Data Analyst

  • September 12, 2019

Oh My Job is a web series that helps you learn about specific roles from the people who carry them out every day. In this episode, Fatimata, a Data Analyst, shares her professional insights and talks about daily life working at Kapten.

The role of a Data Analyst is to collect and interpret data from the company’s business activities so that it can be given to the various teams.

Responsibilities

The primary responsibility of a Data Analyst is to examine data using mathematical and statistical tools, as well as various computer languages. These tools are generally designed by data scientists, which is what differentiates the two professional fields. Furthermore, analysts are tasked with interpreting the data and identifying strategic trends or research findings for the business teams. For example, this might involve optimizing the marketing activities or sales performance of a product, website, or application. 

“Today at Kapten, when we send out a promo code, we aim to find out which people, of everyone who entered this code, actually used it to book a ride, so that we can ultimately determine if the marketing campaign was good or bad.”

Career path

There are more ways than one to become a Data Analyst. You can come from an engineering school, a business school, or even a university with a focus on mathematics. One thing is sure: you will need a solid foundation in mathematics, statistics and computer science. 

“I got a degree from engineering school, with a specialization in applied mathematics. Then I began my career as a Data Consultant at a large consulting firm before joining Kapten as a Data Analyst a little over a year ago now.”

Skills

  • Data Analysts need to have an analytical mind and an aptitude for synthesizing information. To understand the complexity of data, analysts must strive to fully understand their findings and have critical thinking skills so they can reflect on their work. 
  • They also need to be meticulous and organized: making a recommendation that is based on a miscalculation can have dire consequences for the company. 

“One of the things you’ll want to do, especially when you’re at the start of your career, is to do things quickly. Every bit of data that comes back or gets sent out has an impact on decision-making. I recommend not rushing things, taking the time to analyze your results carefully before communicating them, and, most importantly, communicating them well to ensure the right message gets through in the end.”

  • Taking on the role of a teacher, Data Analysts must be outstanding communicators and be able to convey the right message presenting their analyses. They should also be capable of adapting to every audience, from beginners to the most seasoned. 
  • Finally, they must master a range of technical tools, with a focus on data analysis tools. 

“A Data Analyst first works with a reporting tool. At Kapten, we use Tableau, but you can also use QlikView, or BusinessObjects - it just really depends on the organization. You also need a tool to access databases, and, once again, that will totally depend on the structure of your company. You might be using GCP, or Google Cloud Platform, or even SQL query tools such as PostgreSQL.” 

Collaborative relationships

Data Analysts work with almost every team in the company, starting with developers who model the data and data engineers who make it easier for them to access the data. They work closely with all of the other teams in the company as well, such as marketing, finance, sales, and management.

Salary

In the United States, the average annual salary is $68k.

Career progression

If they are proficient at using the technical tools and building algorithms, Data Analysts can, after several years of experience, go on to become Data Scientists or Data Engineers. People who are interested in management might consider roles such as Lead Data Analyst, Chief Data Officer, Data Security Manager, or Master Data Manager.

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