What is a Project Analyst? Job Description, Skills, Salaries

Editorial Team

A project analyst is a professional in the field of project management. They help project managers plan, organize and execute the project effectively by providing critical data support. Project analysts are the first point of contact for any issues or discrepancies arising from within the heads of various departments in an organization before the problem escalates to higher authorities, as project representatives.

Sometimes, project analysts perform the responsibilities done by a project manager. Other times, they work hand in hand with project managers. They seldom participate directly in the activities that produce results. Instead, they strive to maintain the progress, mutual interaction tasks of various parties that reduce the risk of overall failure, maximize benefits, and minimize costs.

Project analysts support project managers with overseeing and coordinating projects. They contribute to project planning, preparing, and maintaining documentation. The project analyst further review contracts and financials, monitor project activities, and evaluate the overall tasks.

Project analysts coordinate multiple tasks and work closely with the project managers to ensure successful projects. They are traffic controllers who arrange assignments, analyze the budget and timelines of a project. Additionally, the project analyst provides status reports to management and stakeholders. Also, they utilize spreadsheets and databases to offer data visualization for improved decision-making.

Project Analyst Job Description

A project analyst is responsible for managing and developing new projects once data collection, research, and analysis are executed. They are innovative, strategic, and critical in their approach. Project analyst further provides analytical support for various projects and assist in budget and financial analysis. They draft cost estimates, work statements, and financial reports. Project analysts also ensure customer satisfaction, monitor fund receipts, develop cost estimates, and prepare monthly and quarterly reports.

Nonetheless, project managers schedule a project, find critical activities using methodology and documentation. They monitor critical risks to appropriate stakeholders. Therefore, project analyst needs to have all the necessary skills, education, and certification to conduct these roles successfully.

Project analysts job description entails:

  • Contributing to project planning, budgeting, and overall strategy.
  • Conducting and presenting a feasibility analysis for proposed projects
  • Establishing key performance indicators
  • Monitoring and evaluating the overall project
  • Analyzing project data and producing insights to optimize performances
  • Identifying problems and shortfalls and offering solutions
  • Maintaining current knowledge on legislation applicable to each project
  • Providing operational support such as liaising with stakeholders, tracking timelines, etc.
  • Preparing, reviewing, and maintaining project documentation and reports
  • Maintain project contracts and financials
  • Track, forecast, and information on project progress, including metrics and challenges

Project Analyst Skills

The effectiveness of a project analyst is critical to project success. They require the right combination of skills and competence to be most effective. A good project analyst has excellent technical and soft skills. These skills help them handle project analyst tools efficiently. They need to have a strategic and logistical perspective on each project they undertake to optimize cost efficiencies and benefits. Project analysts must possess leadership and people skills to effectively manage a diverse team of people, who bring their unique personalities and skills set to the table.

Project analyst’s skills include;

  • Strong understanding of project management and data analysis
  • Proficiency in computer technology and Microsoft office application
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving abilities
  • Exceptional research and reporting skills
  • Working knowledge of applicable laws and standards in the industry
  • Excellent collaborative skills and ability to maintain positive work relationships
  • Excellent with managing finances and optimizing the budget given
  • Ability to stay up to date with market trends, movement, and innovations
  • Top-notch communication skills for presenting new ideas and strategies that can improve current planning processes
  • Excellent oral and written skills
  • Strong analytical and critical thinking skills

These skills enable project managers coordinate tasks, oversee their team and define the road map to complete a project. Project managers with strong organizational skills ensure that the projects run smoothly and align with common goals.

Project managers effectively use the skills to bring their team together, delegate responsibility, handle conflicts and evaluate performances. They can pinpoint out mistakes they have made using these skills. They then use professional risk management tools to analyze the potential risk and develop risk mitigation strategies.

Project Analyst Salary

The average salary of a project analyst is $60,114 per year.

The highest-paid project analysts are from San Diego, CA, with an average salary of 24% greater than the average national salary. Washington, DC, follows with an average wage 23% higher than the average national salary. It is followed by Austin, TX, with an average wage 22% higher than the national average wage. Lastly, Tampa, FL, follows with the average wage 15% higher than the average national salary.

The basis for payment depends on the years’ experience, education, and performance reviews. Project analysts with more experience are paid more than those with little experience. The match of project analyst’s education and what is required for the job affects pay. The quality of education can also affect salary. A project analyst with a master’s degree is paid more than the one with only some certifications. Additionally, a project analyst who provides excellent work is paid more than those who offer work that doesn’t reach the standards.

The average salary of a project analyst, according to Payscale, is as follows:

Average Salary Project Analyst

Project Analyst Career Requirements

For project analysts to be successful, they must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below represent the skills, knowledge, and abilities that a project analyst should possess. Relevant adjustments should be made to enable a project analyst with disabilities perform essential duties effectively.

