How To Become A Data Analyst

Data Analyst is one of the fastest-growing, high paying IT jobs. If you are considering becoming a data analyst, in this guide you will find all the skills and knowledge required to become a data analyst, what courses are the best for a successful career as a data analyst, best data analytic companies, top tips for getting your first job as a Data Analyst etc below is some essential information on Data Scientist

Becoming a data analyst is not easy. One requires to have the requisite skills and educational background in order to become a data analyst. However, anybody interested in becoming a data analyst can apply for courses related to it in various institutes spread across the world.  

Who is a Data Analyst?

Nowadays, companies receive a tremendous amount of information every day that can be used to optimize their strategies. To get insights from the massive data collected, they need a highly qualified professional: the Data Analyst.

The task of a Data Analyst is to process the varied data concerning the customers, the products, or the performances of the company, to release indicators useful for the decision-makers. Thus, the information provided by the data analyst enables companies to define the products to be offered to customers according to their needs, the marketing strategy to adopt, or the improvements to be made to the production process.

Responsibilities of a Data Analyst

The data analyst designation comes with a bunch of roles and responsibilities. And the first step to becoming a data analyst in understanding the responsibilities of one! Some of the common and expected responsibilities of a data analyst are:

1. Understanding the Goal

First and foremost, a data analyst must identify the organization’s goal. They must assess the available resources, comprehend the business problem, and collect the right data. 

2. Querying

Data analysts write complex SQL queries and scripts to gather, store, manipulate, and retrieve information from relational databases such as MS SQL Server, Oracle DB, and MySQL.

3. Data Mining

Data is mined from a plethora of sources and organized to obtain new details from it. By doing so, data models are built to increase the efficiency of the system.

4. Data Cleansing

Cleaning and data wrangling is the vital duties of a data analyst. The data gathered initially will often be messy and have missing values. Hence, it’s crucial to clean the collected data to make it ready for the analysis purpose.

5. Data Examining

Data analysts use analytical and statistical tools, including programming languages, for carrying out a logical examination of data.

6. Interpreting Data Trends

Data analysts use various packages and libraries to spot trends and patterns from complex datasets, thereby discovering unseen business insights.

7. Preparing Summary Reports

Data analysts prepare summary reports with the help of data visualization tools. These reports guide the leadership team to make timely decisions. 

8. Collaborating with Other Teams

Data analysts interact with the management team, development team, and data scientists to ensure proper implementation of business requirements and figure out process improvement opportunities. 

And now that you’re well aware of the roles and responsibilities of a data analyst, you are ready to unlock the secret – how to become a data analyst.

Data Analyst Qualifications

How to become a data analyst requires both academic qualifications and skills. Let us see these categories in detail below.

Academic Qualifications

It is recommended that graduate from a data analysis program and have a high GPA, it would be easy for you to land an entry-level data analysis job. Even if you don’t have a specialization in data analysis, but a degree in mathematics, statistics, or economics from a well-reputed University, can easily land a data analysis entry-level job.

How To Become A Data Analyst

Step 1: Earn a bachelor’s degree in information technology, computer science, or statistics

Minor or study applied statistics or data analysis. Also take computer science classes that emphasize project management and database management. Find an advisor or career counselor that is familiar with a data analyst career path.

Step 2: Gain data analyst experience

It is difficult to gain employment as a data analyst if you do not have any experience. Interning while in school is a good way to gain valuable experience and will help with insights about additional skill development and training. Even still, most people in technical careers start at entry level positions in this case including positions such as a statistical assistant or technician. These jobs will provide valuable on-the-job training and experience. Take as many in-house training classes as possible, especially ones about analytical software programs and big data management. Experience, knowledge, and willingness to learn will help you rise to the level you desire.

Step 3: Advancing your career – consider a master’s degree or certificate program

An advanced degree will offer more job opportunities and ways to advance your career. Employers want candidates to have an array of knowledge and be familiar with the latest technologies and tools. Consider a master’s degree in data science, data analytics or big data management. These programs will generally provide exposure to the newest software programs from experts in field. Many universities partner with corporations to create team assignments, internships, and capstone projects: which will gain invaluable real world experience while earning an advanced degree.

how long does it take to become a data analyst?

