Become a Data Analyst

Data Analyst

No doubt, one of the most popular jobs nowadays is the data analyst job, and this is for may reasons. One reason is that the new world has become more data-driven, and everything around us uses data in many forms, so the need for a data analyst is increasing. Another reason can be the high salaries of a data analyst, especially data analysts who possess advanced analytical skills. Other reasons maybe that a data analyst can work in-office, remotely, or from home. What other reasons you think a data analyst job is highly demanded these days? Leave a comment, let’s discuss.

Do you want to become a data analyst?

I get messages from my LinkedIn contacts, frequently. They always ask me the same questions:

  • Can I become a data analyst?
  • Do I need to have a specific university major?
  • Do I need to hold a certificate in the same field?
  • What skills should I have to become a data analyst?
  • How can I start?
  • etc.

In this post, I will answer all your questions about this topic. If you have other questions, please leave a comment below. Let’s first understand what really a data analyst job is, what a data analyst does, what a data analyst job description is, then I will list other information you’re looking for.

What does a Data Analyst do?

As a data analyst, I know what a data analyst does. However, I am only specialized in a part of the data analysis field, so I searched online for all tasks a data analyst may be doing. Modern Analyst defined the data analyst as the professional who focuses on analysis and problem solving related to data, types of data, and relationships among data elements within a business system or IT system. Another definition was provided on Target Jobs, which is that a data analyst collects, organises and interprets statistical information to make it useful for non-statisticians. Snagajob defined a data analyst as the one who translates numbers into plain English to help companies make better business decisions.

So, the role of a data analyst is important because it contributes to decision-making that affects business processes, and can vary based on the industry. Common data analysts include: data modeler, business intelligence analyst, data warehouse analyst, systems analyst, business analyst, operations analysts, marketing analysts, financial analysts, etc. However, there are common tasks most data analysts do:

  • using computerised models/tools to extract the data needed
  • collect, manage, and prepare databases
  • data scanning to assess data quality
  • removing corrupted data
  • analyze data using statistical techniques and interpret results
  • creating data visualizations
  • creating dashboards and/or reports
  • working alongside teams within the business or the management team to establish business needs
  • defining new data collection and analysis processes

There are more detailed tasks that a data analyst may do, varying based on the business needs and the industry.

Data Analyst Job Qualifications

There is no specific university degree required for this role; however, a degree in the following subjects is highly preferred:

  • Mathematics
  • Computer Science
  • Statistics
  • Economics
  • Information Management

Other Data Analyst Role Requirements

Mainly, a bachelor’s degree is needed for most entry-level jobs, and a master’s degree will be needed for many upper-level jobs. However, the job requires the candidate to have the following qualities:

  • Proven working experience as a data analyst, in data models and reporting packages
  • Ability to analyse large datasets
  • Technical expertise regarding data models, database design development, data mining and segmentation techniques
  • Ability to write comprehensive reports
  • Strong knowledge of and experience with reporting packages (Business Objects etc), databases (SQL etc), programming (XML, Javascript, Python, Oracle, or ETL frameworks)
  • Knowledge of statistics and experience using statistical packages for analyzing datasets (Excel, SPSS, R, SAS etc)
  • Strong analytical skills with the ability to collect, organize, analyze, and disseminate significant amounts of information with attention to detail and accuracy
  • Adept at queries, report writing and presenting findings
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • An analytical mind and inclination for problem-solving
  • Attention to detail

Now, if you have the desire, passion, and potential for being a data analyst, you can start working on yourself. Read more about the requirements, learn about it. Take courses. Now, there are alot of websites that provide free or low price online courses. You can watch Youtube videos provided by many experienced professionals. Read books. And most important, PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE! You can study, attend courses, read books, obtain volumes of information, but PRACTICE is the only way you can gain knowledge and experience about data analysis field.

Thank you for reading. See you in the next post.

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