What does a data analyst do? Lots of cleaning it seems

InsideSales.com’s Dave Elkington explains the role of data analysts and why data cleaning takes up the vast majority of their time. Algorithms and computer science play a minor role.

What does a data analyst do? Apparently a lot of cleaning.

According to InsideSales.com CEO Dave Elkington, 80% of the role is to clean data, remove false positives, and basically get everything in place.

The algorithms are solid

The algorithms designed to support data analysis already largely exist, some for decades. What is needed is a way to maximize their effectiveness.

“A data scientist’s job is to understand the data, clean the data, write the algorithm, and optimize the algorithm,” Elkington said, adding that “there are misconceptions about it.”

Elkington says the algorithms are already strong, with the vast majority of employee time spent tweaking the data. “The rest of the work is to optimize the algorithm, to understand the output, to understand the meaning of the problem.”

Comparing the role to someone making a car work better, Elkington said tweaking bits here and there is the real skill.

“I love math, but it’s been around for a long time. The real value of data science is in the data.

David Pardoe from Hays Recruitment wrote about this recently, agreeing that the most critical aspect of data science is doing things that can lead to better or faster decisions, not the technology at your fingertips. .

The technology sector is currently showing incredible growth in data-related fields. Fields such as data science, analytics, and fintech are huge and changing the face of legacy sectors.

Indeed, Hays has listed data scientists and data analysts among the most in-demand roles for 2017.

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Sean N. Ayres