In as much as the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm and left companies reeling from the impact, junior data analyst jobs are still in demand.
Despite the fact that the tech sector has felt the blow of the economic crisis, as is evidenced in a report by Hiring Lab, companies still feel that now is the best time to invest in someone with skills in data analysis.
It makes sense. At such a volatile time where every single industry has recorded significant changes in their data, be it in terms of sales or otherwise, logic would indicate that companies feel obliged to understand how their company is performing in order to strategize for the future.
It also makes sense that at such a difficult economic time, businesses are looking for the most affordable professional who can offer them the data analysis services they need, i.e junior data analysts.
After all, in comparison to senior data analysts, the average salary of their entry-level counterparts won’t leave such a dent in their company’s pockets.
That said, in their quest for insight, some recruiters make the mistake of framing job descriptions for junior data analysts as if they were scouting for a different type of professional within data analysis. While similarities may exist between subsets of profiles who offer data analysis services, a recruiter needs to be precise with the roles and responsibilities that a junior data analyst needs to accomplish.
For that reason, I’ve prepared this blog post to clarify the general day-to-day responsibilities that businesses want from entry-level data analysts as well as how recruiters ought to phrase them to attract the right type of candidates.
Let’s dive in.
What Is A Junior Data Analyst?
A junior data analyst (also known as an entry-level data analyst) is someone who participates in the retrieval, analysis, simplification, and representation of complex data sets despite having little to no previous experience doing so. In short, these professionals examine company data in order to make conclusions about them that interested parties can leverage to shape the future of the business.
Usually, candidates who successfully become junior data analysts at a company are recent university graduates who studied a Master’s degree in a field such as Big Data, Statistics, Computer Science, Statistical Analysis, or Business Intelligence, among others.
In their capacity as an analyst, they are responsible for making conclusions about important company data. In doing so, the board of directors leverages their analysis to make strategic decisions that impact the business’ future.
In an effort to dissect company data to arrive at the conclusions which company officials request, an analyst leverages one of four processes associated with data analysis:
- Prescriptive analytics: This type of data process seeks to find the solution to a given problem. In such cases, previous data analysis has already been conducted in order to determine the issue that a company is confronting.
- Predictive analytics: When it comes to predictive analytics, an analyst’s goal is to make a series of predictions with regard to how company data will behave over a period of time. To do this, the analyst takes into consideration any patterns or tendencies that have cropped up from how data behaved in the past as well as any factors that may condition it in the future.
- Descriptive analytics: Here, an analyst’s goal is to describe how a batch of data has behaved over a period of time. In other words, unlike predictive or descriptive analytics, descriptive analytics simply seeks to determine what happened. This type of analysis is particularly common among businesses that wish to get an overview of how their company performed during a specific financial quarter.
- Diagnostic analytics: Diagnostic analytics seeks as its primary purpose to figure out what were the underlying elements which provoked a series of actions to take place. While some may mistake it as descriptive analysis, the analyst’s goal isn’t to understand what happened, rather, why it did.
Junior Data Analyst: How They Differ From The Rest
Although most companies agree that data analytics plays an integral role in how they are able to improve their operations and establish a viable strategic plan moving forward, at times, recruiters can be at a loss for the right data type of analysis profile for their business.
To be more concrete, sometimes, employers don’t know whether they ought to hire a full-time junior data analyst, a data scientist, or a business analyst, for example.
In fact, on occasion, they may have their minds set on onboarding a junior data analyst, yet the manner in which they frame the job description causes ambiguity since they make little to no distinction between the types of responsibilities carried out by each specific profile.
Differentiating between them is crucial to ensuring that your job alerts racks in candidates who align with the skills needed for your job type.
For starters, a junior business analyst (also known as a financial analyst) participates in the strategic development of a company. By using the conclusions that are drawn from the investigative work done by the data analyst, the business analyst works alongside the board of directors to define how the company can move forward in the best possible way.
While the distinction between roles may be clear between data analysts and business analysts, when it comes to professionals in data science, it becomes less evident. Junior data scientists combine a bit of the responsibilities ascribed to a data analyst as well as those of a business analyst to perform day-to-day data mining activities. Essentially, they sift through company financial data in an effort to find ways in which they can capitalize on it for the benefit of their business.
Entry-Level, Mid-Level, and Senior Data Analysts
Before getting into how junior data analyst job descriptions ought to reflect the responsibilities that are expected of them, it is imperative that I differentiate between them and their senior counterparts.
This is because by and large, junior data analysts share the same responsibilities as those of mid-level and senior data analysts. However, the key difference that distinguishes them is their level of work experience.
Obviously, a senior data analyst has much more experience in the field than a junior data analyst.
Consequently, while the responsibilities may be the same, depending on the specific role, the job description will be modified to speak to the experience that is required to handle each responsibility.
Junior Data Analyst Job Description: Responsibilities
As it occurs with just about every job description, it would be impractical to list all the responsibilities that a junior data analyst has to do on a daily basis.
After all, each one’s responsibilities vary based on the company that they are working at as well as the specific type of data analysis process that they prioritize in order to achieve the results requested by their employers.
Having said that, there are some general duties that all data analysts must participate in irrespective of their rank or the company they lend their services to.
Here’s a breakdown of the most common ones:
- Report Generation: Data analysts across organizations must participate in report generation. This is logical as the results from the extensive data analysis that they do have to be compiled into a single format that is easily accessible. In the case of junior data analysts, job descriptions usually mention that the candidate will have to leverage report generation software tools such as HubSpot Marketing Analytics, Xplenty, Microsoft Power BI, and Microsoft Excel. Due to their position as entry-level staff, some businesses will state that training will be offered in the software used by the company as part of the onboarding package offered. From the point of view of a candidate applying for the job, this type of offer is a powerful incentive that’ll encourage them to take a shot at your job advertisement. After all, they will be getting training in data visualization applications like Tableau, one of the most used tools in data analysis.
- Data management: Junior data analyst job descriptions usually make explicit mention of the need for the candidate to perform tasks related to data management. In other words, the successful applicant will have to juggle data collection, storage, and security in order to safeguard company information while guaranteeing its access. Once again, recruiters are encouraged to state whether the company will be offering any specific training in data management tools like MySQL, IBM DB2, SQL Lite, and Oracle RDBMS, among others. Doing so will appeal to a wider candidate pool and increase your chances of securing the type of profile that will accompany your company on its growth.
- Pattern recognition: As a data analyst, companies need candidates who have the ability to spot patterns. Needless to say, this skill is crucial for business irrespective of the type of conclusions they would like the analyst to come to. In the case of junior analyst job descriptions, when referencing skills needed for pattern recognition responsibilities, recruiters tend to make it clear that candidates will have to apply a mixture of analytical skills, problem-solving skills, and communication skills to define tendencies in complex data sets and relay them to their superiors.
Junior Data Analyst Roles & Responsibilities: Key Takeaways
In short, despite the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic that are being felt across multiple industries, job titles like jr. data analysts are still in demand.
It is a recruiter’s job to ensure that they tailor their job descriptions to capture the right candidates that will be an asset to their company throughout its growth.
For that reason, even if applicants are junior level, not only do employers need to place particular emphasis on a candidate’s academic background, but they also need to find ways to frame the responsibilities expected from the successful applicant in such a way that it looks appealing.
Not only will this increase your competitive edge, but it will also have a positive impact on the type of candidates that want to launch their career path with your company and grow alongside you throughout their career.