If you’re testing out your data skills and have decided that you’re best suited for a data analyst role (perhaps our quiz can help), then you’ve come to the right place for a discussion of the data analyst job description. See what roles and requirements lie in the role, and see what a sample data analyst job description looks like and how it should be composed.
Still figuring out what being a data analyst is all about? Consider working through our data analyst learning path curriculum.. it’s free!
Data Analyst Roles & Responsibilities
A data analyst will often be called upon to turn numbers into insights. They’ll be responsible for processing large sets of data and connecting that with actions that can drive business impact. You’ll need to be able to explore data, process it, and think very deeply about how to communicate your findings to management.
You’ll have to know how to:
1- Collect data by using a scripting language such as SQL – raw data is often impossible to work with and you’ll need to use a script to adjust and organize it for better analysis – read more about data quality management.
2- Explore and analyze datasets with tools like Excel – once the data is organized you’re going to need a tool like Excel to help explore and analyze it.
3- Visualize data insights and communicate your findings to teams across the organization – few people enjoy looking at tables and sheets so data visualization is going to be a necessity for some roles.
What is an example of this data analyst job definition in action?
I once worked a data analyst position at a pharmaceutical company: the day-to-day involved working in Excel to filter and select sales by drug type. I’d visualize the insights and either present the findings to managers or send the slides up to my manager to present to the executive team. I always tried to find ways to automate processes and ways of treating data, and I spent a lot of time thinking about what the data represented and cleaning and processing it such that nobody could question the integrity of the data itself. In many ways, this is typical of the data analyst job experience across the board.
Sample Data Analyst Job Description 1
This data analyst job description comes from Airbnb. You can see how the first part of job details involves a standard description of the company and its priorities: it’s looking for ways to expand growth in China with an analyst who deeply understands the meaning behind datasets Airbnb might be collecting in China.
The traits Airbnb values for data analysts are fairly standard: business/domain knowledge that allow for the analyst to understand the context and meaning behind the data they are plotting. Strong analytical thinking and communication skills that accelerate the progress of data to actionable goals. Familiarity with both data querying languages and data visualization tools such as Tableau. The ability to create dashboards that upper management can consult at will that tell their own data stories.
You’ll want to master these skills and tools if you want to become a data analyst.
Sample Data Analyst Job Description 2
Here’s a data analyst position posted by Amazon. Similar to Airbnb’s data analyst job description, the initial portion of this listing gives a brief background on Amazon’s Fulfillment Technologies (AFT). You can already see that Amazon is outlining their need for a smooth-running operation and how a newly hired data analyst would fit into this efficient organization.
The traits that Amazon is looking for in a candidate is someone who is proactive, seeking out opportunities and able to deliver results. The ideal candidate would work well under pressure, as he or she will be working with large amounts of data in a fast-paced environment. On top of being passionate and constantly striving to question and improve processes, the ideal data analyst for this role must also be comfortable using SQL and Redshift, Python, R, or other statistics/machine learning packages.
Sample Data Analyst Job Description 3
This data analyst job is for Freshly, a weekly subscription service that ships fully prepped meals straight to your doorstep. This data analyst’s roles & responsibilies is a bit unique because they are asking for a leader in their data analysis department. This role requires forming partnerships with other departments in building out the data platforms and infrastructure as well as advocating and empowering others with the power of data.
Some of the hard skills they are asking for in this data analyst job description is SQL expertise, knowledge in R or Python, as well as great communication in which you are able to translate your “data speak” so that other departments can comprehend your goals and how to assist. At Freshly, they use Looker, but any other previous use and maintenance of a BI tool is required as well. For those who are looking to interact more with other departments and really have an impact in building platforms that are efficient throughout the company, this is definitely the type of job you should be looking for.
Sample Data Analyst Job Description 4
Here is another data analyst job description sample for Pepperdine University. This position’s requirements show that there is quite some diversity in what exactly hiring managers are looking for in a data analyst as well as what kinds of roles they can play within an organization. This data analyst role and responsibilities are more geared towards the business and marketing end, as this data analyst is serving as chief of data knowledge as well as financial performance and support to the Director of Enrollment Marketing.
SQL, Python or R, and other typical data analyst requirements are not mentioned here, as there is more emphasis on utilizing tools for making decisions based on marketing data such as Google Analytics, CRM, Excel, as well as reporting for stakeholders.
Technical skills to learn:
- Excel: Excel is consistently one of the most relied upon tool for Data Scientists because it’s familiar enough for beginners while being robust enough to handle data analysis – check out Deskbright for tons of free Excel resources
- SQL: SQL is considered to be one of the foundations of data analysis and is pretty much a requisite for most jobs as it allows you to analyze and display your data (+ much more) – start with Mode Analytics to learn SQL interactively.
- Tableau: Tableau is a great way to take your analysis to the next level with visualization – while not required for most entry level jobs, knowing it will help you stand out – start with the free training from Tableau.
Math skills to learn:
- Statistics & Probability: If you want to be able to make assertions about your data you’re going to need to know at least some basic statistics and probability – start with Khan Academy’s free resources.Math skills to learn
Communication skills to practice or learn:
- The book Resonate will help you create visuals with your data that will move people to impact.
PS: We have a Data Analytics for Business workshop that might be a good fit for you! You’ll learn Excel, SQL, and Tableau with an industry expert. Most importantly, you’ll hone the analytical mindset and business knowledge that will help you turn think sheets of data into actionable wins for your company.
Still figuring out what industry you’d want to work in? Check out some of these highest-paying industries for data analysts!