Data Analyst Salary: Senior Level, Entry-Level, and More (State Salary List) [2020]

A data analyst is a professional who transforms and models data and information with the goal of discovering useful business information and conclusions that can help support decision-making within a business. In this sense, a data analyst is someone who performs business analysis using data models and data transformations.

A data analyst is sometimes referred to as a business analyst, data scientist, senior data analyst, junior data analyst, operations analyst, market research analyst, marketing analyst, or data scientist depending on the business and industry.

data analyst salary

What is a Data Analyst

Organizations in all industries (like finance and IT) increasingly rely on quantitative data to inform critical business decisions. This includes new products to develop, new business markets to enter, new investments to make, and how to address certain customer segments. Data analysts work in all sectors, from healthcare to marketing to retail to investment banking.

In these organizations, the job of the data analyst is to assign a numerical value to these important business functions so business performance can be assessed and compared over time. Creating guidance for the business and informing the overall business direction. But the job involves more than just looking at numbers: An analyst needs to extract insights from large data sets in order to enable an organization to make quantitatively informed decisions.

In every industry, they tackle four types of data analysis:

  • Descriptive analytics: Used to determine what happened.
  • Diagnostic analytics: Used to explain why things happened.
  • Predictive analytics: Used to figure out what will probably happen.
  • Prescriptive analytics: Used to determine what actions to take.

Data Analyst Job Description

A data analyst works closely with the technology teams, management teams, and finance teams to assist in the business decision making process. Assisting with quantitative analysis on the business, market, market conditions, and other quantitative factors that data analysis can assist with.

Job duties and responsibilities include:

  • Control the data analysis pipeline and work closely with a financial analyst, business analyst, operations research analyst, and other analyst roles.
  • Cleanse and ensure data quality and data integrity while modeling new data sets.
  • Practice data science by ingesting market data, internal revenue data, customer information, and more.
  • Work closely with our internal statistician to create complex data models.
  • Develop relational databases that help organize our large data sets.
  • Be the stakeholder for determining business insight and more.
  • Ingest large sets of healthcare data and set models for making business decisions.
  • Assist with data processing and data modeling projects.
  • Work closely with a senior data analyst on special projects.
  • Handle clerical tasks associated with the data analyst team requirements.
  • Work closely with senior executives to understand upcoming initiatives and needs of the data analyst team.
  • Assist junior data analysts and other analysts with mentorship and skill development.
  • Coordinate work amongst the data analyst teams.
  • Lead special projects and provide actionable insights from statistical methods and modeling.

For more information on the data analyst job description, visit this resource.

Data Analyst Salary Information

According to Salary.com, a data analyst earns an average salary of anywhere from $66,700 to $85,600, per year. While PayScale, on the other hand, suggests that a $60,888 median annual salary can be expected in the data analyst role. Those with a master's in data analytics can expect to earn anywhere from $82,750 to $138,000 per year in annual wages.

An alternative career path for data analysts is to go into the profession of data science. According to IBM's estimates, the median annual salary of data scientists starts at roughly $95,000.

Certain geographies, like Chicago, San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles tend to pay the most. And pay data analysts who have experience using a diverse set of data analysis techniques and software (e.g., Apache, Mongo, Machine Learning, D3, AWS, and more).

Data Analyst Salary Information by State

Data analysts are in higher demand in larger cities that have more businesses operating in the IT (Information Technology), finance, banking, and software technology sectors.

Top paying states for data analysts

Below are the top five states that pay the highest for data analysts.

