This position is found in any employer in any sector that uses data to make business decisions. Data analysts may work in various departments within a single employer, (for example finance, sales, HR, manufacturing, or marketing), and in any employment sector, public or private, including retail, distribution, defence, banking, logistics, media, local government, etc.
The broad purpose of the role is to ascertain how data can be used in order to answer questions and solve problems. Data analysis is a process of requirement-gathering, inspecting, cleansing, transforming and modelling data with the goal of discovering useful information, informing conclusions and supporting decision-making. Data analysis has multiple facets and approaches, encompassing diverse techniques under a variety of names. In today’s world, data analysis plays a crucial role in making decisions more evidence-based and helping organisations operate more effectively.
For example: a data analyst may investigate social media trends and their impact on the organisation. In retail, a data analyst may break down sales figures to make recommendations on product placement and development. In HR, a data analyst may investigate staff retention rates, in order to decide on recruitment strategy. In a hospital, a data analyst may investigate wait times for different departments, in order to provide a better service to its patients.
In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with internal or external clients. Internally, the data analyst may work with many people within their organisation, at different levels. Externally a data analyst may provide data analysis services to other organisations on behalf of their employer. Data analysts would normally be office based and work normal business hours.
An employee in this occupation will be responsible for the creation and delivery of their own work, to meet business objectives. The data analyst will be responsible for working within the data architecture of the company and ensuring that the data is handled in a compliant, safe and appropriately secure manner, understanding and adhering to company data policy and legislation. Data analysis is a fast-moving and changing environment, and data analysts need to continue to stay abreast of, and engaged with, changes and trends in the wider industry; including data languages, tools and software, and lessons learnt elsewhere.
Job Description/Occupation duties
Duty 1: Identify data sources to meet the organisation’s requirement, using evidence-based decision making to establish a rationale for inclusion and exclusion of various data sets and models.
Duty 2: Liaise with the client and colleagues from other areas of the organisation to establish reporting needs and deliver insightful and accurate information.
Duty 3: Collect, compile and, if needed, cleanse data, such as sales figures, Digital Twins etc. solving any problems that arise, to or from a range of internal and external systems.
Duty 4: Produce performance dashboards and reports in the Visualisation and Model Building Phase.
Duty 5: Support the organisation by maintaining and developing reports for analysis to aid with decisions, and adhering to organisational policy/legislation.
Duty 6: Produce a range of standard and non-standard statistical and data analysis reports in the Model Building phase.
Duty 7: Identify, analyse, and interpret trends or patterns in data sets.
Duty 8: Draw conclusions and recommend an appropriate response, offer guidance or interpretation to aid understanding of the data.
Duty 9: Summarise and present the results of data analysis to a range of stakeholders, making recommendations
Duty 10: Provide regular reports and analysis to management or leadership teams, ensuring data is used and represented ethically in line with relevant legislation (e.g. GDPR which incorporates Privacy by Design).
Duty 11: Ensure data is appropriately stored and archived, in line with relevant legislation e.g. GDPR, with technological developments to enhance relevant skills and take responsibility for own professional development.
Duty 12: Practice continuous self-learning to keep up to date with technological developments to enhance relevant skills and take responsibility for own professional development.
EXTERNAL END-POINT ASSESSMENT (EPA)
Length of end-point assessment period
The EPA will be completed within a period lasting typically 3 months, after the EPA gateway. Any supporting material required for the EPA must be submitted at the Gateway.
Assessment method 1 component 1: Data Analysis Project
The project has a maximum word limit of 3,500 and is compiled after the apprentice has gone through the gateway. The work-based project should be designed to ensure that the apprentice’s work meets the needs of the business, is relevant to their role and allows the relevant KSBs to be demonstrated for the EPA.
The project will be designed to give the Data Analyst the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to the assessment method within their day-to-day work and may cover the following project ideas to enable them to demonstrate competence (these are examples where other relevant project ideas are permitted):
- Patterns / trends and predictions
- Presenting statistical analysis results to inform decisions
- Optimising data models using statistical measures
The employer will ensure it has a real business application and the EPAO will ensure it meets the requirements of the EPA (including suitable coverage of the KSBs assignment to this assessment method).
Assessment method 1 component 2: Presentation with Questioning
Apprentices will prepare and deliver a presentation that appropriately covers the KSBs assigned to this method of assessment. The presentation will be based on the project and will cover:
- a summary of the main aspects of the project
context/ implications/recommendations from the project
practical application of knowledge, skills and behaviours
business recommendations/ outcomes of the project, including visualisations
any follow-on outcomes
actions and next steps
The presentation will be completed and submitted after the gateway within 8 weeks of the EPA start-date typically at the same time as the project report is submitted to the EPAO. The presentation will be presented to an independent assessor, either face-to-face or via online video conferencing. The apprentice will have 10 days’ notice of the presentation date to prepare for the presentation.
Assessment method 2 component 1: Professional discussion with portfolio
This assessment will take the form of a professional discussion which must be appropriately structured to draw out the best of the apprentice’s competence. It will involve the questions that will focus on the KSBs mapped to this method of assessment.
This assessment method was selected as a valid way to draw out KSBs, in particular the behaviours, which would be less likely to naturally occur in the project with presentation and questioning. It is commonplace for people in this occupation to engage in detailed technical discussions, so this assessment method mirrors their day to day work. This will allow some KSBs which may not naturally occur in every workplace or may take too long to observe to be assessed and the assessment of a disparate set of KSBs.