This guide is all about data analytics jobs, including salary information for common data analytics job titles.
Business decisions are rarely made before all possible information has been gathered, evaluated, and discussed. This is true for all businesses: large or small, private or public. Corporate leaders must have all the details, possibilities, predictions, and statistics they need to know before making a strategic decision.
This is where data analytics comes in. The role of a data analyst includes researching data found in written texts, databases, and other sources that could impact specific areas of a business. Once they have exhausted this research, data analysts might build statistical models, study data patterns and trends, and create databases as they prepare to present their findings to corporate executives, stakeholders, and other decision-makers.
Data analysts might research data to help companies make financial decisions regarding investment options, decide on healthcare system upgrades to ensure improved patient safety and privacy, or choose the best target market when introducing a new product. In short, with technology providing a wealth of data like never before, companies are trending toward using this resource to record patterns, make predictions, and evaluate systems that will ultimately lead to improved operations, higher sales, increased customer service, and more substantial competitiveness.
Some examples of specific data analyst roles and their responsibilities are:
- Healthcare data analyst: analyzes data regarding electronic records keeping systems, new medical device production, and patient services improvement for hospitals, group medical practices, clinics, medical manufacturing companies, pharmaceutical companies, or managed care companies.
- Operations data analyst: collects and evaluates data to use analyzed results to solve problems or avoid potential issues in such areas as production, distribution, and manufacturing.
- Business data analyst: similar to a data operations analyst, a business analyst analyzes various practices and processes and uses data modeling to create and implement solutions in such areas as hiring, reporting, and project development.
- Marketing data analyst: also called market research analyst; in this role, data analysts use the results of analyzed data to help companies establish target demographics, research markets, and expand customer bases.
- Computer systems data analyst: working mainly in corporate IT departments and IT consulting firms, these data analysts use data to increase the performance of existing systems, design new computer systems and implement upgrades.
- Intelligence data analyst: with a focus on cybersecurity, intelligence analysts gather and analyze data on security threats to help government agencies and businesses prevent attacks.
Data Analyst Job Trends
This field has grown exponentially. LinkedIn co-founder Allen Blue stated in a March 2019 article by the University of Pennsylvania–Wharton that the field has had “massive growth” over the last three years. The World Economic Forum describes data analyst as a top in-demand job category in the 2020s.
In June 2021, Forbes reported that data analytics professions are “exploding,” driven by improving data technologies such as device connectivity and more sophisticated business operations. The article reveals that, according to the BLS, the field of data analytics is expected to grow 28 percent over the next five years.
The field of data analytics, according to several sources, is expected to see various trends in 2021 and beyond. These include an increase in the collection and use of external rather than internal data; increasing responsibilities for data analysts to create decision models and focus on decision intelligence; and faster data collection and analysis processes through automation.
Other notable trends in the field of data analytics include the growing impact of artificial intelligence, an increase in data exchange between departments and companies, the use of embedded analytics for stronger data integration, and the move away from “piecemeal” analytics and a drive toward data analytics tools that analyze data across many areas.
Customer demand has been cited as another reason for the boom in data analytics. Data-driven customer satisfaction, through which companies can track and measure such information as customer feedback and behavioral patterns, leads to improved customer experiences. More satisfied customers, of course, results in improved sales or increased use of services. To that end, a specific job title within data analytics is that of a customer experience data analyst, who uses questionnaires and surveys and monitors social media and other forums to collect data about customer experiences, behaviors, and habits, and analyze this data as a way to create improved systems leading to better customer relationships.
Data Analytics Education Requirements
Data analytics has become a growing area of study in many colleges and universities. To enter this field, you would need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or management information systems; however, many schools offer four-year degrees specifically in data analytics. You could pursue a bachelor of science in data analytics or a bachelor of science in business analytics.
A data analytics master’s degree is typically suggested for candidates to move beyond entry-level and into more advanced managerial and high-paying positions. As reported by the Institute for Advanced Analytics at North Carolina State University, there are nearly 250 graduate-level programs in data analytics at post-secondary institutions across the United States. Examples of graduate degrees include the Master of Science in Data Analytics, Master of Science in Applied Data Analytics, or Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Data Analytics. Aspiring data analysts could also earn a Master of Science in Business Informatics.
Data Analytics Jobs
Data analyst jobs are available across many industries and even within specific departments or areas within those industries. Data analysts work in education, healthcare, manufacturing, government, and insurance. These analysts could perform their work in marketing, information systems, finance, and business operations, among other areas.
According to recent statistics, data analysts are most heavily employed in the technology industry (46 percent). The breakdown for other industries regarding data analyst employment is as follows:
- Marketing: 12 percent
- Finance: 10 percent
- Consulting: 8 percent
- Corporate services: 8 percent
- Healthcare: 5 percent
The top industries hiring data analysts in 2021 are business intelligence, finance, economy sharing services, healthcare, and entertainment. Examples of economy-sharing services would be eBay and Uber. In contrast, digital streaming services like Netflix are an example of a large entertainment business that would use data analysis to help them in many areas, such as recommending movies for subscribers and predicting the popularity of pre-aired content.
