Organizations in every industry rely more than ever on data to make vital business decisions: new markets to enter, which products to develop, new investments to make, and new customers to attract. Companies also use data to pinpoint inefficiencies and other business issues that need to be solved. (Northeastern.edu)
The job of a data analyst is to assign numerical values to these vital business functions, so there can be a performance assessment and a comparison made over time. But the analyst needs to do more than just review numbers. The data analyst also must understand how to use data to allow the company to make better decisions.
Some of the key responsibilities of a data analyst include:
- Design and maintain data systems and databases, which may include fixing coding problems and other related system issues.
- Mine data from various sources, and then reorganizing the data into a format that can be read by software or humans.
- Utilize statistical tools to interpret sets of data, while paying close attention to patterns and trends that could be essential for predictive analytics efforts.
- Prepare reports for top leadership that communicate trends, patterns, and predictions using the most relevant data.
- Work with programmers, engineers, and company leaders to pinpoint chances to process improvements and opportunities to make needed system modifications.
- Write documentation that allows managers to understand the data analysis process.
If you enjoy data and statistical analysis, this could be the job for you. Keep reading to learn more.
Data Analyst Salary Outlook
Below you will find detailed salary information for the data analyst occupation from several official sources. Most data professionals who earn the highest salary need to earn a master’s degree in data science, data analysis or a related field.
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual salary for an operations research analyst (related to a data analyst) is $83,390. The lowest 10% of data analysts made less than $46,800, and the top 10% earned at least $136,250. (BLS.gov). The top-paying industries in this field for 2018 were:
- Federal government: $113,920
- Manufacturing: $92,170
- Professional, scientific, and technical services: $86,720
- Management of companies and enterprises: $85,200
- Finance and insurance: $82,300
The related occupation of financial analysts had a median salary of $85,600 in 2018, with the top 10% earning at least $167,000 per year. Top fields were: (BLS.gov)
- Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments: $101,400
- Professional, scientific and technical services: $84,500
- Management of companies and enterprises: $83,600
- Credit intermediation: $81,400
- Insurance carriers: $78,800
Payscale.com reports the average salary for data analysts is $60,100 with a range between $43,000 and $84,000. (Payscale.com). Some of the reported salaries for data analysts are:
- Centene Corp: $63,000
- Kaiser Permanente: $68,000
- Booz, Allen, and Hamilton: $71,000
- Amazon: $77,000
- JP Morgan and Chase: $70,000
- UnitedHealth Group: $67,000
- Humana: $51,000
- EY: $64,000
Desired skills for data analysts and salaries are:
- Data analysis: $60,200
- Microsoft Excel: $56,700
- SQL: $63,400
- Database management and reporting: $59,400
- Statistical analysis: $61,400
Job experience also is a factor in pay for data analysts:
- Less than one year: $54,400
- One to four years: $59,400
- Five to nine years: $67,200
- 10 to 19 years: $69,600
- 20 years or more: $71,700
Pay by location also can vary considerably for data analysts:
- San Francisco: +31%
- New York: +9%
- Seattle: +8%
- Washington DC: +8%
- Boston: +6%
- Atlanta: +1%
- Chicago: 0%
This website reports the median salary for data analysts is $60,300 with a range between $38,900 and $90,000. (Linkedin.com). The salaries are based on 8,849 data analysts who submitted their salary information to the Linkedin.
Also, 27% of respondents stated they receive an annual bonus averaging $4,000 with a range between $1,000 and $10,000.
Data analyst salaries varied in the survey by company size:
- 10,001+ employees: $65,000
- 1,001-10,000 employees: $62,000
- 201-1,000 employees: $60,000
- 1-200 employees: $56,000
Top-paying industries for data analysts are:
- Entertainment: $70,000
- Hardware and networking: $69,000
- Software and IT services: $65,000
- Finance: $64,000
- Corporate services: $62,000
Glassdoor.com reports an average salary of $62,453 with a range between $43,000 and $95,000. (Glassdoor.com)
Job Outlook for Data Analysts
The demand for data analysts is strong. IBM estimates there will be 2.7 million jobs available for data analysts and related professions by 2020, an increase of approximately 2.5 million since just 2017. Approximately 40% of the jobs in data analytics require at least a master’s degree. The company also says demand for data analysts and scientists will have risen 28% by 2020. (Forbes.com)
The IBM survey also found that 60% of data analyst and data science jobs are in finance and insurance, professional services, and information technology. Data analysts with skills in MapReduce, Apache Pig, machine learning, Apache Hive, and Apache Hadoop are in high demand.
Further, BLS data shows that the field will see strong growth, as well. Operations research analysts will experience 26% job growth by 2028 – much faster than average.
Technology is advancing quickly and organizations want more cost savings and efficiency. Data analysts and related professionals who can make sense of all the data streaming in will be needed. Also, greater job demand is occurring specifically in the analytics field (BLS.gov).
Additionally, major advances in technology make it possible for corporations to collect large volumes of data that can be analyzed to make better decisions for the organization.
Also, analytical software is being improved, which is making research and data analysis more affordable than ever before. More companies will hire data analysts to assist them in transforming data into actionable information.
Job demand for data analysts and related occupations is soaring. Professionals with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a technical field can anticipate salaries starting in the $60s and topping out in the $130,000 range with enough education and experience. If you have interests in data, statistics, and technology, becoming a data analyst might be an ideal fit for you.