What does a Data Artist do?


A Data Artist visualises data streams in the Big Data area and is an expert in graphic design and information technology. They understand business objectives and processes and are able to implement them in the form of storytelling and graphics such as graphs, charts, infographics and other tools that can help people understand complex information better.

The Role of a Data Artist

Data artists (or data visualizers) are basically Data Scientists who are also experts in the graphic and textual processing of large and complex data streams. They analyse data sources and after drawing their conclusions from them, prepare them for internal or external corporate communication and management

They gain insights from data and then use that data to help a company meet its goals. This is a professional who can take output from data streams, analyze them and then turn them into theories that can effectively be used by companies to make better decisions. 

Role overview of a Data Artist with tasks, skills, background and salary
Data Artist – Job Overview

In principle, data artists can be used in every organization that works with Big Data and can effectively add a creative component to classic data scientists. In some companies, data artists bridge the gap between business heads and IT by creating visuals that can be understood by the former. 

Tasks and Activities

Data Artists are less concerned with the acquisition of data and more about its visual preparation. Unlike a data engineer, their primary task is not the technical implementation of data acquisition but to create visuals and graphics in the form of charts, infographics, graphics etc. that can bridge the gap of understanding between business heads and the IT department.

Responsibilties and tasks of a data artist
Tasks and Activities of a Data Artist

They play a leading role in data storytelling, guide and coach colleagues in the implementation of innovative visualisation approaches and define guidelines on how to implement them. 

Data artists are responsible for rendering data visually and then identifying relevant data and formatting it. They are then responsible for taking that data and transforming it into relevant and customized visuals. 

They are also expected to work closely with data scientists and software developers and communicate their insights and data in the most meaningful way to other relevant team members. 

What are the tasks of a data artist?

  • Rendering data visually
  • Identifying relevant data and formatting it
  • Transforming data into relevant and customized visuals
  • Creating graphics
  • Creation of data-storytelling concepts
  • Creation of principles and guidelines for visualisation
  • Bridge gap of understanding between business heads and IT department
  • Management and support for implementation
  • Work closely with data scientists and software developers
  • Communicate insights and data to other team members

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Skills of a Data Artist

Like data architects and data scientists, data artists have the ability to understand complex data. They therefore have knowledge in areas of Javascript and its frameworks such as AngularJS and other programming languages such as R and Python

Data artists are also well versed in visualisations and understand Machine Learning, recommendation logic and systems and behavioural targeting. They are proficient in analysis tools such as Google Analytics as well as algorithms and statistics

The skills of a data artist
Skills of a Data Artist

They also have strong creative and visual design skills to be able to successfully present data in a more meaningful way. Knowledge in visualization techniques, BI Technologies and UI/UX design is also a must.

As a rule, a strong command over the English language is an advantage. In terms of soft skills, data artists have high emotional intelligence, strong communication skills as well as the talent to present complex issues in an informative and appealing way. Their analytical thinking, exceptionally high self-motivation and willingness to perform helps them succeed in everyday working life.

What must a Data Artist be able to do?

  • Be able to analyse complex data
  • Be proficient in Javascript and its frameworks such as AngularJS 
  • Have knowledge of programming languages such as R and Python
  • Understand Machine Learning
  • Have knowledge of recommendation logic and systems
  • Understand behavioral targeting
  • Be proficient in analysis tools such as Google Analytics
  • Deal with Algorithms and Statistics
  • Strong creative and visual design skills
  • Know visualization techniques
  • Knowledge of BI Technologies and UI/UX design
  • Strong command over the English language
  • High emotional intelligence
  • Strong communication skills
  • Be able to present complex issues in an informative and appealing way
  • Think analytically

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How do I become a data visualizer? As a data artist, professional representatives usually have a Bachelor’s degree or completed specialist training in the field of information technology. While an academic degree is not a must, many employers consider it desirable. The highest possible degree is a real advantage in the pool of competitors as is a minimum amount of work experience.

Since all Big Data professions are new professions, the opportunities for specialisation in this field are relatively rare. Among data scientists, data artistry is already a highly specialised profession.

Data Artist Salary

A data artist has good earning potential though the actual salary varies greatly from company to company. A junior data artist can expect a salary of up to $33,000 a year whereas data artists with a bit of experience behind them can earn up to $46,000 a year. A data artist in a senior position can earn up to $66,000 annually.

How much does a Data Artist earn?

Starting salary $33,000
Average salary $46,000
Senior salary $66,000 

How much does a freelance Data Artist earn?

Average hourly rate of freelance Data artists
The average hourly rate of a freelance Data Artist

The average freelancer hourly rate of a data artist is $56. Extrapolated to an 8-hour day, the daily rate is around $448 (freelancermap price index – January 2021).

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Natalia Campana

Natalia is part of the international team at freelancermap. She loves the digital world, social media and meeting different cultures. Before she moved to Germany and joined the freelancermap team she worked in the US, UK and her home country Spain. Now she focuses on helping freelancers and IT professionals to find jobs and clients worldwide at www.freelancermap.com

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