Data AnalystJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends
A data analyst is someone who is able to crunch numbers, search within the data for specific trends, nuances, consistencies, inconsistencies, or answers to questions, and interpret the results to form real-world solutions to their client’s problems. They interpret data on a daily basis and recommend the best course of action. If you enjoy searching for trends in statistical data and using this information to solve problems, then becoming a data analyst could be right for you.
Sample job description
Here at [Your Company Name], we understand that in order to continue to grow at an industry-leading pace, we must adapt to all of the industry changes. As our data analyst, you will be at the forefront of making sure that progress remains our reality. In order to accomplish this, you will be responsible for gathering all types of data, such as employee data, client data, industry data, and pricing data.
You will be tasked with analyzing these data sets, looking for trends, and comparing these trends across each quarter. Whether it is necessary changes to employee processes, vendor changes, industry pricing, supply changes, or something else that may affect our growth, it will be up to you to find these inefficiencies and figure out how we can improve them. An ideal candidate will be knowledgeable in data cleaning and visualization, an expert at Python, and work well under immense pressure.
Typical duties and responsibilities
Develop data analysis systems, functions, and programs
Implement data analysis systems, functions, and programs as seamlessly as possible
Maintain these systems to ensure proper function and operation
Identify, dissect, and comprehend data in order to optimize processes and inefficiencies
Collaborate with management and other departments to assess business needs and data optimization
Perform routine business analysis
Evaluate changes across quarters and suggest the best plan of action
Education and experience
Bachelor’s degree in mathematics, statistics, computer science, or a related field
Since this is often considered an entry-level position, most places don’t require experience
Required skills and qualifications
Proficient in Microsoft Excel, Access and SharePoint
Excellent communication skills
Ability to meet tight deadlines
Proficient mathematical skills
Excellent IT skills
Critical thinking skills
Strong project management skills
Experience problem-solving data-related tasks
Excellent analytical skills
Ability to gather and measure data
Experience in statistical analysis and data mining
Data science or business analytics certifications are highly encouraged
Average salary and compensation
The average salary for a data analyst is $85,000 per year in the United States. Salary will vary based on years of experience, location, and company size / specialty.
Los Angeles, California
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
New York City, New York
Typical work environment
Many data analysts work in a remote environment on a computer. Especially with the Covid-19 pandemic, remote data analysis has become more and more common. Data analysts may work for one specific company, or they may work for a variety of companies as a freelancer. Those who are working with one specific company may work in an office and in a team setting.
A typical work week for a data analyst is Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM. On occasion, overtime hours will be required depending on the current workload and deadlines. Overtime hours can vary from evening weekday hours or occasional Saturday hours.
Google Data Analytics Certification. This certification helps you process and analyze data by teaching you how to use the best tools and platforms. Put on by Google and Coursera, it’s under 10 hours a week and a great starting point for data analysts.
Microsoft Certified: Data Analyst Associate. This certification validates that you have the skills and knowledge to increase the quality of your data. You can do the course for free by yourself, or you can get the course through an instructor and pay for it. At the end, you’ll need to take the exam, which is $165.
Certified Analytics Professional (CAP). To become a CAP, you’ll need to first be eligible. You have to either have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a related field. Then, you’ll need anywhere from 3-7 years of experience depending on your education. You’ll take a test that costs between $495-$695 depending on your membership level. Once through, you’ll need to maintain your certification.
In order for you to becomea data analyst, you need to have a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, statistics, computer science or a related field. Although some places don’t require experience since this is considered an entry-level job, you will need to be knowledgeable of the software and analytic tools that each company uses.
If you’re a student hoping to become a data analyst, it’s imperative to study math and IT. Getting an internship in a tech company that cleanses data will be especially helpful. Once you receive your degree, you may choose to go on to get a master’s degree. Data analysts can become senior analysts who manage multiple data streams at a time.
US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook
SOC Code: 15-2031
Projected Employment in 2030
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift
Data analysts have unique responsibilities that are paramount to a business’s success. Being able to collect, analyze, and interpret data to assess weak areas in business or inefficiencies, allows companies to predict data trends and make informed decisions. As companies focus more on their online sales and marketing, data becomes even more important.
Data analysts often have to understand all departments of a business so that they can know how to optimize and improve these individual departments. This leads to an abundance of opportunities for data analysts since they have a comprehensive understanding of how business works. There is a specific increase in data analysts that are being used for marketing purposes as well to track and optimize how a company’s marketing dollars are being spent. This is one job that won’t be going away any time soon.
Sample interview questions
What are the key responsibilities of a data analyst?
Are you familiar with programming languages?
What is your process like for data cleansing?
What tools do you like to use for data analysis?
What is data profiling?
What is data mining?
When you start a new project what is your process like?
Which scripting language do you like to use the most?
Can you tell me the difference between variance and covariance?
What is clustering?
Why should we hire you?
What excites you about data analysis?
What are your career goals?
How do you keep up with data trends?
Have you ever had a challenging data analytics project? If so, how did you overcome those challenges?
We match top professionals with great employers across the country. Your next career move or star employee is just around the corner. Review our career content and advice, browse our latest job openings, or email us your resume. We look forward to connecting with you soon!