Financial Analyst vs. Data Analyst: An Overview
If you’re somebody who is in love with numbers and yearns for solving complex problems through your analytical skills, a career as a Financial Analyst or a Data Analyst is an ideal career for you. Financial Analysts use financial data and statements to find trends and implement meaningful decisions based upon the insights extracted from the analysis.
Business officers and leaders prefer to assess the financial health of their company with respect to the socio-economic conditions prevailing in the market. This analysis helps them to identify a favourable time to invest in securities or determine if an entire business should be bought or sold.
Similarly, Data Analyst handles a similar set of expectations perform a similar function that may or may not involve an impact on the investment decisions. A data analyst may have to study the annual data to inform the new wage rate with respect to the average productivity levels, transportation costs or measure the impact of marketing & advertising costs.
Neither of the job roles requires you to have a formal degree. It further implies that there are no legitimate university exams but a certain level of proficiency in a given skill or competency is something that an individual employer can determine according to the nature and scope of the role they are looking out for.
For ambitious data analysts, a bachelor’s degree in Statistics is an impressive point to start and even better with a master’s degree as it makes your profile much more competitive in today’s job market. When hiring a data analyst, a competitive mix of quantitative acumen and computer literacy helps you stand apart and showcase yourself as a potential asset for informing the stakeholders’ key decision-making process.
For aspiring financial analysts, there are many relevant online certifications and degree programs like MBA in Finance that can make you a suitable fit for an analytical role in the finance discipline. A Master’s degree program will not only boost your profile but also allow you to hit the ground running from the very first day.
Analysts must possess a keen interest in problem-solving and finding meaningful insights from raw data and translate it to the senior management in a well-defined and persuasive manner.
In addition to it, Financial Analysts must have sufficient knowledge of how financial products and security markets work. One must understand and know how to cull useful information from various dependable sources.
- Accounting Skills
- Financial Modeling
- Accounting Software
- Project Financing Skills
- Corporate Finance
- Business Valuation
- MS Excel Skills
- Communication and Interpersonal Skills
- Problem-Solving Skills
Data Analysts must understand how to use data to find reasonable answers to the questions that arise from the market findings and national surveys business owners to.
- Structured Query Language (SQL)
- Microsoft Excel
- Critical Thinking
- R or Python-Statistical Programming
- Data Visualization
- Presentation Skills
- Machine Learning
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has an enthusiastic view towards the scope for financial analyst jobs between 2016 and 2026, with a projected growth of 11% in job opportunities which is faster than the 7% growth expected across all occupations in the United States.
However, the BLS also adds: "Despite employment growth, competition is expected for financial analyst positions. Growth in financial services is projected to create new positions, but there are still far more people who would like to enter the occupation than there are jobs in the occupation. Having a data analytics certifications and a graduate degree can significantly improve an applicant’s prospects."
If you believe that your strengths and personality are aligned with the requirements of this quantitatively-inclined job role, then you want to dive deeper into the role of an analyst.
The path to earning the relevant certifications isn’t an easy one as long as you’re not aware of the credible education institutions in the given field.
Furthermore, to learn the ropes of becoming a financial analyst or a data analyst, one must be guided by industry experts without being forced to burn their wallets.
As one of the leading platforms for affordable higher education in India, Edology is one of the most preferred choices for working professionals who yearn for a bigger responsibility in their organization.
Our programs are a stepping stone towards a progressive career under the best mentorship in a conducive culture for global learning and holistic professional growth.