Dave Elkington, CEO of InsideSales.com, explains the role of a data analyst, and why cleaning up data sets takes up the vast majority of their time. Algorithms and computer science play a minor role.

Job titles can be confusing to some, misleading to others. For example, the word ‘engineer’ pops up across numerous industries, though rarely sees a professional touch a car engine.

In tech, terms like ‘big data’ are as broad as possible, lacking in the requisite detail to fully ensure the reader, listener or watcher fully knows what to expect.

But what of the data analysts, what do they do? Apparently, a lot of cleaning up.

According to the CEO of InsideSales.com, Dave Elkington, 80pc of the role is cleaning up data, removing false positives and, essentially, getting everything in place.

“A data scientist job is to understand the data, clean the data, write the algorithm and optimise the algorithm,” said Elkington, adding that “there are some misperceptions about this”.

Words by Gordon Hunt