Data Analyst: Career Definition, Job Outlook, and Training Requirements

Explore the career requirements for data analysts. Get the facts about job duties, education requirements, salary and job outlook to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Computer Support Technician degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is Data Analyst?

Data analysts can work in an array of industries, examining data and ensuring its accuracy while ensuring it is being used properly in accordance with company guidelines. Industries hiring these professionals are varied, with options ranging from manufacturing to healthcare and beyond. Data entry and reporting is common, as it creating and deleting data warehouses as needed. It is also common to be charged with the communication of data between different parties in order to complete projects.

Read the table below for more information about becoming a data analyst.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Information systems, business administration, healthcare administration
Key Skills Data entry, reporting, auditing, and warehousing
Job Growth (2014-2024) 19% (market research analyst)*
Median Salary (2015) $62,150 (market research analyst)*

Source: *Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Does a Data Analyst Do?

As a data analyst, you gather, review, and interpret data for a variety of industries, such as computer and hardware application development, manufacturing, healthcare, and pharmaceutical research. Some of the tasks you may perform include data entry, data auditing, creating data reports, and monitoring data for accuracy. Deleting and creating data warehouses may be part of your job duties as well. You also manage the communication of data to pertinent parties and work with clients to complete projects.

While working as a data analyst, you are responsible for ensuring that the data within a company serves its needs. As a professional in the field, you need to make sure that data information is implemented properly and in line with corporate policies and procedures.

What Can I Anticipate from this Job?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated market research analysts, which includes data analysts, are projected to see faster than average growth of 19% from 2014-2024 ( As of 2015, data analysts in business settings are reported to have earned a median salary of $62,150.

What Must I Study?

To obtain a position in the field, you may want to pursue a bachelor's degree in information systems, business administration, or healthcare administration. You must have knowledge of databases, the Internet, software, troubleshooting, statistics, reporting, and analysis. Once you've completed your program, you must be able to use your management and math skills to solve problems, work with clients, and think analytically. Taking courses in accounting, management, statistics, data mining, and organizational behavior prepare you for a data analyst position within any field.

What Are Some Related Careers?

Computer systems analysts do a similar job to data analysts, investigating the current computer systems at an organization and devising strategies to make them more efficient. Information clerks provide clerical services in the realm of maintaining records, data collection, and customer service. Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists are professionals in charge of researching different positions in order to keep a company's salaries competitive and fair.

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