These Are The Top 5 Data Visualization Jobs & Their Salaries in 2020

The ever-evolving use of data in business has brought forth tons of career opportunities for analytics-savvy professionals. But in order to take advantage of these opportunities, you need to understand which individual skills you need but also understand how they are applied in a business environment. 

Data visualization, or the ability to translate data into graphs, charts and other visualizations that communicate meaning to an audience, can seem like a very elementary skill, but it’s actually not that easy. In fact, the abundance of confusing data dashboards in the world is proof of this fact.

Data visualization is less about graphics and more about the broader story or message that you’re trying to communicate. In order to do data visualization well, you need to be able to synthesize tons of information, extract what’s important, and display it in a way that creates meaning, sparks insights and inspires action. Put simply: you need to become a data storyteller. 

Data storytelling is a structured approach to communicating insights through a combination of data, visualization, and narrative. It is often something that you can learn in a classroom or an online course and then refine over many years of practice. 

Regardless of where you start your career, improving your data visualizations through data storytelling will pave the way for a rich career in analytics. 

If you’re looking to put your data visualization skills to use, here are some of the top entry- and mid-level data visualization jobs and their salaries, according to Payscale.com  

Data Visualization Jobs

Average Salary (US) source: payscale.com

Data Visualization Job #1 - Data Analyst 

Salary Range: According to PayScale, the salary for a data analyst with data visualization skills can range from $49,000 - $86,000, with an average salary falling at $64,702.

Key Tasks & Responsibilities:

The job of a data analyst is a unique data visualization job because it can be used in many different contexts. In fact, any department that requires data to make decisions will call on analysts to help make those decisions. In this role, it’s possible that you may be serving the analytical needs of just one department, or many. Where you live in the organization, depends on the company’s size, structure, and needs.

Here are some of the key tasks you can expect as an analyst:

  • Collecting, analyzing, manipulating and reporting on large datasets to meet business needs
  • Identifying new sources of data and methods to improve data collection, analysis, and reporting
  • Collecting requirements and problem-solving through any technical issues that may arise
  • Creating and designing reports and dashboards
  • Using strong written and verbal communication skills to present your research and analysis

Additional Required Skills: 

  • Excel
  • SQL
  • Database Management & Reporting 
  • Statistical Analysis 

Recommended: 20 Data Storytelling Keys for Success - Your guide to understanding and developing data storytelling skills of your own.

Data Visualization Job #2 - Data Scientist

Salary Range:  According to PayScale, the salary for a data scientist with data visualization skills can range from $58,000 - $122,000, with an average salary falling at $93,747.

Key Tasks & Responsibilities: 

The role of a data scientist was born out of the opportunity created by big data: as businesses amassed a volume of data and information, data scientists, armed with new technologies were tasked with transforming it into useful formats. 

Like analysts, the job of a data scientist can vary significantly based on the company’s industry, business model and goals. However, at a general level, data scientists are tasked with synthesizing large data sets, looking for order and patterns within data, spotting trends and building models that can help a business run more efficiently, serve its customers better, and achieve higher profit margins. It’s all about using data to impact the bottom line. 

Additional Required Skills: 

  • Using analytical techniques such as machine learning, deep learning, and text analytics to transform massive streams of data streams into actionable insights.
  • Working with a variety of programming languages such as Python and R
  • Using a deep understanding of statistical tests and distributions to find patterns and trends within data

Recommended: Cracking the Code of Designing Effective Information Visualizations

Data Visualization Job #3 - Business Intelligence Analyst

Salary Range:  According to PayScale, the salary for a business intelligence analyst with data visualization skills can range from $48,000 - $89,000, with an average salary falling at $64,156.

Key Tasks & Responsibilities: 

Business intelligence analysts play an integral role in helping a company achieve true operational efficiency. They use business data to shed light on optimization opportunities, help companies to better manage its workforce, and guide cross-functional and interdepartmental collaboration. 

The best business intelligence analysts draw on a combination of hard skills, such as programming, modeling, and advanced statistics, as well as soft skills like communication, problem-solving and analytical thinking. 

As the company’s internal data whisperer, they are often responsible for: 

  • Overseeing the deployment of data to an internal data warehouse
  • Developing policies and procedures for the collection and analysis of data, and ensuring the integrity of those processes
  • Collaborating with business users around data needs and developing analysis, reports, processes, and applications in response
  • Identifying opportunities to improve processes or strategies

Additional Required Skills:

  • SQL
  • Excel
  • Tableau Software

Recommended: Executive Data Storytelling - 3 steps to deliver data stories that inspire leaders to act.

Data Visualization Job #4 - Software Engineer

Salary Range:  According to PayScale, the salary for a software engineer with data visualization skills can range from $78,000 - $131,000 with the average salary coming in at $98,541. 

Key Tasks & Responsibilities: 

As tech companies look to build data analysis and data visualization capabilities into their software platforms, software engineers play a key role in the design and development of these features.

The role of a software engineer requires collaborating with a variety of roles, including product managers, designers, and other business stakeholders. You need to have strong attention to detail and be passionate about creating beautiful products that convey information elegantly and effectively. 

Additional Required Skills:

  • JavaScript
  • SQL
  • Python
  • C# Programming Language
  • A basic understanding of UX and UI design principles
  • Proficiency with business intelligence and dashboard platforms

Recommended: The fundamental challenges of dashboard design 

Data Visualization Job #5 - Analytics Manager 

Salary Range: According to PayScale, the salary for an analytics manager with data visualization skills can range from $76,000 - $108,000 with the average salary coming in at $81,380.

Analytics managers are charged with creating effective strategies for collecting data, analyzing it, conducting research and implementing analytics solutions for the companies they work for.

Central to an analytics managers’ success is their team - many times they are tasked with leading and managing a team of analysts to complete analytics tasks and projects efficiently, accurately and on time. However, because they typically occupy a player-coach role, they will step in from time to time and run their own analysis, creating complex reports and communicating progress to business stakeholders. 

Additional Required Skills:

  • Experience leading and managing a team to complete tasks on behalf of other departments or disciplines within the organization
  • Experience using dashboard platforms
  • Ability to translate requirements from internal stakeholders into concise analytical deliverables
  • Strong communication, presentation and data storytelling skills
  • SQL, Python and R

Recommended: Presentation Skills Training - Learn strategies and skills for presenting data more effectively.

Looking to grow your career in analytics and data visualization? 

Learn data storytelling strategies used by analytics leaders at Starbucks, TD Ameritrade, Nike, Amazon, Starbucks, World Vision and more through Data Story Academy’s online data storytelling course. 

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