Quality analysis is the evaluation of processes, products and services to ensure that they meet a company's standards. Quality analysts are in charge of this function, and successful ones possess advanced formal qualifications and superior analytical abilities. Although these analysts can work in a range of industries, they are commonly found in software development, manufacturing and customer service.
Mastering the Skills
Quality analysts must have a combination of excellent analytical skills and attention to detail to perform their duties effectively. When analyzing whether a manufacturing process will lead to quality goods, for example, the quality analyst relies on these skills to assess the process and spot manufacturing activities that may decrease quality. Quality analysts also must have good communication skills to compile clear and concise evaluation reports. Technical skills are important, too, because they often need to read and interpret technical diagrams, such as product development blueprints.
It's All About the Quality
In all settings, a quality analyst's main responsibility is to analyze an organization’s products or services and determine whether they meet standards. For example, a quality analyst working at a call center might evaluate customer feedback to establish that its services meet the company’s objectives. A quality analyst in software development might test the software to ensure that it works efficiently before release.
Quality analysts help organizations establish quality standards that measure up to industry benchmarks. They do this by providing recommendations on how products and services can be improved. In pharmaceutical manufacturing, for example, quality analysts help manufacturers develop drugs that meet the standards set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. When an organization implements manufacturing or service delivery changes, quality analysts may recommend or carry out training to educate workers about the changes.
Although you can get started as a quality analyst with an associate degree in quality assurance or quality control, earning a bachelor’s degree improves your employment prospects. For jobs in software development or manufacturing settings, obtain a bachelor’s degree in information technology or industrial engineering. Improve your career advancement opportunities by earning certifications or other degrees. For example, quality analysts who obtain the American Society for Quality’s quality process analyst certification and earn a master’s degree in business administration can become quality analysis managers or work for regulatory agencies as quality inspectors.