Data Analyst

Average Salary: £25,000 - £30,000
Competition: LOW
Years Experience: 1-4 years

Job Summary

Some people can get paint and make it into a work of art. Which is similar to what Data Analysts do, just without the paint. They gather and interpret data to help organisations identify key information and trends to make important decisions. This can be related to practically anything within the business, from finding out what products sell best in which months to what materials are most effective for use. Art my friend.

Duties

For businesses and organisations who constantly want to improve, reacting quickly to new insights is important to remain competitive. So be expected to collect data from hundreds of different sources. Nearly every organisation wants to improve, so Data Analysts work in many different areas such as market research, forensics and local government to name only a few. Here are a Data Analyst’s job responsibilities:

  • Creating and developing databases for collection of data
  • Collecting data from various data sources using advanced computerised models
  • Removing any corrupted data (Data Cleansing) and ensuring that data is validated
  • Analysing and interpreting data, identifying key trends, patterns and performance indicators
  • Producing and presenting reports to management based on findings
  • Overseeing and auditing the quality of data that is being imported

Key Skills & Characteristics

A Data Analyst should:

  • Have excellent communication skills, being able to present complex information in a clear manner
  • Be highly accurate and possess an attention to detail
  • Show strong numerical and analytical skills, interpreting data effectively
  • Be IT literate, being able to adapt and learn quickly
  • Have good judgement of issues and be adept in problem solving

Entry Routes

The job itself involves a lot of statistical work and a prowess in IT. Meaning a degree in Maths, Economics or a Computer Science subject, would be beneficial. A Masters is not essential, but as things are going in the current graduate market, it may be useful to stand out from the crowd. If you do opt for a Masters, go for a MSc in Data Analytics.

No doubt these qualifications are appealing to have. However, you may still find it difficult to get this particular job without relevant experience on your CV. Welcome to the real world. Getting work experience through summer placements, internships and even shadowing can help. Whilst learning at least some of the following programmes will definitely be an employer pleaser:

  • SQL
  • VBA
  • Python
  • R
  • SAS
  • Microsoft Excel – Macros, Pivot Tables, VLOOKUPs

Job Progression

Junior Data Analyst

Data Analyst

Senior Data Analyst

Data Scientist

Advice From Our Experts

The Good

  • The Process – Gathering statistics from all sorts of sources and piecing it together can be really enjoyable
  • Learning – You always learn something new through the information you gather
  • People – Usually you will be working with like-minded, intelligent people which creates an inspiring environment

The Bad

  • Repetitive – There is so much statistics that one can take after a while
  • Long Hours – Tight deadlines is often the case, which you may require you to do overtime
  • Overlooked – Unfortunately, you may not get the credit you deserve of discovering an insight that could bring great benefits