Although the resulting economic and social crisis stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic is making its effects felt across industries, senior data analysts are still in high demand.
While it is true that recruitment has suffered a blow, a fact which has been shared by sources such as the Hiring Lab, the reality is that there are companies that need to levy the services offered by analysts now more than ever.
After all, at ever-changing times such as the ones we currently live in, business leaders need to understand how their company is performing during the crisis in order to make important business decisions.
Therefore, who better to help them than senior data analysts, professionals who have the knowledge to dissect data and break it down into simple, easy-to-understand chunks of information?
That said, one thing is knowing that you need to hire them: another is developing a senior data analyst job description that adequately frames the roles and responsibilities of the hired candidate in an attractive way.
This is exactly what I’m going to be addressing in this blog post.
Get a first-hand glimpse into the day-to-day activities done by senior analysts as well as the ways in which recruiters can take advantage of key language choices to secure the right candidate for the job.
Let’s get right into it.
What Is A Senior Data Analyst?
A senior data analyst is someone with abundant professional experience in collecting, examining, and breaking down complex data sets to draw conclusions from them and, in turn, condition the decision-making process at an executive level. In other words, senior data analysts are responsible for making sense of company data and reporting their conclusions to the persons to whom they report.
Typically, senior data analysts have a diverse and rich background. Academically, they tend to have completed at least a Master’s degree in something like Data Science, Computer Science, Information Technology, Big Data, Machine Learning, or a related field. That said, depending on the candidate's profile, recruiters may consider someone with a Bachelor's degree but massive relevant experience. In terms of professional experience, data analysts usually achieve seniority in rank when they can demonstrate at least five years of experience in the field. From the point of view of a recruiter, a candidate’s profile is bolstered even further when they can prove how the conclusions that they drew from data analysis were able to positively impact a business’ growth.
In order to achieve these actionable insights, senior data analysts make use of one of four data analytics processes. These are as follows:
- Diagnostic analytics: With diagnostic analytics, a senior data analyst is presented with a general scenario in which a series of events took place. Their purpose hinges on identifying the causes that provoked a particular course of action.
- Prescriptive analytics: Prescriptive analysis centers around determining a solution to a given problem. Similar to diagnostic analytics, a situation has already been described to the analyst, in this specific case, a business problem. Their goal is to leverage data analysis to figure out the best way in which the problem can be resolved.
- Descriptive analytics: As the name suggests, descriptive analysis makes reference to how clusters of large data sets come together to paint a story about a company. In essence, the goal of an analyst is to provide a company with an overview of how their company has performed over a given period.
- Predictive analytics: With regard to predictive analytics, the analyst is focused on identifying patterns that crop up in batches of data over a period of time in order to forecast what may happen within a company. This is one of the areas of data analysis where senior analysts tend to excel as it demands precision in problem-solving and analytical skills.
Senior Data Analyst: How They Differ From The Rest
In as much as business executives share the same notion about data analysis being crucial to the success and progression of a company, employers tend to get their wires crossed when it comes to determining the best profile for their business.
In essence, recruiters may not be sure whether the best remedy for their data analysis needs is a senior data analyst, a senior data scientist, or a senior business analyst.
Either that or on occasion, they mistakenly release senior data analyst job advertisements that are framed as if they are directed towards senior business analysts.
This is an elementary-yet-common mistake that several employers are guilty of. Failure to target the right type of analyst in the description for the role may result in your inability to secure the ideal candidate for the job title.
In an effort to differentiate between the major profiles, I’ve included a short breakdown of how each type of analyst contributes to a company’s development:
- Senior business analysts (also called senior financial analysts) are responsible for shaping the strategic direction of a company. In effect, they do not actively participate in data mining or data collection. Instead, once conclusions drawn by a data analyst have been presented, the analyst collaborates with the executive team of a company in an effort to determine the best way for a business to make progress.
- Data scientists are a type of professional who does a bit of both what a data analyst and a business analyst does. Essentially, they go through company data sources in order to find ways in which a company can capitalize on opportunities. However, they do not necessarily do data collection, nor are they solely responsible for refining a business’ strategy. For that reason, they cannot be called either business analysis or data scientists.
Entry-Level, Mid-Level, and Senior Data Analysts
Before delving into the way senior data analyst job descriptions ought to be framed, it is important to state that their responsibilities are very much in keeping with those of other data analysts.
However, the language used across all three types of job descriptions will reflect the level of experience that is required of the candidate.
In other words, the more experience a field requires, the more the language will make specific reference not only to the need to know certain technology, but also to prove it.
Therefore, job descriptions for entry-level data analysts will not make mention of the need to know specific types of software or to even have the experience, for that matter. Instead, more emphasis will be placed on how skills developed in their academic career will be valued in the company.
Senior Data Analyst Job Description: Responsibilities
As is expected, it would be a Herculean task if I were to attempt to prepare a list of all the responsibilities of a data analyst. After all, the day-to-day activities of each analyst will differ based on the company where they are employed.
That said, full-time senior data analysts do share some similar responsibilities irrespective of where they work.
These include the following:
- Report Generation: A senior data analyst bears the responsibility of generating reports that synthesize the conclusions that they have drawn from their data analysis. Needless to say, this is something that is incumbent upon all data analysts as part of the general duties centers around compiling their findings into comprehensive, easy-to-access reports for the executive members of the company. For job descriptions, recruiters usually explicitly state the need for candidates to have dexterity over software platforms such as Xplenty, HubSpot Marketing Analytics, Microsoft Power BI, and Microsoft Excel, among others. Additionally, since data visualization is an integral element of report generation, recruiters usually state that the candidate needs to know top data visualization software such as Tableau, among others. Since senior analysts already have the experience, it is not common to come across job descriptions where employers are offering candidates additional training as it is already expected that they have the technical skills and problem-solving abilities to get the job done right.
- Data management: Additionally, a senior data analyst job description will make mention of the need to be more than familiar with cutting-edge data management software. Consequently, recruiters will state that candidates need to know tool data management tools such as SQL Lite, Oracle RDBMS, My SQL, and IBM DB2, among others. On occasion, instead of listing all data management tools, the employer will make specific mention to the type of software tool which the company uses. However, it is incredibly important to include this as it will help to pre-filter the candidates who apply for your job so that the applicants align with the type of profile you’re looking for.
- Pattern recognition: As a senior data analyst, pattern recognition is your bread and butter. Consequently, employers will be sure to stress the need for candidates to have proven experience leveraging analytical skills in order to spot tendencies in batches of data. In addition to proven professional experience, recruiters will also state the minimum academic requirements that they demand from successful candidates.
Senior Data Analyst Roles & Responsibilities: Key Takeaways
In a nutshell, although COVID-19 is making its effects felt, companies are still looking for senior data analysts.
Similarly, senior data analysts aren’t at a loss for job opportunities in the same way that other job areas are feeling the blow.
For that reason, it is incumbent upon recruiters to ensure that their senior data analyst job descriptions stand out among others while still communicating the need for the analyst to have the profile that you need to grow your business.
For that reason, you must frame the responsibilities of the analyst around your company’s demands, using, in turn, persuasive language to draw in the candidate and make your business attractive.
In essence, do your utmost to construct an appealing job description that states your needs while drawing in possible candidates.