Data analyst job description

Posted at 29 January 2024

Among the IT jobs most in demand by companies, the data analyst is often mentioned.

Data analysts work in a multitude of sectors, such as finance, healthcare, e-commerce, technology and logistics, offering a diversity of professional opportunities.

What is a data analyst: definition

A data analyst is a professional who specializes in gathering, analyzing, and interpreting substantial volumes of data. The primary responsibility of these professionals is to assist companies in making well-informed decisions by providing insights based on concrete data. The broad range of tasks associated with this role makes it a favoured option as a career in IT.

The nature of the data processed depends entirely on the industry in which the data analyst operates. It can encompass:

  • Structured data, organized in tabular formats with columns and rows. Examples of structured data sources include relational databases, Excel spreadsheets, and CSV files.

  • Unstructured data, which deviates from a standard tabular format. This category includes text documents, audio files, images, videos, emails, and more.

  • Temporal data, collected at different time points. Examples include daily financial data, hourly weather measurements, and website traffic data.

  • Geospatial data, involving GPS coordinates, maps, regional demographics, and similar information.

  • Transactional data, such as sales, purchases, and invoices. Analyzing this data can yield insights into consumer trends and business performance.

  • Social media data, including comments, likes, and shares, utilized to comprehend user behavior and gauge brand perception.

  • Biographical data on individuals, such as age, gender, education level, marital status, etc., employed for market segmentation. This information aids in customizing marketing strategies by segmenting customers based on relevant criteria.

Different industries may entail specific types of data; for instance, healthcare may involve electronic medical records, while manufacturing may focus on production data.

Data analyst job: roles et responsibilities

The data analyst's role encompasses various responsibilities:

  • Utilize predictive analytics to anticipate future trends, aiding the company in making proactive decisions.

  • Create forecasting models based on historical data to predict market changes.

  • Detect and investigate anomalies in data, uncovering potential opportunities or issues.

  • Implement anomaly detection techniques to uphold the integrity of data used in analyses.

  • Establish automated quality control mechanisms to maintain data consistency throughout its lifecycle.

  • Extend analysis beyond numerical aspects by considering the human impact of data, integrating qualitative elements.

  • Collaborate with operational teams to provide context to results and make them pertinent to strategic decision-making.

  • Introduce innovative ideas on leveraging data for driving innovation within the company.

  • Work in collaboration with other departments to identify opportunities for optimizing processes through data analysis.

The data analyst assumes a pivotal role in transforming data into strategic information, making a substantial contribution to the overall success of the company.

Skills to learn as a data analyst

A data analyst should possess the ability to articulate findings clearly to team members and stakeholders, adjusting communication to suit the audience, whether technical or non-technical. The capacity to collaborate within a team is paramount for a data analyst, as they frequently engage with professionals from diverse fields like marketing managers, engineers, or company executives, ensuring a thorough understanding of needs and objectives.

Curiosity is another vital trait, as data analysts must remain open to new ideas and exhibit a continuous willingness to learn. The field evolves rapidly with the introduction of emerging technologies and methodologies.

In terms of hard IT skills, proficiency in programming languages such as Python or R is expected, along with expertise in utilizing data analysis tools like SQL, and proficiency in working with visualization platforms such as Tableau or Power BI. Statistical and modeling skills are also imperative, empowering the analyst to extract meaningful insights from data. A comprehensive understanding of databases, including the ability to execute complex queries, coupled with proficiency in data management and cleansing, rounds out the technical profile of a successful data analyst.

What to do to be a data analyst?

To ready oneself for the profession, it is advisable to pursue a graduate degree in computer science or mathematics. Some universities, including UQAC, provide a dedicated bachelor's degree program in data science and business intelligence, designed exclusively for acquiring expertise in the field.

Data analyst salary in Montreal

According to our own salary guide based on data from the greater Montreal area, a data analyst earns an average salary of $60,000 for a junior profile, $80,000 for more than five years' experience, and $100,000 for a senior profile.

Interested? Take a look at our IT job offers or send us your unsolicited application so that our IT recruitment agency can help you find the job that's right for you!