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Data Analyst vs. Statistician: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

Data analysts and statisticians are both professionals who work with data. However, their roles and responsibilities differ. Data analysts typically collect, organize and interpret data, while statisticians use data to develop models and solve problems. If you’re interested in working with data, learning more about each field can help you decide which one is right for you. In this article, we compare and contrast data analysts and statisticians, and we provide information on what you can expect from each profession.

What is a Data Analyst?

Data Analysts are responsible for collecting, organizing and analyzing data to help companies make better business decisions. They use their findings to improve processes, identify trends and support decision-making. Data Analysts typically have a strong background in mathematics and computer science. They use statistical software to clean, organize and model data. Data Analysts also use their findings to create visualizations, like charts and graphs, to help explain their analysis and present their recommendations.

What is a Statistician?

Statisticians collect, analyze and interpret data to help solve real-world problems in a variety of fields, including business, health care, education and government. They use their mathematical and analytical skills to design experiments, surveys and observational studies. Statisticians also develop new methods for data collection and analysis. They often use computer software to run simulations, create models and conduct statistical analyses. Statisticians present their findings in reports, papers or presentations. They may also testify as expert witnesses in legal proceedings.

Data Analyst vs. Statistician

Here are the main differences between a data analyst and a statistician.

Job Duties

Both data analysts and statisticians use their expertise to collect, organize and analyze information. However, the way they go about doing this differs. A data analyst typically uses software programs to extract information from databases. They then perform calculations, such as running surveys or experiments, to gain a deeper understanding of the data.

A statistician works more directly with research subjects. They may conduct interviews or ask for volunteers to participate in studies. A statistician may also run tests on samples to ensure that results are accurate. Finally, both professionals write reports to communicate their findings to stakeholders.

Job Requirements

Data analysts and statisticians typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, statistics or another related field. However, some entry-level positions may only require an associate degree or some college coursework. Data analysts and statisticians can also pursue certifications through organizations like the American Statistical Association (ASA) to improve their job prospects. Some employers may prefer candidates who have experience working with specific software programs or who have earned a master’s degree in data science or another related field.

Work Environment

Data analysts and statisticians often work in similar environments, but the type of company they work for can affect their daily routine. For example, a data analyst might work for a marketing firm that helps companies develop strategies to attract new customers. A statistician might work for a pharmaceutical company that develops drugs to help people with certain medical conditions.

A data analyst might also work for a government agency or nonprofit organization. They might use their skills to help these organizations make decisions about how to improve services or allocate resources. A statistician might work for a research institute where they conduct studies on specific topics.


Data analysts and statisticians both use analytical skills to examine data and draw conclusions from their findings. They also need to be able to effectively communicate their results to those who may not have the same level of statistical knowledge.

Statisticians typically have more of a focus on mathematics than data analysts. They use mathematical skills to develop models that can be used to make predictions or understand relationships between variables. Data analysts also use mathematical skills, but they tend to focus more on using statistical software programs to analyze data sets.

Data analysts also benefit from having computer skills. They often work with large data sets that require the use of specialized software to organize and analyze. Statisticians may also use computer programs to run their models, but they are not as reliant on them as data analysts are.


Data analysts and statisticians both work with data, but they have different roles. Data analysts are responsible for collecting, organizing and analyzing data, while statisticians are responsible for analyzing data and interpreting it to make predictions. Data analysts earn an average salary of $75,765 per year, while statisticians earn an average salary of $81,374 per year.


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