What the heck is an analyst?
Accountants are not analyst and analyst are not accountants but the latter have the potential to do the others role and there will be some more merging of the two at some point in corporate, it will be fight on!
The above statement relates more to the management accounts aspect of accounting and not producing the final accounts, tax or auditing.
Analyst do not just interpret data and make great reports; analyst like their accounting counter parts have many different roles, it’s the equivalent of when you tell people you’re an accountant and they assume you know tax.
An analyst is involved in the design or modification of business systems or IT systems. The analyst interacts with the business stakeholders and subject matter experts in order to understand their problems and needs. The analyst gathers, documents, and analyses business needs and requirements.
They interpret information, provide good reports and usually have additional skills sets under their belts for example software skills such: Advanced Excel, VBA, SQL, MS Access, Microstrategy, Data warehouse, Business Objects and Google Analytics etc
Analyst can slot into different departments such as IT, HR, Marketing, product design etc; analyst also whop us accountants when looking at things like bigdata, data analytics and whilst accounting bodies and organisations work to get accountants to be more ‘service’ focused we do tail analysts in this area.
Qualification rise there is not really a professional go to body for analyst (CFA is different), they tend to have degrees in maths or statistics.
If you are an accountant and want to try the analyst lifestyle I would recommend trying to get into a Financial performance and analysis (FP&A) role.
If this is a avenue you want to develop a career in CIMA is your friend here.