what is a data analyst?
As a data analyst, you spend most of the day organizing data and helping various stakeholders draw conclusions from the information. 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 may examine historical data from an organization like quarterly sales, monthly income or annual web traffic and identify trends or spot patterns. You apply your knowledge in descriptive and diagnostic analytics to explain certain occurrences or outcomes in a business. Aside from understanding the past, data analysts also assist organizations with forecasting. You can use descriptive data to detect tendencies and trends to base your predictions. Predicting the outcomes allows companies to take proactive actions to avoid adverse consequences.
job description of a data analyst
When businesses want to determine a course of action, they rely on data analysts to provide data-driven evidence to help them decide. Using prescriptive analytics keeps you ahead of industry trends. As a data analyst, you use complex algorithms, statistical methods and machine learning technology to organize and evaluate data. Sometimes, you need proficiency in data visualization and database programming languages to manage data sources and databases.
Would working as a data analyst suit your analytical and detail-oriented skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a data analyst role.view data analyst roles
average data analyst salary
According to Job Bank, a data analyst earns a median hourly wage of $39 in Canada. The hourly rates fluctuate based on experience, qualifications and the employer. The least experienced data analysts have an hourly wage of $23.08. With experience, the hourly rates increase to over $56.41. The hourly rates also vary depending on where you live. For instance, in Quebec, you earn an average hourly rate of 33.65, while in Ontario, the median hourly wage is $40.87. Alberta pays a higher hourly rate of $41.24 due to the demand for the role in the region.
how to increase your salary as a data analyst
To increase your earnings as a data analyst, move to a region with a favourable pay rate. Regions like Ontario and Alberta have promising hourly wages due to the higher cost of living and demand for data analysts. Alternatively, find a better-paying employer. When you are working for a start-up, they have limited resources and may not afford to pay higher wages. However, working for a large company increases your salary prospects.
Boosting your educational qualifications and experience also raises your salary prospects. Employers are willing to pay more when you have additional experience and qualifications.
types of data analysts
Some types of data analysts include:
- business intelligence analysts: your job is to identify patterns and interpret data gathered from the company systems. Aside from 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 analysts: as a logistics analyst, you gather and organize data from supply chain processes. You use the information to create strategies to optimize the processes, lower expenses and enhance efficiency in production and distribution.
- business systems analysts: you are responsible for evaluating and leveraging data to improve the functions of a company's information technology systems. You also find strategies to improve the systems.
- marketing analysts: your job is to use data to understand the market and customers. You analyze the organization's target market information and develop the best marketing strategies.
working as a data analyst
If you enjoy analyzing data and generating information to improve business intelligence, check out the daily activities, tasks and work environments for data analysts.
what does a data analyst do?
Some of the tasks of a data analyst include:
- mining data: as a data analyst, your primary role is to mine data from secondary and primary sources. That means collecting relevant information from the company's database or gathering it from external sources. For instance, you can survey or track users' actions on your company's website. You also structure the raw data using various tools and software.
- pruning and cleaning data: after extracting data, you correct and organize it for analysis. Sometimes, data contains outliers, duplicates and errors that influence interpretations. The cleaning process also involves removing any information that may distort the evaluation process or lead to skewed conclusions.
- modelling data: as a data analyst, you design the database to store data securely. Your programming skills are handy in organizing databases, such as the ability to establish data categories and relationships. You also determine the appearance of the data in the storage spaces.
- interpreting information: your role is to use analytical tools to explore facts from the data collected. The results should provide answers to specific questions. It requires logical thinking to examine data components or statistical tools to identify trends and patterns that explain outcomes.
- creating data reports and visualizations: as a data analyst, it is crucial to translate raw data into information that assists decision-makers and other stakeholders. Reports help businesses monitor performance based on the prediction and ensure it does not fall outside the expected range. You can use charts, graphs and other data visualization tools to explain your findings.
work environment of a data analyst
As a data analyst, you work in any industry, from finance and insurance firms to healthcare institutions and IT companies. You utilize your analytical skills to help in improving efficiency and optimizing business processes. Data analysts work for the public and private sectors. While your work is home or office-based, you can expect a comfortable environment conducive to undertaking complex tasks.
who are your colleagues?
