data analyst jobs

An Inside Look Into Data Analyst Jobs

Data for companies is worth more than gold. Businesses in every sector learned that mining customer data can offer powerful insights that lead to increased sales and customer satisfaction.

With the rise of big data, jobs revolving around the subject — like data analyst — have grown too. According to Indeed, data analyst jobs will increase by 20% by 2028. Plus, data analysts on average, earn over $80,000 a year, making the role extremely desirable.

If working as a data analyst sounds good to you, find out what the job entails.

A Typical Day for a Data Analyst

Data analysts, not to be confused with data scientists or data engineers, work on analyzing and interpreting big data sets to help solve business problems and provide thoroughly researched solutions. But that’s a relatively broad description of the job. What does the actual hour-by-hour work entail?

There are typically three kinds of work a data analyst does: gathering data, cleaning data, and processing data. Depending on the size of the team and project, a day in the life could potentially  focus on one of these things, or even working on all three in one day.

Gathering Data

The data that data analysts use for their work is usually kept in a database. The data analyst is in charge of figuring out what data needs to be collected and gathering it from the database. Depending on what database is used, this can be done using SQL or the database’s graphical user interface (GUI). 

Cleaning Data

Once the data is collected, the data analyst must comb through the data to understand it. Sometimes there is outlier data that must be pruned from the dataset to not skew the results. Other times, the structure of the data must be organized in a way that there is a common structure between all data points.

Processing Data

After the data has been gathered and cleaned, the final step is processing the data. This step involved programming skills (usually a language like Python or R) and big data software (like Stata, SPSS, Tableau or Excel). Processing the data is where the data analyst finds patterns that they then use to pitch ideas for changes to the business.

Getting Into Data Analysis as a Career

If the typical day-in-the-life of a data analyst and that $80,000+ a year salary sounds like just the career you’ve been looking for, then why not get started today? With Udacity’s Data Analyst Nanodegree program, you can learn the skills you need for a career change in just four months. Enroll today!

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Jennifer Shalamanov
Jennifer Shalamanov
Jennifer is a content writer at Udacity with over 10 years of content creation and marketing communications experience in the tech, e-commerce and online learning spaces. When she’s not working to inform, engage and inspire readers, she’s probably drinking too many lattes and scouring fashion blogs.