Data Warehouse Analyst: Bridging the Present With the Future

The news is good: Data warehouse analysts are in demand. Their role is critical to a company’s ability to make sound business decisions.

A data warehouse analyst collects, analyzes, mines and helps the business leverage the information stored in data warehouses. Professionals in this role research and recommend technology solutions related to data storage, reporting, importing and other business concerns; they also define the user interfaces for managing the interaction between data warehouses and data marts. A data warehouse analyst is often expected to collaborate with business analysts to translate data requirements into logical data models. “Technology professionals considering the data warehouse analyst role should feel comfortable translating between what current technology can do and what the business needs for the future are,” says Kimberly Hobscheid, Branch Manager at Robert Half Technology in San Diego. “Understanding data needs for key business functions such as finance and forecasting, sales, marketing, manufacturing, planning and risk assessment is also essential.”

Data warehouse analyst salaries on the rise in 2014

According to research for Robert Half Technology’s Salary Guide, data warehouse analyst is one of the top six tech jobs for 2014. Average starting pay for a data warehouse analyst in the United States is expected to increase 5.8 percent this year, ranging from $99,000 to $133,750.* Having certifications can make a big difference in your marketability, and boost salary. Do you have Oracle database skills? If so, you could earn an additional 9 percent in starting compensation. Solid SQL skills could result in a boost of 10 percent. To find specific salary information for your city, use Robert Half Technology’s Salary Calculator.

What it takes to be a data warehouse analyst

Below are the most commonly sought qualifications for a data warehouse analyst:

  • Excellent research, analysis and problem-solving skills
  • A bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field
  • Extensive knowledge of relational database theory
  • Three to five years of work experience in database systems
  • Experience with data modeling and architecture
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong listening skills (important for communicating to technical and nontechnical team members)

How to become a data warehouse analyst

If lack of experience is an issue, certain certifications can help you stand out to potential employers. As mentioned earlier, a professional certification in a database application such as Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle is a valuable commodity. Ryan Shaughnessy, New York City Branch Manager at Robert Half Technology, explains that candidates for data warehouse analyst roles need to learn reporting tools — especially SQL, if possible —and work towards getting certified. “A CDMP (Certified Data Management Professional) certification is a big plus,” he notes. For those looking to break into the field, Shaughnessy's advice is straightforward: “Do everything possible to get your foot in the door. If you can’t find a permanent position immediately, pursuing an internship is another route.” Once a candidate has the necessary skills and experience, opportunities should follow, according to Hobscheid. “The data warehouse analyst possesses a specialized skill set, and there’s a strong market for those skills,” she says. Look to Robert Half Technology's latest Salary Guide for job descriptions and starting compensation trends for a wide range of IT jobs — including data warehouse analyst. *Salaries listed are in U.S. dollars. See the Robert Half Technology Salary Guide for Canadian salary ranges.