What Does a Reporting Analyst Do?

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Learn about the role of a reporting analyst and how to get started in this career.

[Featured Image] A reporting analyst sits at a table in a meeting room and explains data insights to their colleagues.

Businesses rely heavily on data for their decision-making processes. To do this, they need people who can analyze this data and turn it into something they can use. Businesses employ many types of analysts, one of those being a reporting analyst. As a reporting analyst, you would work, in various capacities, with data once it has been collected and then act as the bridge between the data and the management team.  According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field in which you would work as a reporting analyst will grow 23 percent from 2022 to 2023, which is much faster than average, making this a potentially lucrative career choice [1].

In this article, you’ll learn more about the role of a reporting analyst, the salary you can expect, and how to get into this field of work.

What does a reporting analyst do?

A reporting analyst uses raw data to create reports they present to management teams. These reports help the management team understand the data to make critical business decisions. 

In this role, you’ll pull data from various places, organize and analyze it while looking for trends, inconsistencies, and ways to improve the business. You’ll use business intelligence (BI) tools and software to create reports and data visualizations to help communicate the data in a way that everyone can understand. In addition to effectively sharing the data, you might also design data recording methods and systems. 

Duties and responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of a reporting analyst vary according to the company you work for and the type of data you are working with. Still, in general, you can expect to have the following tasks and responsibilities:

  • Designing and developing dashboards and systems for reporting data

  • Maintaining databases, dashboards, and reporting software

  • Collecting, analyzing, and interpreting business data to use in reports

  • Using data visualization tools to share data in an easy-to-comprehend fashion

  • Working to request data from various departments

  • Communicating data through reports and presentations to the management team

  • Using reports to inform and support marketing and sales strategies and campaigns

  • Monitoring and analyzing KPIs to achieve the goals of the business

  • Training other staff on how to develop and present data reports

Difference between a data analyst and a reporting analyst

A reporting analyst is technically a type of data analyst, as they are both different parts of the data analysis process. More specifically, the role of a data analyst tends to come first because they collect data, clean it, begin analyzing it, and then transform it into something usable. From this point, the reporting analyst starts by taking the clean data and transforming it further into information suitable for presenting in reports to the management team. These performance-based reports assist the management team in making decisions for the company's betterment.  

Reporting analyst skills

Although you will need technical skills as a reporting analyst, you will also need excellent workplace skills because the role involves working closely with others. Another part of this skill set is knowing how to translate complex information into a format that people can understand. Examples of essential technical and workplace skills include:

Technical skills

  • Business intelligence

  • Data analysis

  • Reporting analysis

  • Accounting

  • Customer service

  • Digital marketing

  • Visualization tools

  • Power BI

  • Microsoft SQL

  • Dashboards

  • Microsoft PowerPoint

  • Microsoft Excel

  • Understanding data integrity

  • Business acumen

Workplace skills

  • Analytical

  • Problem-solving

  • Communication

  • Critical thinking

  • Presentation

  • Multitasking

Reporting analyst salary

According to Glassdoor, when working as a reporting analyst, you can expect to earn an average annual salary of $78,682 [2]. Additionally, Indeed presents a similar number, listing the average annual salary for a reporting analyst as $76,288 [3].

Reporting analyst career plan

If you’re just starting in your career, consider building your analysis skills and experience to secure a role as a reporting analyst. Employers generally look for between two to four years of experience in a relevant position or field. You might consider entry-level roles in data analysis or work as a finance or business analyst to increase your experience. If you’re still pursuing your degree, you might consider an internship, which can enhance your skill set within the field of reporting analysis.

Do I need a degree to become a reporting analyst?

If you choose to work as a reporting analyst, the minimum requirement is generally a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as business, finance, accounting, computer science, information systems, software development, or data analysis. 

According to Zippia, 71 percent of reporting analysts have bachelor’s degrees, with 14 percent continuing their education to gain a master’s degree [4]. If you plan on progressing into higher-level positions or management roles, employers may look for a master’s degree. 

However, it is possible for you to become a reporting analyst without a college degree. Employers are looking for candidates who can demonstrate the relevant skills and experience, and if you have gained this another way and can prove it, a degree isn’t the only option.

Possible certifications

In addition to a degree, and more importantly, if you don’t have a degree, certifications can be beneficial in securing a position as a reporting analyst. Relevant technical certifications are a great way of proving that you have the skills and can apply them.

Some certifications that can aid your career as a reporting analyst include:

  • CompTIA Data+

  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

  • SAS Certified Platform Administrator for SAS 9

  • Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate Certification

  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Fundamentals Associate (SQL certification)

Along with a degree and certification, some great ways to increase your potential and add skills to your resume are participating in conferences and workshops, becoming a professional association member, or finding a mentor. 

Career advancement 

Working as a reporting analyst enhances your skill set and gives you the experience to potentially earn promotions to higher-level positions or move laterally to similar roles. Some examples to consider include:

  • Management analyst

  • Finance analyst

  • Business intelligence analyst

  • Operations analyst

  • Process analyst

  • Senior finance analyst

  • Manager of finance planning and analysis

  • Finance controller

Getting started on Coursera

A career as a reporting analyst can be a fulfilling option within the world of data. An excellent way to develop your skills and add credentials to your resume is with a Professional Certificate. Check out the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate, which helps you learn job-ready skills in six months or less, or the IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate, both listed on Coursera.

Article sources


US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Outlook Handbook: Operations Research Analysts, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/math/operations-research-analysts.htm#tab-1.” Accessed March 19, 2024. 

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