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Posted On: January 8, 2018 by Henry R. Steele

The following article discusses the career path of Data Analyst. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Data Analysts.

Job Duties

Data analysts collect data and use this to determine the answer to questions relating to specific topics. Usually, this starts by conducting a survey, which provides analysts with the data that they need. This is then interpreted, after which they present it through reports and charts. They may also enter their findings on databases.

See also 8 Best Entry Level Business & Analyst Jobs

Other job duties of data analysts are:

  • To gather, interpret, and report on data as per customer need
  • To identify new methods of collecting data and new sources of data for analysis and reporting purposes
  • To collect requirements of customers, find out whether there are technical issues, and create reports according to need

Where We Work

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 114,000 operations research analysts in 2016, a profession closely related to that of a data analyst. The largest employers of these professionals were:

  • Finance and insurance: 28%
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services: 22%
  • Management of companies and enterprises: 9%
  • Manufacturing: 9%
  • Federal government: 5%

How to Become

Typically, a bachelor’s degree is required for someone to work as a data analyst. However, master’s degrees are often preferred. That said few degrees currently exist in operations research or data analysis. Hence, degrees tend to be in seemingly unrelated fields. New degrees and specializations have emerged recently such as Big Data Analytics Degree and Data Science Degrees.

See also How to Score a Career in Big Data

Degree Requirements

Those who hold a bachelor’s degree in any field can generally find an entry level data analyst position. However, those with a master’s degree have the greatest career prospects. Some programs exist in data analysis, but they are few and far between. Hence, most people have a degree in mathematics, analytics, computer science, engineering, or sociology instead.

Data analysis is about quantitative research. Hence, having experience in mathematics is the most important thing. Those who have taken courses in linear algebra, calculus, and statistics are in the greatest demand. At the same time, having knowledge and experience of computer science is also important, because advanced databases and statistical models have to be used. At the same time, those with an understanding of political science, economics, or engineering are more suited to understanding what the data actually means.

Data analysts must keep their knowledge up to date. Hence, they regularly take continuing education classes in areas such as analytical methods, software tools, and technology.

Traits & Qualities

The most effective data analysts have the following traits to some degree or other:

  • Strong analytical skills
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Excellent skills in mathematics
  • Problem solving skills
  • Report writing skills
  • Computer knowledge, particularly in SQL databases, SharePoint, Microsoft Access, and Microsoft Excel
  • Time management skills

Minimum Education

Bachelor’s Degree

National Salary

The national average salary estimate for Data Analyst was $69,685. This number is estimated from over 3,007,924 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $36.29 and monthly of $5,807.

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$19,000

$151,000

Salary Distribution

Salary by State

The following section lists Data Analyst salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, Connecticut had the largest quoted salary of $85,180 while Montana had the smallest quoted salary of $30,220.

Alaska Iowa Montana Pennsylvania
Alabama Illinois North Carolina Rhode Island
Arkansas Indiana North Dakota South Carolina
Arizona Kansas Nebraska Tennessee
California Kentucky New Hampshire Texas
Colorado Louisiana New Jersey Utah
Connecticut Massachusetts New Mexico Virginia
DC Maryland Nevada Vermont
Delaware Maine New York Washington
Florida Michigan Ohio Wisconsin
Georgia Minnesota Oklahoma
Hawaii Missouri Oregon
Alaska$42,681 Rank: 42nd
The average salary ranks 42nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Coley & Associates Inc..

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$7.25

$48.65

Salary Distribution
Alabama$55,483 Rank: 31st
The average salary ranks 31st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like PANGEATWO, UAB Medicine, ITAC Solutions, and University of Alabama.

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$15,000

$121,000

Salary Distribution
Arkansas$49,656 Rank: 37th
The average salary ranks 37th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Walmart, OM5 of Louisville, Accountemps, and Acxiom.

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$14,000

$110,000

Salary Distribution
Arizona$46,118 Rank: 41st
The average salary ranks 41st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Collabera, MSR Global LLC, Strategic Staffing Solutions, and Kollasoft Inc..

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$7.25

$56.45

Salary Distribution
California$81,002 Rank: 2nd
The average salary ranks 2nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Intel, Intuit, eBay Inc., and Apple.

