Thinking about transitioning into a career as a data analyst? Learn more about the role, salary, and training of a data analyst, and get a few tips on how to land the data analyst job of your dreams—whether you’re expanding your existing career or switching professional directions.
What Is a Data Analyst and What Does a Data Analyst Do?
A data analyst uses data to help a company make better business decisions. The goal of a data analyst is to discover how to use data to answer business questions and solve business and industry problems. For example, organizations such as Garmin and Pepsi hire data analysts for assistance in collecting and analyzing data. The role can also be found in retail stores, transportation companies, healthcare providers, and government agencies.
Data analysts are often responsible for data collection. They then use the data to investigate specific questions about business interests and analyze and interpret the data to draw meaningful conclusions. Frequently, data analysts are tasked with using their skill sets to identify industry trends and generate reports regarding competition potential.
Although certain tasks a data analyst performs are similar to those of a data scientist, a data analyst is not often responsible for extensive programming or algorithm creation. Instead, data analysts use existing tools, datasets, and systems to gather insights and investigate specific business needs and trends.
What Is a Typical Data Analyst Salary?
On Glassdoor, most data analyst job listings have posted salary ranges with $30,000 to $50,000 differences that reflect varying skills, experience, and education.
For example, if an advertised position’s salary range is $41,000 to $88,000, a candidate with a proven educational history, certifications, or capabilities will be able to negotiate a higher starting salary than someone who gained a few qualifications and minor experience in a previous job.
Many individuals use the data analyst position to eventually step into higher earning potential as a data scientist or data engineer. To take your career as a data analyst to the next step, consider attending a data science bootcamp.
5 Steps To Apply for a Data Analyst Job
1. Boost your technical education
One way to enhance your education is by completing training programs to earn certifications. Although many programs exist, getting one of the top certifications is a great way to set yourself up for landing a data analyst job.
Another option is attending an online data analytics bootcamp—an intensive and immersive way to quickly gain education and analytical skills for tech positions. Data analytics bootcamps can use either in-person or virtual training. Some courses are highly scheduled, while many online bootcamps allow for self-paced learning.
Springboard offers virtual, self-paced bootcamps in several topics to grow data analytics skills:
For entry-level data analyst roles, students usually study SQL and other query languages, general computer science, data cleaning, mathematics, and data visualization. More advanced topics include big data, machine learning, data models, and programming languages including Python
2. Build your data analyst resume
Preparing a solid resume is the best way to sell yourself to hiring managers. Here are a few tips for building your data analyst resume.
- Tip #1: Utilize common skill keywords
Most large companies use applicant tracking systems in the hiring process. To get noticed, use three categories of skill keywords in your resume:
- Technical skills. These showcase your technical knowledge and abilities. List specific software programs you know like Tableau or Microsoft Excel and target data analyst keywords like statistics, business intelligence, insights, SQL, or databases.
- Soft skills. These indicate non-technical skills necessary to perform your job. They can include key phrases like communication, report generation, and collaboration with colleagues.
- Qualifications. Target your resume to the job description you’re applying to. If the company lists specific qualifications, use the same words to describe how your understanding and expertise make you a good fit for the job.
- Tip #2: Target professional experience
Detail how you’ve applied your knowledge of data analytics to the real world with job history, specific tasks, courses, and experiences you’ve had. If you recently completed school or a data analytics bootcamp, include internships, mentorships, or educational projects or coursework in your work experience section.
- Tip #3: Highlight quantifiable achievements
Connect your professional and educational experience to quantifiable achievements. Instead of stating “performed data analysis,” use specific examples like: “Mined data and performed analysis for holiday e-commerce advertising. My insights led to a comparative 10% increase in sales.”
3. Apply for jobs
Most companies and agencies post data analyst job descriptions online. On some sites or portals, you can upload a general resume, and the site sends your resume to potential employers who are looking for data analysts. ZipRecruiter and Indeed can both send your resume to employers. These sites also provide job alerts where you can choose to receive notifications for data analyst jobs.
Another approach is looking for postings online and applying to the jobs directly. With this approach, you can tailor your resume to the role you’re applying for instead of submitting a general resume.
4. Prepare for interviews
One of the best ways to get ready for an interview is to study and create answers for interview practice questions. Have a trusted friend, family member, or career counselor do a mock interview with you so you can practice answering questions and thinking on your feet. Also, prepare any questions you have for your potential employer.
If you have any virtual interviews, here are a few tips for a smoother experience:
- Make sure your internet, webcam, microphone, and speakers all work with no lag.
- Pre-download any software needed for the interview.
- Use a virtual backdrop or examine your real backdrop for distractions.
- Practice talking to the camera — this simulates eye contact
5. Interview and network
The final step in landing a data analyst job is interviewing. As you go through the interview process, potentially at multiple companies, keep up with networking. Building relationships and connections in the data analytics field can yield additional job possibilities.
Is data analytics the right career for you?
Springboard offers a comprehensive data analytics bootcamp. Our data analytics curriculum goes beyond just technical skills to focus on areas where employers find the biggest gaps: strategic thinking, problem-solving, and communication. Watch videos from Microsoft. Learn insights from McKinsey experts. Tackle case studies from Harvard Business School. No other data analytics bootcamp does this. You’ll graduate with an analytical mindset. That’s an edge not just for your job search, but throughout your career.
Check out Springboard’s Data Analytics Career Track to see if you qualify.