A data analyst collects and studies data to improve an organization or business. Typically, data analysts take data from multiple sources, study it carefully and then make recommendations to a company on how to improve its operations.
In most cases, a company gives a data analyst a specific problem or scenario, and the analyst studies this problem to find areas of improvement. The data analyst also takes information from other sources to better understand the issue and find a solution. Typical duties include finding patterns, assessing data quality and deciding what data is irrelevant. Data analysts often talk to experts in the relevant field or work with statisticians to analyze and process the data.
Once the results of the research are ready, the data analyst writes out a report and delivers it to the business leadership. The analyst presents the results in such a way that common readers can understand it and often includes charts, graphs, lists and images. The report usually offers solutions such as new training methods, technologies or business processes.
A data analyst's other duties include training employees, assisting with new technology and monitoring changes. Data analysts are responsible for basic tech support and assisting with updates to the company website.