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UX Research vs. Data Analytics

education Aug 19, 2022

The difference between data analysts and UX researchers can be a bit of a mouthful to understand without experience in one or the other. That being said, their goal is quite similar. Both are utilizing information in order to make decisions that will create more traffic on a company's media. An analyst of data uses their research to make sales and create business plans for a company, whereas a UX researcher conducts research on what is working for other companies' media in order to replicate and improve upon it for their company's media. Both are important positions, and there are some similarities as well as differences that we will break down in this article.


What Does a Data Analyst Do?

In short, and as stated previously, a data analyst's main goal is to improve a company's business decisions, and in today's world, this is mostly done online but can be done with offline business as well. That being said, the process is a bit harder because it is easier to acquire data for online platforms. Outside of simply analyzing data, let's look at what a data analyst does on a day-to-day basis.


  • Identify any opportunity to improve: By using data collected, analysts work with executives in a company and present ways that a company is lacking in sufficiency and tries to come up with solutions to improve for the future.
  • Work with internal and external teams: Internally, if a company is making poor decisions, this will be obvious through data and can be represented by the analyst. Sometimes, if a product is being sold in external stores through partnership, they may analyze ways the store can improve sales of their product.
  • Create visual aides: Not everyone they work with is a data analyst like them; therefore, a spreadsheet full of numbers does not represent what they see in the data compared to others. So they have to find creative ways to make this data make sense and represent its importance.
  • Structure and sift through data sets: Not all the data on a sheet represents what an analyst is looking for, so it is important for them to look for trends in the data that can be represented in something like a graph. Trends are what make data usable and important and are what commonly evoke change. 



What does a UX Researcher Do?

Similar to a data analyst, a UX researcher uses trends in order to improve a product but keeps the user in mind more than the company. Yes, the company has to be improved, but the user trends are what are evoking these changes, and the changes are made to make a better experience. This, like data analytics, can influence subscribers or sales, but again is aimed at making the experience for the user better, to therefore improve the company. So like data analysts, let's dive into UX Researchers' responsibilities.


  • Creating research plans: In other words, they make a plan that clearly describes what they are looking to accomplish. This is done in order to improve the company medium and boost the user's experience interacting with the product.
  • Find user's needs: Through various methods like user testing or collecting data and keystrokes, UX researchers can understand what a user's needs are when interacting with an interface and help improve upon the medium with that understanding.
  • Recruiting targeted users: This is done to conduct research; it would not be beneficial for a company to launch a product and then do user testing because it may paint a bad picture of the company in the user's eyes. Instead, before something is published, a UX researcher will track down targeted users and have them interact with the product, and do user testing on them to gain feedback.
  • Create surveys: These are used after a product is launched to further understand users' needs and see if they are being met and, if not, how they can be improved. There is always an opportunity to grow, even after user testing and a launch of a product.
  • Make suggestions: When research has been done, and notable information is unearthed, they make suggestions to the product team.



UX Researcher

Data Analyst


  • Understanding the user's wants and needs
  • Working in groups
  • Communication
  • Creating surveys that reflect the information that will evoke change
  • Problem Solving
  • Data Preparation
  • Knowledge of statistics
  • Creating reports
  • Problem Solving
  • Domain Knowledge


$81,761 - $133,000

$120,000 - $160,000




Although it is possible to get a job without a degree, it is unlikely.

Job Environment

There are remote options available, but most positions will require you to conduct user tests and collaborate. 

Therefore, you will most likely work remotely and in person. 

Similar to UX Researchers, you can work remotely but may need to conduct in-field practices as well. 


What skills can get transferred from Data Analyst to UX Researcher?

Skills that are transferable are mostly soft skills. Being cohesive in groups and being able to utilize data and information to solve problems. UX Research requires more face-to-face interaction with users, whereas data analytics requires pulling information from data. Therefore, it would be a painless change in careers. A data analyst would be moving away from the numbers and looking more at what users' needs and wants are when practicing UX research.


Can you mix Data Analyst and UX Research?

Absolutely, in fact, a team of data analysts and UX researchers working together would create an ideal product. On one side, you would be getting the nitty-gritty information on how to perfect sales, while on the other hand, you are improving your user experience. Therefore, with the two roles combined or working together, it can benefit the company and the user and be advantageous for both parties. 


If you are a data analyst and/or interested in UX Research and want to learn more, sign up for a free mentor call today!



Trenton Carlson is a journalist, content writer, and aspiring airline pilot. He likes his avocados baked with an egg in the hole where the pit goes.

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