Project Management For Data Analysts

project management for data analytics

Data analysts know how to collect, analyze and interpret information. Can project management skills expand these amazing abilities?

The short answer is yes. By aligning the data analytics lifecycle with a project management process, analysts apply a greater focus on efficiency and broader business initiatives. It shows they are looking beyond their individual roles to improve the business.

Data analysis seeks to inform decisions and support strategic goals. The aim of project management is to develop procedures of planning and execution to achieve objectives within a set scope, time, quality and budget. Coupled together, key insights can be used within a project framework and potentially produce positive results.

Data Lifecycle + Project Management Phases

Data analysis follows a roadmap or process, often called the data lifecycle:

  • Discovery—state problem and collect data from relevant sources.
  • Preparation/Cleaning—process data; detect and correct corrupt or inaccurate records.
  • Explore—identify significant patterns using statistical methods.
  • Build Model—construct models to predict and forecast.
  • Interpret—communicate results and insights.
  • Measure—monitor and analyze data to see if it is creating expected results.

Consider that project management also has phases:

  • Business question/make business case
  • Benefits realization analysis
  • Initiation
  • Determining scope
  • Monitoring and controlling
  • Project closing

As more companies become data forward, there will be a greater need to connect analytics with project management.

Project Management and Data Analytics Collaboration

Project managers are seeking the help of data analytics. Data can guide better decision-making and support project managers as they conduct their teams and tasks. These responsibilities include allocating resources, scheduling, managing risks and reducing costs.

Project success depends on careful planning, resource management and matching skillsets. Data from past and current projects enable managers to identify and shift resources when and where necessary.

For data analysts, project management skills help create actionable insights. Projects start with a business case, or reason why, that focuses on answering a particular question or questions. This corresponds to the Discovery phase of the data lifecycle. Analysts who acknowledge a project’s business case are able to tie the data specifically to the problem the business is seeking to solve.

In another example, the findings from the “Interpret” step in the cycle can be customized for business needs. Although data could inform each phase of a project, interpretations are particularly useful when recommendations are being sought. Project-minded analysts interpret data in a way that accurately reflects goals.

Overall, project management ensures that data analysts are part of an optimized workflow. It allows for well-informed resource and risk management. It requires data analysts to use and strengthen their communication skills and translate data into useful business actions. Project management also involves collaboration, and data analysts may receive the added benefit of improved work relationships.

Expand Your Skillset

As a data analyst, you will learn many skills that may benefit your career. Project management, as well as communication and problem-solving skills, are helpful for data professionals. The Bachelor’s Degree in Data Analytics from Carlow University prepares graduates who are adept at data interpretation and have what it takes to help lead an organization on the path to growth.