Research Data Analyst

Research Data Analyst Careers

Although employment levels are slowly on the rise, many industries are not fast to recover from the recent economic downturn.  The healthcare industry, however, has remained steady in terms of new jobs and employment opportunities, and is even exceeding many industry expectations.  Public health careers are still one of the most stable and prosperous job choices, with predictions of further growth in the years to come.

Along with the provision of healthcare services, public health careers are also focused on creating new interventions that may be more accessible to the public.  This includes research and clinical trials that offer good job opportunities for many people.  If you are considering going into the development aspect of healthcare, then a career as a research data analyst can offer you sound wages and the possibility for further advancement.

What Is A Research Data Analyst?

A research data analyst will work with a clinical trial team to evaluate the meaning and implications of quantitative data that is gathered in studying new treatment modalities.  This job requires the ability to determine variables that may affect results and also to evaluate if there is effective or natural change that occurs over the course of the treatment.  Research data analysts will often use specialized software applications to organize information and look for possible discrepancies and isolate human error in data recording.  This position allows for a valid assessment of clinical trial results so that safe and effective interventions may be presented to the public.

Research data analysts would be required to perform the following tasks:

  •   Evaluate information and formulate meaningful theories based on trends.
  •   Identify parameters for acceptable discrepancies.
  •   Determine long term implications of findings.
  •   Verify results across multiple trials.
  •   Assess risk and benefits ratios.
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Some professional skills that are needed as a research data analyst include:

  • ?Critical thinking:  You will need to be able to evaluate information and form conclusions based on the data you have gathered.
  • ?Detail oriented:  You will need to be able to focus on minute changes that may have greater overall implications.
  • ?Organization:  This job will require that you are able to keep track of and record much information, including raw statistics, observations, and assessments.
  •   Cooperation:  You will also need to be able to interact and share information with other researchers.

Nature Of The Work

Research data analysts often work as part of a clinical trial team.  This will often put you in a group office setting for sharing information and developing theories regarding results.  You may work out of a university, a public health department, or even a clinical facility such as nursing care homes or hospitals.  In these settings, your observation and your office setting may be in the same place.

Research data analysts can also work out of development facilities.  In these situations, trial subjects may be housed on site, or may return to the facility for regular check-ups and narrative updates.  You may be required to observe these proceedings, but in some cases you would be purely working with the information that other technicians have gathered.

Education And Training

Research data analysts may find employment with a Bachelor’s degree and three to five years of experience, although many employers do prefer a graduate degree for this position.  It is important that you not only have an educational background in biology, chemistry, lab and research techniques and statistics, but you should also have experience with evaluating different informational  outlets.  This may require that you are able to quantify demographic narratives, and that you are able to develop survey tools that can provide accurate population information.

Experience in this field is a requirement, not just in analysis but also in research.  Prior education or internships with research departments that deal with public health issues is often considered not only in placement, but also in advancement.  Although there are no special credentials for this position, certifications in different computer and software operating systems can be beneficial.

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This position offers a good salary range.  Although the median average for research data analysts tends to be around $60,000 per year, the top 10% in this field can make over $80,000 annually.  For entry level applicants, the wages range between $35,000 and $40,000, depending upon the level of education and practical application.  Candidates with a Master’s degree will often start at the higher end of wages.

Research data analysts help to identify social health trends and to track the impact of health interventions, so the current demand for this position is quite high.  It is expected that a nearly 23% increase in employment will occur between 2012 and 2022, which may become even higher as the value of data analysis in the development of more efficient, quality healthcare is realized.  This also means that advancement opportunities will continue to grow over time.  As a career that not only offers vital information to the healthcare industry, but can also give you steady wages and a chance to grow, the job of research data analyst could be an attractive path to follow. 

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