
How Much Do Data Analysts Make?
With so much of a businesses' success and growth linked to its ability to make data-driven decisions, demand for Data Analysts is growing. The average salary for an entry-level Data Analyst is $35,330* and the projected number of job openings for Data Analysts is 324,600*.
What Is Data Analytics?
Data Analysts can be involved in any part of the data management process, including creating and building a system to providing insights based on the data collected or managing and training other people in your department. The process a Data Analyst follows usually consists of identifying, gathering, optimizing, analyzing, understanding, and presenting data.
Database analysts use specialized software to store and organize data, such as financial information and customer records. They make sure that data is available to users and protected from unauthorized, sometimes malicious users. Someone who starts as a Data Analyst may eventually work up to what's called a database administrator, or DBA. DBAs ensure that Data Analysts and other users can easily access and use databases to find the information they need and that the systems perform as they should.
What Are Some Common Data Analytics Programs?
Data Analysts are often researching, identifying, and training on programs that help them reach their goals quickly and efficiently. Commonly used software among Data Analysts include:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Power BI
- Oracle Analytics Cloud
Job Titles You Can Expect as A Data Analyst
Common job titles to look for when you start your career in Data Analytics are:
- Data Analyst
- Business Analyst
- SQL Developers
- Oracle Consultants
- Business Intelligence Analyst
- Financial Analyst
- Marketing Analyst
What Skills Are Needed to Become a Data Analyst in Today's Market?
While there are specific skill sets and training required to become a Data Analyst, personal skills, such as communicating and collaborating with your team, are also important. In addition, analysts also need computer programming, mathematics, and statistics skills so that they can draw conclusions from data.
Specifically, the training Data Analysts require include:
- The ability to identify opportunities for improvement using data.
- Create reports for internal and external consumption using graphs, infographics, and other methods, including Tableau/Power BI and other visualization tools.
- Structure large data sets to uncover business-critical information.
- Strong database skills using Excel or other tools.
- Coding skills in languages such as Python.
- Establish KPIs to measure the effectiveness of business decisions.
- Time management skills.
- Critical thinking skills.
Starting A Career In Data Analytics
Businesses in almost every industry need Data Analysts to streamline the decision-making process by extracting and presenting data from multiple sources. The critical advantage of Data Analysts is to help companies make intelligent decisions that improve their competitive edge.
*Office Clerks, General (O-NET OnLine 43-9061.00 National Trends), January 2022. Salary ranges vary based on job experience.