Some organizations require the skills of statistical professionals to analyze financial information, economic trends and help predict future trends. Data analysts use mathematical and computer skills to extract data for reporting purposes from a variety of sources. These professionals may also create models to accurately provide information needed by an organization. Entry-level salaries for data analysts vary based on several factors.
Most employers require a bachelor’s degree for this occupation. Because of increasing use of technology to extract data, preferred degrees include disciplines such as information systems or computer science. Other disciplines such as mathematics or statistics are also acceptable. Along with education, these professionals should have strong mathematical skills, attention to detail and the ability to understand business needs and translate those needs into statistical information.
In January 2010, PayScale reported average salaries based on 2,333 data analysts reporting their wages. Nine percent had less than one year of experience and earned average salaries ranging from $35,533 to $52,981 per year.
The overall average salary ranges from $39,027 to $59,176 per year. Some of these professionals moved or were promoted into this role from previous careers as administrative assistants, customer service representatives and sales associates. Industries with high levels of employment of data analysts include financial services, information technology services, healthcare and business consulting services.
Some data analysts advance into higher-paying occupations such as senior data analysts, earning average salaries ranging from $54,317 to $81,055 per year. Others move into information technology business analyst roles, earning average salaries ranging from $51,562 to $79,917 per year.