Article

What does an Analyst do?

Learn all about Analyst duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become an Analyst.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

An analyst is a professional who performs financial analysis, which is a type of work that is concerned with forecasting financial performance and managing financial risks.

Analyst job duties include:

  • Engage with business partners to understand their data needs
  • Collect and analyze data from multiple sources
  • Identify trends and patterns in data
  • Develop hypotheses to explain observed patterns
  • Test hypotheses using statistical methods
  • Present findings to business partners in a clear and concise manner
  • Write reports summarizing findings and recommendations
  • Monitor changes in data over time
  • Update reports and analyses as new data becomes available
  • Stay up-to-date on developments in the field of data analysis

Analyst Job Requirements

Most employers require analysts to have at least a bachelor's degree in a field such as accounting, finance, business administration, or economics. Many analysts also have a master's degree in business administration (MBA) or a master's degree in another field such as mathematics, statistics, or computer science. Some employers prefer candidates who have certification from the Institute for Certified Management Accountants (CMA) or the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program. Many analysts have several years of experience working in accounting, auditing, or financial analysis before becoming an analyst.

Analyst Skills

  • Communication
  • Active listening
  • Writing
  • Presentation
  • Data analysis
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Organizational
  • Time management
  • Research
  • Interpersonal

Related: Top Analyst Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become an Analyst

There are many different types of analysts, but they all share one common goal: to make sense of data. To become an analyst, you will need to have strong analytical and critical thinking skills. You must be able to see patterns and relationships in data, and then use that information to solve problems.

Most analysts have at least a bachelor’s degree in a field such as mathematics, statistics, computer science, or economics. However, the most important requirement for becoming an analyst is experience. Many analysts start out in entry-level positions, such as research assistants or data entry clerks. As they gain experience, they move up into more senior positions.

If you want to become an analyst, start by honing your analytical skills. Practice identifying patterns and relationships in data sets. Then, look for opportunities to put your skills to use in the real world. Start by applying for entry-level jobs in fields that interest you. As you gain experience, you can move up into more senior positions. With hard work and dedication, you can achieve your goal of becoming an analyst.

Related: Analyst Resume Example

Related: Analyst Interview Questions (With Example Answers)