December 15, 2023

How to Become a Financial Data Analyst in 2024?

Financial Analytics Complete Guide for 2024

Financial data analysts play a critical role in today's data-driven financial landscape, where accurate analysis and interpretation of financial data are paramount. They utilize advanced analytical techniques to extract insights, evaluate investment opportunities, assess financial risks, and provide valuable recommendations to businesses and investors. In this blog, we'll delve into what financial data analysts do, the educational and skill prerequisites for this role, certifications, and how to pave your way into a successful career in financial data analysis.

What is a Financial Data Analyst?

A financial data analyst is a professional who interprets complex financial data to help businesses make informed decisions. They employ statistical techniques, financial modeling, and data analysis tools to extract meaningful insights from various financial sources. Their insights aid in strategic planning, risk management, and investment decision-making.

What does a Financial Analyst do?

Financial analysts gather financial data, analyze it, and use the insights to guide investment decisions, evaluate financial risks, and advise clients or management on financial strategies. They also create financial models, forecasts, and reports to support these recommendations and help stakeholders make informed choices.

Financial Analyst Salary and Job Outlook in India

The salary of a financial data analyst in India can vary based on factors like experience, location, and the employing organization. On average, an entry-level financial data analyst can earn around INR 4-6 lakhs per annum, and experienced professionals can earn significantly higher.

The job outlook for financial data analysts in India is promising. As businesses increasingly rely on data-driven strategies, the demand for skilled financial data analysts continues to grow, offering ample career opportunities.

Financial Analyst Career Paths:

Following careers can be viable options for people who have skills similar to financial analysts: 

1. Portfolio Manager: They're like experts who study the market and help decide where a company should invest its money. They're good at predicting what will happen in the future. On average, they earn about ₹16 lakhs per year.

2. Fund Manager: They're experts who handle money for groups of people. They watch the goals of the group and decide where to invest the money wisely. On average, they earn about ₹28 lakhs per year.

3. Ratings Analyst: They're like judges who look at how well a company is doing financially. They give advice on what the company should do next. On average, they earn about ₹8 lakhs per year.

4. Risk Analyst: They're like safety experts. They help companies decide if an investment is risky or not. They also suggest ways to reduce any potential money loss. On average, they earn about ₹7 lakhs per year.

How to Become a Financial Data Analyst

Step 1. Education and Academic Foundation:

a. Pursue a Bachelor's Degree: Begin by earning a bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as finance, accounting, economics, statistics, mathematics, computer science, or business administration. Focus on courses in financial analysis, statistics, data analysis, financial modeling, and programming languages like Python and R.

b. Consider a Master's Degree (Optional): While a master's degree is optional, pursuing one can provide you with an added advantage in terms of knowledge and career opportunities.

Step 2. Skills to Build:

1. Core Analytical Skills: Develop skills in statistical inferencing, financial modeling, and financial risk analysis.

2. Technical Skills: Master data analysis tools like Excel, SQL, Python/R, and data visualization tools like Tableau/Power BI.

3. Core Professional Skills: Hone project management capabilities, cross-functional teamwork, leadership, interper




3. Learn about various Financial KPIs:

Financial KPIs are quantifiable metrics used by businesses to assess their financial health, performance, and overall efficiency. These indicators provide a clear understanding of the organization's financial position and help in monitoring progress toward financial goals. They are essential for strategic decision-making, performance evaluation, and alignment with organizational objectives.

Importance of Financial KPIs:
  • Performance Monitoring: Helps in tracking financial progress over time and comparing it with targets.
  • Decision Making: Assists in making informed decisions related to investments, resource allocation, and cost management.
  • Risk Assessment: Provides insights into financial risks and enables proactive risk management.
  • Stakeholder Communication: Allows effective communication of financial performance to stakeholders, enhancing transparency and trust.
KPI Table
KPI Formula Decision It Can Help Drive
Revenue Growth Rate ((Current Year Revenue - Last Year Revenue) / Last Year Revenue) x 100% Evaluate business growth and market expansion strategies.
Gross Profit Margin ((Revenue - Cost of Goods Sold) / Revenue) x 100% Analyze profitability and efficiency of production.
Net Profit Margin (Net Profit / Revenue) x 100% Assess overall profitability and efficiency of operations.
Return on Investment (ROI) ((Net Profit / Initial Investment) x 100% Evaluate the efficiency of investments and capital allocation.
Debt to Equity Ratio Total Debt / Total Equity Measure the company's debt level compared to its equity.
Current Ratio Current Assets / Current Liabilities Assess short-term liquidity and ability to cover obligations.
Quick Ratio (Acid-Test Ratio) (Current Assets - Inventory) / Current Liabilities Assess immediate liquidity without relying on inventory.
Accounts Receivable Turnover Net Sales / Average Accounts Receivable Evaluate the efficiency of collecting receivables.
Inventory Turnover Cost of Goods Sold / Average Inventory Measure how quickly inventory is sold and replaced.
Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) Revenue - Operating Expenses Evaluate operational profitability before financial influence.
Cash Flow from Operations (CFO) Net Cash from Operating Activities Assess the company's ability to generate cash from its operations.
Return on Equity (ROE) (Net Income / Shareholders' Equity) * 100% Evaluate the return generated for shareholders' equity.

4. Certifications and Professional Development:

Whether or not it is necessary to pursue specific certifications to become a financial analyst can vary based on several factors, including your career goals, the requirements of employers or the industry you're targeting, and your current level of education and experience. Following certifications will enhance your credibility and knowledge in financial analysis and data analytics:

  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Financial Risk Manager (FRM)
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Data Science and Analytics Certifications (e.g., Data Science Professional Certificate, Microsoft Certified: Data Analyst Associate)

5. Develop a Strong Portfolio:

  • Personal Projects: Work on personal projects showcasing your financial analysis and data analysis skills. Create financial models, data visualizations, and reports to demonstrate your abilities to potential employers.
  • Case Studies: Develop case studies based on real-world financial scenarios, showcasing your problem-solving skills and ability to analyze and interpret data.


5. Building Practical Experience:

Look for internships and entry-level positions in finance-related roles, data analysis, or financial firms to gain practical exposure and hands-on experience with financial data and analysis.

6. Networking and Professional Involvement:

Networking and industry involvement are vital for professional growth. Attend events and join organizations like CFA Institute for valuable connections and insights.

7. Job Search and Career Advancement:

Apply for financial data analyst roles, junior financial analyst positions, or any relevant job opportunities through job portals, company websites, and professional networks.

Aim for continuous career growth by seeking opportunities for specialization, taking on challenging projects, and pursuing managerial positions or more advanced roles in the field of financial data analysis.


By following these steps and continuously updating your skills, you can pave a successful career path in financial data analysis. Remember, persistence and dedication are key in any career journey, and the field of financial data analysis is no exception.

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