Data Analyst

Introduction

As a Data Analyst, you will be responsible for collecting data, organising it in such a way that it can be used, and then presenting the results, in the form of useful information.

Also known as

  • Analyst
  • Customer Insight Analyst
  • Information Analyst
  • Reporting Analyst

Work Activities

Data very plays a crucial role in helping businesses and organisations to function effectively. As a Data Analyst, you will be responsible for collecting data, organising it in such a way that it can be used, and then presenting the results in the form of useful information

What form this information or data takes depends on the area you work in. Data Analysts are now being used in almost every walk of life, as organisations begin to realise the importance of the data that they gather, via IT systems and databases. You could be working in:

  • marketing
  • financial Systems
  • insurance
  • government organisations
  • employment agencies
  • law firms
  • the NHS
  • retail companies

In order to make use, and learn from this collected data, your duties could involve:

  • requests for particular data extracts
  • dealing with data quality issues - can it be used for the intended purpose?
  • generating reports from the database
  • monitoring database performance
  • producing statistical modelling (diagrams that help to explain the data results)
  • tracking and managing client activity
  • investigating customer data, revealing customer behaviour

Personal Qualities and Skills

As a Data Analyst, you will need to:

  • be good with mathematics
  • have great IT skills, including being familiar with databases and query languages
  • have good analytical skills
  • be good at solving problems
  • to be able to work to deadlines
  • pay attention to details and accuracy
  • have great teamworking skills
  • be willing to keep up to date with any changes in data protection laws and the latest database technologies
  • have excellent communication skills, and to be able to explain technical issues, to non-technical people

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £21,500 - £23,500
  • With experience: £25,500 - £31,000
  • Senior Data Analysts earn £34,500 - £39,000

Hours of work

Database Analysts usually work 35 hours from Monday to Friday, but might work some late evenings when deadlines require, or work out of hours if systems fail.

Where could I work?

Employers are in every sector of industry and commerce, including banks, building societies, insurance companies and others in the finance sector, and in public service (for example, local and central government departments).

Opportunities for Data Analysts occur in towns and cities throughout the UK. A significant number of vacancies for IT and telecoms professionals are in London and the South East of England.

This career could include working for an agency.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, on recruitment and employers' websites, and on Universal Jobmatch (www.gov.uk/jobsearch).

Social media websites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, are a great way to network, find vacancies and get in contact with possible employers. Make sure that your profile presents you in a professional manner that will appeal to potential employers.

Take a look at our General Information Article 'Finding Work Online'.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry Routes

Some employers require you to have a degree before you become a Data Analyst. Degrees in relevant subjects are available at many universities.

In order to get onto a degree course you will usually need at least two A levels. An A level in an IT based subject would be a great help.

A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article 'Internships', for more details.

Another option is to get onto a Higher Level or Degree Apprenticeship in a relevant area. Take a look at our information article 'Apprenticeships – How do I apply', for more details about applying for apprenticeship positions.

Training

If you would like some more training, then QA offer a BCS professional certificate in data analysis. This will help you have a better understanding of data analysis and the techniques used in the industry. By the end of the course, you would have learnt about:

  • the context of data and importance to the organisation
  • application of data analysis
  • data analysis and business analysis
  • the rationale for modelling data
  • grouping data through entities and classes
  • relationships/associations between data items
  • business rules governing data relationships
  • data navigation paths

Work Experience

If you have experience working in an IT environment using numbers and statistics, this would be really useful for this career.

Qualifications

To get onto an Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you’ll usually need five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, possibly including English and maths.

To get onto a Degree Apprenticeship, you will usually need at least 2 A levels.

For entry to a relevant degree course, the usual requirement is:

  • 2/3 A levels
  • GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in 2/3 other subjects
  • English and maths at GCSE

Alternatives to A levels include:

  • BTEC level 3 qualifications
  • the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

However, course requirements vary so check college/university websites very carefully.

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A-level.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Courses

If you don't have the qualifications needed to enter a degree course, you might be able to start one after completing an Access course, for example, Access to Science. You don't usually need any qualifications to enter an Access course, although you should check this with the course provider.

A foundation year before the start of a science degree is available at some universities and higher education colleges for students who don't have the science A levels usually needed for entry to the course.

Further Information

Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far

National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

Tel: 0800 015 0400

Email: nationalhelpdesk@findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk

Website: www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship

The Tech Partnership

Skills for business and information technology

Address: 1 Castle Lane, London SW1E 6DR

Tel: 020 7963 8920

Email: info@thetechpartnership.com

Website: www.thetechpartnership.com

BCS: The Chartered Institute for IT

Address: First Floor, Block D, North Star House, North Star Avenue, Swindon SN2 1FA

Tel: 0845 3004417

Email: custsupport@bcs.uk

Website: www.bcs.org

Big Ambition

Email: enquires@bigambitions.org.uk

Website: http://bigambitions.org.uk/

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

Tech Partnership

Email: info@thetechpartnership.com

Website: www.thetechpartnership.com/

People Exchange Cymru (PEC)

Public sector recruitment portal for Wales

Email: peopleexchangecymru@gov.wales

Website: www.peopleexchangecymru.org.uk/home

QA Training

Tel: 0330 029 3887

Email: info@qa.com

Website: www.qa.com

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