What Is a UX Data Analyst?

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Explore a UX data analyst's work duties, skills, and employment prospects.

[Featured Image] A UX data analyst wears a headset, sits at a desk in her office, and uses a computer to look at data to determine whether her organization's product is user-friendly.

Whether you're navigating a mobile app or exploring a website, the thoughtful consideration of user experience (UX) ensures your journey is intuitive, efficient, and visually appealing. As a UX data analyst, you will collect data regarding the user’s experience with a finished application and analyze it to determine how to improve that experience further. In essence, the UX process, of which a UX data analyst is a part, is the invisible hand shaping the user-friendly interfaces that define the digital landscape.

Let’s explore the job skills, salary, and career outlook of a UX data analyst to help shed more light on this fast-paced, exciting role.

What is a UX data analyst?

As a UX data analyst, you determine the ease with which a user interacts with an application and then figure out ways to improve that interaction. The following offers an interesting analogy to help you better understand the role of a UX data analyst, also known as a usability analyst.

Consider user experience (UX) as a journey through a well-designed theme park. The UX analyst takes on the role of the park planner or supervisor, aiming to tactically reduce the number of waiting lines (steps) required to reach attractions (complete tasks) and eliminate obstacles such as confusing signs or barriers (usability issues) that might impede visitors’ overall experience.

In the realm of interface and software design, usability analysts work towards elevating the engagement rates of consumers for a particular business’s website, mobile app, or software application.

What are the specific duties attributed to a UX data analyst?

A vital member of a UX team, UX data analysts specialize in collecting and studying user-related data to assess software usability. Working alongside designers, researchers, and product managers, you would help build a usability roadmap for the product, making it more intuitive for the user.

Other everyday work duties you can expect as a UX data analyst include:

  • Harnessing analytics to gain a better understanding of end-user needs

  • Devising tests to gauge the usability of software module(s) in the development phase

  • Examining in-use software to proactively identify usability issues

  • Translating usability insights into actionable directives for UX teams

  • Crafting standards for user interface design

Where does a UX data analyst work?

A 2019 Nielsen Norman Group study found that the vast majority of UX professionals (28 percent) work in software or IT organizations, with the banking industry (12 percent) and consulting agencies (10 percent) following not far behind [1]. Furthermore, the study found that a modest but noteworthy percentage of respondents (5 percent) operated independently as contractors [1].

UX data analyst skills

Although not an exhaustive compilation, the following lists some skills you can master to ease your journey to becoming a UX data analyst:

Technical skills

1. Proficiency in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

Considering its ubiquitous use in web development, a firm grasp of HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is particularly advantageous. Your familiarity with HTML allows you to navigate and comprehend the structure of web pages, contributing to a more informed analysis of user experience. Additionally, knowledge of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and JavaScript enhances your ability to assess and improve interactive user interfaces.

2. Understanding of UX KPIs and analytics

Surveys, A/B testing, usability testing, and behavioral analytics tools comprise the bulk of UX analytics. At the same time, key performance indicators (KPIs) such as task success and conversion rates offer insights into various aspects of end-user experience. Your analytical expertise and ability to discern and evaluate relevant metrics empower you to navigate complex data sets, identify meaningful correlations, and translate these findings into actionable recommendations.

3. Adeptness in wireframing

Wireframing lets you create visual blueprints illustrating a website's structure and interface elements. Developed at the start of a project, wireframes let you provide stakeholders, clients, or project teams with a clear roadmap and a glimpse into the final product's look and functionality.

Workplace skills

1. Clear communication

By clearly and concisely articulating the significance of your UX findings after your analysis, you facilitate a shared understanding among team members about how to improve the product. This is particularly important in the collaborative environment of UX, where interdisciplinary teams bring diverse perspectives and expertise.

2. Teamwork

As a UX analyst, your ability to thrive in a team setting is fundamental. The collaborative nature of your role involves working closely with graphic designers and web architects, among other UX professionals. Being a team player ensures effective collaboration, ultimately leading to more impactful and user-centric solutions that enhance the product.

3. Active listening

Developing active listening skills is an investment in your effectiveness as a UX analyst. It enables you to navigate the intricate landscape of user needs, collaborate successfully with various stakeholders, and ultimately contribute to creating user experiences that resonate authentically with the intended audience.

How much does a UX data analyst make?

According to March 2024 data sourced from multiple job listing sites, the average annual income for usability analysts ranges from $61,315 to $94,292 [2,4]. The following table lists the annual base pay provided by Payscale, Salary.com, Glassdoor, and ZipRecruiter [2,3,4,5].


Job outlook

If you’re considering pursuing a career in this field, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 16 percent growth in job opportunities for web developers and digital designers between 2022 and 2032 [6]. This category, which UX data analysts fall under, will grow faster than the average for all jobs, with growth translating to an average of 19,000 new job openings annually within this sector of the economy throughout the forecasted period [6].

How to become a UX data analyst

The path to becoming a usability analyst isn’t always linear. However, you can take some of the following steps to get a headstart:

1. Get the right education.

Consider starting with a degree in a UX-related field like computer science or graphic design, and you might also double-major in subjects related to human behavior, such as psychology. Although a degree isn’t a dealbreaker, it’s important to note that many employers prefer candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree.

2. Pick a niche in UX.

Take the time to assess which specific aspect of UX research resonates with your skills and interests. Whether it's usability testing, user interviews, or data analysis, pinpoint the area where you feel the strongest connection.

Once you've identified your preferred specialization, it's crucial to actively pursue growth and development in that particular domain as you join the workforce.

3. Gain relevant experience.

A common criterion in job listings for UX analyst roles is a prerequisite of a minimum of two years of experience in UX. You might opt to begin your career in an entry-level position such as a UX research assistant, junior UX researcher, or usability tester. You can also work in related roles like UX designer, researcher, writer, product designer, or information architect. Gradually, this can help you attain the UX analyst position.

4. Continue learning with certifications.

Certification validates your skills and showcases a dedication to delivering high-quality user experiences, making you a sought-after professional in the dynamic UX landscape. The following lists a few  industry-acknowledged certifications and the anticipated base salaries you might expect upon acquiring these certifications:

  • Certified Usability Analyst (CUA): $114,000 [7]

  • Certified Web Designer (CWD): $70,000 [8]

  • Certified Graphic Designer (CGD): $63,000 [9]

Get started with Coursera.

A career as a UX data analyst could put you in a position to directly impact brand loyalty and business success while finding personal fulfillment in your work. Start your career path by strengthening your skills and building robust foundational knowledge.

For example, you can develop UX skills with the Foundations of User Experience (UX) Design course offered by Google and available on Coursera. This beginner-friendly course will introduce you to core concepts in UX design, including user-centered design and equity-focused design. You can also go a bit deeper with the UI/UX Design Specialization, a four-course series offered by the California Institute of the Arts.

Article sources


Nielsen Norman Group. “User Experience Careers, https://media.nngroup.com/media/reports/free/UserExperienceCareers_2nd_Edition.pdf.” Accessed March 10, 2024.

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