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A data analyst, broadly speaking, is a professional who works with data to provide insights. One of the most common definitions of data analyst on the web is that these individuals “translate numbers into plain English” – they take raw or unstructured data and come up with analyses that produce digestible results that executives and others can use to make decisions.
In today's high-tech business world, data analysts are involved in many diverse kinds of projects. They may be working with Hadoop clusters, container virtualization or cloud services. They may be using traditional query languages or object-oriented systems to get the data in hand. They may also be more involved in using smart tools and conducting data workflows than they had been in the past.
Data analysts serve a variety of purposes for business, and are very much in demand in today's economy where artificial intelligence and machine learning are making a grand entrance.