Responsibilities and Skills of a Good Data Analyst

Organisations across the world are becoming extremely reliant on data for making any kind of business resolutions, which ranges from areas, such as, developing new products, entering new markets, making new investments, to targeting both prevalent and new customers. They also use data to locate various business problems that are required to be addressed.  In these industries, the work of the data analyst is to allot numerical values to the numerous business activities so that the overall performance of the business can be examined and compared from time to time. However, the job of a data analyst is not confined within the boundaries of assigning numerical values — it is much more than that. A data analyst must also have the knowledge of using data for enabling an organisation to make better decisions.

The job of a data analyst is in demand, and, therefore, is highly recommended. IBM has given an estimation that there will be at least 2.7 million job openings for data science professionals. 40% of the jobs in advanced data analytics will require a master’s degree at minimum. The average yearly salary of an entry-level data analyst in India is somewhere around ₹4,00,000 /-, whereas, the annual salary of a data analyst with an experience of 15-19 years is a whopping amount of ₹9,00,000/-. Analysts with a master’s degree are always preferred by businesses. Almost every institution, nowadays, that provides a data analyst course, has a master’s programme in the curriculum.

Data analysis is a large stretch that comprises different types of data analysis. It combines both theory and practice, and interconnects data-driven insights that help shareholders, business managers, and business executives to remain informed, and make intelligent and strategic decisions. Data analysts with ample experience consider their work in a broader context, although within the periphery of their organisations, but in terms of several external factors. A data analyst is also held accountable for competitive business environment, internal as well as external business welfare, and certain absent data sets in the data-based references that they make to shareholders.

A data analyst course prepares students for the job role of a data analyst by clearing the concepts of statistical modelling, probability theory, data visualisation, predictive analytics, and risk management in the framework of a business environment. A master’s degree in data analytics provides students a thorough understanding of programming languages, database languages, and software programs necessary for the work of a data analyst. 

Let Us Now Take a Look at the Primary Responsibilities of a Data Analyst:

The job of a data analyst differs depending on the types of organisations they are working for, and the magnitude to which an organisation has implemented data-driven decision-making practices. The major responsibilities of a data analyst are —

  • To design and maintain data systems and databases including fixing errors in coding and other problems related to data.
  • To use statistical tools for the interpretation of data sets while focusing on trends and patterns that could be of value for the indicative and predictive analytics efforts.
  • To excavate data from primary and secondary sources, and then to recognise the same data in an apparently easier format which can be read by both humans and machines.
  • To prepare reports for management governance that communicate trends, patterns, and predictions more effectively with the help of relevant data.
  • To establish the importance of their work as data analysts in the context of regional, domestic, and global trends that impact their company as well as their industry.
  • To collaborate with engineers, programmers, entrepreneurs, and business leaders to detect opportunities for improving processes, modifying systems, and developing policies for data governance.
  • To construct proper documentation for investors which will allow them to understand the steps of the very process of data analysis.

But, by far the most valued and most respected skills for a data analyst is the combination of technical skills and leadership skills. A good data analyst must possess these two skills in order to grow in their respective careers.

Technical skills of a data analyst include knowledge of multiple database languages, such as, Python, R, or SQL. They should also be skilled in using spreadsheet tools, such as Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel, and data visualisation software, such as Qlik or Tableau. A data analyst must also be a possessor of mathematical and statistical skills, which are necessary for gathering, measuring, organising, and analysing data.

Leadership skills of a data analyst prepare them to successfully complete problem-solving and decision-making tasks. This skill enables data analysts to think prudently about information that investors will need to make data-driven business decisions. It will also help to communicate the value of the said information more effectively.