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Want to be a data analyst?

The demand for Data Analysts is on the rise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there will be a 20% rise in the number of data analysts jobs between now and 2028. (https://www.springboard.com/blog/data-analytics/data-analytics-skills/) . You can be a data analyst for several industries, including healthcare and finance. To become a data analyst requires certain skills and qualifications and, in this post, we will go over some skills that will prepare you for a career as a data analyst. First, what is a data analyst? A data analyst serves as a gatekeeper for an organization’s data decisions as well as provides data-driven insights so stakeholders can understand data and use it to make strategic decisions. (https://www.northeastern.edu/graduate/blog/what-does-a-data-analyst-do/). Some of the key responsibilities of a data analyst are:

  • Maintaining Databases

  • Cleaning and Mining Data

  • Using BI tools to interpret data

  • Preparing reports for stakeholders and decision makers.

According to Springboard there are 17 skills that employers expect when hiring a data analyst. The most valuable skills for a data analyst consist of technical and leadership skills. (https://www.northeastern.edu/graduate/blog/what-does-a-data-analyst-do/) These technical skills include:

  • Knowing language databases such as SQL, R, and Python

  • Using data visualization tools such as Tableau

  • Having basic mathematical skills as well as having some knowledge of Statistics

  • Lastly, being able to clean and manipulate data

Moreover, having leadership skills will help prepare any data analyst to find solutions to problems and complete decision-making tasks. In this blog we are going to discuss the following skills below and go over resources that will help you develop these skills:

  • SQL

  • Statistics

  • Data cleaning

  • Data Visualization

  • Attention to detail

SQL

SQL stands for Structured Query Language, and it is the programming language for relational databases. It is used to organize and manipulate data. There are many different platforms that you can use to learn SQL. According to Medium.com, some of the best websites to learn SQL are Coursera, Udemy, Code Academy, & Khan Academy. Websites like Code Academy and Khan academy are places where you can learn SQL for free, whereas sites like Udemy and Coursera have both free and paid courses. Typically, data analysts do not have to be a pro at SQL, but it Is important to know the basis before becoming a data analyst.

Statistics

Mathematical skills are valuable as a data analyst, and you will need to have basic math skills. One of the mathematical subjects that is good to have practice in is probability and statistics. Udemy and Coursera also offer free and paid probability and statistics courses if you need a refresher!

Data Cleaning

As an analyst the data you collect may not be cleaned or organized, therefore you will need know how to clean and format data. This is one of the first steps in data preparation. It consists of detecting and fixing errors, replacing missing values, removing duplicate entries, and reorganizing the data to where it can be read by a machine. One source for data cleaning is Tableau Prep, which can be downloaded from tableau.com.

Data Visualization

One of the most important skills is showing insights visually by using data visualization tools. Data visualization tools are used to visualize data. These will allow you to input datasets and be able to explore, implement and provide data-driven insights. Tableau and Power BI are among the most popular data visualization tools. Tableau comes in desktop, cloud, server, prep, and public (free). Tableau is user-friendly and you will be able to create interactive dashboards. Tableau also offers several certifications; a popular certification right now is the Data Analyst Tableau Certification. Power BI can access data from sources such as Salesforce, Azure, Excel & SharePoint. (https://www.founderjar.com/best-data-visualization-tools/)

Detailed Oriented

Lastly, paying attention to detail is an important skill to have. This allows analysts to find patterns and details in the data that are not easy to see. This skill is beneficial when it comes to making decisions and finding solutions.


Please note that these skills can be developed through projects and certifications. It is important to start building your resume with the basic technical skills mentioned earlier. Starting to work on projects, building a portfolio, and using resources like Tableau Public to build out dashboards. Update your LinkedIn bio with your certifications and tools that you have used in the during projects. Lastly, APPLY!







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