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Why do companies need analysts?
Data analysts specialize in gathering raw data and being able to derive insights from it.
They have the patience and curiosity to poke around large amounts of data until they find meaningful information from it — after which they clean and present their findings to stakeholders.
Data analysts use many different tools to come up with answers. They use SQL, Python, and sometimes even Excel to quickly solve problems.
The end goal of an analyst is to solve a business problem with the help of data. This means that they either need to have necessary domain knowledge, or work closely with someone who already has the required industry expertise.
Data analysts are curious people by nature. If they see a sudden change in data trends (like a small spike in sales at the end of the month), they would go out of their way to identify if the same patterns can be observed throughout the year.
They then try to piece this together with industry knowledge and marketing efforts, and provide the company with advice on how to cater to their audience.
The best trait of a data analyst is that they are able to ask the right questions. Their domain knowledge, coupled with their quick data extraction skills makes them the go-to person when the company needs quick advice on how to proceed.
A data analyst can answer questions like “where do we cut on spending this month?”, “What are our competitors doing?” and “What can we do differently?”
Data analysts are often faced with very abstract, surface level questions. Business problems are given to them, with no specific instructions of what the end-goal is.
If you are a data analyst, you’d hear things like “can you help us identify our target audience?” almost every day.
It is up to the analyst to then probe further and ask more specific, detailed questions in order to understand the end objective of the analysis.
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