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What Does a Data Analyst Do? — Complete Career Guide

What Does a Data Analyst Do? — Complete Career Guide

Last Updated on October 14, 2022 by Editorial Team

Author(s): AlishaAS

Originally published on Towards AI the World’s Leading AI and Technology News and Media Company. If you are building an AI-related product or service, we invite you to consider becoming an AI sponsor. At Towards AI, we help scale AI and technology startups. Let us help you unleash your technology to the masses.

What Does a Data Analyst Do? — Complete Career Guide

As we live in an increasingly technologically advanced world, we are bombarded with information every single second. Every business collects data, whether it be customer marketing data, sales figures, logistical data, or shipping costs.

In some way or another, it is all part of a business. It seems that as more and more data is being generated everywhere, there is also a rise in the number of techniques to handle this data wisely. Data analysis becomes important in this context as it pertains to the situation at hand. Data analysis helps businesses and organizations turn raw, unstructured data into useful information they can use to make critical decisions. Data analytics is one of the fastest-growing fields, and it goes without saying that it is one of the hottest careers.

Do you enjoy being detail-oriented, organized, and a part of a structured environment as a professional? Do you enjoy working with data and numbers? Is that something you like to do as well? The career of a data analyst may be of interest to you. Then, it’s crucial that you understand how an analytics professional works every day and how you can prepare yourself for a successful career in this growing field.

As you read through this article, you will gain a thorough understanding of what data analysis is, and you will also discover all the necessary information about data analysts — their job roles, the types of data analysts, the skills and abilities they require, and the salary they earn.

Here is a quick introduction to data analysis.

What is Data Analysis?

Before we delve into what data analysts do, it is important to answer one question: what is data analytics? As you might have guessed from its name, Data Analytics is basically the process of cleaning, analyzing, and interpreting data to reveal important insights from it by using different approaches and business intelligence tools that will assist in better understanding the data and making better decisions based on it. It is the job of data analysts to discover and communicate useful insights based on the data by systematically searching for patterns and relationships within the data. Analyzing data is typically a multi-step process that goes through five iterations:

  • Decide what data you want to analyze.
  • Collect and extract the data.
  • Prepare the extracted data for analysis by cleaning it.
  • Perform an analysis of the data
  • Analyze and interpret the results

What do data analysts do?

Data analysis is a great way for a small to medium business to gain insight into the customers it serves and its operations and identify opportunities to solve business problems. An analyst’s role involves spending a lot of time working with data but also includes communicating findings to the company’s leadership and other stakeholders as well to help them make informed decisions. Data analysts, on the whole, provide insights to the organization through their work that can have a major impact on how the business moves forward and grows over the long run. Using their technical expertise, they will be able to ensure that the data will be of high quality and accurate.

Data analyst Tasks and Responsibilities on a day-to-day basis

  • Analyzing data in order to assess the quality and significance of the information.
  • Assisting with the design, development, maintenance, and enhancement of data systems and databases, including addressing coding errors and other data-related issues.
  • Collecting primary and secondary sources of data and reorganizing them in a machine-readable format.
  • Analyzing data sets using statistical tools, with special attention to patterns and trends, can be used to perform diagnostic and predictive analyses.
  • Providing leaders with reports that effectively communicate trends, patterns, and predictions based on relevant data so they can make informed decisions.
  • Providing hands-on assistance to engineers, programmers, and managers in identifying opportunities for process improvement, modifying the system, and developing plans to enhance the data governance process in an effort to improve the company’s overall performance.

What Tools do data analysts use?

The field of data analytics employs a variety of tools and techniques to assist in the process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data collected by organizations. Among these tools are:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Google Sheets.
  • SQL (Structured Query Language)
  • Databases and data management systems like MySQL, Apache Hadoop, etc.
  • Industry-specific data analytics tools like Tableau, Microsoft Power BI
  • R or Python
  • SAS (Statistical Analysis System)
  • Jupyter Notebooks

Types of Data Analysts

The rapid progress of technology has led to an exponential increase in the types and volumes of information that can be collected, and therefore gathering, sorting, and analyzing this data has become an increasingly important skill in virtually every aspect of our lives.

