Data Analyst Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: July 28, 2022


A Data Analyst, or Data Business Analyst, is responsible for using their knowledge of data processing software and business development strategies to provide sound business decisions to company Executives. Their duties include collaborating with other data professionals to extract data figures, creating reports based on their findings, and monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) to determine business initiatives’ success.

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Data Analyst duties and responsibilities

Data Analysts collect data, such as sales numbers or market research, to help companies make the right decisions. This work encompasses several duties and responsibilities, including:

  • Work with executives and other business leaders to identify opportunities for improvement
  • Create reports for internal teams and/or external clients
  • Collaborate with team members to collect and analyze data
  • Use graphs, infographics and other methods to visualize data
  • Establish KPIs to measure the effectiveness of business decisions
  • Structure large data sets to find usable information
  • Work with a team of analysts and other associates to process information
  • Create presentations and reports based on recommendations and findings
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What does a Data Analyst do?

Data Analysts typically work for corporations across various industries to help company Executives discover ways to maximize efficient operations and other initiatives. They work closely with business development professionals and other Data Analysts. Their job is to review company databases and external sources to make inferences about data figures and complete statistical calculations. They may also be responsible for creating PowerPoint presentations and participating in public speaking opportunities to highlight business growth areas and relay information from past initiatives.

Data Analyst skills and qualifications

Data Analysts employ several skills to solve problems, such as:

  • Technical writing skills
  • Coding skills in languages such as Oracle and Python
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to set and meet deadlines
  • Ability to work in high-pressure situations
  • Experience with statistical software
  • Reporting and data visualization skills
  • Excellent attention to detail

Data Analyst salary expectations

A Data Analyst makes an average of $73,847 per year. Salary may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location. 

Data Analyst education and training requirements

Data Analysts must complete a bachelor’s degree in a field like mathematics, statistics, economics, finance or computer science. Some candidates may also complete a master’s degree or obtain certifications in programming languages or other areas related to data analytics. Students should complete internships in their industry of interest to get practical training. 

Data Analyst experience requirements

Data Analysts can start with no prior experience, but they need more on-the-job training. This training helps them become accustomed to company policies and procedures, and allows them to learn how to apply their education to a business setting. Some employers may seek candidates with some prior experience in their industry. Data Analysts who will work with large, complex data sets should have at least three years of experience, and senior-level Analysts should have at least five years. 

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Frequently asked questions about Data Analysts


What is the difference between a Data Analyst and a Data Scientist?

The difference between a Data Analyst and a Data Scientist is seniority and scope of job responsibilities. For example, Data Analysts receive tasks from upper management to review internal databases and pull data in accordance with their needs. This might include tasks such as determining employee retention, customer satisfaction or sales figures. 

In contrast, Data Scientists hold a more senior position within a corporation. Instead of pulling data in response to assignments from upper management, Data Scientists develop their own questions and pull data to make predictions about company operations. Data Scientists also differ from Data Analysts as they pull data from both internal databases and external sources.


What are the daily duties of a Data Analyst?

On a typical day, a Data Analyst starts by reviewing their email and voicemails to respond to missed messages from members of upper management. Throughout the day, they participate in meetings with management and other data professionals to determine new assignments and present their findings regarding company operations. Once back at their desk, Data Analysts look through company databases and isolate relevant data points. After finding as much data as possible, Data Analysts compare those figures to make inferences about employee turnover rates, company products or employee productivity.


What qualities make a good Data Analyst?

A good Data Analyst has an investigative nature that allows them to review databases and extract an array of information in response to a particular question. They value continued education and look for certification courses related to statistics or data analytics to improve their professional capabilities. Further, a good Data Analyst has excellent written and verbal communication that enables them to present findings to company Executives and compile written reports regarding certain data figures. A good Data Analyst also has a team-oriented mindset and works well with other employees to find answers through data pulling.


Who does a Data Analyst report to?

A Data Analyst typically reports to the Data Analytics Manager within large corporations to receive instructions about particular data sets to pull from databases. In smaller corporations, Data Analysts may report directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or the Chief Operating Officer (COO).

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