  • New York: $80,143 median annual salary
  • New Hampshire: $77,826 median annual salary
  • Wyoming: $71,433 median annual salary
  • West Virginia: $69,629 median annual salary
  • Pennsylvania: $69,292 median annual salary

Full list of data analyst wages by state:

  • New York: $80,143 median annual salary
  • New Hampshire: $77,826 median annual salary
  • Wyoming: $71,433 median annual salary
  • West Virginia: $69,629 median annual salary
  • Pennsylvania: $69,292 median annual salary
  • Massachusetts: $68,777 median annual salary
  • Montana: $67,369 median annual salary
  • Hawaii: $67,236 median annual salary
  • Arizona: $66,676 median annual salary
  • Washington: $66,334 median annual salary
  • New Jersey: $66,288 median annual salary
  • Indiana: $66,249 median annual salary
  • Connecticut: $66,018 median annual salary
  • Rhode Island: $64,585 median annual salary
  • Georgia: $64,320 median annual salary
  • Alaska: $63,843 median annual salary
  • Wisconsin: $63,775 median annual salary
  • Tennessee: $63,668 median annual salary
  • North Dakota: $63,590 median annual salary
  • Minnesota: $63,559 median annual salary
  • Nevada: $63,340 median annual salary
  • Ohio: $63,204 median annual salary
  • Maryland: $62,851 median annual salary
  • Alabama: $62,817 median annual salary
  • Utah: $62,117 median annual salary
  • Nebraska: $61,802 median annual salary
  • South Dakota: $61,733 median annual salary
  • Louisiana: $61,638 median annual salary
  • Virginia: $60,993 median annual salary
  • Oregon: $60,864 median annual salary
  • New Mexico: $60,632 median annual salary
  • Florida: $60,621 median annual salary
  • Kentucky: $60,532 median annual salary
  • Iowa: $60,324 median annual salary
  • California: $60,164 median annual salary
  • Vermont: $60,161 median annual salary
  • Kansas: $60,079 median annual salary
  • South Carolina: $59,135 median annual salary
  • Colorado: $58,985 median annual salary
  • Delaware: $58,752 median annual salary
  • Oklahoma: $57,440 median annual salary
  • Idaho: $56,327 median annual salary
  • Mississippi: $56,295 median annual salary
  • Maine: $56,102 median annual salary
  • Arkansas: $55,445 median annual salary
  • Michigan: $55,338 median annual salary
  • Illinois: $55,144 median annual salary
  • Texas: $54,370 median annual salary
  • Missouri: $54,104 median annual salary
  • North Carolina: $50,392 median annual salary

Salary information by state provided by ZipRecruiter.

Top data analytics employers

Below are employers who provide a decent wage for each employee in the data analyst position. Data analyst salaries aggregated by ADP.org information.

Data analysts who hold a master's degree can expect to see professional salaries in the $92,500 median annual salary range according to a 2018 Burtch Works study. In this highly competitive field, a master's degree can have a significant impact on salary expectations (with more than 89% of employees in the analytics space now holding only a bachelor's degree).

What is a master's in data analytics? Noodle.com assists in understanding this new field of study and graduate program, saying that "Master's in data analytics programs prepare students to step into specialist roles in analytics, business intelligence, and even data science. Typically, these students have strong STEM backgrounds, strong business backgrounds, or both. Many already work in analytics, data engineering, data architecture, or computer science and have established data set mining, data modeling, and business analytics skills."

Those who hold a master's in data analytics can expect to earn anywhere from 15% to 25% more in median annual wages after completing their education. Learn more about whether a data analytics master's degree is worth it.

For more information on data analyst salaries and average annual salary information, please visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How to Become a Data Analyst

Typically, a degree in math, statistics, or computer science from a well-known institution plus prior experience in computer modeling, software engineering, or predictive analytics—is required. Students in data analysis bachelor's degree programs typically complete coursework in:

  • Business intelligence.
  • Data mining.
  • Data security.
  • Computer science.
  • Database operations.
  • Data visualization.
  • Information technology.
  • Regression analysis.
  • Scripting.
  • Statistics.

Some students may choose to receive a master's program in data analytics, as the job title has become more competitive over the years. Top universities that offer data analytic's master's programs include Carnegie Mellon Univerity, Tufts University, and Boston University.

Top data analyst candidates have one or more of the following certifications:

The following hard skills and programming language proficiencies are required of a data analyst:

In addition, these database hard skills can be a requirement of the role:

Additional Data Analyst Resources

Data analyst resources for job seekers and employers.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

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