Well then, you’ve come to the right place! The data analyst job is a classic example of where analytical and curious souls thrive. Perfect for anyone who wants to give insight and deduce meaning from a large sample of numbers.
What is a data analyst?
What is the data analyst job description in the UK? This career, from a business data analyst to an entry-level data analyst, is someone highly organised who can communicate well. They are typically analytical and hold strong mathematical and curious skills.
A data analyst job, from a graduate data analyst or someone who works for a finance company, will work with data and interpret it for clients in an easy-to-read and digestible manner. The data analyst definition also extends to inquisitive individuals, who can understand the data and explain it through clear written and verbal communication.
People in these roles tend to work in large companies, including financial services, consumer retail, marketing agencies and the public sector.
Data analyst skills include working across a range of areas and topics, like, marketing, sales, finance, data quality and business intelligence.
What does a data analyst do?
Now you know what the job is, what do data analysts do? Developing management processes for records and policies, producing key performance indicators and setting up automated data processes is standard for data quality jobs. What else is an analyst job? As a data analyst, you’ll monitor and audit data, liaise with clients and evaluate and introduce external tools to support data cleansing and validating.
They’ll use techniques and tools to gather detailed business requirements and design surveys. Also, analysing the survey data and tracking performance is expected. The role may involve preparing reports using business analytics tools, interpreting complex data for the business and providing sector benchmarking. Also, data analysts will create visualisations and data dashboards for clients and present findings to management.
How to become a data analyst in the UK?
The data analyst career path can take you through higher education. Analyst careers, even in data analysts jobs in the UK, have roles for entry-level or those who have gone to university. Most analyst roles, including statistical analyst, will ask for some relevant experience or skills showing you can handle data and interpret it for clients. Entry-level positions can be found at companies across most sectors, and graduate schemes are often at larger organisations.
Candidates with experience, from internships and placements while studying, may have an advantage in the job market. Taking the initiative to learn the skills and programmes alongside your qualification will help you stand out from the crowd.
Can you study a data analyst degree? Data analysts, like information analysts or a consulting analyst, tend to have a qualification under their belt, like a data analyst degree. Your data analyst career or data analyst role can start here, where you’ll learn the knowledge of data analysis tools entry-level positions may not require.
This career, from a business data analyst to an entry-level data analyst, is someone highly organised who can communicate well.
Studying something relevant alongside data can also help, for example, an MI analyst who analyses business looking for a business course, or statistical analyst jobs have individuals with mathematical qualifications. Each data analyst role is different, and the desired attributes for possible candidates can usually be found on the analyst job’s description. Although roles tend to be office-based, the same may involve travel, and working for all types of employers.
Although not essential, having a first degree in economics, business information systems, computer science, statistics, mathematics or information management is beneficial. But any degree can be useful to the career if you can demonstrate the relevant skills.
Data science postgraduate degrees are becoming more popular in this field if you want to study further or are changing careers. Usually, they’re available in MSc Business Analytics, MSc Big Data, MSc Data Science and Analytics. Other options include taking short courses at institutions or specialist data schools.
What analysis skills do you need?
Data analyst skills include working across a range of areas and topics, like, marketing, sales, finance, data quality and business intelligence. The skills tend to be the same, from a data analyst trainee to an NHS data analyst and even a data researcher. The role requires individuals with knowledge of Google, SEO and web analytics, as well as data cleansing and enrichment techniques.
Excellent numerical and problem-solving skills are essential. Data analysts will need high concentration, familiarity with databases - like MS Access - and insight into data modelling. It’s common for people to have the ability to improve procedures and workflows as well as an understanding of data protection and GDPR laws.
They may need experience of various data analysis techniques and demonstrate statistical methodologies. Data quality control, linkage and in some instances, insight into industry-specific databases, say higher education, is vital. Being able to present coherent visualisations and representations of the data is essential. Individuals may need experience with various programmes and systems like XML, APIs, SQL and VBA Server, RapidMinder, Crystal Reports and Python. But there are numerous programmes available and employers may use various ones.
The same skills can be applied for those who work freelance or on a self-employed basis and specialise in a particular technical language. Data analysis is a fast-growing field and in high demand across most sectors.
The data analyst career path can take you through higher education.
Can you work as a data analyst remotely?
Some aspects of the work, like analysing data, producing reports and planning presentations can be done at home. However, other tasks consisting of attending meetings and presenting to management teams are usually done face-to-face.
Also, there is a lot of analysis involved, and you may need to speak to IT or various departments which is harder to do when working from home. In most cases, the roles are office-based but there may be some room for remote working, depending on the employer.
What is the average salary of a data analyst?
A data analyst qualification is a must for graduate schemes which offer higher starting salaries, ranging from £29,000 to £30,000. Entry-level salaries do exist and start at £24,000 to £25,000 without a degree. However, with experience, this can go up to £30,000. Skilled, high-level jobs can even receive £60,000 or more.
What are the prospects for a data analyst?
Data analyst prospects tend to follow the trend of management and supervisory positions. However, others may transfer to the academic sector and work within research or government advisory bodies. It’s common for business analyst prospects to include working as a self-employed consultant who is paid per project. With this route, individuals can specialise in a specific domain or technical language.
Specialisms include decisions analysis, data mining, data visualisation and infrastructure. It’s a career that’s expected to grow in the UK and overseas, as they’re required across multiple industries and domains, from education, healthcare, and retail to media manufacturing and real estate. If you want to progress as a data analyst, you can move to a more prominent organisation or change sector if you fancy a chance.