The field of data analysis is a wide-ranging and lucrative occupation. It is not extremely difficult to enter, and there is an abundance of growth potential. Individuals with a solid background in math and science will find a plethora of employment opportunities. Calculating, assembling and analysing data require a substantial love of numbers and an eye for detail.
A data analyst "performs complex data analysis in support of ad-hoc and standing management or customer requests." Data analysts relay data to their supervisors and clientele and use "current economic or market conditions to project future trends and sometimes being involved in the research and development stage of a project."
The educational requirements to become a data analyst depend upon the employer. Some employers prefer to hire individuals with a two-year degree, while others prefer to hire individuals with a four-year degree. Four-year degrees are advantageous because they are indicative of a greater knowledge base and exposure to varied skills. Individuals interested in taking relevant courses related to the data analyst occupation should enrol in statistics, math, information systems, computer science and business administration courses.
DegreeDirectory.org states that "some of the tasks that data analysts perform include data entry, data auditing, creating data reports and monitoring all data for accuracy." Data analysts are also responsible for reporting their statistical findings to their coworkers, management and sometimes directly to customers. Data analysts may have additional responsibilities depending on the goals of their employers and the specific tasks required to complete individual assignments.
Data analysts should possess a combination of people skills and computer skills that will help them successfully evaluate and present their statistical findings in small or large settings. The most efficient data analysts have good analytical, organizational and verbal communication skills. Advanced education and training that proves a higher level of mathematical proficiency is also desirable.
Data analysts may work in small or large office settings. Nearly all of a data analyst's major responsibilities are carried out on a computer, so a data analyst must be able to do repetitious activities while sitting for long periods of time. Additionally, there may be varying levels of stress that fluctuate around strict deadlines or changing client demands.
According to Career Builder's free salary calculator, the average salary for data analysts working in the United States is £51,584 per year. Data analysts' salaries can vary greatly based upon the specific industries they work for. Data analysts may be sought after to work in one of many industries ranging from health care to computers, and the data analyst's salary within each industry is reflective of the average pay rate, size and location of the business.