Data Analysts play an important role in organisations

They are needed to source, translate and apply data to drive business success

Globally, in today’s increasingly digitised world, data plays a vital role within organisations – across both private and public sectors.  

Indeed, data has proven to become one of an organisation’s most valuable assets in driving their continued growth and success. 

But data alone doesn’t drive business success – it needs to be appropriately sourced, translated and applied to make an impact. That’s where data analysts come in. 

Definition of data analyst 

To stay ahead of the competition, organisations need to be able to identify trends, insights and other valuable information that’s often hidden among complicated sets of data.  

A data analyst gathers and analyses this data and translates it into meaningful conclusions and solutions to business problems.  

Data analysts don’t simply sit at a desk all day crunching numbers – they use their creative and analytical thinking to discover important insights about a business and its customers and transform those insights into business decisions that will drive organisational growth and success.

They also communicate these insights to senior leadership teams and other key stakeholders within the organisation. 

What are the responsibilities of a data analyst? 

A data analyst plays a vital role in any modern organisation – their valuable insights can help organisations better understand their own business, as well as their customers. This in turn helps organisations make better business decisions and boost their profits. 

Some of the responsibilities of a data analyst include: 

  • Creating reports – translating data and numbers into meaningful insights and information that can be easily communicated to stakeholders across the organisation and clients

  • Identifying patterns – using data sets to identify important patterns that can signal current and/or future trends and make appropriate recommendations accordingly

  • Collaborating with stakeholders – working together with other key stakeholders across organisations such as marketers, product owners and leadership teams to share insights and information on upcoming trends and customer behaviours

  • Sourcing data – having the right tools and systems in place to source data and optimise its collection, and streamlining data collection processes so they can be easily modified for application across different areas 

What industries employ data analysts? 

Because data is such a crucial asset to any organisation today, data analysts have the freedom to work across a wide range of industries and organisations. 

Just some of the industries and organisations that employ data analysts include: 

  • Banking and finance 

  • Retail 

  • Digital marketing 

  • Healthcare 

  • Education 

  • Entertainment 

  • Business intelligence 

There is no shortage of industries or organisations that you can work in as a qualified data analyst – it’s a career path that can open a wealth of global career opportunities and position you as an in-demand professional in today’s global job market. 

What skills do you need to succeed as a data analyst? 

As we touched on earlier, being a data analyst isn’t just about crunching numbers. There’s a range of skills you need to have in your arsenal if you want to succeed as a data analyst and drive both your personal and your organisation’s success. 

Some of the skills you need to succeed as a data analyst include: 

  • Mathematical and numerical skills 

  • Analytical skills 

  • Creative thinking skills 

  • Communication skills 

  • Programming skills 

  • Proficiency in business intelligence and data analytics tools and systems 

  • Data visualisation skills 

How can a data analytics MSc help you get into the role of a data analyst?  

By equipping you with all these essential skills and more, an MSc in data analytics can fast-track your career and get you into the role of a data analyst sooner. 

With an MSc in data analytics, you’ll be empowered with the critical and analytical thinking and skills you need to prepare you for the real-world challenges of working with data – and to embark on a successful, future-proof career as a data analyst. 

If you’re interested in launching your career as a data analyst, University of Portsmouth offers a flexible online MSc Data Analytics that you can study at your convenience – anytime, anywhere – alongside your work and other personal commitments. Discover how the course can help you translate data into impactful business solutions. 

Explore the course  ❯

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