A quality analyst helps ensure that an organization’s products or services meet its quality standards. The analyst may work in industries such as software development, manufacturing, or customer service. Although the specifics of a job description for this position will differ depending on the industry and organization, many duties of the position are conceptually similar. This position frequently requires higher education, strong analytic skills, and attention to detail.
Quality analysts may play key roles in establishing their organizations’ quality standards. They often use industry benchmarks and experience to recommend quality-related practices that can be used throughout the organization. Quality improvement initiatives often take advantage of the analysts’ expertise to ensure programs are successful.
Usually, quality analyst jobs focus on developing plans to ensure quality requirements are met. In manufacturing, this may involve determining the number of samples to take per lot, type of tests to be performed, and at which points in the process sampling and testing should occur. In software development, the analyst will likely develop plans and write test cases to ensure computer applications meet their requirements. Those who work in customer service organizations may establish plans to audit and survey a sample of customer service transactions.
A quality analyst frequently reviews product or service specifications as a part of her role. She can use her expertise to suggest improvements in the specifications, which will lead to improvements in the final product or service. Correcting quality issues in the specification phase reduces the organizations’ costs.
Analyzing and reporting testing results is another essential task for quality analysts. They often gather extensive statistics and use techniques such as root cause analysis to find the sources of defects. The analyst may make suggestions for improving products and processes to reduce or eliminate defects based on the findings.
People employed in these jobs are often highly educated. Employers typically request an undergraduate degree in a related field. Someone who would like to work as a software development quality analyst will benefit from computer science classes. Chemistry or engineering classes may benefit someone who wants to work in manufacturing. A strong mathematics and statistics background will be useful for any quality analyst.
Quality analysts are usually detail-oriented and analytical. They must be persistent and willing to work through difficult issues. Learning quickly will be useful in this profession, as is the ability to communicate orally and in writing to people with varying backgrounds.