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# What is the difference between a Data Scientist and a Data Analyst?

Can a data scientist work as a data analyst?

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# Elsy’s Answer

Simply put, a data analyst makes sense out of existing data, whereas a data scientist works on new ways of capturing and analyzing data to be used by the analysts. If you love numbers and statistics as well as computer programming, either path could be a good fit for your career goals.

Thanks Elsy, that was really helpful! :)
Genevieve

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# Nicole’s Answer

Hey Genevieve. Thanks so much for this awesome question!

A few years ago, I answered a similar question...here is the link (https://www.careervillage.org/questions/318236/what-is-the-difference-between-the-job-of-a-data-engineer-and-a-data-analytics?source=mail:cv&sourcetag=email_impact_milestone)

A more direct answer to your question "Can a data scientist work as a data analyst?"...absolutely! In fact, it's my belief that the work of a data analyst and a data scientist go together in a very strong partnership. I have held the role of data analyst for much of my career. The role of a data scientist is a little newer but contains some very specific skills sets (like artificial intelligence and modeling). In general, a data analyst spends lots of time understanding the data they work with. In general, the data analyst can tell when something is wrong with the data (and can fix it :)) Knowing the ins and outs of data can make a data scientist role a little easier because often a data scientist has to convey how a set of data behaves...there is an expectation that a data scientist can use what they know about a data set to predict what will happen in certain circumstances (think how will the data change an outcome? or how will an event change the data?).

There is much to learn as the areas of data, data analytics and data science continue to grow. I hope that this answer is helpful to you on your journey of understanding. Best of luck to you!

A few years ago, I answered a similar question...here is the link (https://www.careervillage.org/questions/318236/what-is-the-difference-between-the-job-of-a-data-engineer-and-a-data-analytics?source=mail:cv&sourcetag=email_impact_milestone)

A more direct answer to your question "Can a data scientist work as a data analyst?"...absolutely! In fact, it's my belief that the work of a data analyst and a data scientist go together in a very strong partnership. I have held the role of data analyst for much of my career. The role of a data scientist is a little newer but contains some very specific skills sets (like artificial intelligence and modeling). In general, a data analyst spends lots of time understanding the data they work with. In general, the data analyst can tell when something is wrong with the data (and can fix it :)) Knowing the ins and outs of data can make a data scientist role a little easier because often a data scientist has to convey how a set of data behaves...there is an expectation that a data scientist can use what they know about a data set to predict what will happen in certain circumstances (think how will the data change an outcome? or how will an event change the data?).

There is much to learn as the areas of data, data analytics and data science continue to grow. I hope that this answer is helpful to you on your journey of understanding. Best of luck to you!

Great answer! Thank you so much Nicole, you're the best! :)
Genevieve

Updated

# Greg’s Answer

A very popular question!

From my point of view, a data analyst takes existing data and derives insights from that dataset(s). I have also seen many data analyst roles that require the employee to know SQL and write basic queries to put datasets together. For a more mature data analyst role, the company may require the employee to create dashboards to visualize the insights for various audiences.

The key difference between this role and a data scientist from what I have seen, is that a data scientist does more statistical modeling. Many companies refer to this work as ML/AI or data science. This would require the employee to be able to do everything a data analyst would do, but be able to create predictive algorithms with the data. This role is likely to require the employee to know python or other languages used for building models and manipulating data.

From my point of view, a data analyst takes existing data and derives insights from that dataset(s). I have also seen many data analyst roles that require the employee to know SQL and write basic queries to put datasets together. For a more mature data analyst role, the company may require the employee to create dashboards to visualize the insights for various audiences.

The key difference between this role and a data scientist from what I have seen, is that a data scientist does more statistical modeling. Many companies refer to this work as ML/AI or data science. This would require the employee to be able to do everything a data analyst would do, but be able to create predictive algorithms with the data. This role is likely to require the employee to know python or other languages used for building models and manipulating data.

Thank you Greg!
Genevieve

Updated

# Sumanta’s Answer

Hi Genevieve, I think the existing answers pretty much sums up the differences. I just want to emphasize on the science part of the data scientist role. Mostly, people with some sort of research background are hired for data scientist roles. Given a problem they have to formulate it as a statement, develop hypothesis, design experiments, run them and based on the results, accept or reject the hypothesis. In many organizations, data scientists often participate in research conferences and publish papers. In contrary to that, a data analyst focuses more on the tools and techniques to extract business intelligence. So I guess every data scientists have to do perform data analysis at some point but not the other way.

Thank you Sumanta! Your answer definitely gave me something to think about when considering my career choice! :)
Genevieve