What Does a Data Analyst Do?
In order to decide if a career in data analytics is a good match for you, it’s important to first know what exactly a Data Analyst does.
Data Analysts are tasked with taking huge stores of data and working to locate information and trends about past and current practices, as well as offer predictions about what is likely to happen at a company or business based on these numbers. Data Analysts transform large sets of data into engaging visualizations that are accessible to all members of a team or business. These clear and engaging visual aids can be used to help employers make sound business decisions.
In addition, most Data Analysts also develop and maintain databases. In order to gather the most relevant and useful data, Data Analysts sort through data from both internal and external sources, such as CRM databases and government portals. They also typically clean raw data so that it’s ready for analysis. Their job involves a large amount of collaboration with various stakeholders to help spot specific business-related challenges that must be addressed.
Data Analysts work in a variety of fields, from the healthcare industry to retail to Wall Street. Most Data Analysts have specialized training that allows them to thrive in the professional sector; Data Analysts tend to be detail-oriented and good with numbers. They are typically well-organized multi-taskers with strong presentation skills, which allows them to regularly share their analysis findings in a visually engaging manner.
The need for skilled Data Analysts is expected to continue to grow as more data is created, which makes this an in-demand profession.
Is a Career in Data Analytics Right for Me?
Simply having a passion for numbers or an eye for statistics isn’t enough to necessarily make you a good Data Analyst. This career path involves many skill-sets, competencies, and areas of expertise, as well as some personal characteristics. For those who are interested in becoming Data Analysts, here are a few questions to consider to know if this career path is right for you:
- Am I interested in problem-solving? Data Analysts are routinely faced with complicated tasks and challenging questions. They must quickly evaluate what data is necessary to address a given problem, as well as which form of analysis is best to find answers. When sufficient data isn’t readily available to tackle the problem at hand, a skilled Data Analyst has to take the required steps to obtain it. For those who thrive on finding solutions to challenges, data analytics provides a great opportunity.
- Am I a curious person by nature? There’s much more to data analytics than number crunching. Great Data Analysts also function as detectives of sorts, searching for clues in data that will reveal trends and patterns. They then work to create a story based on their findings, one that has meaning and can provide answers to sought-after questions. A curious mindset is a must for those whose job is so involved with finding answers.
- Am I good at collaborating with others? While some Data Analysts work on their own to gather, clean, and analyze data, at a certain point it becomes essential to communicate their findings with others. This is why collaboration is an important component of successful data analytics. In addition, those who handle data often work in concert with others in a team, or within a department at a company or organization, to tackle a problem. Being able to clearly share information, work with others, and proceed toward a common goal are core skills effective Data Analysts share.
- Am I interested in performing research? Research plays an important role in the job of a Data Analyst. In order to find answers to driving questions, it’s often necessary to deeply explore subjects that are being analyzed. Although surface-level information is convenient, it can be misleading. This is why it’s important to explore data thoroughly to fully understand it. In order to be an effective researcher, it’s crucial for Data Analysts to stay current with trends, as well as what may be going on in the larger culture of their organization or company. In addition, when working with news sources, Data Analysts must take extra care to ensure that the information is not only accurate, but that it is presented in a context that best represents it.
- Are you comfortable with presenting information? Data Analysts are regularly required to present their detailed findings in a user-friendly, engaging manner. This involves translating important insights into information and visualizations that can be understood by stakeholders who don’t come from a technical background.
- Am I a logical and analytical person? While intuition has its role in many professions, Data Analysts are typically analytical thinkers who approach problems logically and systematically. Their job entails reaching conclusions that are informed from data findings instead of hunches or feelings. This requires a close examination of evidence and a careful eye for all variables involved.
- Am I detail-oriented? In order to make the most informed decisions based on raw data, it’s imperative to have the best, most accurate data. Data Analysts have to constantly search for small errors in data that can skew analysis and cost valuable time and effort to address. Good Data Analysts must consistently pay attention to even minute details in order to successfully perform their job.
- Am I number-savvy? Since Data Analysts work with numbers each day, it’s a given that anyone pursuing this profession would have a solid background in math and statistics.
- Am I organized? Data Analysts often work with dozens, if not hundreds, of tables, as well as massive datasets. Not only are those with strong organizational skills better able to manage the various data components this profession requires, but can do so faster and more consistently.
If you answered “yes” to many of the above questions, this is a good indicator that you possess many of the skills and traits necessary to pursue a career as a Data Analyst.
Start Learning Data Analytics with Hands-On Classes
Are you interested in learning more about data analytics? If so, Noble Desktop’s data analytics classes are a great starting point. Courses are currently available in topics such as Excel, Python, and data analytics, among others skills necessary for analyzing data. In addition, more than 170 live online data analytics courses are also available from top providers. Courses range from three hours to nine months and cost from $229 to $60,229.
Those who are committed to learning in an intensive educational environment may also consider enrolling in a data analytics or data science bootcamp. These rigorous courses are taught by industry experts and provide timely instruction on how to handle large sets of data. Over 100 bootcamp options are available for beginners, intermediate, and advanced students looking to master skills and topics like data analytics, data visualization, data science, and Python, among others.
For those searching for a data analytics class nearby, Noble’s data analytics Classes Near Me tool provides an easy way to locate and browse the 400 or so data analytics classes currently offered in the in-person and live online formats. Course lengths vary from three hours to nine months and cost $119-$60,339.