Business data analysts work with numbers and data to identify and interpret connections in the numbers and facts. Data analysts then convey their conclusions in terms that are easy for most people to comprehend. They also make recommendations on how a business can address their problems. They may be hired by large companies or organizations to help them determine what business decisions they should make or how they can improve their business. Data analysts must be good at working with numbers and facts. They must also have strong analytical skills as well as communication skills. This career is ideal for individuals who love to analyze data, numbers, and information, and then convey their interpretations.
Business Data Analyst Job Description
Business data analysts analyze numbers and then describe them in terms that the average person would understand. The numbers data analysts analyze typically include costs, market research totals, sales figures, and more. Data analysts typically analyze specific numbers for large companies and then interpret those numbers so as to help the business understand and improve their business choices. The data analyst may need to analyze data and facts to determine how to decrease specific costs for the company, to determine how many employees need to work on a specific day of the week, and so forth. It is imperative that data analysts thoroughly check the accuracy of the data they are analyzing. Errors in data analysis can cause many problems for the company. Business data analysts may work for a variety of industries. These industries include pharmaceutical or medical research, computer application development, manufacturing, and more.
Here is a list of common job responsibilities of business data analysts:
- Gather data for companies
- Thoroughly review and analyze the data either through statistical analysis, data mining, and other techniques
- Check data for accuracy
- Based on your interpretation of the data analysis, come up with recommended improvements for the company
- Convey the recommendations to the company by creating reports
Once data analysts have gathered relevant data, they must analyze it carefully. Analysts may use special software programs to help them with their analysis. These may include statistics software and other analytical program. After data analysts have closely and carefully analyzed all the data, they must interpret it. At this point, they must document their interpretations in vernacular that is understandable to the average person. Through reports, charts, graphs, and other presentation materials, data analysts must convey their interpretations and recommendations to their clients.
Data analysts commonly report to a supervisor or a boss. In some instances, they may complete they data analysis completely on their own. When it comes to conveying their data interpretations, they must work with the company they are analyzing to help them understand the data and use the findings effectively.
Business Data Analyst Education Requirements
In order to become a business data analyst, an individual must typically have earned an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in business administration, math, information systems/information technology, or another related field. It is beneficial for students who want to become data analysts to take classes in mathematics, statistics, economics, accounting, management, computer science, organizational behavior, and other content areas pertinent to this job. It is important for data analysts to also have background knowledge about the internet, analysis, computer databases, technology, statistics, and more. Some employers want to hire business data analysts who have a master’s degree in a related field. This is typically required for higher level positions in the field.
It is beneficial for business data analysts to have solid math skills as these skills are essential when analyzing numbers and data. It may go without saying, but data analysts must have strong analytical skills. Data analysts work with many different numbers, facts, and information all at once. They must be able to carefully and concisely analyze the interaction of all these numbers and facts. Data analysts must also be able to draw conclusions from the numbers and information. Communication skills are also essential to data analysts. It is not uncommon for data analysts to convey their data findings to clients through presentations or meetings. They may also need to write clear, comprehensive reports for their clients. It is especially important for data analysts to be able to take complex ideas and concepts and convey them in terms that are understandable to individuals who are not data analysts. Attention to detail is another important skill that data analysts must have. Slight errors in data analysis can completely skew the outcomes. For this reason, close attention to detail is absolutely necessary. Finally, it is essential that data analysts have good critical thinking skills. They must be able to analyze all the data, information, and facts and draw accurate, solid conclusions.
Business data analysts must also have a great deal of knowledge about statistical software and other programs relevant to data analysts. They may need to use these programs to help them analyze or organize data. Software programs are also helpful when creating the graphs, reports, and charts necessary to convey the interpretations of the data.
Business Data Analyst Salary
As of August 2015, the national average wage of a business data analyst was $54,594. The lowest 10% of business data analysts earned an annual salary of $43,649 or less. The top 10% of business data analysts earned annual salaries of $68,492 or more. It is important to note that business data analysts salaries may vary based on geographic location, education level, the size of the company they are employed by, and the number years of work experience they have. Salary is largely influenced by the company the individual works for. Data analysts who work for large, well known companies tend to receive the highest salaries in the industry. As data analysts gain more work experience and knowledge, it is probable they will receive pay increases as well as promotions. Data analysts who work in areas such as San Francisco, Washington D.C., and New York tend to earn the highest annual salaries. Those who work in San Diego and Philadelphia tend to earn the lowest annual salaries of data analysts employed in the United States. Some data analysts earn bonuses and commission which increase their annual salaries.
Business Data Analyst Job Outlook
The business data analyst job outlook is somewhat poor. Between the years 2012 to 2022, the profession is expected to grow by 3% to 7%. The rate of growth for this position is slightly slower than the average rate of growth for all other professions which is 7%. There may not be ample opportunities for job seekers to secure positions for business data analyst positions. However, those who have relevant previous work experience and the desired education level have an advantage over other job applicants. Although there may not be countless job opportunities for data analysts, there will still be some positions available as currently employed analysts retire or move on to other positions. Companies will continue to hire data analysts to help them make the best business decisions possible. To gain an advantage over other job seekers, be sure to gain whatever relevant experience is possible. Also, become familiar with the software typically used by data analysts.