Data Analyst Vs. Data Modeler

Data analysts and data modelers use technology to make sense of information, but their focuses are very different, as are their salaries, career outlooks, and degree requirements.

Comparing Data Analysts to Data Modelers

Data analysts use their statistical knowledge to interpret data, while data modelers rely more on logic to make connections between data sets. Though both deal in numbers, there are differences between the degree requirements, salaries, career outlooks, and focuses of these professionals.

Job Title Educational Requirements Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016-2026)**
Data Analysts Master's Degree $58,140 9% (Computer Systems Analysts)
Data Modelers Bachelor's Degree $78,998 19% (Computer and Information Research Scientists)

Sources: *PayScale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of Data Analysts vs. Data Modelers

Companies rely on data analysts and modelers to help them utilize the information they gather on a regular basis. Data analysts work with the information, consolidating it and finding meaningful commonalties. Data modelers, on the other hand, focus on determining how the company develops and organizes its data sets. Both may be called upon to revamp their algorithms and systems when a company modifies or grows.

Data Analysts

To work with large data sets gathered weekly, monthly, or quarterly, these analysts rely on mathematical algorithms to find trends. Data on sales, spending, and even customer information is all collected by these professionals. Data analysts use Excel, SQL, and Google Analytics to organize the information. They then write reports based on their findings, reports that help companies make pivotal decisions regarding how to better meet customer needs or improve areas of workflow to make the employees more efficient.

Job responsibilities of a data analyst include:

  • Working with software developers to create the algorithms
  • Utilizing queries to find specific pieces of data
  • Removing irrelevant data from the database
  • Developing visuals of their findings, such as charts and graphs, to include in reports

Data Modelers

Using programs, such as Erwin, data modelers create maps that logically show how parts of the data are related. They do this by making connections between company departments and integrate all the separate systems they may use. The first step is to meet with company leaders and determine the current data management procedures. Meeting with employees and speaking to them about how to define and categorize the data is also an essential step.

Job responsibilities of a data modeler include:

  • Creating a data dictionary that defines where in the company the data comes from, as well as the value it holds
  • Developing clear procedures for the flow of data between departments
  • Standardizing the abbreviations used across the platform
  • Securing the data by implementing encryption or firewall procedures

Related Careers

If you're interested in a career as a data analyst, you could also explore a job as a statistician, as they also make sense of a company's information. If a position as a data modeler seems exciting, however, you may also like a job as a database administrator, because both create systems to organize information.

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