data analyst working at the office stressed

Is Being a Data Analyst Stressful? (Here’s the Truth)

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Discover from real experiences how stressful it is to work as a data analyst.

For some of you, being a data analyst can be a dream job. But that’s not the case for everyone.

Is being a data analyst stressful?

Yes, being a data analyst can be very stressful, but this heavily depends on your employer, the company’s culture, and what causes stress for you personally.

Here are Some Common Stress Factors

1. Accent on self-efficiency when solving problems

This position requires you to be self-efficient and comfortable working autonomously. Plus, you need to put long hours and effort into self-improving your technical, communication, and business skills. Yes, you heard it right. Is the kind of job where you need to have both technical and business skills while being able to communicate efficiently.

2. Little to no directions on how to actually do the job

If you’re a person who needs to be guided with constant directions and doesn’t feel comfortable with decision-making power, then this career path will come with some struggles, it might fill you with anxiety, pressure, and stress. 

3. Continuous Problem-Solving Mode

This continuous problem-solving mentality can get very stressful especially when:

  • You need to respect tight deadlines.
  • The data you have access to is messy, poorly structured. 
  • You realize some crucial data is not even collected, so it’s up to you to put that in motion.
  • You’re blocked waiting for coworkers to respond to you.
  • You need to focus at the same time on ad-hoc tasks
  • Your boss or stakeholders regularly ask about the status of the project
  • You need to talk with plenty of non-tech people and explain your work to them in order to gather information
  • The results you got have a huge impact on the business, so you always need to triple-check your work.

4. Demands plenty of patience

If you’re in that pool of people who get frustrated very easily, then you must know that a job in analytics demands tons of patience, attention to detail, dozens of trials and errors, until you can actually get to a point where you can make sense of the data. 

5. High responsibility brings extra pressure

While most of the tasks you do daily seem small, the importance of your work is huge. Stakeholders rely on your expertise and attention to help them make important business decisions.

It’s your job to support them with clear and accurate insights and even forecasts to help them optimize their budgets or inventory for example.

6. Requires lots of “talking with people” situations

Sometimes finding the right table feels like real detective work. You really need to dig deep for any small piece of information and talking with plenty of people is a huge part of the job. Analysts constantly need to keep in touch with stakeholders, holding video/phone calls to find out information and give updates.

Concrete Example of How a Stressful Situation Looks Like

Business stakeholders will tell you what they expect, and what should the outcome look like. Usually, the expectations are high.

For example, they might say sentences like these: 

“We need to track the financial damage produced by logistics providers. Oh, and we need all that by Friday.”

Or something like this: 

“We need to know how many new customers we anticipate to convert in the next quarter, to adjust our inventory.”

Next is up to you as a business analyst to dig deeper and provide them with answers and solutions (eg. dashboards, reports) that are reliable and scalable to support them in the business decision-making process.

Until you get those answers, the majority of the time is usually spent on finding, cleaning, and prepping the data.

Actually, the cleaning process is intense and takes a long time, can take up to 75% of the time you spend on the job – so be prepared for that.

Is being a data analyst hard?

At the beginning of your career as a data analyst, you will probably have some hard days a month. But once you gain experience, get accustomed to your colleagues and get more confidence in your skills, everything will become easier. Being a data analyst is not hard per se if you master the basics.

The difficulty of being a data analyst also depends on the projects you are working on. Some are more difficult than others and require a mix of technical skills/communication skills.


Being a Data Analyst can be a dream job for people who are comfortable with having responsibility, having close communication with stakeholders, and for people who are not easily frustrated and they can provide results within tight deadlines.

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