If you’re considering a career in data analytics, you may be wondering, “What does a data analyst do?” Even with modern self-service data analytics tools as described above, there’s still a critical role for the data analyst in many organizations. Here is an overview of the role and the skills you’ll need.
Data Analyst Role
Today’s data analyst is expected to do the following:
- Design and maintain data integration systems and data repositories.
- Work with the IT team to develop data governance policies and to improve data integration and management processes and systems.
- Understand their company or organization and its place in context of external and competitive trends.
- Use a data analytics or BI tool to build apps and perform analyses, create dashboards and visualizations, and dive deep into the data to find relationships and insights.
- In the absence of a full-featured analytics or BI platform, use statistical tools to analyze data sets and find insights.
- Prepare dashboards and KPI reports for stakeholders that use data to effectively communicate trends, patterns, and predictions.
Data Analyst Skills.
In terms of the skills you’ll need, the ideal data analyst is able to effectively collaborate and communicate with all stakeholders in addition to having the necessary technical expertise. Business skills include helping define goals and providing KPI examples. Technical expertise includes skills in data integration and management, data modeling, R or SAS, SQL programming, statistical analysis, reporting, and data analysis. These skills typically come from a background in mathematics and statistics and sometimes includes a master’s in analytics.