  • Business Analyst: Perform data analysis to uncover business insights and improve business processes. Enhance productivity and reduce costs in departments such as marketing, human resources, and organizational structure by identifying business process problems.
  • Business Intelligence Analyst: Assist firms in making informed business decisions through the analysis of data and other information that is available. Often they are tasked with obtaining, cleaning, and analyzing data related to a company’s sales, revenues, market intelligence, or consumer engagement to be used in their analysis.
  • Medical and Health Care Analyst: Conduct data analytics to improve healthcare outcomes based on data collected from various sources. Ultimately, they must focus on improving patient care, reducing operational costs, and streamlining operations to achieve greater efficiency.
  • Market Research Analyst: Gather and evaluate consumer and competitor data to determine a product’s future sales prospects. The information they provide helps businesses figure out which items customers want, who will buy them, and how much they will pay.
  • Operations Research Analyst: Professional problem-solver with a working knowledge of advanced problem-solving techniques such as data mining, statistical analysis, and mathematical modeling. Specializing in finding solutions that can significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of organizations and businesses as well as reduce their costs and expenses.
  • Intelligence Analyst: Analyze information and data so that possible security concerns can be identified and mitigated. For analysts to synthesize information and develop action plans, they must be able to conduct good research, comprehend information, and analyze the data thoroughly.

Data Analyst’s Skills Required

For data analysts to obtain, measure, organize, and analyze data effectively, they must possess strong mathematical and statistical skills. They should also have:

  • Analytical skills that enable you to gather, view, and analyze information.
  • Mathematical skills to be able to measure and analyze data in a statistical manner.
  • Technical skills, including visualization skills, software and scripting languages,
  • Excel skills, database language knowledge, etc., to organize and present data.
  • Non-technical skills such as excellent interpersonal skills, the ability to communicate complex concepts clearly, creative problem solving, and critical thinking abilities.

Furthermore, data analysts need to have a strong foundation of business knowledge and professional skills, including decision-making abilities, problem-solving techniques, and time-management skills. Additionally, it is essential for a data analyst to have an eye for detail in order to ensure that the data is well analyzed and that errors are minimized while maximizing the efficiency of the analysis. Once you have all the skills you need at your fingertips, you will soon be able to dive into the field with confidence. There is a lot you can do with data analytics, and one of its biggest advantages is its versatility since you can use it anywhere, be it finance, healthcare, government, e-commerce, the sciences, or any other field of your choosing.

How much do data analysts make?

In terms of salary, data analysts can earn anywhere between $60,000 to $138,000/year on average, depending on their experience level. In India, the salary structure of a data analyst could range from ₹342,363/year to ₹1,750,000/yr depending on the region. As you can see from the sites’ job listings, roles at financial and technology firms tend to pay significantly more than those at other businesses. As a data analyst, it is important to bear in mind that the salary you can expect may vary in line with a number of factors, including the level of experience, skills, location, and your employer.

The amount of data that is being generated has increased over the past few years, and this has resulted in an increasing demand for data analysts. So, a fresher’s salary as a data analyst seems appropriate as a starting salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, related occupations have also seen extremely high growth rates in recent years, which indicates that there is a high demand for them in the market. It is expected that positions for operations research analysts, market research analysts, mathematicians, and statisticians will grow by over 20% from 2020 to 2030, respectively.

Top Companies Hiring Data Analysts

Data analyst jobs are highly sought after, and there are currently over 80 thousand open positions worldwide. That’s pretty shocking, isn’t it? Almost every industry has found data analysis to be a valuable tool, which is why it has become so widespread over the years. With the advent of technological advancements, the data analyst job description is expanding into a wide range of specializations such as e-commerce, healthcare, business, finance, and marketing. Among the top companies hiring data analysts worldwide are the following:

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Flipkart
  • Amazon
  • Netflix
  • Genpact
  • Apple
  • Intuit
  • Accenture
  • Tech Mahindra
  • Tata Consultancy Services
  • Capgemini India Pvt ltd
  • CISCO Systems, etc.


Almost every aspect of our lives today revolves around technology, with data being collected, analyzed, and interpreted in a variety of ways to solve business problems. Data analysts have a critical role to play in the growth and success of organizations, which is why they are so sought after by employers. The task of a data analyst goes way beyond crunching numbers and is much more complex than that. In so doing, these individuals are able to work in an extremely wide range of different industries, including but not limited to business, medicine, finance, science, criminal justice, the government, and many others. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that data analysts have become one of the highest in-demand jobs in the world and are sought out by all the world’s largest companies and organizations. In the near future, data analyst salaries and perks are very likely to increase in leaps and bounds, so be prepared.

If you’re just starting out in data analytics, we’ve covered everything you’ll need to know. In this article, we have discussed what do data analyst does, the skills they require, the tools that data analysts use, the types of data analysts, and how much they make. As you gain experience, you may branch out into other fields, such as machine learning, data engineering, or data modeling, or even specialize in one.

What Does a Data Analyst Do? — Complete Career Guide was originally published in Towards AI on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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