Data Analyst – key role in every successful business

Companies in nearly every industry can benefit from the work of data analysts, from healthcare providers to retail stores to fast food chains. These analysts bring immense value to organizations who want to know more about the needs of their consumer or end user, and play a major part in increasing a company’s revenue.

So what exactly does a data analyst do? Continue reading.

First – what is data analysis?

Before we jump into role descriptions, one must first understand what data analysis is. Basically, data analysis is the practice of extracting information from data to drive better business decisions.

Here is an example:

There are five iterative phases that typically comprise the data analysis process:

  1. Decide which data you want to examine.
  2. Gather the data.
  3. Clean up the data prior to analysis.
  4. Analyze the data
  5. Interpret the findings of the analysis.

There are different types of data analysis, but in a nutshell:

Descriptive analysis describes what happened, diagnostic analysis explains why it occurred, predictive analytics offers future projections, and prescriptive analysis generates actionable recommendations on what to do next.

A day in the life of of a data analyst

Now that you know what data analysis is, we can dive into data analysts’ responsibilities and everyday work.

During their everyday work routine data analysts collect data, organize large datasets and perform statistical analysis. Although they deal with numbers quite a bit, data analysts are much more than just a calculator. Aside from collecting data, data analysts examine it and determine how it can be used to answer questions and solve problems. Correctly analyzing data helps the analysts get important knowledge about a company’s clients and increase revenue. Key stakeholders such as the corporate management are also updated by analysts.

Let’s break it down

Here is what data analysts do on a daily basis:

  1. Collect data: Analysts frequently do their own data collection. This can mean running surveys, monitoring website visitor patterns, or purchasing datasets from data collection experts.
  2. Clean data: Raw data may include duplicates or errors. In order to prevent inaccurate or distorted interpretations, cleaning the data refers to maintaining the quality of data in a spreadsheet or through a programming language.
  3. Model data: This requires developing and planning a database’s structural elements. You may decide which data types to save and collect, how to tie different data categories to one another, and how the data will actually look.
  4. Interpret the data: Finding patterns or trends in the data will enable you to interpret it and use it to support your view of the question at hand.
  5. Present it: An important aspect of your work will be to share the findings of your research with higher ranks. This is done by assembling visual aids like graphs and charts, producing written reports, and delivering information to relevant parties.

Regardless of which industry they work in, data analysts can expect to spend their time developing systems for collecting data and compiling their findings into reports to help improve business.

How to become a data analyst in 2022

In today’s world, where once-acceptable values are being challenged in every aspect of our lives and are considered old fashioned, it is clear that there isn’t only one path to build a career. And although the conventional way of becoming a data analyst is through a relevant degree, it is not the only way.

Let’s touch on the 2 ways of paving your way through the industry:


Have a relevant degree

The more conventional way is through earning a relevant bachelor’s degree, which can give you a structured way to build necessary skills. A degree in computer science, mathematics, data science, economics, psychology and management information systems is helpful. It is important to note that earning a degree will make it easier for you to land your first job, but from there on - it’s all up to you.


Alternative programs

Alternative programsת such as professional certificate programs, bootcamps, or self-study courses can help you learn the skills you need. You will have to gain foundational knowledge and build your technical skills to a point where you’re proficient in them, and these alternative programs are aimed at teaching you just that. You will have to do a lot of self-practice, so keep that in mind.

Tools you might work with as a data analyst

Data analysts rely on various tools to collect and make sense of their data. These are some common tools:

Is becoming a data analyst for me?

Data Analysts hold a lot of responsibility and are a very valuable asset to a business. The power and influence these folks have on a business is immense and should be taken into account when thinking about choosing a career. If you are detail oriented, you don’t cut corners and responsibility does not scare you – this career choice can be a great fit for you. Being a data analyst, you can make a huge difference in your workplace. This will make you feel valuable and appreciated, and can also lead to quick career development and promotions.

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