Working as a statistical analyst is ideal for a person with strong mathematical abilities and an eye for detail. These individuals consistently work with large volumes of data to interpret patterns so that future predictions can be made. While the type of data that a statistical analyst works with can vary substantially, the basic tasks of this job are much the same. Some common duties include determining analysis parameters, processing data, analyzing data, managing staff and creating visual aids for data interpretation.
One of the most fundamental duties is determining the parameters for the data analysis. Essentially, it's his job to devise efficient methods to research and analyze data that will provide him with accurate results. To perform this practice correctly, he must take the scientific method into account, follow government regulations and address any variables that could hinder the accuracy of his research.
After research has been completed, a statistical analyst must process the data. In most cases, this involves inputting data into a computer software program. This aspect of the job can be arduous at times and requires an individual to be accurate. Otherwise, the results may be incorrectly skewed. A statistical analyst might handle this duty solely for small projects, and may supervise a team entering data for large projects.
Once all the data has been processed and entered, it must then be analyzed. To do this, the analyst must examine large volumes of data and look for patterns, usually with the help of statistical software. For example, if he is working for a marketing department, he might try to uncover sales patterns on a particular product. As he makes new findings, they will be interpreted and used in developing new marketing techniques.
In many instances, he will also have to manage staff members. For smaller operations, this may only be one or two individuals. In larger organizations, a statistical analyst may be in charge of a whole department. To ensure quality research and accurate findings, he must make sure that all staff members understand assignments and stay on the same page. Consequently, it's helpful to have sound leadership skills for this position.
Creating visual aids for easy data interpretation is another common responsibility. Due to the complex nature of analyzing statistics, it's often helpful to create visual aids like charts and graphs to share with others. Doing so makes it much easier for audiences to digest information and makes the findings accessible for everyone. In many cases, a statistical analyst will use these aids to share his results with supervisors or other higher-ups.