As a data analyst, you work in various industries and collaborate with other professionals to achieve your goals. Your colleagues are likely to include data scientists, data engineers and quantitative analysts who assist with information interpretation. Business analysts and financial business partners rely on the information collected to optimize the tools used for analytics. You also work with people who actualize the recommendations from the data, including project managers, operations managers and logistics specialists.
data analyst work schedule
As a data analyst, you work around 40 hours a week in a full-time position. However, working long hours is the norm for data analysts, and you can work over the weekends or evenings. Some data analysts work on short-term contracts, while others find part-time opportunities. The role doesn't involve travelling unless you are making presentations to clients or attending conferences.
career opportunities as a data analyst
Technological advancement expanded the data companies collect from internal and external sources. Hence, data analysis is a priority for many industries. Becoming a data analyst is a promising career with a clear career progression. For instance, when you start from a junior data analyst position, you can easily become a senior data analyst after gaining a few years of experience or an additional qualification. Data analysts also have various specialisms, including market research, business intelligence and logistics. Some data analysts take up a career in IT, like database administration, or management roles like operations manager.
advantages of finding a job as a data analyst through randstad
Working with Randstad offers you a range of benefits.
- always a contact person you can fall back on and ask for help from
- many training opportunities
- a range of jobs in your area
data analyst skills and education
To work as a data analyst, you need the following educational requirements:
- education: pursue a bachelor’s degree or college program in computer engineering, mathematics or computer science. The degree program helps you gain the necessary skills and expertise to perform your duties.
- experience: you need extensive experience in computer programming and data analysis to excel in your role. Gain experience through internships and entry-level jobs. You can also get additional certifications to boost your programming skills and improve your job prospects.
competencies and characteristics of data analysts
A data analyst requires the following transferable skills:
- programming languages: as a data analyst, you handle huge volumes of data and perform complex equations. Learning a statistical programming language improves your competitiveness. Python and R are popular statistical languages, but you can find others that suit your role. You also need database management programming skills to organize and store data in databases.
- proficiency in using data visualization tools: as a data analyst, it is vital to present your findings convincingly. Using charts and graphs helps your employers understand your interpretation. Hence, learning data visualization using various tools like Excel, Notebook, and Tableau is crucial.
- maths and statistics knowledge: a data analyst should understand statistical techniques and mathematical concepts to interpret data. A solid grasp of maths and statistics helps you decide on the best tools and improves your understanding of results.
problem-solving skills: a data analyst should understand the problem that needs solving or the questions the information gathered aims to answer. Problem-solving skills assist you in finding patterns and trends in various data sets or identifying gaps and mistakes in your interpretation methods.
Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a data analyst.
is being a data analyst a promising career?
The demand for data analysts in Canada is rising since businesses rely on information to make decisions. Aside from the job growth prospects, data analysts in Canada enjoy relatively good pay with the potential of earning more with experience. Data analysts also have opportunities to grow their skills at the best data science and analytics institutions.
what skills are required for data analysts?
To become a successful data analyst, gain technical skills like using data visualization and management tools. You also require proficiency in programming languages and the ability to draw insights from data.
how much do data analysts make in Canada?
The earnings of data analysts in Canada depend on experience, qualifications and competencies. The median wage for data analysts is $39 per hour. The figure fluctuates based on various factors, from experience to location and the company's size. Some locations pay higher salaries due to the high demand for data analysts. Your proficiency in data visualization and programming also boosts your earning potential.
what kind of work does a data analyst do?
As a data analyst, you review data to identify key insights into business processes, customers, products and services. You compile the data and transform it into information that can be used to solve problems. You also relay the information generated from the data to stakeholders.
is data analysis a hard skill?
Working as a data analyst is challenging since it requires business intelligence and the ability to take a holistic approach. However, if you sharpen your technical skills, you can excel in the role.
how do I find a job as a data analyst?
Finding a job near you as a data analyst is easy. Search our job offers. Have you found what you're looking for? Then submit your application using the 'Apply' button top right on the page. No jobs available right now? Send us your resume, and we'll pass it on to a recruiter who will contact you if an opportunity opens up for you.