It can be easy to think that once an organization has purchased analytics software, that software will instantaneously provide a return on investment.
While analytics software is definitely a boon for business, the data analyst is actually who shines.
Data analysts are tasked with taking data gleaned from the software and turning them into actionable insights for stakeholders so that they can make decisions to move the business forward.
In fact, jobs for data analysts are expected to grow much faster than average through 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There are several reasons why the data analyst is valuable as a package with an analytics platform.
Data Analysts Manage Data Collection
Just because you have analytics software doesn’t mean you’ll use it on a regular basis. That’s a data analyst’s specialty. They spend the time managing your analytics platform of choice, digging through the data, automating rote tasks, and creating meaningful reports for stakeholders. Without this step, any analytics or business intelligence platform is nearly worthless.
Data analysts partner with other analysts, data architects, and database developers to compile detailed reports: “Surveys have reported that as much as 34 percent of companies claim that data quality, consistency, and availability are some of the most important issues plaguing their analytics initiatives.”
Data Analysts Provide Context For Data
Ideally, those reports aren’t just handed off to someone else. Instead, data analysts must provide a narrative for that data. They become storytellers.
“It's one thing to be able to analyze data effectively,” according to Robert Half, “but written and verbal communications skills are key for any analyst because they'll need to clearly explain their findings to senior executives, as well as counterparts in marketing, accounting, [and more].”
Knowing an organization’s pain points and strengths by analyzing data is crucial.
Data Analysts Help Stakeholders Make Decisions
Thanks to using analytics software, data analysts help businesses make decisions. Consider these statistics from Deloitte:
- 49 percent of respondents assert that the greatest benefit of using analytics is that it is a key factor in better decision-making capabilities.
- 16 percent believe that (analytics’) greatest benefit is better enabling key strategic initiatives.
- Nearly two-thirds of respondents say that analytics play an important role in driving business strategy.
All of these findings suggest that data analysts provide value for the organizations in which they work.
Overall, while the relatively simple purchase of an business intelligence platform may put a company ahead of the pack, data analysts will help propel the company even further forward because of their ability to organize and present data in ways that stakeholders can understand in order to make decisions.