Top skills required to become Data Analyst

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Modern society runs on data. A Data Analyst retrieves and gathers data, organizes it, and uses it to reach meaningful conclusions. They discover how data can be used to answer questions and solve problems. Data Analysts are liable for creating dashboards, designing and maintaining relationship databases and systems for various departments using Business Intelligence Software, Tableau, and Programming. It’s a fulfilling job that pays well.  Here are some skills required to become a Data Analyst-

1. Programming Languages

The need for techno-savvy people has increased with increasing developments in the field of science and technology. A data analyst should be well versed with the programming languages and proficient in them. Data analysts should know how to use programming languages such as R, Python, and SAS for data gathering, data cleaning, statistical analysis, and data visualization. Some analysts prefer R over Python for exploring data sets and doing ad-hoc analysis.

Programming Languages: Top skills required to become Data Analyst

2. Database Querying Languages

A Data Analyst is required to know Database Querying Languages. The most commonly used Querying language is SQL(Structured Query language). The different variations of this language are Postgre SQL, T-SQL, PL/SQL (Procedural Language/SQL). Each month, thousands of job postings requiring SQL skills are posted, and the median salary for someone with advanced SQL skills sits well over $75,000. Branded versions of SQL such as MySQL offer opportunities to gain a greater understanding of relational database management systems. While even non-techies can benefit from learning this language if you’re looking to work with Big Data, learning SQL is the first step.

3. Advanced Microsoft Excel

Since Data Analysts are responsible for gathering information and designing it, they should have good knowledge of Microsoft Excel. They should know how to make efficient use of the tools provided by Microsoft Excel. Excel has its own programming language, VBA, which it uses to create macros or pre-recorded commands. When used correctly, VBA can save human analysts tons of time on frequently performed, repetitive projects like accounting, payroll, or project management.  Advanced Excel methods like writing Macros and using VBA lookups are still widely used for smaller lifts and lighter, quick analytics.

Advanced Microsoft Excel: Top skills required to become Data Analyst

4. Data Mining, Cleaning, and Munging

When data isn’t neatly stored in a database, data analysts must use other tools to gather unstructured data. Research shows that data cleaning and preparation accounts for around 80% of the work of data professionals. Data cleaning also involves handling missing and inconsistent data that may affect your analysis. With a properly cleaned dataset, even simple algorithms can generate remarkable insights. On the other side, unclean data can produce misleading patterns and lead a business towards mistaken conclusions.

5. Data Warehousing

A Data Warehouse, also referred to as an Enterprise Data Warehouse, may be a system used for reporting and data analysis, and is taken into account as a core component of business intelligence. Data Analysts connect databases from multiple sources to make a knowledge warehouse and use querying languages to seek out and manage data.

Data Warehousing: Top skills required to become Data Analyst

6. Data Visualization

Effective data visualization takes trial and error. As a data analyst, you’ll need to be able to create plots and charts to help communicate your data and findings visually. This means creating charts that will help others understand the data. It also means avoiding things that are difficult to interpret (like pie charts). A successful data analyst understands what types of graphs to use, how to scale visualizations and know which charts to use depending on their audience.

7. Presentation and Communication Skills

Presentation skills and communication skills are required in every job. Communication is key in collaborating with your colleagues. You should have the potential to deal with highly technical points together with your trained peers, also provide clear, high-level explanations. Even some confident people feel stressed and get nervous. So it’s necessary to practice a lot to gain confidence.

Presentation and Communication Skills

8. Machine Learning

While not every analyst works with machine learning, the tools and concepts are important to know to get ahead in the field. You need to have some statistical programming skills. It is not a need but you need to possess some knowledge regarding Machine learning.

9. Critical Thinking

To succeed as an analyst, you need to think like an analyst. The role of a data analyst is to uncover and synthesize connections that are not always so clear. As a critical thinker, you can think analytically about data, identifying patterns, and extracting actionable insights and knowledge from the knowledge you’ve got at hand. You can improve your critical thinking by asking questions to yourself and finding solutions to them.

Critical Thinking

Data analytics could be the career for you, but to succeed in the field, you need to gain the requisite skills. We have covered here the skills which are required to become Data Analyst.

By-Mugdha Attarde

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