Role profile: data analyst

Data analysts collect, organise and study data to provide business insight. They work across a broad range of areas and topics.

Data analysts understand, manipulate and accurately analyse data to provide insight about a topic for internal and external audiences. They make complex topics easier for everyone to understand, including non-specialist audiences.

Typical role responsibilities

Data analysts:

  • manage, clean, abstract and aggregate data alongside a range of analytical studies on that data
  • identify, collect and migrate data to and from a range of systems
  • manipulate and link different data sets
  • help with data quality checking and cleaning
  • use tools and techniques for data analysis, data visualisation – this includes using BI tools
  • present data and conclusions logically and concisely in the most appropriate format, while following the Analysis Function standards
  • summarise and present the results of data analysis to a range of customers- this includes making recommendations for how to use the data
  • interpret and apply relevant data information security standards, policies and procedures to data
  • perform routine statistical analysis and answer queries, which may include the production of reports
  • use a range of analytical techniques such as data mining, time series, forecasting and modelling techniques to identify and predict trends in data
  • work with data architecture
  • use coding and programming skills for data and analytics

Skills

There are several important skills that data analysts need to be successful in their role.

You must be able to apply analytical techniques to present a solution. You must be able to identify efficient and effective ways to use data analysis to overcome business and organisational challenges, applying innovative techniques to make data driven decisions.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate data analyst

As an associate, you must have an ‘awareness’ skill level.

Data analyst

As a data analyst, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Senior data analyst

As a senior data analyst, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

Principal data analyst

As a principal data analyst, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

You must be proficient in Microsoft Office and have the ability to learn new systems and ways of working.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate data analyst

As an associate, you must have an ‘awareness’ skill level.

Data analyst

As a data analyst, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Senior data analyst

As a senior data analyst, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

Principal data analyst

As a principal data analyst, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

You must be able to use coding and programming skills for data and analytics.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate data analyst

As an associate, you must have an ‘awareness’ skill level.

Data analyst

As a data analyst, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Senior data analyst

As a senior data analyst, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

Principal data analyst

As a principal data analyst, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

You must be able to show skills demonstrated through relevant qualifications or work experience.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate data analyst

As an associate, you must have an ‘awareness’ skill level.

Data analyst

As a data analyst, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Senior data analyst

As a senior data analyst, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

Principal data analyst

As a principal data analyst, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

You must be able to collate and manage datasets. You must understand data sources, data organisation, and storage whilst considering legal and ethical issues around data including rights, liability, privacy, and access.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate data analyst

As an associate, you must have an ‘awareness’ skill level.

Data analyst

As a data analyst, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Senior data analyst

As a senior data analyst, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

Principal data analyst

As a principal data analyst, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

You must understand the ethical considerations of potential data analysis approaches, and the legislation applicable in this area. This includes the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act (DPA). You must be aware of existing Government frameworks, and any other relevant frameworks.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate data analyst

As an associate, you must have an ‘awareness’ skill level.

Data analyst

As a data analyst, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Senior data analyst

As a senior data analyst, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

Principal data analyst

As a principal data analyst, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

You must be aware of quality assurance techniques. You must be able to identify the right data sources, validate them, and understand how to interpret the results. You must ensure data are fit for purpose.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate data analyst

As an associate, you must have an ‘awareness’ skill level.

Data analyst

As a data analyst, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Senior data analyst

As a senior data analyst, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

Principal data analyst

As a principal data analyst, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

You must be able to interpret requirements and present data in a clear and compelling way, using graphical representations and data visualisations.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate data analyst

As an associate, you must have an ‘awareness’ skill level.

Data analyst

As a data analyst, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Senior data analyst

As a senior data analyst, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

Principal data analyst

As a principal data analyst, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

You must have knowledge of data cleansing and standardisation.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate data analyst

As an associate, you must have an ‘awareness’ skill level.

Data analyst

As a data analyst, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Senior data analyst

As a senior data analyst, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

Principal data analyst

As a principal data analyst, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

You must be able use different sources of information and analyse important data sets. You must be able to use analytical skills and software to get comprehensive results and recommendations from data to support decision making across varied audiences. You should know about relevant data analysis packages, and be curious about new methodologies.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate data analyst

As an associate, you must have an ‘awareness’ skill level.

Data analyst

As a data analyst, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Senior data analyst

As a senior data analyst, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

Principal data analyst

As a principal data analyst, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

You must be able to apply a range of scientific methods through experimental design, exploratory data analysis, and hypothesis testing to reach comprehensive conclusions. You should be confident in using analytical approaches and interpreting data.

You must have broad statistical awareness, along with the ability to develop deep expertise in specialised areas of statistical methodology and its application where needed.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate data analyst

As an associate, you must have an ‘awareness’ skill level.

Data analyst

As a data analyst, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Senior data analyst

As a senior data analyst, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

Principal data analyst

As a principal data analyst, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

You must understand of the context of your work and the strengths and weaknesses of analysis. You should be able to communicate clearly and concisely, and explain analytical evidence to varied audiences.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate data analyst

As an associate, you must have an ‘awareness’ skill level.

Data analyst

As a data analyst, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Senior data analyst

As a senior data analyst, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

Principal data analyst

As a principal data analyst, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

You must be able to support analytical projects by achieving quality outcomes to deadline, identifying risks and mitigating actions. You must ensure that business solutions are aligned with strategy, business goals, and end user needs.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate data analyst

As an associate, you must have an ‘awareness’ skill level.

Data analyst

As a data analyst, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Senior data analyst

As a senior data analyst, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

Principal data analyst

As a principal data analyst, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

Sample career pathway

The data analyst career path shows some of the common entry and exit points in the role. It also shows the typical skill levels needed.

You can enter a data analyst role from:

  • other analytical professions
  • other digital professions
  • non-analytical professions
  • non-digital professions

You can also exit the role to join any of these professions.

 

The diagram shows a potential career path. It shows that you can enter or leave a role from a wide range of backgrounds and experience levels. For example, you could become a data analyst by developing your skills in an associate data analyst role. You could continue to move up the levels in the career path by taking on more senior data analyst roles. Or you could develop your skills by working in a technical specialist role in an analytical or digital profession. You could also develop the necessary skills by working in a profession agnostic role outside of these professions.

A role that could be done by any person with the relevant skills or experience from any profession.

This could be a ‘badged’ or professional role that is subject to entry requirements and development.

Beyond the principal or lead data analyst role, you could go into more senior leadership roles. These roles require broader analytical understanding, and the ability to lead multi-disciplinary teams.