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The process of analyzing, cleansing, manipulating, and modeling data to identify usable information, informing conclusions, and assisting decision-making is known as data analysis. Data analysis has several dimensions and approaches, including a wide range of techniques under various titles and being applied in a variety of business, science, and social science sectors. Data analysis is important in today’s business environment since it helps businesses make more scientific decisions and run more efficiently. In this article, we will go over the 7 essential skills for data analysts.

Here are the 7 essential skills for Data Analyst:


It is one of the most important skills you need to become a Data Analyst. Structured Query Language (SQL) is the ubiquitous industry-standard database and it is the most important skill you need for a data analyst. The language is a graduated version of excel, SQL able to handle large datasets that MS Excel can’t handle. Every company needs an individual who knows SQL.

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To manage and store data, related multiple databases, or build or change those data case structures altogether. Every month, thousands of vacancy introduced requiring SQL skills and the median salary for advanced SQL skills is well over $75,000. If you want to become a big data analyst then SQL is the first step.

SQL, skill

MS Excel

When you think of MS Excel, the first thing that appears to your mind is a spreadsheet, but there is a lot more analysis power under the lid of this tool. The proficiency to analyze data is a powerful skill that enables you to make better decisions. Microsoft Excel is one of the prime tools for data analysis and the built-in pivot tables are arguably the extensively outstanding analytic tool. In addition, Excel formulas can be utilized to aggregate data to develop meaningful reports.

Programming Languages like R or Python are better fitted to handle a large data set, advanced Excel methods like writing macros and using VBA lookups are still broadly used for smaller lifts and lighter, quick analytics. The main version of your database may sure be Excel. Learning MS Excel is a must because the tool has remained a mainstay for businesses in every industry. There are free online resources to help you get started as well as structured data analytics classes for those who are looking for a deeper understanding of the tool.

MS Excel, Programming Languages

Critical Thinking 

Data analyst requires you to think critically by probing, connecting disparate facts, synthesizing, etc. Similarly, critical thinking is facilitated by the capacity to think analytically and correlate tools to help extract insights and actionable data from the data guy. You can critically analyze data by Define Your Questions, Set Clear Measurement Priorities, Collect Data, Analyze Data, Interpret Results. To succeed as a data analyst you have to think like an analyst. There are various ways by which you can improve your critical thinking ability. You must remember to think for yourself instead of relying on what already exists.

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R or Python

Python works satisfactorily on every aspect of data analysis. It is the Python libraries that were formulated for data science that are so beneficial. The 3 most popular ways of how Python is being used for data analysis are data mining, data processing, modeling, and data visualization. R or Python can do better and 10 times faster than Excel. It is a powerful statistical program language used to perform advanced analyses and predictive analytics on big data sets. Many analysts choose R over python for analyzing data sets and performing ad-hoc analysis. 

data analyst, python

Data Visualization

To get your points and to keep your audience engaged you must be able to tell a compelling story with data is important. You are going to have a difficult time getting through to others if your findings can’t be easily and quickly identified. When it comes to the impact of your data visualization can have a make or break effect. Tableau’s visualization software is deemed an industry-standard analytical tool, as it is refreshingly user-friendly. 

Presentation Skills

Both data visualization and presentation skills go hand in hand. Presenting doesn’t always come naturally to everyone and that’s okay you will get to learn with time and practice. Focus on the audience rather than yourself and you will get more comfortable with presenting.

5 Minute Presentation

Machine Learning 

The understanding of machine learning has been identified as a key component of an analyst’s toolkit. The tools and knowledge are crucial to understanding to get ahead in the field. 

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By: Sananda Kumari

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