What is the role of a Data Analyst?
A Data Analyst gathers and interprets data in order to solve a specific problem. Data analysts will gather and cleanse data. They are then responsible for interpreting this data and modelling it and finally communicating their finds to the business. Financial data consists of pieces or sets of information related to the financial health of a business. Some examples of financial data that Data Analysts handle in their roles are: assets, liabilities, equity, income and cash flow.
Within Finance the position of the role can vary. In larger finance functions, Data Analysts may sit in the R2R (Record to Report) team reporting to the R2R Manager, where as in smaller finance functions this may be a standalone role, reporting to the Finance Manager or even directly to the Financial Controller.
How do I become a Data Analyst?
Within a Data Analyst role, you will work with lots of numbers and data sets daily being able to recognise patterns and solve problems will be extremely useful in this role. Moreover, being able to communicate your ideas across is equally as important in a data analyst role.
There are different paths you can take in order to becoming a Data Analyst, you can get into a Data Analyst role through:
University - studying a degree in Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science or data science are relevant when applying for Data Analyst roles
Apprenticeship - securing an Apprenticeship as a Data Analyst in a company will allow you to learn the relevant skills on the job.
There are several opportunities for progression for a Data Analyst working in finance, a large percentage of Data Analysts will pursue the ACCA or CIMA qualification in order to progress into a Finance Analyst role.
Typical Job Specification for a Data Analyst:
Accurately analyse and collect data for business reports;
Data analysis using advanced modelling techniques;
Monitor data to identify changes in financial and business trend;
Maintain data tables and perform updates as necessary to ensure accuracy;
Analysing KPI’s; and
Designing and developing several financial models to support valuation, planning and modelling.