Qualifications for a project analyst include:

  • A bachelor’s degree in business, finance, or computer science
  • Prior experience working with multiple donor-funded projects
  • Competence with Microsoft Office applications such as Excel, Visio, and projects
  • Experience with QuickBooks and other accounting software
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a diverse stakeholder, manage conflict and decision-making process to optimize outcomes
  • Ability to travel anywhere while working on a project
  • Working knowledge of setting up a project and facilitating simple project closeouts
  • Ability to facilitate sessions and keep the conversation on track
  • An understanding of cross-functional team structure and processes
  • Competence with database and various project scheduling software’s

The project analyst position requires a positive attitude, attention to detail, the ability to motivate people, set priorities, and strong interpersonal communication skills.

Certifications for Project Analyst

Project analysis certification can add value to a project analyst role. The certificates show that the project analyst can plan, schedule, budget, execute, deliver, and report the project initiatives. Project analyst certification is undoubtedly becoming formal recruitment in project-related roles. Having the appropriate credentials uniquely qualifies a project analyst for the job market. It proves that they are up to date on the project management analysis framework. There are several certifications available for project managers to add to their list of skills, which include:

Maintaining these certifications is essential for the professional growth, fluency, and currency of project analysts. Project analysts add these certifications to their resumes to demonstrate their capability to excel in many roles. Regardless of the industry, a project analysts’ certification shows that they possess valuable management skills.

Masters Program for Project Analyst

To Advance in a project, project analyst requires the development of a specialized set of skills. Influential project analysts can oversee a diverse team, communicate with executive leadership, and keep project plans on track. Certification alone does not provide the wide range of skills necessary to manage a complex project or increasingly diverse teams. Instead, a master’s degree in project analysis can be the key to advancing their career. The master’s degree focuses on building the critical project analysis skills, project analysts need to thrive in the industry.

The skills can include developing cultural awareness, managing interpersonal conflict, and leading remote teams. The master’s in project analysis’s foundational goal is to teach project analysts how to efficiently and effectively deliver projects ethically. A Master’s degree in project analysis enables project analysts to select a concentration in the field they are currently working in or would like to transition. Every project analyst should aim at getting a master’s degree in project analysis to be steady in the competitive world.

Tools and Software for Project Analyst

Project analyst tools and software refer to the aids that help project analysts organize work and manage projects and tasks effectively. They need to have excellent skills to handle these tools. Some of the software’s used are; Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Access, and Microsoft PowerPoint. Gantt charts track tasks across time. They are used for showing the phases, tasks, milestones, and resources needed as part of a project. The other tool is the logic network, which indicates the project’s sequence over time. It helps understand the dependencies of project analyst project, timescale, and their workflow. Additionally, project analysts use a pert chart and project break down structure (PBS). The pert chart is a method of analyzing the tasks involved in completing a given project.

It concentrates on the time needed to complete each task and identifying the minimum time required to complete the total project. Project breakdown structure is an exhaustive, hierarchical tree structure of components that make a project deliverable, arranged in a whole-part relationship. It clarifies what the project should deliver. The project analysis tools and software, gives project analyst the ability to quickly set a hierarchy of tasks for efficient and effective completion. They allow them to indicate the sequential actions and those that are dependent on another. The tools define the workflow and how the project will take shape. They execute appropriate techniques that help project analysts get good results within a short time. The tools and software thus make it easier for project analysts to do their tasks.

Role of Project Analyst in Project Management

Project analysts prepare and present new ideas to improve the current strategic planning process. They consider different scenarios to anticipate and any impact they have on the business. They collect information needed for projects using various approaches. The approaches include interviews, statistical data and market trends or legislation applicable to the project, and analyzing data collected.

Project analysts assess any project for financial and economic feasibility, as well as its investment budget. They administer, estimate, and monitor the activities set for each task and coordinate with departments within a company. In some cases, they coordinate with teams outside the organization for other research processes to ensure a project’s success. Additionally, project analysts arrange operationally and field tests to ensure the safe development and implementation of projects at work. They then prepare and submit reports on project progress to their superiors with set deadlines.

Project analysts collect data needed to start a project, prepare detailed plans, and determine resource allocation, deliverables timelines, and possible issues. They maintain project time frames, objectives, and communications. The project analysts verify data and information and analyze it to suit the direction of a project.

Nonetheless, the project analysts maintain current knowledge on legislation applicable to each project. They offer support by handling some operations aspects of the project. They coordinate with stakeholders and consultants, conduct internal meetings, review finances, and streamline the overall workflow.  The primary aim is to keep the project on schedule. The project analysts further establish key performance indicators and monitor the project regarding cost estimates, overall plans, and deliverable deadlines. They act as the primary source of information about the project to external teams.

Project analysts conduct business organization structure. They offer technical assistance to associates and represent directors on the task committee. They coordinate project activities and facilitate staff and matrix partner’s meetings. Project analysts are the backbone of any organization. They guide projects from the start to the end, ensuring it yields success. Hence they need to have all the relevant skills that they apply in projects. Organized project analyst who are keen on details always lead to project success.