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What is the difference between the role of analyst and statistician in your industry? Are the two roles synonymous or are there notable differences in the requirements and responsibilities between these two roles? (Please include your current industry in your reply)

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Analyst is usually more junior and is usually involved in data gathering, cleaning and reporting, some simple customer segmentation, A/B testing or survey analysis. Statistician usually requires a master (at least) and are involved in modeling: logistic regression, decision trees, path analysis, predictive modeling, sophisticated customer profiling and ROI optimization.

Some particular titles such as business analyst (usually an experienced technical professional involved in data warehousing or ETL) or financial analyst can be quite senior and require certifications (series 7, CFA) or advanced training (MBA).
Would you consider a Statistical (SAS) Programmer (i.e. Clinical Programmers) more of a statistician or more of an analyst? It seems that most pharma companies offer a lot of mobility between the Biostatistics and Clinical Programming roles since the required experience and educational background, at most companies, are similar. Some companies however, require a computer science background with no mathematical background for Clinical Programming roles. If possible, where would you draw the line of distinction between the two groups in this case?

I came across this thread while trying to answer the same question for the leadership at my company.  I lead a team of statisticians and the execs constantly lump us in with the analysts.  What I see the analysts doing (and this is my perception, not necessarily reality) is a lot of SQL, Excel pivot tables, PHP generated web pages based on the SQL and Excel tables to put data in front of whoever is asking for it.

My position is that you don't need a statistician for that.  I have my team focused on root cause analysis, process control, designing experiments, defining sampling methods for A|B testing, and producing BI tools that fill the needs of different members of the business.

Am I being an intellectual snob?


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