What is data analysis?
Data analysis is the process of gathering, cleaning and assessing data in order to answer a question, solve a problem, or decide on a course of action.
What does a data analyst do?
Data analysts can work within a huge range of sectors from healthcare to entertainment. As a result, working environments can differ greatly, although the majority of data analyst roles are office-based.
- Interpreting data
- Producing data visualisations to help present findings
- Identifying solutions and areas to improve
- Working with various analytics and reporting tools
- Liaising with internal and external stakeholders
How to become a data analyst
It’s never too late to pursue a career in data analysis. Below is a brief breakdown of the skills and qualifications needed to become a data analyst.
Data analyst skills
Here are some of the essential skills required to be a successful data analyst:
- A strong grasp of mathematics and statistics
- Proficiency with data analysis tools
- An understanding of data cleansing, data modelling and data enrichment techniques
- Good analytical and critical thinking skills
- Strong communication skills
- The ability to present data visualisations
Data analyst qualifications
A degree in a relevant discipline such as computer science, statistics, mathematics, etc. will give you a good head start. Additionally, there are postgraduate courses out there that focus on specific areas of data analysis, such as data science and business analytics. A master’s degree in these topics would certainly help you stand out, although a master’s is not always required.
Data analyst salary
The average salary of a data analyst in the UK is around £37,500. This will obviously depend on an individual’s experience, location, sector, etc. Entry-level roles may start anywhere between £23,000 and £25,000 a year, and highly experienced data analysists can earn £60,000+ a year.