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The work of a Data Analyst is key for a business or organization to determine viable operational strategies and potential risks. The main responsibility of a data analyst is gathering and interpreting data with advanced computer technologies, analyzing the quality and meaning of the data results in information that highlights important patterns and trends in the activities of the organization.

Data analysts present these reports to management and, without these results, stakeholders are unable to make informed decisions. Data analysts are employed by a number of different institutions such as banks, universities, factories, software development companies, and many more.

You need to have excellent problem-solving skills and a keen mathematical mind to be a successful data analyst. You need to know various programming languages, and you must display a logical approach. You will work under pressure for tight deadlines with a team of like-minded individuals, so an ability to prioritize tasks and a willingness to work with a team is also crucial.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a data analyst. For example, did you know that they make an average of $35.8 an hour? That's $74,467 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 14% and produce 118,300 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Data Analyst Do

There are certain skills that many data analysts have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed interpersonal skills, time-management skills and problem-solving skills.

Learn more about what a Data Analyst does

How To Become a Data Analyst

If you're interested in becoming a data analyst, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 65.2% of data analysts have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 15.3% of data analysts have master's degrees. Even though most data analysts have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a data analyst. When we researched the most common majors for a data analyst, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on data analyst resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a data analyst. In fact, many data analyst jobs require experience in a role such as internship. Meanwhile, many data analysts also have previous career experience in roles such as administrative assistant or customer service representative.

Data Analyst Career Paths

Average Salary for a Data Analyst

Data Analysts in America make an average salary of $74,467 per year or $36 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $100,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $55,000 per year.
Average Data Analyst Salary
$74,467 Yearly
$35.80 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Data Analyst Education

Data Analyst Majors

23.9 %
6.3 %

Data Analyst Degrees


65.2 %


15.3 %


11.9 %

Top Colleges for Data Analysts

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

3. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

4. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

5. George Washington University, The

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition

6. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

7. Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

8. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

9. University of Georgia

Athens, GA • Private

In-State Tuition

10. Ball State University

Muncie, IN • Private

In-State Tuition

Top Skills For a Data Analyst

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 14.9% of data analysts listed data analysis on their resume, but soft skills such as interpersonal skills and time-management skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Data Analyst Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Data Analyst templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Data Analyst resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Data Analyst Demographics

Data Analyst Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among data analysts, 49.8% of them are women, while 50.2% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among data analysts is White, which makes up 68.2% of all data analysts.

  • The most common foreign language among data analysts is Spanish at 38.7%.

Online Courses For Data Analyst That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Data Warehouse ETL Testing & Data Quality Management A-Z

ETL Testing and Data Quality Management for beginners with practical exercises and certificate of completion...

Practical SQL Bootcamp for Data Analysts and Data Scientists

Master One of the Most In-Demand Skills for Data Analysts in 2020!...

Data Warehouse Developer-SQL Server/ETL/SSIS/SSAS/SSRS/T-SQL

Develop and Implement a Data Warehouse Solution Step by step...

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Best States For a Data Analyst

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a data analyst. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maryland. Data analysts make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $87,523. Whereas in Connecticut and Massachusetts, they would average $85,574 and $85,437, respectively. While data analysts would only make an average of $83,147 in Maryland, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Connecticut

Total Data Analyst Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
1.34 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New Jersey

Total Data Analyst Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
1.18 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. District of Columbia

Total Data Analyst Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
3.02 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Data Analysts

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Top Data Analyst Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ data analysts and discovered their number of data analyst opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Capgemini was the best, especially with an average salary of $83,987. Capital One follows up with an average salary of $84,362, and then comes Bloomberg with an average of $88,634. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a data analyst. The employers include U.S. Bank, USAA, and Activision Blizzard

Most Common Employers For Data Analyst

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
4Uber Technologies$98,978$47.59200
8JPMorgan Chase & Co.$89,291$42.93227
10Capital One$84,362$40.56691

Becoming a Data Analyst FAQs

Data Engineer vs. Data Analyst

A data engineer is an IT professional who conceptualizes and builds platforms that gather, manage, and analyze data, while a data analyst scrutinizes numeric data and uses it to help companies make certain decisions.

How long does it take to become a Data Analyst?

It takes 4 years of professional experience to become a data analyst. That is the time it takes to learn specific data analyst skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education. If you include the normal education requirements to complete a college degree, then it takes 7 to 9 years years to become a data analyst.

How do I start a career as a data analyst?

To start a career as a data analyst, you must first have at least a bachelor's degree in a quantitative field such as mathematics, statistics, or computer science. Some analysts may have a bachelor's in business with a focus or concentration in analytics. It is common for data analysts to get a master's degree in data analytics.

How many years does it take to become a data analyst?

It takes between one and six years to become a data analyst. Through certifications and self-directed learning, you can become a data analyst in as little as 8 to 11 months. It can take up to 4 years with a bachelor's degree or 5 to 6 years with a master's.

Is a data analyst a good job?

Yes, being a data analyst is a good job. Data analysts are in high demand, have competitive salaries, and work in various industries, including finance and insurance, professional, scientific, technical services, information technology, management, and manufacturing.

Is it hard to become a data analyst?

No, it is not hard to become a data analyst. Everything you need to learn about how to be a data analyst you can learn online. Becoming a data analyst is not difficult if you are tech-savvy, skilled at statistics and numeracy, and have an understanding of business processes.

What are the main qualifications for a data analyst?

The main qualifications for a data analyst are mathematical skills, programming languages like SQL, Oracle, and Python, data visualization, and problem-solving skills.

The role of a data analyst is to delve deep into data and seek out patterns and trends. It's not so much about crunching numbers but being a good detective who is piecing the story together and figuring out the meaning behind the data.

Business Analyst vs. Data Analyst

A business analyst uses data to make strategic business decisions, while a data analyst gathers data and then manipulates it to find useful information.

A business analyst focuses on identifying trends in the organization that can be optimized to improve overall business planning and performance. They support the continuous improvement of the business and seek to find areas of inefficiencies in technology and processes.

Business Intelligence Analyst vs. Data Analyst

A business intelligence analyst discovers business-focused insights through data while a data analyst solves problems using analytics.

A business intelligence analyst uses data to discover business-focused insights and use those to make business decisions. They are focused on providing business value. The work process for a business intelligence analyst begins with understanding the needs of the business end-user.

Data Analyst vs. Financial Analyst

A data analyst is responsible for analyzing data and using that information to solve business problems, while a financial analyst is responsible for researching, analyzing, and interpreting financial and accounting information.

Data analyst vs. Data engineer

A data analyst analyzes numeric data and uses it to help companies make better decisions while a data engineer develops, constructs, and tests data.

A data analyst's primary skill set revolves around data acquisition, handling, and processing. A data analyst is more focused on pre-processing and data gathering as well as representing that data via reporting and visualization tools. It is important for a data analyst to have a deep understanding of data cleaning, data conversion, and data modeling.

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