what is a data analyst?

As a data analyst, you spend most of the day organising data and helping stakeholders draw conclusions from the information you present. Regardless of the industry you work in, your job is to collect and interpret data. For instance, in sales and marketing, you translate sales figures into tangible evidence that helps the company make better decisions.

A data analyst examines historical data from an organisation, such as quarterly sales, monthly income or annual web traffic, to identify trends or spot patterns. You apply your knowledge of descriptive and diagnostic analytics to explain situations or outcomes in a business. Apart from interpreting historical data, data analysts also assist organisations with forecasting. You use descriptive data to detect tendencies and trends and make predictions. Predicting outcomes allows companies to make proactive decisions to avoid adverse consequences.

what does a data analyst do?

When a business wants to determine a course of action, they rely on data analysts to provide data-driven evidence to help them. Using prescriptive analytics keeps companies ahead of industry trends. As a data analyst, you use complex algorithms, statistical methods and machine learning technology to organise and evaluate data. Proficiency in data visualisation and database programming languages helps you to manage data sources and databases.

Would working as a data analyst suit your analytical skills and love of numbers? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a data analyst role.

view jobs

average salary of a data analyst

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a data analyst is ₹6,00000 per year in India. You have many opportunities to increase your salary by taking on a more challenging schedule. For instance, you can work extra hours for overtime pay or bonuses. Depending on your specific duties, you may also be eligible for various allowances and benefits.

what factors affect your salary as a data analyst?

A career as a data analyst offers a competitive salary and generous benefits. However, your industry, educational background and experience are the driving factors that determine your take-home pay. For instance, if you have a degree, your earnings will be lower than those of a data analyst with a master's or PhD. A degree is the minimum requirement, but more qualifications enable you to negotiate a better compensation package. Specialisation in statistical modelling or information design also enhances your salary prospects.

Salaries are also dependent on your industry and your employer's resources. For instance, finance, healthcare, insurance and information technology rely on data analysts to make decisions, so they pay more. Location is also a driving factor due to the high demand for data analysts in big cities, compared to small towns.

data analyst jobs
data analyst jobs

types of data analysts


Some types of data analysts include:

  • business intelligence analyst: your job is to identify patterns and interpret data gathered from the company’s systems. As well as internal data, you also collect and evaluate external data from competitors and the market to identify patterns and potential issues that could affect the business.
  • logistics analyst: as a logistics analyst, you gather and organise data from supply chain processes. You use the information to create strategies to optimise processes, lower expenses and enhance efficiency in production and distribution.
  • business systems analyst: you are responsible for evaluating and leveraging data to improve the functions of a company's information technology systems. You also create strategies to improve the systems.
  • marketing analyst: your job is to use data to help the sales and marketing team understand the market and their customers. You analyse the organisation's target market information and develop robust marketing strategies.

working as a data analyst

Data analysts focus on numbers and can use numerical data to explain technical ideas and concepts. Read on to identify some of the daily tasks and career opportunities for data analysts.


education and skills

The following educational qualifications are entry-level requirements for data analysts:

  • degree: a bachelor’s degree or postgraduate qualification in statistics, economics, or mathematics is a prerequisite to becoming a data analyst. Other related degree subjects include psychology and operational research or other fields with training in statistics.
  • postgraduate courses: you can become a trainee data analyst if you complete your undergraduate degree and gain a diploma in digital business services.
  • apprenticeship: completing an apprenticeship in data analysis makes you a junior data analyst. The programme combines on-the-job training with studies leading to a data analysis higher apprenticeship. Major tech companies, including Google, are offering this qualification.

skills and competencies

The following transferable skills will help you excel as a data analyst:

  • programming languages: as a data analyst, you handle massive amounts of data and perform complex equations. Learning a statistical programming language increases your competitiveness. Python and R are popular statistical languages, but you can find others that suit your role. Database management programming skills enable you to organise and store data in databases.
  • proficiency in using data visualisation tools: as a data analyst, it is vital to present your findings convincingly. Using charts and graphs helps your employers understand your interpretation. Learning to use data visualisation tools like Excel, Notebook, and Tableau enhances your presentation skills.
  • maths and statistics knowledge: a data analyst uses their understanding of statistical techniques and mathematical concepts to interpret data. Having a solid grasp of maths and statistics helps you decide on the best tools to use and improves your understanding of the results.
  • problem-solving skills: your ability to interpret problems helps you to understand the issue that needs resolving or the questions that your data aims to answer. Problem-solving skills assist you with finding patterns and trends in data sets or identifying gaps and mistakes in your interpretation methods.

FAQs about working as a data analyst

FAQs about working as a data analyst:

thank you for subscribing to your personalised job alerts.