Data analysis is the process of gathering, analyzing, inspecting, and transforming data into meaningful content with the intention of deriving conclusions and helping with decision making. The job title of a “data analyst” seems to be often posted on most job portals and sounds like a fascinating career. Working with data and using technology to assess it is something that piques curiosity. But what exactly is a Data Analyst job description.
One needs facts to make a choice about one’s career and it is important to know what a job entails before embarking on the path. Read on to learn more about the roles and responsibilities of a data analyst to decide if it is a good path for you.
The role of data analyst varies from one company to the other. It is very domain-specific and also depends on the kind of data that needs to be analyzed. For eg: sales, media, and inventory could be some areas that data analysts will work on to churn out reports for a specific client. The data analyzed will be used for several purposes.
In a nutshell, the role of a data analyst is conducting data analysis- gathering, analyzing, modelling, and transforming the data into a structure that can be comprehended by the people who wish to work on it for a specific purpose. A simple example would be a survey conducted by a retailer about the buying patterns of biscuits by consumers. This data will then be handed over to a data analyst who will in turn organize the data, analyze it, and interpret it for the retailer. The collated and organized data will help to analyze consumer behaviour and assist in coming up with a marketing strategy to launch a new line of biscuits.
Companies across any industry will benefit from the work of data analysts. From medicine, IT, tourism, and retail to fast food chains, data analysis helps in almost all marketing and financial aspects. The insights given by the data analysts are very valuable to employers who need to have knowledge about their consumers and end users.
Irrespective of the industry, the work of a data analyst is all about spending time designing systems for collecting data and accumulating their findings into extensive reports to help improve the chances of making a profit. Data analysts can be involved in almost all parts of the analysis process. As a data analyst, one could be involved in everything from setting up the processes for analytics to providing insights on the data collected. It could also involve training others in collecting and analyzing data.
The below mentioned roles and responsibilities give a sneak preview into the data analyst job description.
A great deal of time constructing and maintaining internal and client-specific reports is an integral aspect of the job. The reports are intended to give management acumens about trends, patterns, and areas to improve on. The report has to be drafted in a very comprehensive manner to be useful for the end-user.
Data analysts must be able to tell a story with their analysis and reports. To deduce a meaningful report, the analyst must be able to spot trends, patterns, and odd tendencies. These will help to write reports that will facilitate making recommendations to the clients. Spotting trends and patterns help to contribute to the recommendation process for coming up with key solutions to any issue.
Unlike what the description mentions in a synopsis, a data analyst would need cohesively with a team. The data analyst is expected to collaborate with others within various departments in the organization- marketing, operations, finance, sales, etc. When working in the IT industry, a data analyst is required to work with data architects and database developers. Communication is a key skill that is required in the job as data can be gathered by asking the right questions to seek answers to the end solution.
One of the most technical aspects of the job is to collect the data. It involves working closely with the team which designs and implements the exercise of data collection to optimize the data that is collected. The next part is to streamline the data. It is important to streamline the data that is collected. Data analysts have to use or implement systems that can automate the collection and also help to modify it for reuse. Data analysts need to use a powerful arsenal of software and tools that will help them accomplish the task of streamlining the data to be able to comprehend it.
Data analysts must work closely with senior management to prioritize business and information needs. They need to locate and define new process improvement avenues to be able to help the company derive new strategies.
The above-mentioned duties and responsibilities drill down the data analyst job description to one main goal- Analyze data to help clients move their business forward based on strategic goals. Data collected without any purpose is worthless and a waste of time. A data analyst must add value to a company- both their own and their clients. By making data insightful, data analysts help clients understand their current position and also help to make informed decisions about their business. The job profile of a data analyst does have a set-in-stone glossary of kinds of data and analysis required. However, the job can be broken down into four primary areas:
A data analyst can customize and tailor their work and solution to suit any scenario. For example: if a manufacturer is plagued with delays, or unplanned shortages then a diagnostic analytics approach could help to identify what is causing the delay and fix it. The other kinds of analysis predictive and prescriptive can follow after.
Now that you know what a data analyst does- teamwork, technical skills, and strategizing it could be your guide to choose the career. One needs to have strong knowledge of reporting packages, knowledge of statistics, and strong analytical skills. One also needs technical expertise in data models, data mining, and segmentation techniques. Businesses in every industry are collecting more data than ever before. Industries rely on data to market new products, strategize, and create profit. This puts data analysts in high demand. Choosing the careers of a data analyst could be the powered change that could take your career to new heights.
If you wish to become a data-smart and gain relevant management skills from the best minds in the country, you can check out our Future Leaders Program, the Business Analytics Course, a 10-month online instructor-led program in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Management, Indore