Information & Communication Technology
Data analysts collect and analyse numerical information and present results, to help companies make better business decisions.
What does a Data Analyst do?
Data analysts collect and analyse numerical information and present results. All companies collect data (now often referred to as 'big data'), and a data analyst's job is to take that data and use it to help companies make better business decisions or enhance customer services.
As a data analyst, you might:
- code and re-code data or big data to identify patterns
- conduct data analyses using statistical or other software programs
- formulate presentations, reports and recommendations
- present documents in an accessible and unambiguous way.
Data analysts work in a wide range of industries and businesses. You might work in:
- the corporate business arena, analysing sales trends or customer behaviours
- the insurance and actuarial sectors, determining liability and trends
- opinion poll analysis or analysing political polling data
- in industry, predicting demand for goods or services
- in government, universities or industry research bodies.
Key skills and interests
To become a data analyst, you would need:
- a high level of mathematical ability
- good IT skills
- the ability to analyse, and interpret data
- strong problem-solving skills
- excellent verbal and written presentation skills
- strong attention to detail, and a methodical and logical approach
- the ability to plan work and meet deadlines.
Working hours and conditions
As a data analyst you would generally work standard hours, and occasionally longer to meet project deadlines.
Your work would normally be office-based. You would use a computer and statistical software to collect, analyse and interpret data.
How to become an Data Analyst?
Entry Level Education
To become a data analyst, you will need to complete a bachelor's degree, usually in mathematics, statistics, engineering or economics. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English and mathematics would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.
Employment of data analysts is projected to grow more strongly than the average for all occupations.
The growth in ‘big data’ is leading to an increased focus in many businesses on analysis to apply innovative, relevant and advanced analytics techniques to support data-driven decision making.
This is particularly strong in customer centric businesses in industries such as financial services, retail, airlines, and information technology services. However, data analysis and data analytics is now ranging across the majority of industries, and opportunities should grow strongly.