What is Data Analytics Consulting?

June 6, 2022
What is Data Analytics Consulting?

What does a data analytics consultant do?

Data analytics is a sub-field of data science involving different techniques and methodologies to analyze and process raw data. Most companies now employ data analysts to help them manage their data as well as extracting insights and information from that data. 

The role of a data analyst is often conflated with a data analytics consultant. But it is important to distinguish between the two roles. A data analyst commonly uses analytical tools and techniques to transform data into easily comprehensible information. Data analysts can play different roles within a company, with different levels of responsibility. But generally, their role is to gather, clean, organize, and present data. The goal is to provide the organization’s decision-makers with the necessary information to monitor business performance and make decisions.

A data analytics consultant plays an altogether different role. Rather than being part of a company’s existing structure, whether as a full-time employee, or freelancer – a data analytics consultant comes in as an outsider. A data analytics consultant may work as part of a larger consulting firm, or as an individual. Companies bring in data analytics consultants for help in developing or improving their data management strategy. 

Data Analyst Data Analytics Consultant
  • Work within a company’s existing data management setup
  • Observe, transform, clean and model raw data
  • Develop analytic insights – detecting patterns and forecasting trends
  • Audit and interrogate company’s data management structure
  • Identify data sources
  • Address/answer specific project based questions

A data analytics consultant’s responsibilities

Data analytics consultants usually possess a wide range of specialized skills covering data management and strategic analysis. They provide particular services in the area of data management. The overall goal is to assist a given company in developing and improving their data management processes. Data analytics consultants help organizations in using their data to guide business strategy and to make decisions.

man looking at data charts

Data analytics consultants provide a specialized service for companies including:

  • Supporting the organization in developing or improving data management and governance – including auditing data management processes
  • Designing and managing databases and data flows
  • Creating new data models for process improvements
  • Creating or improving business planning models and forecasts
  • Improving existing data processes – to increase data capture and data accuracy
  • Identifying data gaps across different business units and identifying areas for improvement
  • Developing recommendations for the company’s overall data management strategy
  • Developing recommendations for specific business improvements – answering specific business questions – such as revenue improvement and production optimization
  • Developing recommendations for improving company’s data usage – including guidelines, processes, training
  • Creating various data visualization tools including dashboards and report templates
  • Undertaking different data management tasks including setting up or assessing data warehousing, data integration and data migration
  • Providing technical support in managing and analyzing data 

Skills required in data analytics consulting

Data analytics consultants must possess both technical and business facing skills:

  • Technical skills and knowledge, including expertise in different programming languages and software used for data analysis and storage
    • Structured Query Language (SQL)
    • Microsoft Excel
    • Critical Thinking
    • R or Python-Statistical Programming
    • Data Visualization
    • Presentation Skills
    • Machine Learning
data analyst looking at charts
  • Problem solving, strategic and analytical abilities
    • Ability to understand client needs and to develop solutions to answer them
    • Ability to map organization’s existing knowledge base and to be able to identify areas for improvement
    • Ability to recognize current and future risks and opportunities for the client.

Knowing when you need to hire a data analytics consultant 

A data analytics consultant is recommended when you need help creating and implementing an overall company data management strategy. Data analytics consultancy is valuable in:

  • Improving data quality throughout the organization – assess processes and methods; data is captured, processed, and errors are caught and corrected
  • Identifying different data sources and data silos within the company and designing ways to overcome barriers
  • Selecting and implementing the most appropriate Business Intelligence (BI) and Analytics Software for current and anticipated future requirements
  • Helping to implement a data-driven culture by:
    • identifying measures to increase data literacy such as training, dashboards and reporting formats for different audiences
    • implementing processes and procedures to instill data-driven decision making
    • assessing data analysis or data science resource needs  

Regardless of the business you are in – data is one of the most important resources your organization possesses. Knowing how to use it to make intelligent business decisions is the best and most effective way to improve performance. Data analytics is being adopted by more organizations every day, and data analysts and data analytics consultants are being used by big and small companies everywhere. If you are looking for data experts for your requirements, you can find the best talent from around the world on Pangaea X.

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