The role of data analyst can vary a lot depending on what kind of company or organization you work for but, at the core, a data analyst looks at large amounts of data to find trends or insights. In a private business setting, these insights probably have to do with transactions and the success of various products. In a research organization, this analysis might focus on relationships between different variables in a study. A data analyst should have a solid background in statistics and may also use programming languages to work with their data more efficiently. SQL and Python are languages commonly used by data analysts. Data analysts also have a good understanding of the goals of their organization or business. Understanding these goals helps them decide what data to look at and how to view it. Data analysts may be tasked with creating compelling visualizations that illustrate trends or insights gleaned from the data. They may discuss their findings with product managers, a CTO, data scientists, and other analysts.
A data analyst has two important roles. The first is to collect, analyze, and manipulate data. This data is used to both summarize trends in a company and also predict future trends. The data is also considered with other internal and external factors in order for the data analyst to perform their second role. The second role of a data analyst is to present their findings to key decision-makers in the company in a way that key stakeholders understand.
There are actually 4 types of data analytics that are important for data analysts to use to allow organizations to make well-informed decisions. Descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive analytics all have specific roles in the data analysis process and a data analyst is responsible for knowing why type or combination of analysis to use for the needs of a company.
A career as a data analyst requires qualifications that are both academic and skill-related. Both technical and soft skills are needed, from programming language mastery to presentation ability. The list below helps outline some of the most required skills in the field.
Towards Data Science ranked the most in-demand technical skills requested from data analyst job listings and found many of the same skills above. Notice that skills are needed for both the analyzing of data and presenting the data reports.
Data analysts use a variety of tools to perform their job. Tools to manage, analyze, and present the data are all necessary.
To become a data analyst, follow these 6 steps:
Possible disciplines include finance, statistics, economics, mathematics, information management, and computer science. These fields are based in statistics and analytics which are the top skills needed to become a data analyst.
The top skills employers look for in data analysts include,
Data analysts must also be excellent critical thinkers to analyze the data and have presentation and communication skills to present the data to other data analysts and their employers.
If you are looking at how to become a data analyst without experience, this is a great time to land an internship in the field. Since this field is so popular and growing, companies are offering internships for data analysts in both tech and non-tech companies. Internships not only provide hands-on experience to add to your resume and the skills to make you a better data analyst, they also provide networking opportunities to help you find a permanent position.
Bootcamps are a great way to earn certifications in specific skills needed in data analytics such as learning programming languages like R or Python. Bootcamps are also offered to provide certification in data analytics. Bootcamps are offered in-person and online so you can find the best bootcamp to fit your needs and schedule. If you are looking at how to become a data analyst, bootcamps are a great way to add necessary skills to your bachelor’s degree to make you a marketable candidate for a data analyst position.
In order to become a data analyst, networking through internships is a great way to find your first position. Another option is to enroll in a bootcamp that offers career services and networking opportunities. Maven Analytics offers a variety of suggestions for landing your first job in data analytics. Researching hashtags to follow, building your LinkedIn network, and working with recruiters are all great ways to find the first job that is right for you in the data analytics field.
Many of the top universities offer master’s degrees in the field of data analytics. Many of
these universities offer online options so that you can earn your degree while working. Earning a Master’s in Data Analytics increases your chances for promotions and higher salaries. Furthering your education and learning more about data analytics will only make you more marketable and in-demand as a data analyst. Some universities offer industry-specific master’s degrees. For example, University of Maryland offers an online Master’s Degree in Business Analytics
What if you ALREADY have a degree or experience?
If you already have a degree in a field related to data analytics or work experience in the field, then a certification through a data analytics bootcamp may be right for you. Online and in-person bootcamps that focus on data analytics provide a comprehensive way for you to become certified in data analytics and ensures that you have all of the skills needed to focus on this particular field. Further, you may consider earning a Master’s Degree in Data Analytics online or in-person from a selection of universities.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts computer and information research scientists, which include data analysts, to grow 15% from 2019 to 2029. Computer systems analysts, which also include data analysts, are expected to grow 7% in the same time frame. Both rates are above average when compared to other career fields. The job outlook for data analysts is bright and now is a great time to pursue how to become a data analyst with or without previous experience.
According to Glassdoor, looking at over 18,000 salaries from job postings, the median salary for a data analyst is over $62,000 per year. More experience and a larger skill set generally equate to higher salaries.
A career as a data analyst requires a unique skill set that makes it both rewarding and in-demand. Whether you are just starting out or looking to advance your career, there is a path for you to figure out how to become a data analyst.