How to Become a Data Analyst
How to Become a Data Analyst

Data analysts are like detectives. And like any good detective, data analysts pull together and examine a lot of data, looking to reveal the story it has to tell. Specifically, these pros are on the hunt for information that will help their organizations make better decisions and improve the way they do business.

What does a data analyst do?

As a data analyst, you might scour a manufacturer’s supply chain data to look for ways to speed up the time it takes a product to hit the shelves. You could study clinical data from an emergency room with the goal of predicting the next onslaught of the flu. Or you might analyze sales numbers to help your company better anticipate seasonal product demand.

"Having access to the data and tools that help solve fascinating real-world problems is a very satisfying line of work," said Marcelo Guerra Hahn, an instructor in the UW Certificate in Data Analytics: Techniques for Decision Making and director of engineering at SoundCommerce.

But how do data analysts turn data into usable information? A couple common tools of the trade include software like Microsoft Power BI and Tableau. Both help you create reports, visualizations and interactive tools to analyze the data you collect and share your findings with stakeholders and decision makers. Statistical programming languages, such as R, also help data professionals perform statistical analyses and build simple programs that can yield business insights and automate reporting.

Are Data Analysts in Demand?

As companies do more business online, they’re generating more data, so the need for skilled professionals to help them make sense of it all is growing at a tremendous rate.

    projected job growth

Nationally: 31%
Washington state: 33%

    Average Salary

Nationally: $98,230
Washington state: $117,260

Source: O*NET OnLine

Data analytics is essential to a company’s success. “Being able to support decisions using data analysis has become more important,” Marcelo said. “Data analysts play a key role in this.”

According to O*NET OnLine, employers are clamoring to hire data professionals of all kinds. The demand for data analysts in the United States is expected to grow by 31% between 2019 and 2029.

How Do You Become a Data Analyst?

Interested in starting or advancing a career in data analytics? Our programs can help. 

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