Data science & Artificial Intelligence

The role of a data analyst

A data analyst’s primary responsibility is to collect, organize, clean, and analyze mountains of data using standard methods and tools to spot trends, find patterns, and make forecasts.
Data analysts focus on extracting valuable insights from the data to answer questions and solve business problems.
Then, data analysts must be able to communicate findings using data visualizations such as graphs and charts to stakeholders in written formats and presentations so they can make decisions and drive action.

Overall, data analysts:

Understand business direction and objectives

Explore the meaning behind the numbers and figures

Analyze the causes of certain events based on data findings

Present insights using easy-to-understand language and graphics

Contribute to business decision-making by offering insights

Core skills

Data analysts are critical thinkers who use their abilities to obtain insight from data to resolve technical real-life problems. Core skills for data analysts include using prescribed analytical techniques and tools to collect, clean, manage, and analyze data; identifying insights to solve business problems; and visualizing data to successfully communicate results in a clear way to stakeholders. Data analysts have prerequisite knowledge in basic mathematics and statistics as well as business acumen.

Big data

Analytics tools

Data lifecycle

Data Visualization

Problem solving

Critical thinking

Decision making


Career Advancement

A data analyst could start in many types of job roles and advance. Various paths are available and depend on areas of interest and the organization. As individuals become more proficient in their analysis, grow their tool set, and expand the scope of their work, it is possible for data analysts to become data scientists. This requires both experience and additional education. Typically, data scientists will mentor promising data analysts and help them to progress.

Employers of the role

Large, global companies and mid-size organizations hire data analysts. Data analysis crosses all industries, including healthcare, retail, technology, financial, and government.

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