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What are the Different Data Analyst Jobs?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2016
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There are four different data analyst jobs: consultancy, working for a large company, teaching, and research. A data analyst works with complex software to look for patterns, trends, and create reports. Using the transactional data collected by the company or institution, the analysis can create different data models, what-if scenarios, forecasts, projections, and regression analysis. All this work is used to support decision-making by the institute or client. Data analyst jobs are not restricted to the financial sector, but are available across almost all industries and sectors.

In order to qualify for data analyst jobs, you will need a minimum bachelor's degree or three-year diploma. These degrees can be in mathematics, data management, information processing, or a related field of study. The higher the academic qualifications, the more opportunities become available.

A growing trend away from direct employment to independent contractor arrangements has resulted in the growth of data analysis consultants. These consultants are on limited-term contracts with a specific client. The contract may involve the creation of a data model or to provide advice and expertise on interpreting data analysis reports.

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The most common source of data analyst jobs is large companies and institutions. There are a wide range of industries that use data analysts. The introduction of powerful computers and enterprise-wide systems has made this transition possible. Companies now have huge sets of data on the transactions of their clients and can perform analysis to learn how to improve service and profitability. The company provides all the tools and resources necessary, which may include complex software products and tools.

Data analysis jobs can be found in teaching at the local community or career colleges. Course subjects may include simple statistics, basic data modeling, using specific analysis software, or explaining the concepts behind the model. In order to become an effective instructor, many people complete a certificate program in adult education. Learning the most effective way to teach adults can be a huge help when making this career transition.

Research into patterns, trends and related issues is a huge area of exploration in data analysis. This type of position typically requires a graduate level university education in statistics, data management, or a related field. Additional experience in private practice or industry is extremely helpful, as it provides context to the data and a point of connection with the client.

People who report the greatest satisfaction in data analyst jobs enjoy problem solving and working independently. There is typically very little interpersonal communication in this type of job. Working with numbers, software programs, and other analysts is the most common work environment.

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