Financial Data Analyst Career Profile

One of the fastest-growing professions in the finance industry is financial data analysis. As a result, there is always a need for financial data analysts at corporations, investment firms, banks, insurance companies, pension funds, and other businesses. To ensure you can find a high-quality job as a financial data analyst, it’s important to provide yourself with the proper education and training. 

Financial Data Analyst Job Description

To build a successful financial data analyst career, you must first understand what a financial data analyst does. While some of the duties of a financial data analyst may vary depending on the seniority of the position and the organization and industry that they may work for, there are certain duties that essentially all financial data analysts must do. These include gathering data, organizing information, and analyzing historical results from previous financial analyst tests and behaviors. 

Being a financial data analyst also means making financial forecasts and projections and developing business recommendations based on forecasts, projections, and historical results. In this role, you’ll also need to build Excel models, presentations, and reports on the data and information found. 

Financial Data Analyst vs. Data Analyst

While the roles are similar, there is a difference between a financial data analyst and a regular data analyst, otherwise known as a business intelligence analyst. The difference is that financial data analysts analyze data to spot current trends, forecast future financial trends, and help make investment decisions. On the other hand, regular data analysts conduct data analysis to spot trends that can help with current business decisions. 

What are the Responsibilities of a Financial Data Analyst?

When it comes to a financial data analyst job, typical responsibilities include the following:

  • Analyzing current and past financial data
  • Looking at current financial performance and identifying trends
  • Preparing reports and communicating the insights of these reports to the broader business
  • Consulting with the management team to develop long-term commercial plans 
  • Provide insights to guide budgeting and suggest improvements 
  • Exploring different investment opportunities
  • Developing financial models and providing financial forecasts
  • Developing initiatives and policies that may improve financial growth

What Education Do Financial Data Analysts Need?

The right financial data analyst education could be the difference between you getting the job or not. A standard level of education for such a role is a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, mathematics, accounting, statistics, or some other related topic. 

Hard Technical Skills That Financial Data Analysts Need

Financial data analysts need numerous hard and soft data analysis skills. The top hard technical skills required by financial data analysts include the following:

  • In-depth understanding of various financial markets and investment products
  • Strong quantitative and statistical analysis skills 
  • Ability to gather financial data and information in the form of financial reports, accounting data, stock price information, statistics, macroeconomic data, industry research, and any other form of quantitative data
  • Advanced Excel skills and the ability to clean and organize financial data in Excel
  • The ability to conduct financial data analysis and identify data trends
  • Experience with financial forecasting
  • Ability to use financial data to make informed business recommendations
  • Extensive knowledge and experience with financial modeling
  • Advanced PowerPoint and Prezi skills
  • Superb communication and presentation skills 
  • Ability to create internal financial reports and dashboards
  • Ability to continuously stay up to date on industry updates

Soft Skills Financial Data Analysts Need

  • Attention to detail 
  • Good communication
  • Strong presentation skills
  • Organization
  • Strong work ethic
  • Hunger for continuous learning
  • Analytical thinking skills
  • Easily adaptable
  • Leadership abilities
  • Ability to problem-solve
  • Ability to collaborate with others when necessary

Benefits of Being a Financial Data Analyst

There are many benefits to working in financial data analytics. One is that it’s a growing field of work with high-income potential. Another benefit of working as a financial data analyst is that the position only requires 40 to 45 hours of work a week, although you’ll likely be expected to put in extra hours off the books. Essentially, anyone good at mathematics and statistics and interested in investing would enjoy being a financial data analyst. 

How to Become a Financial Data Analyst

To become a financial data analyst, you should receive a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, mathematics, accounting, statistics, or a related topic from an accredited college or university. Aspiring financial data analysts could also benefit from receiving professional certifications or entering specialized data analyst programs. This is especially true for aspiring financial data analysts who want to carve out a career path for themselves in a specific field or industry. 

Here at CFI, we offer various educational programs and courses covering financial analysis, business intelligence, and data analysis. Thus, learners interested in financial data analysis can gain the skills they need for their careers. 

Once you’ve received the education you need, you can receive the necessary job training and work experience by obtaining an internship or an entry-level financial data analyst position, such as a role as a junior analyst. Once you’ve received an entry-level position in the industry of your choice, you can work your way up through the ranks. 

Image from CFI’s Financial Analysis Fundamentals course

Industries That Financial Data Analysts Can Work In

Due to the technological world we currently live in, nearly every industry uses financial data analysts to help them analyze data, forecast future events, and make important business decisions. Some of the top industries using financial data analysts today include the following:

  • Business intelligence
  • Finance
  • Banking
  • Insurance
  • Investment
  • Business
  • Government
  • Sharing economy services
  • Healthcare
  • Entertainment

Types of Financial Data Analyst Job Roles

Because various industries use financial data analysts, there are different career paths that you can choose while in this field of work. Some common types of financial analyst job roles include the following:

  • Fund manager
  • Portfolio manager
  • Risk analyst
  • Stock equity analyst
  • Investment banking analyst
  • Corporate development analyst
  • Private equity analyst
  • Treasury analyst

Is a Financial Data Analyst Career Right for You?

Financial data analysts work primarily with technology and people. They also rely on their mathematical, analytical, statistical, financial modeling, report building, and presentation and communication skills daily. Therefore, if you excel in mathematics and computer technology, have strong attention to detail that will allow you to conduct high-quality financial modeling and report generation, and have good communication and presentation skills, a career as a financial data analyst could be right for you. 

Learn More About Financial Data Analysts at CFI 

At CFI, we offer various courses and certification programs covering financial data analysis tools and techniques. Get started by taking free courses in data analysis fundamentals and business intelligence

Additional Resources

Types of Financial Analysis 

Data Analysis 

Business Intelligence Career Profile

See all Career Resources

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