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$24,000

$170,000

Salary Distribution
Colorado$55,819 Rank: 30th
The average salary ranks 30th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Goldstone Partners, Georgia IT Inc., City and County of Denver, and Arrow Electronics.

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$17,000

$116,000

Salary Distribution
Connecticut$85,180 Rank: 1st
The average salary ranks 1st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Smith Hanley Associates, LLC, bob jones, Benchmark IT, LLC, and CyberCoders.

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$24,000

$183,000

Salary Distribution
DC$73,344 Rank: 7th
The average salary ranks 7th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like TCS Ltd, U.S. Government, Piper Enterprise Solutions, and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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$22,000

$153,000

Salary Distribution
Delaware$57,657 Rank: 28th
The average salary ranks 28th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like AAA CLUB ALLIANCE, PeopleShare, JPMorgan Chase, and Tech Talenta.

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$7.25

$68.50

Salary Distribution
Florida$59,422 Rank: 26th
The average salary ranks 26th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CST, Wired4Health, Inc., AppleOne, and Nigel Frank International.

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$19,000

$122,000

Salary Distribution
Georgia$68,413 Rank: 14th
The average salary ranks 14th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like MMS Group, CHASE Professionals, iStaff, and Talent Logic, Inc..

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$20,000

$144,000

Salary Distribution
Hawaii$42,393 Rank: 43rd
The average salary ranks 43rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Accountemps.

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$9.85

$39.00

Salary Distribution
Iowa$56,966 Rank: 29th
The average salary ranks 29th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders, Everest Technology Solutions, Inc., Okaya Inc., and Robert Half Technology.

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$7.25

$70.30

Salary Distribution
Illinois$74,010 Rank: 5th
The average salary ranks 5th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like TransUnion, Selby Jennings, Capital One, and Capgemini.

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$25,000

$148,000

Salary Distribution
Indiana$64,342 Rank: 19th
The average salary ranks 19th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Kforce, Robert Half Technology, D&L Advisors, and Pinnacle Partners, Inc.

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$15,000

$146,000

Salary Distribution
Kansas$65,702 Rank: 18th
The average salary ranks 18th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Kforce, Malaysia Roses, Robert Half Management Resources, and Artech Information Systems L.L.C..

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$14,000

$159,000

Salary Distribution
Kentucky$54,539 Rank: 33rd
The average salary ranks 33rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Vaco, LLC, Humana, University of Kentucky, and JSI.

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$18,000

$110,000

Salary Distribution
Louisiana$55,306 Rank: 32nd
The average salary ranks 32nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Robert Half Technology, Jackson Noble, Infosytech Solutions Inc., and MAMSYS Consulting Services Ltd.

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$14,000

$148,000

Salary Distribution
Massachusetts$73,941 Rank: 6th
The average salary ranks 6th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Huxley Associates, Liberty Mutual, Robert Half Technology, and Michael Page.

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$25,000

$148,000

Salary Distribution
Maryland$63,489 Rank: 20th
The average salary ranks 20th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Think Systems, Mb Staffing Services, Inovalon, and PPS Information Systems Staffing.

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$16,000

$142,000

Salary Distribution
Maine$67,622 Rank: 15th
The average salary ranks 15th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Rite Pros Inc, TD Bank, Professional Technology Integration, Inc, and Infoway Software.

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$8.80

$79.20

Salary Distribution
Michigan$66,516 Rank: 16th
The average salary ranks 16th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Strategic Staffing Solutions, CyberCoders, Xeeva Inc, and Talent Advantage Group.

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$23,000

$131,000

Salary Distribution
Minnesota$46,944 Rank: 39th
The average salary ranks 39th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Analysts International, Nexgen Savvy Solutions, CyberCoders, and iBizTek Solutions.

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$7.25

$61.20

Salary Distribution
Missouri$69,404 Rank: 12th
The average salary ranks 12th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like TDK Technologies, LLC, Nigel Frank International, CyberCoders, and Infinity Technology Group.

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$24,000

$137,000

Salary Distribution
Montana$30,220 Rank: 46th
The average salary ranks 46th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Montana State University.

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$7.90

$23.80

Salary Distribution
North Carolina$66,393 Rank: 17th
The average salary ranks 17th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like NMS Consulting Group, Technocraft solutions LLc, Apex Sytems, Inc, and ACT-Consulting.

