Data Analytics and Data Science: 4 Critical Differences

By: Published: July 26, 2021

Data Analytics vs Data Science

Data Science is a field that focuses on finding meaningful and actionable correlations between large datasets. Data Analytics is carefully designed to understand and discover the specifics of extracted insights. Data Science is an umbrella that includes Data Analytics. Data Science is an amalgamation of different disciplines like Statistics, Computer Science, Mathematics, Information Science, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Mathematics. Both Data Analysis and Data Science deal with Big Data.

This blog talks about Data Analytics and Data Science and goes into the details of the differences between Data Analytics and Data Science based on factors like Scope, Core Skills, Job Opportunities, Purpose, etc. 

Table of Contents

Introduction to Data Analytics

Data Analytics and Data Science: Data Analytics Workflow
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Data Analytics focuses on performing and processing statistical analysis of existing datasets. Data Analysts can concentrate on creating methods to process, capture, and organize data to discover actionable insights for current business challenges and use cases. This is done while establishing the best way to present this data in a way that’s easy to understand. 

In layman’s terms, this field is dedicated to finding the answers to the questions you don’t know the answers to. It is primarily based on producing results that can lead to immediate improvements. This can help enhance the efficiency of the workforce which can steer business growth. 

Introduction to Data Science

Data Science Requirements
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Data Science is a vast field that deals with finding meaningful insights from large sets of Structured and Raw data. Several techniques are put to use by Data Scientists to parse through massive datasets to establish solutions to the problems that haven’t popped up yet.

The fundamental aim of a Data Scientist is to pose queries and locate potential avenues of study. Emphasis is placed on finding the right questions to ask, instead of looking for specific answers. This can be accomplished by experts by predicting potential trends, finding better ways to analyze information, and exploring disconnected and disparate data sources with the help of Machine Learning, Predictive Analytics, Statistics, and Computer Science.     

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Understanding the Differences Between Data Analytics and Data Science

You can differentiate Data Analysis and Data Science based on the following factors:

Data Analytics and Data Science Differences: Core Skills

Data Scientist Skills
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In terms of core skills, Data Scientists must be skilled in Statistics and Mathematics. They must also have a strong command over Machine Learning, Predictive Modeling, and programming languages like R, SQL, Java, Scala, Julia, MATLAB, and Python. A Data Scientist should also be well-versed with the concepts of Linear Algebra and Multivariate Calculus. Considerable experience with Big Data platforms like Hadoop and Apache Spark is a bonus. 

Data Analysts, on the other hand, must be proficient in Data Modeling, Data Warehousing, Data Analysis, Data Mining, Statistical Analysis, Data Visualization, and Database Management. Both Data Analysts and Data Scientists must be critical thinkers and excel at problem-solving.   

Data Analyst Skills
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Data Analysis and Data Science Differences: Purpose and Scope

One major difference between Data Analysis and Data Science is exploration. Data Science isn’t focused on answering specific queries, but parsing through massive datasets often in Unstructured ways to unearth meaningful insights. So, Data Science establishes potential trends based on existing data and finding better ways to model and analyze data.  

Data Analysis, on the other hand, works better when it is carried out in a focused manner. For this, a Data Analyst needs to have specific questions in mind that require answers based on existing data. The two fields are therefore highly interconnected.

The career pathway for Data Analytics and Data Science is quite similar. Data Analysts can pursue an undergraduate degree in Mathematics, Statistics, Information Technology, or Computer Science. Data Science aspirants must have a strong educational foundation in Data Science, Software Engineering, or Computer Science. From a career perspective, Data Analyst is more of an entry-level position. While hiring Data Analysts, recruiters prefer candidates with 2-5 years of industry experience. However, Data Scientists are seasoned veterans with over 10 years of experience.   

Data Analytics and Data Science Differences: Responsibilities

The responsibilities of a Data Scientist are as follows:

  • Performing Statistical Analysis using ML algorithms like KNN, Logistic Regression, Decision Trees, Random Forest, etc.
  • Writing Code for automation and building resourceful ML libraries and models.
  • Cleaning, Processing, and Validating the integrity of data.
  • Performing Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA) on large datasets.
  • Performing Data Mining by creating ETL Pipelines.
  • Identifying new trends in data for making business decisions.
  • Gleaning Business Insights using algorithms and ML tools.

On the other hand, the responsibilities of a Data Analyst are as follows:

  • Identifying relevant patterns in a dataset.
  • Collecting and Interpreting data.
  • Performing Data Querying using SQL.
  • Using Data Visualization tools like Power BI, Looker, Tableau, and many more for presenting the extracted information.
  • Experimenting with different analytical tools like Prescriptive Analytics, Predictive Analytics, Descriptive Analytics, and Diagnostic Analytics.   

Data Analytics and Data Science Differences: Job Roles

Data Analysts and Data Scientists use data in different ways. Data Scientists use a mix of Machine Learning, Statistical, and Mathematical techniques to process, clean, and interpret data to extract insights from it. They can design advanced Data Modeling processes using prototypes, predictive models, custom analysis, and ML algorithms. 

Data Analysts, on the other hand, examine datasets to identify trends and draw insights from them. Data Analysts collect large volumes of data, analyze it, and organize it to identify relevant patterns. Once the analysis is done, Data Analysts work on presenting their findings through Data Visualization methods like graphs, charts, etc. Therefore, a Data Analyst transforms complex insights into business-savvy language that can be understood by every member of an organization.

Individuals working across both roles carry out varying degrees of Data Cleaning, Collection, and Analysis to collect actionable insights for data-driven decision making. This leads to an overlap in the responsibilities of a Data Analytics and Data Science professional.     


This blog talks about the key differences between Data Analytics and Data Science covering topics like Core Skills, Purpose, Scope, Responsibilities, and Job Roles to simplify your understanding. The blog starts with an introduction to Data Analysis and Data Science before diving into the differences between the two.

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Content Marketing Manager, Hevo Data

Amit is a Content Marketing Manager at Hevo Data. He enjoys writing about SaaS products and modern data platforms, having authored over 200 articles on these subjects.

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