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From Data to Insights: A Deep Dive into the Life of a Data Analyst

Last updated on: 
December 27, 2023
|
by 
Swaminathan Iyer
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About The Author!
Swaminathan Iyer
Swaminathan Iyer
Product Manager at Interview Kickstart. The intriguing mind brainstorming ideas day and night for the creation of projects from simple “Hello World” to building strategies and frameworks.

Have you ever wondered what the life of a data analyst looks like? Do they spend all of their time looking at screens or juggling through codes and numbers? Data analysis is a vast field that includes a combination of creativity, real-world impact, and intellectual challenge. However, a data analyst's life is not about spreadsheets and codes. Data analytics includes problem-solving, analytical tasks, testing, hypothesis, and a pinch of creativity. Keep reading the article to get a deep dive into the life of a data analyst.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • What is a Data Analyst?
  • Responsibilities of a Data Analyst
  • What Skills are Required by Data Analysts?
  • A Day in the Life of a Data Analyst
  • Excel as a Data Analyst with Interview Kickstart!
  • FAQs about Data Analysts

Defining Data Analyst

Data analyst holds the responsibility to prepare and analyze data to extract useful and meaningful insights. Throughout their career, Data Analysts perform several duties, such as data collection, systems development, and cleaning and analyzing data through the usage of programming languages for building and communicating insights and reports to stakeholders.

Considering the versatile nature of a data analyst, other positions that are used for describing data analyst are listed below:

  • Data strategist
  • Competitive intelligence analyst
  • Operations research analyst
  • Market intelligence consultant
  • Business analyst
  • Business intelligence analyst

Ranging from marketing and healthcare to biology and logistics, almost every industry benefits from data analyst services. This is why there is a high demand for data analysis in every field.

Responsibilities of a Data Analyst 

Regardless of the multiple job titles of a data analyst, some of the major data analyst roles and responsibilities are listed below.

Responsibilities of a data analyst
LinkedIn

Data Extraction

Data collection tasks are among the regular responsibilities of a data analyst. As data analysts handle both unstructured and structured data, it increases the complexity and number of techniques required To collect data. However, data analysts commonly deal with structured data, which is stored in the relational databases of the companies.

Data Preparation

The data collected by the data analyst includes errors, extreme values, duplicates, and several other anomalies. To transform the raw data into structured or analysis-ready data, it needs to be processed through a cleaning step. A good amount of time is invested in data analysis to pre-process and summarize data for finding and addressing errors.

Data Exploration

After the data is clean, it is all set to be explored. Hence, under data exploration, data is explored by the data analysis to acknowledge patterns and trends that may assist them in answering certain business questions. Several types of tools can be used for this process.

Data Visualization and Reporting

The most crucial part of a data analyst's job is to communicate the final results of their analysis. With the help of data visualization creation that is brought together in management reports and dashboards, this can be done. Business intelligence tools such as Power BI and Tableau are the most commonly used tools for this purpose.

What Skills are Required by Data Analysts?

The data analyst roles are versatile and multifaceted. In regard to the responsibilities of a data analyst, a combination of technical and leadership skills is required. Some of the key skills needed to become a data analyst are listed below:

Must have data analyst skills

Programming

Data analysts run programming languages for every step of each data analyst project life cycle. Python and R Are the two most commonly used programming languages for data science. These languages are highly popular as they offer a data analyst the feature of handling large data sets and functioning each kind of data technique to find appropriate trends and patterns.

Database management

Data analysts handle different datasets. For communicating and manipulating relational databases, structured worry language is the programming language used in the industry. It is a must to have structured query language in your toolkit, if you are aspiring for a data analyst position.

Data visualization

To present and explain the results in an insightful and compelling way is important to transform your data into actionable decision-making. Data visualization is the key skill and the art of presenting data with visual representations such as charts and graphs.

Math and statistics

Regardless of the fact that data analysts do not handle complex machine learning algorithms, they still require a good knowledge of math and statistics, as it is important to understand the numerous data techniques and examine the best techniques and tools for addressing a certain problem. For presenting data results to your audience, this is equally important.

Business acumen

If a data analyst is not able to clearly understand the data they are handling, all Their hard work might go in vain. Along with coding and technical skills, data analysts must also hold a specific degree of business domain expertise for a clear understanding of their work and responsibilities. Developing business acumen in the field or industry you are working for helps you understand the data and present better analysis.

Communication

Presenting insights and communicating effectively is a crucial part and skill for every data analyst. To leave a positive impact, your insights must be well explained and easily understood by each department of your company. This is the reason why every data analyst must have good communication and writing skills. For example, data storytelling skills help you in crafting a better and clearer framework for communication.

Problem-solving

Data analysts must have a curious mind and an interrogative major towards data. After framing the business questions, a data analyst must refer to the most suitable and appropriate data techniques to clearly answer the questions. Even though it makes data analysis a challenging task, it also comes with rewards.

A Day in the Life of a Data Analyst

Even though the responsibilities of different data analysts might differ at some point, Given below is an insight into a day in the life of a data analyst.

A Day in the Life of a Data Analyst
Microsoft Tech Community

  • As the day begins, data analysts are all set to explore new data and collect insights. They begin by analyzing the data collected overnight. Based on the industry, the data could be about anything from sales figures to user behavior data.
  • Once they have explored the data collected, they invest a good amount of time in analyzing the data by applying analytical tools and statistical techniques to acknowledge patterns, insights, and trends within the data.
  • Apart from spending all the time around the data, Data analysts even communicate with stakeholders and different teams of their organization as it results in strengthening interdepartmental relationships and ensuring that the data analysis runs with the company's goals and needs.
  • Once a data analyst is done with exploring And analyzing the data, they turn their findings into actionable insights by creating reports and data visualization in order to communicate these insights effectively to the other departments.

Hence, each input by a data analyst, such as data collection and professional development, is crucial and adds to the overall growth of an organization.

Excel as a Data Analyst with Interview Kickstart!

Even though this article clearly explains that it is not an easy task to become a data analyst, with several years of experience, a professional degree, ample knowledge, and the right skills, anyone can master as a data analyst with keen dedication and hard work. Suppose you're a practicing data analyst or willing to become one. In that case, Interview Kickstart is here to help with its wide range of data analysts' interview preparation courses and take you through a day in the life of a data analyst. 

FAQs about Data Analyst

Q1. Is 40 too old to become a data analyst?

No matter your age, it is never too late to become a qualified data analyst.

Q2. Do data analysts work from home?

Yes. Data analysts can either work from home or on-site, depending on the demands of the organization they work for.

Q3. Is data analysis demanding?

The demand for a data analyst is always high, with around 11 million job openings by 2026.

Q4. Is data analyst an IT job?

Data analysis is not basically an IT job. However, it requires working with systems and IT tools.

Q5. Is data analysis a lot of math?

Yes. In order to become a successful data analyst, you must have excellent knowledge of math.

Posted on 
December 11, 2023
AUTHOR

Swaminathan Iyer

Product @ Interview Kickstart | Ex Media.net | Business Management - XLRI Jamshedpur. Loves building things and burning pizzas!

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