In many cases, data analyst jobs fall within junior, mid-level, and senior levels. At the junior level, data analysts mainly do a lot of the “legwork,” i.e., collecting data, identifying patterns, and creating PowerPoint or other types of presentations. Mid-level responsibilities for data analysts might include overseeing analytics projects and statistical research processes, managing a company’s data platform, and leading teams to find business solutions. Finally, senior data analysts analyze and implement data analysis programs, design and evaluate data analysis tools, recruit and train data analysts, and approve all data analytics models, projects, and systems.
Data analysts can pursue several professional certifications within this field. Some popular ones include Certified Analytics Professional (CAP), Microsoft Certified Data Analyst Associate, and Open Certified Data Scientist (Open CDS). Certification is meant to reflect the level and validation of competency that employers might look for. Since obtaining a professional credential reflects one’s advanced knowledge and skills within a specific area of data analysis, possessing such certification could help increase one’s salary, though how much so could vary from organization to organization and from certification to certification.
Career Outlook and Salary
Recent statistics regarding the job outlook for data analysts are encouraging. For instance, 82 percent of US organizations already have or are planning to have positions in data analytics, 72 percent have hired employees in data analytics over the past year, and nearly 60 percent expect to increase data analytics jobs in the next five years.
As discussed, there are several job titles or specialist areas within data analytics. These would include business analysts, operations analysts, financial analysts, marketing analysts, systems analysts, and healthcare analysts. An analyst would collect and evaluate data on a very specific area in each case.
Each of these titles witnesses varying trends in such areas as growth rates, salary, and projected job availability. Below you will find the most updated information regarding the projected job growth rate between 2020 – 2030 for specific job analyst career titles, as provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a tool of the United States Department of Labor:
- Operations research analyst: 25 percent
- Market research analyst: 22 percent
- Computer systems analyst: 7 percent
- Management analyst: 14 percent
- Financial analyst: 6 percent
Growth is invariably linked to increased technologies such as improved analytics software and expanded use of computer systems. Some specific industry-related job growth factors include a growing aging population and higher implementation of electronic health records and information leading to more job demand for analysts in healthcare; emerging investment markets and opportunities for increased data analytics jobs in finance; and more businesses looking for consulting firms to ensure greater efficiency impacting the growth of management analysts.
Pay for data analysts at any level is competitive, with salaries ranging from $83,750 to $142,500. The salary for entry-level data analysts is $55,362 and for mid-level analysts $68,087, reports Payscale.com. Senior data analysts can realize an average annual salary of more than $82,000.
Median yearly salaries range from $65,810 for market research analysts to $93,730 for computer systems analysts. Other reported median annual salaries published by the BLS are operations research analyst, $86,200; management analyst, $87,660; and financial analyst, $83,660.
Data consulting is another area of data analytics. Data consultants can work across many areas and industries and thus command a higher salary. In a consulting role, wherein data analysts evaluate data research, mining, and warehousing systems and make recommendations about technology and staff training, average pay can be more than $84,000 per year.
Geography can also play a role in data analyst earnings. For instance, a data analyst in Washington, DC, earns $80,144/year, while one employed in Austin, TX, is paid $65,170/year.
Following Washington, DC, the highest-paying cities for data analysts are:
- Charlotte, NC: $78,268
- New York, NY: $76,574
- Atlanta, GA: $70,553
- Dallas, TX: $70,495
- Chicago, IL: $67,994
Where to Look for Data Analytics Jobs
For the most part, data analytics jobs can be found listed on nearly any job site, such as Indeed.com, ZipRecruiter, or SimplyHired. Recruiters are also a viable path for finding positions in data analytics. Specialized recruiters, such as IT recruiters, are effective when seeking jobs in data analytics.
Some job sites are explicitly designed for those seeking employment in data analytics and similar areas. These sites include BigDataJobs.com, DataJobs, and ai-jobs.net. Some of these sites could list job vacancies both in and outside the United States. Another site, icrunchdata, has a dedicated Data Analyst Job Board.
Job postings specific to data analytics are also listed on the websites of relevant professional associations, such as the Big Data and Analytics Association, Digital Analytics Association, and The Association of Data Scientists. Available jobs can be searched by location. Openings for data analysts could also be found on the websites of many companies. If you’re interested in working for a specific company, go to their site and search under “Job Openings” or “Career Opportunities” to see if any positions in data analytics are available.
Since many companies utilize data analysis within their operations, an approach to searching for these types of jobs near you is relatively easy: make a list of the large companies within, say, five or ten miles of your home that you would like to work for. Reach out to them and inquire whether they employ data analysts and, if so, whether they have any vacancies for these roles. Data analysts rely mainly on databases and the Internet, which can easily be accessed from any computer; thus, these positions lend themselves well to working remotely. Open data analyst jobs listed by ZipRecruiter and SimplyHired, for instance, show many remote positions available. Remotive has a link to Remote Jobs; once you’ve clicked on that, use the “all remote jobs categories” to access job openings in the “data” category.