What is a Data Analyst

The work of a Data Analyst is key for a business or organization to determine viable operational strategies and potential risks. The main responsibility of a data analyst is gathering and interpreting data with advanced computer technologies, analyzing the quality and meaning of the data results in information that highlights important patterns and trends in the activities of the organization.

Data analysts present these reports to management and, without these results, stakeholders are unable to make informed decisions. Data analysts are employed by a number of different institutions such as banks, universities, factories, software development companies, and many more.

You need to have excellent problem-solving skills and a keen mathematical mind to be a successful data analyst. You need to know various programming languages, and you must display a logical approach. You will work under pressure for tight deadlines with a team of like-minded individuals, so an ability to prioritize tasks and a willingness to work with a team is also crucial.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a Data Analyst. For example, did you know that they make an average of $35.8 an hour? That's $74,467 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 14% and produce 118,300 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Data Analyst Do

There are certain skills that many Data Analysts have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed Interpersonal skills, Time-management skills and Problem-solving skills.

Learn more about what a Data Analyst does

How To Become a Data Analyst

If you're interested in becoming a Data Analyst, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 65.2% of Data Analysts have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 15.3% of Data Analysts have master's degrees. Even though most Data Analysts have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a Data Analyst. When we researched the most common majors for a Data Analyst, we found that they most commonly earn Bachelor's Degree degrees or Master's Degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Data Analyst resumes include Associate Degree degrees or High School Diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a Data Analyst. In fact, many Data Analyst jobs require experience in a role such as Internship. Meanwhile, many Data Analysts also have previous career experience in roles such as Administrative Assistant or Customer Service Representative.

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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Google Jobs (172)
  2. AT&T Jobs (229)
  3. Uber Technologies Jobs (177)
  4. Cisco Systems Jobs (203)
  5. Apple Jobs (198)
Average Salary
$74,467
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
14%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
189,820
Job Openings
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Average Salary for a Data Analyst

Data Analysts in America make an average salary of $74,467 per year or $36 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $100,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $55,000 per year.
Average Salary
$74,467
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12 Data Analyst Resume Examples

Learn How To Write a Data Analyst Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Data Analyst resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Data Analyst Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Google Jobs (172)
  2. AT&T Jobs (229)
  3. Uber Technologies Jobs (177)
  4. Cisco Systems Jobs (203)
  5. Apple Jobs (198)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Data Analyst Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Data Analyst templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Data Analyst resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Data Analyst Resume
Data Analyst Resume
Data Analyst Resume
Data Analyst Resume
Data Analyst Resume
Data Analyst Resume
Data Analyst Resume
Data Analyst Resume
Data Analyst Resume
Data Analyst Resume
Data Analyst Resume
Data Analyst Resume
Data Analyst Resume
Data Analyst Resume
Data Analyst Resume
Data Analyst Resume

Data Analyst Demographics

Data Analyst Gender Statistics

male

50.2 %

female

49.8 %

Data Analyst Ethnicity Statistics

White

68.2 %

Asian

14.1 %

Hispanic or Latino

8.0 %

Data Analyst Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

38.7 %

French

11.3 %

Chinese

10.0 %
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Data Analyst Education

Data Analyst Majors

23.9 %
6.3 %

Data Analyst Degrees

Bachelors

65.2 %

Masters

15.3 %

Associate

11.9 %

Top Colleges for Data Analysts

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

3. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

4. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

5. George Washington University, The

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,230
Enrollment
12,161

6. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

7. Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$52,930
Enrollment
5,030

8. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

9. University of Georgia

Athens, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,830
Enrollment
29,474

10. Ball State University

Muncie, IN • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,896
Enrollment
15,529
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Online Courses For Data Analyst That You May Like

Data Warehouse ETL Testing & Data Quality Management A-Z
udemy
4.2
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ETL Testing and Data Quality Management for beginners with practical exercises and certificate of completion...

Practical SQL Bootcamp for Data Analysts and Data Scientists
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Master One of the Most In-Demand Skills for Data Analysts in 2020!...

Data Warehouse Developer-SQL Server/ETL/SSIS/SSAS/SSRS/T-SQL
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Develop and Implement a Data Warehouse Solution Step by step...

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Top Skills For a Data Analyst

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 14.9% of Data Analysts listed Data Analysis on their resume, but soft skills such as Interpersonal skills and Time-management skills are important as well.

Best States For a Data Analyst

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Data Analyst. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maryland. Data Analysts make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $87,523. Whereas in Connecticut and Massachusetts, they would average $85,574 and $85,437, respectively. While Data Analysts would only make an average of $83,147 in Maryland, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Connecticut

Total Data Analyst Jobs:
821
Highest 10% Earn:
$112,000
Location Quotient:
1.34
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New Jersey

Total Data Analyst Jobs:
1,729
Highest 10% Earn:
$115,000
Location Quotient:
1.18
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. District of Columbia

Total Data Analyst Jobs:
939
Highest 10% Earn:
$113,000
Location Quotient:
3.02
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Data Analysts

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Top Data Analyst Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ Data Analysts and discovered their number of Data Analyst opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Capgemini was the best, especially with an average salary of $83,987. Capital One follows up with an average salary of $84,362, and then comes Bloomberg with an average of $88,634. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a Data Analyst. The employers include General Motors, Cigna, and Humana

Most Common Employers For Data Analyst

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Data Analyst SalaryAverage Salary
1$124,265
2$108,558
3$98,978
4$97,499
5$96,457
6$92,230

Becoming a Data Analyst FAQs

How long does it take to become a Data Analyst?

