What does a data analyst do?

The main role of data analysts is to review corporation databases and various external sources to make interpretations and conclusions about statistical calculations and data figures. As a data analyst, you'll perform different tasks during the data analysis process, including:

• Acquiring raw data from secondary or primary sources

• Producing and tracking key performance indicators

• Developing analysis and data reporting capabilities

• Monitoring quality control plans and performance to identify improvement areas

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What is the average salary of a data analyst?

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of a data analyst, also called a statistician, is $99,450. This equates to $47.81 per hour. The top 10% of earners in this field earn an annual salary of $157,300, and the lowest 10% of earners in the field earn $49,350 per year. Data analysts' salaries can vary depending on your geographical location and industry. Education and experience level also affect salaries.

Data Analyst

Which industries hire data analysts?

Data analysts work for companies across different industries to help executives discover appropriate ways to maximize business operations, among other initiatives. The sectors that most often employ data analysts include:

  • Consultancies
  • Manufacturers
  • Hedge funds
  • Investment banks
  • Hospitality and leisure organizations
  • Public sector organizations
  • Retail companies
  • Health organizations
  • Insurance firms
  • Telecommunication companies
  • Private equity firms
  • Marketing and social media agencies
  • Software development companies
  • Pharmaceutical firms
  • Higher education institutions

Working as a data analyst

Working as a professional data analyst involves gathering and scrutinizing data that helps other people make better decisions. You'll respond to questions about raw data and look for anomalies, patterns, and trends within it. During the data analysis process, you will use various tools to make your work more efficient and accurate. This career is a good fit for self-motivated people and team players who are good at working with details and numbers. 

What are the responsibilities of a data analyst? 

Data analysts take huge amounts of data and evaluate it to make predictions and extract useful information to assist their employers in making informed business decisions. They recommend ways and methods in which an organization attains and analyzes raw data to boost the efficiency and quality of data systems. The responsibilities of a data analyst include:

  • Interpreting data and analyzing the results using different statistical techniques and tools
  • Developing reports and providing ongoing reports upon request
  • Developing and implementing company databases, data analytics, and data collection systems 
  • Managing the creation, deletion, and updates made to master data
  • Decommissioning and commissioning of data sets
  • Managing data users and their roles
  • Designing and managing the reporting environment 
  • Identifying, analyzing, and interpreting patterns or trends in multi-layered data sets
  • Processing confidential information and data according to the set guidelines
  • Offering technical expertise in data mining, data cleansing, and data storage structures
  • Supporting plans for data normalization and integrity
  • Assessing the testing and implementation of upgraded or new software
  • Troubleshooting reports and reporting database environments
  • Reviewing updates and changes to production systems
  • Generating reports from multiple or single systems
  • Training end-users on new dashboards and reports
  • Helping the data warehouse identify and revise reporting requirements
  • Providing quality assurance of all imported data
  • Creating record management policies and processes
  • Monitoring and auditing data quality

What type of equipment does a data analyst use? 

As a data analyst, you use a wide variety of tools to understand and gather insight from small and large volumes of data. These tools will help you convert unstructured data sets into focused key metrics and visual presentations for project coworkers to understand and act on. Here are some of the important tools you'll need to perform your job accurately and efficiently. 

  • Google Analytics (GA) – Analysts use this tool to understand customer data, including patterns, trends, and customer experience areas that require improvement on call to action and landing pages.
  • Github – This tool offers a platform for building and sharing technical projects. 
  • Tableau – This tool allows you to analyze and aggregate data. You can develop and share dashboards with various teammates and also create visualizations.
  • AWS S3 – Analysts use this cloud storage system to retrieve and store large datasets.
  • Jupyter Notebook System – This tool makes it simple for a data analyst to test codes.

What is the work environment of a data analyst? 

Your typical day as a data analyst is dependent on the industry you work in. You can work for the government or private organizations. Data analysts spend most of their working hours in office settings. Your time is split between interpreting and organizing data and enhancing current testing procedures. Data analysts normally work in team environments, helping other team members to analyze and improve data. In some instances, some data analysts work directly with executive decision-makers and team leaders to provide insights and recommendations about technical changes, marketing efforts, and sales. 

Who are your colleagues as a data analyst? 

Data analysts mine and clean company data before analyzing and interpreting results using different techniques and standard statistical tools. In most cases, these information experts pinpoint trends, correlations, and notable patterns in multi-layered data sets. As a professional data analyst, you'll work with the organization's management, IT teams, and business development experts. You'll help these collaborators establish organizational goals and identify new opportunities for business process improvement using the analyzed data.

What is the work schedule of a data analyst? 

The work schedule for professional data analysts is usually between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday. Since the job is a salaried position, overtime is not paid. However, you can expect some overtime when your employer has big projects or during busy periods. Your role as a data analyst will be reasonably flexible at higher levels, allowing you to work remotely or commute on a more flexible schedule.


What is the career outlook for a data analyst?

The need for professional data analysts with skills and expertise to change information into meaningful insights is increasing as big data grows bigger. According to the BLS, positions in the field of data analysis and statistics will grow by around 33% between 2020 and 2030. This growth is driven by the fact that many companies are embracing big data analytics. 

As you gain industry experience as a professional data analyst, you'll encounter opportunities to develop your career in several different directions. You can progress into management, consulting, or any data-related specialization role. This includes data mining, data visualization, and data infrastructure. 

What are the advantages of working with Spherion as a data analyst? 

Spherion is one of the best staffing firms that enjoy numerous connections with many businesses and sectors. Whether you prefer working remotely or from an office setting, Spherion has different job options for you. Getting a data analyst job through Spherion provides you with other notable benefits, including:

  • Many job opportunities within your geographical location
  • Seamless and fast interviewing process
  • Permanent and temporary job contracts
  • Flexible working schedules
  • Training opportunities to advance your career skills
  • Contact persons to provide you with assistance or advice as you search for a job 

What education do you need as a data analyst?

You only need a bachelor's degree to get a data analyst position. However, some employers may require you to have a master's degree in a related field such as computer science, mathematics, or engineering. As a data analyst, you will want to stay informed on the current technological changes and computer programs through continued education.

Ongoing training and education 

Since employers expect professional data analysts to possess good quantitative skills, you will require further training in mathematics. Depending on the sector you are working in, you may also need additional training. A data analyst can start working without prior experience. However, you will require more on-the-job training to help you get accustomed to company procedures and policies. The training will also help you learn how to apply your education to the business setting. 

Skills & competencies 

A data analyst is one of the most important resources when making business decisions. Executive decision-makers and business managers depend on data analysts to analyze and interpret complex data into meaningful information. Ideally, you'll have strong organizational skills to track and manage large volumes of data. Good communication skills are also key, especially when translating results to workmates or team members with no technological skills. Other important skills and competencies you'll use as a data analyst include:

  • Problem-solving and data analytical skills
  • Outstanding organizational skills
  • Capacity to meet and set deadlines
  • Technical writing skills
  • Experience with different statistical software
  • Data visualization and reporting skills
  • Coding skills in programming languages such as python and oracle
  • Fine attention to detail
  • Ability to work under pressure


Data analysts play an important role in helping businesses make informed decisions for growth. The following covers some frequently asked questions about the work of a data analyst. 

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