Clinical Data Analyst: Role, Salary & Responsibilities

If helping organizations in the healthcare industry investigate complex problems, identify issues and make recommendations sounds like an interesting career choice, consider a career as a clinical data analyst. Learn about the job role and salary of a clinical data analyst to see if it could be right for you. Schools offering Health Informatics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career at a Glance

Clinical data analyst use mathematical and statistical analysis to help analyze the clinical data of an organization. They can expect to work in a range of healthcare environments and spend most of their time in an office or laboratory setting. The table below provides the key details you need to know about this career such as the education requirements, skills, salary and job outlook.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree or master's degree required
Education Field of Study Health information management
Health management
Computer science
Data science
Certification and Licensure Certification is voluntary
Key Skills Communication skills, mathematical knowledge, computing knowledge, analytical, detail-orientated
Median Salary (2019) $64,229 (clinical data analyst)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 27% (operations research analyst)**

Sources: *PayScale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Do Clinical Data Analysts Do?

Also known as a health data analyst, a clinical data analyst's primary duty is to ensure that the clinical data is accurate and reliable. A clinical data analyst works with a research team to collect and record data accurately. Their exact role varies depending on their employer, but generally a clinical data analyst working in a hospital or physician's office would be expected to write reports based on the patient data and make recommendations to improve patient care. A clinical data analyst working within the pharmaceutical and medical devices industry will often examine and monitor the data; they may also develop specialized software.

How Much Do Clinical Data Analysts Earn?

Based on national salary data compiled by PayScale, a clinical data analyst could expect an annual median salary of $64,229 in 2019. The BLS reports occupational data on data analysts in the category of operations research analysts. An operation research analysts can expect a median salary of $81,390 annually. The lower-paid 10% of operations research analysts earn less than $45,270 and the highest 10% earn more than $134,470 annually.

What Skills and Attributes Do I Need as a Clinical Data Analyst?

Clinical data analysts are expected to have excellent mathematic and information technology (IT) knowledge, as they may be required to work extensively with numbers and improve software programs. They would be expected to have good verbal and written communication to report results. A clinical data analyst must be analytical to identify problem areas and a good problem solver in order to suggest solutions.

How Do You Become a Clinical Data Analyst?

In order to become a clinical data analyst you will need to earn a bachelor's degree in health information management, health management, computer science or a related field. You will need at least 3 years experience of statistical data analysis, which you can gained from working in a variety of healthcare settings in order to become certified. Certification is voluntary and obtained through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). A master's degree is optional, but for those aiming for a top-level career in clinical data analysis, you may find getting a master's degree necessary.

What Is the Career Outlook and Career Progression for Clinical Data Analysts?

The BLS reports that all operation research analysts, which includes clinical data analysts, have a projected growth rate of 27% between 2016 and 2026. This is much higher than the 7% national average for all occupations. Advances in technology have made collecting data quicker and easier; it is expected that clinical data analysts will be need to make improvements in providing quality care. A clinical data analyst can progress to become a clinical data manager and also earn a higher median annual salary of $75,692 as reported by PayScale for the year 2019.

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