Data analysts collect and scrutinise data from numerous sources, such as surveys, sales data or computerised information systems, to identify facts and trends that help businesses to make decisions.
You could be:
identifying and collecting data from different sources
using database queries to extract information for analysis
manipulating and linking different data sets in order to analyse the correct data
checking data quality and removing corrupt data
using tools and techniques, such as data mining and modelling, to analyse data
setting up and maintaining automated data queries
producing reports, graphs and visual presentation of results.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Starting salaries may be around £23,000 to £30,000 a year, rising to £40,000 with experience. Senior data analysts can earn £60,000 a year or more.
Data analysts on the Civil Service Fast Stream programme Digital, Data, Technology and Cyber earn £28,000 a year. This rises to between £45,000 and £55,000 a year.
You would be based in an office and use a computer most of the time.
Your basic hours would be regular, 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday.
You may sometimes need to work late or take work home to meet deadlines.
You may have to travel and a driving licence is useful.
There are a number of routes into this career.
Some entrants have a degree (SCQF Levels 9-11) in a numerical subject, such as economics, statistics, mathematics, computer science or information systems. For entry you need 4-5 Highers, usually including Maths, with English at least to National 5.
If you don’t have a relevant degree, you can take a postgraduate (SCQF Level 11) course such as big data, business analytics, data analytics or data science.
You could enter through the Civil Service Fast Stream in Digital, Data and Technology, which is a 4 year programme covering a range of areas, including data analytics. A 2:2 degree in any subject is accepted for entry.
You may be able to get in through a Technical Apprenticeship in Data Analytics at SCQF Level 8. For entry you require some subjects at Higher, but requirements vary depending on the employer. Check the Skills Development Scotland (SDS) website for details.
Data analysts can work in a wide range of sectors, including finance, information technology, retail, education, government, healthcare and consulting. Jobs are advertised through recruitment agencies and online.