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Katherine Nguyen

Salt Lake Community College

Business 1010

Don Gren

Assessing a Career in Business: DATA ANALYST

Abstract

The profession of being a Data Analyst is a relatively new role within the mix of all the careers;

however, I believe that it has been an aspect within certain roles of other job titles. It has now

been separated from the generalized responsibilities and individualized as its own job. I will be

reviewing what the job entails, the responsibilities, why the job is important and the future within

the Data Analytics industry. The sources where I draw my information will primarily be from

online resources and a Data Analyst from Brainstorm Inc. A company in Utah that produces

software as a service for other businesses.

Data Analyst

With the future moving in the direction of innovation, advancing technology, cloud

storage and so much more, the profession of Data Analysis has been introduced into the field of

careers. The role of this career is essentially the analysis and solutions relating to data, types of

data, and relationships among data elements within a various systems. (“The Data Analyst Role”,
n.d.). Those who usually fit into the role are characterized creative and curious. Some of the

qualifications that employers look for in Data Analysts are, programming, analytical

problem-solving, data mining, effective communication, data cleaning, industry knowledge, data

visualization, and reporting techniques (​“The Life of a Data Analyst, n.d.)​. The title of Data

Analyst may encompass many of responsibilities because it can be referenced in such a broad

perspective. For large or small corporations, companies, businesses, organizations, etc. the

amount of research or analyzing becomes very expansive. The data that could be looked at may

either fit under quantitative or qualitative circumstances. Therefore, the information that would

need to be processed becomes very excessive and complex. There is also the acknowledgement

in the different types of systems such as a business systems versus IT systems in regards to the

methods of analyzing the information.

We come across massive amounts of data daily. It is more prevalent when where you

work or the purpose of your company is to gather data. Data is also another vast term that would

need further qualifications. Nonetheless, within a tech industry, data is enveloping you,

quantitatively or qualitatively. With this being, there is usually a team that is created in order to

cover the different types of data flowing through an organization or company. Their

responsibilities can necessitate:

● Mining data from primary and secondary sources

● Cleaning and pruning data to discard irrelevant information

● Analyze and interpret results using standard statistical tools and techniques

● Pinpoint trends, correlations and patterns in complicated data sets

● Identify new opportunities for process improvement


● Provide concise data reports clear data visualizations for management

● Design, create and maintain relational databases and data systems,

● Triage code problems and data-related issues (“The Life of a Data Analyst, n.d.).

There are many other responsibilities that align with a data analyst role, however, those

were the main points quantitatively. Data that is represented either in a verbal or narrative format

is qualitative data (Migrant & Seasonal Head Start Technical Assistance Center, 2006).When we

look at companies who have a large following rate or presence on social media, the same

responsibilities apply. These types of data are collected through focus groups, interviews, opened

ended questionnaire items, and other less structured situations. The difference between the two is

that the qualitative Data Analysts usually hold the responsibilities to predict what the public is

wanting, what is the change in demand, what the future trends will be, etc. This allows for

departments to work together, the Marketing and Data Analytics team would work closely

together in order to establish a more stabilized product or service for the future.

Analyzing data has become a very large and important aspect in the successes of a

business. Society today could say that many departments within a company analyze bits of data

for their own benefit without the title of Data Analysis. Yet, Data Analysts themselves, analyze

much more than what specifically applies to one division of the company. For example, the Data

Analyst at BrainstormInc. collects data from all departments in order to configure graphs that

allowed a mapped out diagram of a sales process. It was discovered that there were several issues

within the system that affected the statistics of what the process of sales rates were realistically

versus the statistics that were being reported. It is in the opinion of the Analyst that, “It is
important to establish these roles in order to understand, configure, assess and articulate the

companies software and our processes so that we are able to fix and change the small problems

that are current before they get out of hand in the future.” (Rhea, July 23, 2018). Thus, Data

Analysts are the people who are overlooking the company’s fundamentals, externally and

internally throughout all departments and software products in order to construct more efficient

and effective ways to continue to do business.

There is, and has been, a great deal of potential in the new career of Data Analytics and it

continues to become a growing industry. Nonetheless, it is shifting towards Big Data Analytics

as well as Artificial Intelligence (AI). ​More and more data will be used to drive key business

decisions, and will enable innovations like “Deep Learning” that allow for accurate predictions

and decision making. Further, modern applications have brought to the forefront of new

statistical paradigms such as recommendation systems that are key enablers for many of the

modern businesses being media portals, e-commerce portals, or social interaction platforms

(​Devavrat Shah, September 26, 2016).

There are many requirements to become a Data Analyst. It is a job that is designed for

those who are interested as well as curious in numbers and learning the crucial parts in which

they play within an organization. Being creative is a large asset when it comes to organizing the

information taken away from the data to be presented to others with the goal of being easily

understood by others. The skills required to understand the technology and having the ability to

modify the software is essential as well. Entering the career field of Data Analytics can be a

lucrative career choice, however, it depends who you are working for. The salary range is

anywhere from $54,000 to $120,000 a year. The certification needed for this profession is
limited in where there are good programs to enroll in since the field is significantly new. Yet,

those who either have a financial, marketing, engineering, or software background are usually

suited for this discipline. There are many responsibilities that encompass the job’s title, however,

as the career field is heading for its peak and is full of opportunity.
References

(1) “How to Become a Data Analyst | Data Analyst Salary.” ​Master's in Data Science​,
www.mastersindatascience.org/careers/data-analyst/​.

(2) ​Intro to Data Analysis Handbook​. files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED536788.pdf.

(3) Business Analyst Community & Resources | Modern Analyst. “The Data Analyst Role.”
What Is a Context Diagram and What Are the Benefits of Creating One? > Business
Analyst Community & Resources | Modern Analyst​,
www.modernanalyst.com/TheProfession/Roles/DataAnalyst/tabid/189/Default.aspx.

(4) Goulart, Justine. “The Future of Data Science: Q&A with MIT Professional Education's
Devavrat Shah.” ​EdX Blog​, 23 Aug. 2017,
blog.edx.org/future-data-science-qa-mit-professional-educations-devavrat-shah.

(5) Rhea Jefferson, personal communication, July 23, 2017