How Do I Become a Health Data Analyst?

What do you need to become a health data analyst? Continue reading to learn more about the degree requirements, possible certifications, potential salary, and other important information. Schools offering Computer Support Technician degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information at a Glance

Health data analysts store, evaluate, and interpret healthcare data that is used to help improve quality of care. They provide analytical and management support to physicians, researchers, and decision-makers. See below for more information about this career.

Recommended Degree Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Health information management, data science, health informatics
Key Skills Mathematical, strong analytical and computer skills, communication, independence, attention to detail
Certification Available from AHIMA, but not required
Job Growth (2016-2026) 13% (medical records and health information technicians)*
Median Salary (2019) $61,224**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; **Payscale.com

What Does A Health Data Analyst Do?

A health data analyst is responsible for organizing, analyzing, and interpreting large amounts of medical data. The results are used by professionals to develop better strategies for healthcare delivery. Analysts obtain data from a variety of sources, including insurance claims, patient records, clinical trials, and billing information. They create reports to better understand ways to improve health outcomes, patient satisfaction, and help lower the costs of care.

Do You Need a Degree?

Most health data analyst positions require at least a bachelor's degree in a field related to data science. Typical majors include health information management, health informatics, biostatistics, and mathematics. The degree programs include courses in database management, statistical methods, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and healthcare administration.

What Other Skills Do You Need?

Health care analysts must have an understanding of how to collect, store, and share healthcare data. They must possess knowledge about the different statistical methods used to analyze data and the ability to interpret the results to a wider audience. Analysts must have strong computer skills and the ability to use programming languages such as Python and SQL. Since jobs can involve electronic patient records, health data analysts need to understand how to protect sensitive data.

Do You Need a Certification?

A certification is not required to become a health data analyst. The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) has an optional certification for analysts who meet certain requirements, such as a bachelor's degree and three years of experience. Applicants must pass the exam to receive the Certified Health Data Analyst (CHDA) designation. While this is optional, the certification can help advance a health data analyst's career by demonstrating to employers that they achieved a certain level of knowledge and experience.

Where Can You Work?

Health data analysts work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, health clinics, insurance companies and universities. Analysts are needed at both the federal and state governmental level, such as the National Institutes for Health (NIH) and state departments of public health. These jobs are also found at electronic health record companies and healthcare consulting businesses. Most health data analyst jobs are full-time positions.

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