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October 10, 20182 min read

Data Analysts vs. Data Scientists vs. Data Engineers - What Separates Them From One Another

As the world progresses towards a ‘smarter’ time, with various smart devices and technologies all around us, the use of the word “data” has increased as well.

We hear the word data very often. We hear how important it is to store our data, and how Google works effortlessly to keep our data safe, and how companies need to store customer data for better performance. All in all, you can’t separate businesses from data now. For that purpose, companies make use of data analysts, data scientists and data engineers to create and transform the data they gather to get relevant information from it.

Who They Are?

The three roles mentioned have a big thing in common that is data, but their responsibilities and functionality can often be confused with each other. Below is how the roles can be differentiated:

differences between data analyst, data scientist, data engineer

Data Analyst

As the name suggests, data analysts analyze the data available to them and find ways to make it useful. A large amount of data is processed to create reports and find patterns. A data analyst performs statistical analysis and answers questions relating to whatever the management requires. The data analyst post doesn’t require in-depth knowledge about how the data is transformed and is often the first step in this career line.

Data Scientist

Quite similar to data analysts, data scientists are more advanced in their skill set. Data scientists work on extensive data and make use of their expertise in statistics, algorithms, and machine learning models. These specialized skills separate them from data analysts. They carry out similar tasks such as finding patterns, analyzing and visualizing information present in the databases. However, a data scientist will be able to crunch more extensive data, with more in-depth knowledge and varied outcomes.

Data scientists also have advanced knowledge of math, statistics, and data analyzing procedures. This enables them to tackle a wider array of questions.

data scientist

Data Engineer

Data engineers, as the name suggests are engineers of data. They ensure the smooth and fault-free movement and storage of data in different databases. They make sure that they can provide platforms that can store and analyze data seamlessly. In essence, data engineers are software engineers. They are also responsible to create databases for different companies.

What Do They Have in Common?

Data analysts, data scientists, and data engineers have data in common, although all work on data at different levels. They have to make sure that the data they have compiled and analyzed is relevant and can be used by the company to come up with useful solutions.

Final Thoughts

As the number of smart devices increases, the amount of data being generated increases as well. Companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba, etc. all use data to provide a better service to their customers. Companies around the globe dealing with large data will have employees working in all three roles. Even though the terms are used interchangeably, there are substantial technical differences in their job description.

As you see, data is the new power. So keep pace with your competitors and take advantage of your data. Explore, visualize, and make prediction without coding.

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