Data analyst positions require a bachelor’s degree, which typically takes around 3-4 years to complete. A master’s degree or MBA can be completed in under two years, and a post-master’s certificate can be completed in under a year.

Data Analyst Sponsored Schools

Case Western Reserve University

CWRU Data Analytics Boot Camp is a rigorous, part-time program that prepares students with the fundamental skills for data analytics and visualization. Through hands-on, in-person instruction, you\’ll cover a wide range of topics and graduate ready to apply your skills in the workforce.

Columbia Engineering

Are you ready to become a data-driven professional? Columbia Engineering Data Analytics Boot Camp is a challenging, part-time bootcamp that equips learners with the specialized skills for data analytics and visualization through hands-on, in-person classes

University of California, Berkeley

Turn data into actionable insights. Berkeley Data Analytics Boot Camp is a dynamic, part-time program that covers the in-demand tools and technologies for data analytics and visualization through rigorous, project-based classes.

Georgia Institute of Technology

Learn the practical and technical skills needed to analyze and solve complex data analytics and visualization problems in 24 weeks

The University of Texas at Austin

The Data Analysis and Visualization Boot Camp at Texas McCombs puts the student experience first, teaching the knowledge and skills to conduct data analysis on a wide array of real-world problems. Students dive into a comprehensive curriculum, learning how to collect, analyze, and visualize big data

USC Viterbi Affiliated with Trilogy Education Services

Expand your skill set and grow as a data analyst. This program covers the specialized skills to be successful in the field of data in 24 weeks.

data analyst salary

According to the “average salary for a data analyst is $57,261 per year.” There are some factors that affect the salary, including educational level, years of experience, certifications, and involvement in professional organizations. For the first five to ten years in this position, pay increases somewhat, but any additional experience does not have a big effect on pay. Most people move on to other jobs, such as data engineers, data architects, or data scientists once they have more than 10 years of experience in this career.

skills required to become data analyst

Skills of the candidate can be further classified into three categories, let us discuss them in detail:

  • Technical Skills

Programming Languages: As a data analyst, you should be proficient in at least one programming language. However, the more languages you are proficient in, the better it is. Popular programming languages that can be used to manipulate data are R, Python, C++, Java, MATLAB, PHP, and more.

Data Management and Manipulation: As a data analyst, you should be familiar with languages, such as R, HIVE, SQL, and more. Building queries to extract the desired data is an essential aspect of data analysis. Once you have analyzed the data, you would have to create accurate reports. Some standard tools for doing the same are SAS, Oracle Visual Analyzer, Microsoft Power BI, Cognos, Tableau, and more.

  • Soft Skills

Domain Knowledge and Excellent Communication Skills: A data analyst’s job is to provide detailed and accurate information to the decision-makers. Hence, data analysts must understand the specific user requirements, along with having a deep understanding of the data. Excellent communication skills are essential for collaboration with the various clients, executives, IT specialists, to ensure that the data aligns well with the business objectives. Ultimately, the analysis done by a data analyst modifies/improves some business processes.

  • Practical Skills

High Level of Mathematical Ability: Knowledge of statistics and the right comfort level with formulae required for analyzing data to provide real-world value. As a data analyst, you should have a good grasp of mathematics, and you should be able to solve common business problems, for example, calculating compound interest, depreciation, statistical measures (for example, mean, median, mode). Also, you should know how to use tables, charts, graphs, and more. It is essential to be comfortable with college-level algebra, thereby Making visualization of data more appealing. Knowing linear algebra and multivariate calculus is very helpful for data analysts as they are all extensively used in performing Data Analysis.

Microsoft Excel: Organizing data and calculating numbers are among the main tasks of data analysts. Hence it is beneficial if you are comfortable with using Excel. There are many great online sources where you can learn how to use Excel to its full potential.

Data analyst job outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of computer and information research scientists, including data analysts, is projected to grow 11 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Computer scientists are likely to enjoy excellent job prospects, because many companies report difficulties finding these highly skilled workers. Many companies are still trying to staff with the talent shortage in full force, and expect to see even more teams getting on board this year as they hurry to catch up to the rest of the market.

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