What does a Risk Analyst do?

Margo Upson
Margo Upson

A risk analyst, also known as a risk manager, is responsible for evaluating and reducing potential risks to the financial well being of a company or other organization. Analysts are responsible for protecting a company from any potential harmful situations. Risk analysis is a career requiring a lot of specialized training and the ability to review and understand vast amounts of data in a short amount of time. Analysts may work in many sectors of the economy, including private banking, sales, and trading.

NASA employed risk analysists to assess the dangers involved in space shuttle launches.
NASA employed risk analysists to assess the dangers involved in space shuttle launches.

Risk analysts typically work in one of four specialties. An operational risk analyst studies companies to watch for any large-scale issues that may have an impact on the overall company, such as employee fraud. Credit risk analysts determine the probability of a company's clients not paying for the services and products provided, and how that might affect the company. Market risk analysts help a company avoid outside influences that may have a negative affect on the company, such as changes in the competition. Regulatory risk analysts follow any changes in legislature that may affect the company.

A risk analyst may calculate the probability of something going wrong for a commercial airline.
A risk analyst may calculate the probability of something going wrong for a commercial airline.

The daily tasks of a risk analyst differ depending on the analyst's specialty. Several of the daily tasks, however, are similar through all the specialties. A risk analyst studies data and then predicts future trends that may affect a company or organization, and then also determines how the company can minimize those changes that may be negative. Protecting the company's assets and public image may be another part of the job. This may include looking over legal papers, managing resources, and performing examinations of the company's current financial status.

Not every risk analyst works with finances. Probabilistic risk assessment analysts are responsible for understanding the risks involved in things like airplanes, space shuttle launches, and nuclear power plants. There are three areas that analysts will study. The first is what could go wrong. The second is how badly things could go wrong, and the third is the probability of those negative events happening.

Risk analysts work with statistics and advanced mathematical formulas to give companies an accurate idea of their financial outlook with as much detail as possible. Companies need to know the potential benefits and risks involved in any move that may affect their finances, and risk analysts can provide that information. Working with numbers and probabilities, risk analysts give companies an accurate look at what the possibilities for their business are.

A risk analyst, also known as a risk manager, identifies risk or risk behaviors through the help of actuarial tables and other helpful information.
A risk analyst, also known as a risk manager, identifies risk or risk behaviors through the help of actuarial tables and other helpful information.
Margo Upson
Margo Upson

Margo has a varied academic background, which has involved everything from psychology and culinary arts to criminal justice and education. These wide-ranging interests make her an ideal wiseGEEK writer, as she always enjoys becoming an expert on new and unfamiliar topics.

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Discussion Comments

anon353530

Great article- I just wanted to ask a question. Does a risk analyst have to have an MBA? I want more insight on risk management.

comfyshoes

Sunny27- For entry level positions a four year degree with a concentration in economics, finance and statistics is all that is required. For more advanced positions an MBA is a must.

Sunny27

Great article- I just wanted to ask a question. Does a risk analyst have to have an MBA?

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