It takes 4 years of professional experience to become a data analyst. That is the time it takes to learn specific data analyst skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education. If you include the normal education requirements to complete a college degree, then it takes 7 to 9 years years to become a data analyst.

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How do I start a career as a data analyst?

To start a career as a data analyst, you must first have at least a bachelor's degree in a quantitative field such as mathematics, statistics, or computer science. Some analysts may have a bachelor's in business with a focus or concentration in analytics. It is common for data analysts to get a master's degree in data analytics.

While undergoing schooling, it can be very beneficial to work from an internship since this will help you get more practical experience. Certifications can also help validate your skills to employers for a fraction of the cost of a degree.

The best way to learn how to find value in data is to work with it in real-world settings. Look for degree programs or courses that include hands-on projects using real data sets. You can also find a variety of free public data sets you can use to design your own projects.

As you play around with data sets on the internet or complete hands-on assignments in your classes, be sure to save your best work for your portfolio. A portfolio demonstrates your skills to hiring managers. A strong portfolio can go a long way toward getting the job.

Finally, create a professional resume highlighting your portfolio and include your educational experiences, certifications, and real-world experiences.

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How many years does it take to become a data analyst?

It takes between one and six years to become a data analyst. Through certifications and self-directed learning, you can become a data analyst in as little as 8 to 11 months. It can take up to 4 years with a bachelor's degree or 5 to 6 years with a master's.

The most common route to becoming a data analyst is earning a bachelor's degree in information technology, computer science, or statistics. A few data analysts have avoided the college route by taking Data Analyst certification courses.

Theoretically, someone could learn the bare minimum needed to be a data analyst in less than a year:

  • SQL (1 month of study)

  • Excel (1 month of study)

  • R or Python (2 to 3 months of study)

  • Data Visualisation (2 to 3 months of study)

  • Critical Thinking (1-month of study)

  • Presentations (1 to 2 months of study)

The next challenge would be competing for internships or entry-level positions with candidates who are more qualified than you.

For almost all data analysts, the first step is earning at least a bachelor's degree in math, statistics, computer science, or any other related field. By getting this degree, you will learn subjects like calculus, technology, big data, data collection, applied statistics, and different data analysis techniques.

It is usual for data analysts to get a master's degree in data analytics, which typically takes about two or more years. This will help you to get better job opportunities and will increase your abilities and knowledge. So, in total, this career path can take you from 4 to 6 years to complete.

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Is a data analyst a good job?

Yes, being a data analyst is a good job. Data analysts are in high demand, have competitive salaries, and work in various industries, including finance and insurance, professional, scientific, technical services, information technology, management, and manufacturing.

A data analyst is rated 3.8 out of 5 stars in job satisfaction. There is always a demand for data analysts. Think about this; we send an average of 188 million emails every minute. We watch 4.5 million YouTube videos and fire off 18.1 million text messages in the same timespan.

In fact, we produce over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day. With so much data, companies desperately need people to interpret this enormous, ever-growing mountain of potentially valuable user data.

Another perk of being a data analyst is that there is always room to grow and move forward into different sectors. For example, data analysts have many opportunities to move on to careers such as data science or data engineering.

Both data scientists and data engineers have a higher degree of specialization and typically earn more money. The average data analyst earns, on average, $70,033, compared to an average data scientist, who earns $113,000, or the average data engineer, who earns up to $138,000.

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Is it hard to become a data analyst?

No, it is not hard to become a data analyst. Everything you need to learn about how to be a data analyst you can learn online. Becoming a data analyst is not difficult if you are tech-savvy, skilled at statistics and numeracy, and have an understanding of business processes.

Some argue that education is often the most important thing on your resume when applying for a data analyst job. They say that Few people get hired without strong academic performances in math-related fields of study. Gaining an entry-level position as a data analyst can be difficult given the competitive nature of the field.

Ideal candidates usually are graduates from reputable universities with a strong grade point average and a high ranking in your class.

However, there is such a high demand for data analysts right now and in the anticipated future that it is easier to transition into the field without spending years of rigorous studying. There are a few steps you can take if you are interested in pursuing a career as a data analyst.

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What are the main qualifications for a data analyst?

The main qualifications for a data analyst are mathematical skills, programming languages like SQL, Oracle, and Python, data visualization, and problem-solving skills.

The role of a data analyst is to delve deep into data and seek out patterns and trends. It's not so much about crunching numbers but being a good detective who is piecing the story together and figuring out the meaning behind the data.

A data analyst is generally responsible for and needs to have skills in:

  • Collecting data from diverse sources and entering it into specially created databases

  • Applying software tools to automate data collection and its modification

  • Commissioning new data sets

  • Collaborating with database developers and data architects

  • Working with business executives and marketers

  • Using statistical techniques to organize, analyze and interpret the data

  • Looking for specific trends and patterns in the data

  • Checking for data issues and resolving them

  • Preparing informative reports based on the data

  • Presenting the reports to an internal audience and clients

Data analytics consultants apply the same data analysis skills; however, they advise several clients instead of working in-house for one company. They may evaluate an organization's data capabilities and technical systems, create new dashboards and reports, and suggest improvements to business processes.

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