The simple job description of a data analyst is a person that translates numbers into a simple and easy-to-understand language. All businesses collect some kind of data ranging from sales figures, market research, logistics, and other related information. When the data is in that state and its volumes, it may mean very little to other people. When the data analyst comes in, they critically look at the collected information, analyze it and give meaningful conclusions about it. The field of data analysts is quite wide, but there are smaller areas of specialization that you can think about. These include: Financial analysts, marketing analysts, and operations analysts.
Data analysts are some of the best-paid business professionals, which is why if you have been looking into it as a career choice, you should give it a try.
The training you'll need
Most data analyst entry level jobs will need you to have a bachelor’s degree in a field such as mathematics, computers, and statistics. On the other hand, if you are looking for a more specialized job of a higher caliber, you need to think about getting a postgraduate degree or higher qualification in the field of your choice. Here are the additional skills and requirements that you may need to become a successful data analyst:
- Analytical skills: you will be dealing with large volumes of data on a daily basis. This includes facts, figures and crunching numbers. It means that you need great analytical skills so that when you look at the numbers, you are able to recognize patterns and classify the data in a way which gets you into some kind of logical conclusion.
- Critical thinking: this is another skill which you will find vital in your work as a data analyst. The process of analyzing data is basically looking at bits of information which at face value may seem to be unconnected or completely unrelated. However, the moment that you start looking at the information offered to you from a critical point of view, you start seeing logical relationships and this is only possible when you have great critical thinking abilities.
- Communication skills: part of your job as a data analyst will be presenting what you have found to panels, which means that in addition to analytical skills, you will need to have excellent communication skills. You need to find ways of decrypting complex mathematical and statistical concepts and summarizing them into simple terms which everyone can easily understand.
- Attention to detail: when it comes to data analysis, the devil is always in the details. If you are not able to pay attention to the small concepts of the data catalog that you have to analyze, you will end up making inaccurate inferences about the data.
The benefits of getting a career in data analysis
There are many benefits that come with pursuing a career in data analysis. First and most important is the fact that data analysts are the highest paid professionals in the industry. Professional data analysts make at least $70,000 annually and most make even more, especially when the work for large organizations.
If you have a passion for dealing with numbers on a daily basis, this is also a great career choice for you. You will get to do something that you are truly passionate about and at the same time, get paid very handsomely to do it. There is also the kind of satisfaction which comes with knowing that you are doing something that will inform marketing, sales, hiring and other important decisions for the companies you are handling data processing for. When you do your work properly, you will be making a very meaningful impact on the growth of the companies which you work for.