In Summary - Data Analyst
Data Analysts typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Data Analyst
Whereas a Data Scientist is mainly looking at the unknown, the Data Analyst is mainly looking at the known, i.e. historical data, from new perspectives, or writing custom queries to answer complex business questions.
The role of the Data Analyst is to come-up with and implement new metrics for capturing previously poorly understood parts of the business / product.
As such, Data Analysts perform a variety of tasks related to collecting, organising, and interpreting information. The exact nature of the job will vary depending on the particular business or organisation, for example, a Data Analyst working for a hospital would focus on different elements than an Analyst working with a supermarket chain or in the Financial Services sector. An Internet based business may want to know where its customers are coming from, how much they are spending on purchases, and whether deals like free delivery have an impact on overall profits.
People in this job role look for ways of assigning numerical values to different business functions so that an element can be assessed and compared over time. Analysts are tasked with identifying efficiencies, problem areas, and possible improvements for the organisation.
Data Analysts use computer systems and complex calculation applications to compile their statistics.
Once the information has been collected, analysts are responsible for coming up with some conclusions about what it means, and then educating business executives on how to use it and advising on what differences in numbers mean when looked at from year to year, or across various departments.
Analysts may advise project managers and leaders on how certain data points can be changed or improved over time and about making necessary or beneficial changes e.g. a health clinic that wants to improve patient through time might ask an analyst to identify the main reasons for delays.
Preparing written summaries to accompany graphs and charts, press releases, and formal reports may also be part of the Analysts job.
Analysts also collaborate with database programmers and administrators to write system modification recommendations or in-house instruction and training materials.
Most of the work analysts do requires computers and statistical software programs, so a certain degree of technical expertise and training is also required.
Program troubleshooting and system security measures, and an ability to adapt to changing technologies, as well as keeping updates current and useful across multiple platforms is also required of the Data Analyst.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Analyze competitive market strategies through analysis of related product, market, or share trends.
- Synthesize current business intelligence or trend data to support recommendations for action.
- Communicate with customers, competitors, suppliers, professional organizations, or others to stay abreast of industry or business trends.
- Manage timely flow of business intelligence information to users.
- Collect business intelligence data from available industry reports, public information, field reports, or purchased sources.
- Identify and analyze industry or geographic trends with business strategy implications.
- Analyze technology trends to identify markets for future product development or to improve sales of existing products.
- Generate standard or custom reports summarizing business, financial, or economic data for review by executives, managers, clients, and other stakeholders.
- Identify or monitor current and potential customers, using business intelligence tools.
- Maintain or update business intelligence tools, databases, dashboards, systems, or methods.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Interests - Data Analyst
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Entry Requirements - Data Analyst
Third level education is almost always a requirmnent for this job role. Employers typically require Data Analysts to hold at least a Level 8 Degree such as BS in Statistics, Computer science, Business administration, Mathematics, Economics.
People in this role in a business field may undertake an MBA, which gives them more expertise and usually also guarantees a higher salary. Experience working in a related field is also desireable.
Last Updated: October, 2014
Pay & Salary - Data Analyst
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 27k - 90k
Sigmar / CPL
Last Updated: February, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Data Analyst
As with programmers, the labour market indicators examined point to an occupation in high demand with strong employment growth and evidence that employers are having difficulties filling vacancies.
National Skills Bulletin 2018
Useful Contacts - Data Analyst
- Discover Science & Engineering, Wilton Park House, Wilton Place, Dublin, 2
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