What is a Data Analyst?

What is a data analyst?

You probably already realized that you analyze data in this position. But what exactly is a data analyst? As a data analyst you convert loose data into usable information. This means that you view and interpret individual data. You look for connections, draw conclusions and collect the information in a report. You submit such a report to the company's management. They then use your information to improve business processes.

You've probably also heard of other analysts, such as business analysts, web analysts and information analysts. But what exactly is the difference with a data analyst? Simple, a data analyst works from data. Business analysts and information analysts mainly look at the needs of the company itself, and the web analyst? They are often concerned with data, but purely look at websites. As a data analyst you can also analyze other types of data.

A position that is close to the data analyst is the data scientist. It also analyzes data. The main difference with this position is that as a data analyst you look at historical, hard data. A data scientist makes predictions, also based on less reliable data.

You now know that a data analyst analyzes loose data, interprets it and converts it into information. But that still sounds quite vague. So what exactly does a data analyst do? Just a concrete example. Suppose you are analyzing policy applications for health insurance. You carefully look at the number of applications and interpret what the data means. You look for connections and draw conclusions. How many policyholders have requested their policy in the past year? Are there any changes compared to the year before? Do you see peaks or valleys in numbers in certain months? By asking these questions you turn loose data into useful information. You collect the conclusions you draw in a report and submit it to management.

As a data analyst you can work with all kinds of data, such as sales figures, visitor numbers and crime figures. The type of data you work with depends on your interests and experience. One type of data is more difficult to analyze than the other. This means that the work of one data analyst is sometimes more complicated and extensive than that of another.

Duties of a data analyst

- Requesting and studying data.
- Comparing and interpreting data.
- Looking for connections between data.
- Draw conclusions about different data.
- Collecting information in an analysis report.
- Inform management and other teams.