What Is a Staff Analyst?

Staff analysts review data and analyze reports.
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Whether you’re a private company, nonprofit group or government agency, working efficiently without much red tape is a top priority. Staff analysts, also called management analysts, help their company’s bottom line by reducing wasteful costs and improving productivity. Women made up 39 percent of all staff and management analysts in 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Schooling and Training You’ll Need

    To start as a staff analyst, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree. Some companies prefer candidates that hold a degree in business, economics or management. Employers may allow job candidates to substitute relevant work experience for the education requirements. As part of their application process, some government entities require potential analysts to pass a written examination. Certification in the field is not required by every employer, but it gives you a better chance of earning a promotion. Certification is earned through industry associations like the Institute of Management Consultants.

Skills You’ll Use

    As the job title suggests, you should have an analytical mind, with an eye for details, reasoning skills and the ability to solve problems creatively. You’ll need basic computer skills for collecting and analyzing data. You'll also benefit from a strong mathematics background when putting together budgets. Often times, your projects and assignments will have deadlines, so you'll need time-management and organizational skills to stay on top of your assignments.

Jobs You’ll Perform

    The bulk of your job duties revolve around analyzing data, spending time looking at all aspects of an organization, including budgets, sales numbers, systems, personnel and procedures. Depending on the employer, you could use existing data or gather it from reports, interviews and research. Using data and research you've collected, you'll look for areas of the budget to reduce or eliminate. You'll also study your organization's day-to-day operations, looking for ways employees can better do their jobs. For example, you may suggest different ways they can file forms or submit expenses or may provide suggestions on different equipment they can use to improve efficiency.

Other Duties You’ll Have

    To keep management and fellow colleagues up to date, a staff analyst prepares written reports, graphs and in-person presentations. You’ll need to be well-versed in the rules for your industry, especially when working with a government agency, and be sure that your company follows those regulations to a tee. You may also be in charge of managing other staff analysts, including training and evaluating.

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