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$7.80

$80.60

Salary Distribution
North Dakota$46,498 Rank: 40th
The average salary ranks 40th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Bismarck State College.

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$18,000

$88,000

Salary Distribution
Nebraska$54,371 Rank: 34th
The average salary ranks 34th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like West Corporation, University of Nebraska, TEKsystems, and University of Nebraska Medical Center.

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$14,000

$119,000

Salary Distribution
New Hampshire$33,772 Rank: 45th
The average salary ranks 45th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Liberty Mutual, CyberCoders, Yasmesoft, and The Nagler Group.

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$7.25

$46.60

Salary Distribution
New Jersey$73,016 Rank: 8th
The average salary ranks 8th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Vedicsoft, Corp2Corp Inc, Jarvis Walker, and Robert Half Technology.

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$22,000

$151,000

Salary Distribution
New Mexico$61,800 Rank: 21st
The average salary ranks 21st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Indian Health Service, Sabio Systems, and University of New Mexico.

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$19,000

$127,000

Salary Distribution
Nevada$61,583 Rank: 22nd
The average salary ranks 22nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Robert Half Technology, Accountemps, and AppleOne.

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$14,000

$163,000

Salary Distribution
New York$77,010 Rank: 4th
The average salary ranks 4th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Capgemini, Compass Healthcare Consulting & Placement, Barclays, and CyberCoders.

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$19,000

$173,000

Salary Distribution
Ohio$68,674 Rank: 13th
The average salary ranks 13th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Mountain Ltd., Emerald Resource Group, Principle Solutions Group, and Capgemini.

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$19,000

$148,000

Salary Distribution
Oklahoma$48,115 Rank: 38th
The average salary ranks 38th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Fuse3 Solutions, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, University of Oklahoma, and AppleOne.

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$7.50

$52.70

Salary Distribution
Oregon$60,652 Rank: 24th
The average salary ranks 24th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Kanand Corporation, TEKsystems, Robert Half Management Resources, and Terminal Contacts LLC.

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$7.25

$73.70

Salary Distribution
Pennsylvania$61,502 Rank: 23rd
The average salary ranks 23rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Capgemini, Nigel Frank International, Connect America, and Analytic Recruiting.

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$15,000

$138,000

Salary Distribution
Rhode Island$71,547 Rank: 9th
The average salary ranks 9th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Nigel Frank International, CyberCoders, State of Rhode Island, and Adecco.

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$23,000

$146,000

Salary Distribution
South Carolina$50,295 Rank: 36th
The average salary ranks 36th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Metasense, Globalpundit’s Information Technology Inc, Robert Half Technology, and Robert Half Finance & Accounting.

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$14,000

$110,000

Salary Distribution
Tennessee$59,573 Rank: 25th
The average salary ranks 25th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Nigel Frank International, Vaco – Nashville, Selby Jennings, and Robert Half Technology.

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$19,000

$122,000

Salary Distribution
Texas$52,262 Rank: 35th
The average salary ranks 35th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like HCL Technologies, Thinkfind Corporation, ProFound Staffing, Inc., and ExxonMobil.

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$7.25

$66.75

Salary Distribution
Utah$58,589 Rank: 27th
The average salary ranks 27th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like TEKsystems, University of Utah, Robert Half Technology, and CyberCoders.

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$18,000

$123,000

Salary Distribution
Virginia$70,913 Rank: 10th
The average salary ranks 10th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Addx Corporation, The Royak Group Inc., Capital One, and UDig.

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$19,000

$155,000

Salary Distribution
Vermont$39,225 Rank: 44th
The average salary ranks 44th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Middlebury College and Spherion.

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$7.25

$40.85

Salary Distribution
Washington$77,547 Rank: 3rd
The average salary ranks 3rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Zillow, CyberCoders, United Software Group, and MMS Group.

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$26,000

$156,000

Salary Distribution
Wisconsin$69,625 Rank: 11th
The average salary ranks 11th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Pathfinder Search Group, Healthcare Scouts, Inc., Capgemini, and Wonderbox Technologies LLC.

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$27,000

$131,000

Salary Distribution

Top 20 National Employers

According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Data Analyst. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.

Employer Name Location Average Salary

Learn More

Related Careers

Career Name Average Salary
Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.Follow on Twitter.com

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