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A data analyst is responsible for collecting, processing, and performing statistical analyses of data. They are then responsible for translating this information into comprehensible reports for company stakeholders to make better-informed business decisions. Every business has a need for data collection, and a data analyst can help companies determine, for example, the price of new products, which processes are not efficient, and how to reduce costs. On the whole, they find answers to questions and solutions to problems using data.
In more detail
A data analyst’s work can be quite dynamic. They must collaborate with different teams, such as IT and management, in order to set goals for what they want to achieve with their analyses. They must determine how the data collection will take place, and identify the significant data points while avoiding irrelevant information. Data analysts must decide on the optimal tools and techniques for the analysis, which may vary depending on the project. Once this is done, they must identify trends and patterns, and point out areas for process improvement. This is information that then needs to be translated into data reports for management, with all the relevant information and suggestions conveyed in a clear way. Furthermore, data analysts may be responsible for designing and building databases and data systems. They must also troubleshoot code problems and other data-related issues. It is a varied job that requires many different skills.
Data analysts are proficient in excel, data visualization, and several programming languages, such as R and Python. It is necessary to have in-depth knowledge of at least one of them. A degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, or Statistics provides the relevant knowledge needed to pursue this kind of position. Furthermore, knowledge of business or economics concepts is hugely beneficial. Finally, good communication skills and the ability to summarize information and write coherent reports are extremely important to succeed in this field.