• Proficient

Data analyst

Job profile:


Career zone:

The transformation driver

What is a data analyst and what do they do?

Data analysts have an important role in developing and maintaining the integrity of data across an organisation. They use the data to provide insights to the business to assist in its performance. Analysis may be descriptive (what is happening), diagnostic (why is it happening), predictive (what is likely to happen) or prescriptive (what do I need to do). 

Accountants are uniquely placed to use their business sills to undertake the best data analysis to help a business in realising its goals.

Key responsibilities

Data analysts:


  • develop management processes and policies
  • identify areas to increase efficiency and automation of processes
  • set up and maintain automated data processes
  • identify, evaluate and implement external services and tools to support data validation and cleansing
  • produce and track key performance indicators
  • develop and support reporting processes
  • monitor and audit data quality
  • liaise with internal and external clients to fully understand data content
  • gather, understand and document detailed business requirements using appropriate tools and techniques
  • design and carry out surveys and analyse survey data
  • manipulate, analyse and interpret complex data sets relating to the employer's business
  • prepare reports for internal and external audiences using business analytics reporting tools
  • create data dashboards, graphs and visualisations
  • provide sector and competitor benchmarking
  • mine and analyse large datasets, draw valid inferences and present them successfully to management using a reporting tool.

Why are they important?


Data is increasingly important to the success of organisations. Data analysts have a responsibility for the quality and integrity of the data, both internal and external as well as structured and unstructured.

They use data analytical tools to analyse and interpret the data. They are able to able to provide insight and analysis through clear visual, written and verbal communication.

Person specification


Data analysts have strong digital skills that include:


  • excellent numerical and analytical skills
  • knowledge of data analysis tools including advanced skills in Excel and the use of at least one relational database
  • familiarity with other relational databases (e.g. MS Access)
  • knowledge of data modelling, data cleansing, and data enrichment techniques
  • Hadoop open-source data analytics and other NLP techniques
  • Apply machine learning algorithms to address business problems
  • the capacity to develop and document procedures and workflows
  • the ability to carry out data quality control, validation and linkage
  • an understanding of data protection issues
  • experience of statistical methodologies and data analysis techniques
  • the ability to produce clear graphical representations and data visualisations.

In additional, data analysts have critical thinking and collaboration skills. They will also use their accounting qualification to provide business acumen.  

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