Pros and Cons for a Career in Data Reporting Analysis
Data reporting analysis is heavily quantitative and utilizes information technology to solve business problems. Continue reading for the pros and cons of this career.
|Pros of Being a Data Reporting Analyst|
|Help a company find solutions to problems*|
|Recognize workable business patterns to establish company norms*|
|See that a company's goals are being met**|
|Faster than average job growth (15% sector growth from 2012-2022)***|
|Cons of Being a Data Reporting Analyst|
|Heavily quantitative and analytical*|
|Long hours are spent in front of a computer***|
|Must connect company needs or goals to complex data**|
|Need to know specific computer programs to work job**|
Sources: *Salary.com, **O*NET OnLine, ***U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Essential Career Information
Job Descriptions and Duties
A data reporting analyst is a type of database administrator who helps craft data from a business computer system to create a report used for business analysis. According to Salary.com, a data reporting analyst must find and statistically process data and report on how the information fits with or requires business solutions.
According to O*NET Online, a data reporting analyst helps with business intelligence. This business practice helps a company make sure that their desired goals are being quantified from data processed by the analyst. In addition, the analyst helps interpret the complex data in order to provide supervisors and managers information on what is occurring within the company.
Job Prospects and Salary
Salary.com reports that the median annual salary of a data reporting analyst to be around $56,000 in 2015. Analysts in the bottom-earning tenth percentile earned an annual salary of $43,000, while the top-earning tenth percentile of analysts had an annual salary of $70,000. Since reporting analysts are a type of database administrator, websites like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) do not have quantified employment trends to report. However, the BLS does state that all database administration jobs should grow by 15% from 2012-2022. Much of this growth is found in job sectors, like healthcare, or in other jobs, such as security for databases.
The BLS states that most workers in database administration need a bachelor's degree in computer science or information technology. Employers, especially ones that handle a large volume of clients or services, might want database administration jobs filled with Master of Business Administration (MBA) graduates. However, Salary.com reports that most entry-level analysts have a bachelor's degree.
What Do Employers Look for?
Companies want a data reporting analyst who will keep company interests and formats in mind. Crafting reports that are easily interpreted and meet all company guidelines are essential, so attention to detail is necessary. The following job postings could be seen as of April 2012:
- A New York university is looking for a data reporting analyst in the philanthropy office. The philanthropy office needs the analyst to construct rules and standards for financial information and report regularly on the performance of the department.
- A California company needs a data reporting analyst to investigate data tracking in the computer systems. Applicants must be able to manage projects to meet data markers and to help forecast essential financial information like manpower and investment cost.
- A Massachusetts company needs a data reporting analyst to check if data is being processed accurately. The company needs an analyst to investigate if data is reaching its transported targets and to see if the goals of the company are translating into the data being mined into the system.
How to Get an Edge in the Field
The BLS mentions that there are certifications available in database administration. Certification opportunities are available through various software companies. Although not necessary for the job, capitalizing on certification might demonstrate your initiative and drive to become more professionalized in the field. It may also prove to be prudent to become certified, as the BLS reports many firms might want their administrators to be certified in the programming languages they use. In the case of data reporting analysts, SQL expertise is recommended.
Develop Related Skills
Salary.com hints that entry-level positions do not require much previous experience. However, as seen in many job postings, it is important that data reporting analysts understand their role as consultants and information providers. Strengthening inter-professional communication, research and analytical skills are necessary to be an effective problem-solver for businesses.
Other Careers to Consider
Computer Systems Analyst
If you like analyzing computer systems, but do not want to focus on just databases, you might want to consider becoming a computer systems analyst. Unlike a data reporting analyst, a computer systems analyst reviews how a business' information technology operates and makes suggestions to increase efficiency while decreasing costs. Many of the same skill sets and education requirements are necessary for both data reporting and computer systems analysts. Job growth for computer analysts was projected to grow 22% from 2010-2020, according to the BLS. The median salary for computer systems analysts was $79,000 in 2011.
Operations Research Analyst
If you like to problem-solve, but want to expand more into the business-issues found in computer systems, you may be interested in an operations research analysis career. Operations research analysts utilize computer and information technology to investigate what logistical, marketing or production issues are holding back the full potential of a company. The median salary was calculated to be $72,000 annually in 2011, according to the BLS.