The steady growth in the amount of data generated daily has enhanced the importance of data analysts around the world. Currently, any career closely related to data is in high demand due to the number of companies searching for a reliable data analyst. Working in data-heavy environments requires technical expertise and an analytical mindset to find patterns in data.
Considering the high volumes of data modern companies process, many people may struggle with how to start a career as a data analyst. It’s obvious that data analysts are currently in high demand, as illustrated by the number of job opportunities available across most industries. For those thinking of becoming a data analyst, it’s important to clearly understand the expected daily responsibilities and goals professionals working in this field will need to achieve.
With these considerations in mind, it’s possible to acquire the skills necessary to bag this opportunity and get the job done.
Our article explains how you can start a career as a data analyst and some of the responsibilities that come with this role.
Read on for more information!
What is Data Analytics?
The term analytics is derived from the word analyze. To analyze means to scrutinize the finer details of a piece of data with the aim of extracting useful information. Data Analytics refers to the process of analyzing raw data sets to extract meaningful information that can be used to inform important decisions. These insights can take the form of marketing trends, business information, or even product innovation.
The first step in data analytics is to collect information from different sources and compile it to compose a clear report. The next step is to clean the data and convert it into a language that people can easily read and understand. The raw data collected can be structured, semi-structured, or unstructured, depending on its original source. The final data analytics results can be presented in a visual format using charts, graphs, and maps.
Note that there are various tools and frameworks applied within the data analytics process to enhance the completion of such work. It’s no secret that there is a high demand for professionals who can convert information into visual reports that company stakeholders can use when making important decisions. The insights collected from relevant data are helpful in enhancing the growth and development of any given business process.
There are multiple career opportunities within the field of data analytics. In fact, starting a career as a data analyst may be one of the most profitable paths one can take to safeguard a spot within the data analytics field.
Let’s shed some light on what it takes to become a data analyst!
What is a Data Analyst?
A data analyst is a data professional responsible for collecting, analyzing, and processing large data sets to extract usable insights. Regardless of the size of a company, all businesses generate data, whether small or big. The data collected can be in the form of customer feedback, market research, logistics, or even footage from commercial CCTV cameras. A data analyst will combine all this information and figure out the best way to utilize gleaned insights.
After analyzing collected raw data, a data analyst is responsible for coming up with new ways to improve customer experiences, reduce transportation costs, price new materials, and much more. The primary responsibility of a data analyst is to deal with things such as data modeling, data handling, and reporting. If you’re thinking of starting a career as a data analyst, these are some of the roles and responsibilities you’ll need to understand.
Roles of a Data Analyst
A data analyst is responsible for collecting, cleaning, and analyzing data to extract meaningful information that can be used in decision-making. A data analyst should be well positioned to elaborate on these findings during the data analysis process, because of this, if you want to become a data analyst you’ll need to have a strong background in mathematics and science.
The roles performed by data analysts are becoming more important, considering the fact that most businesses are now fairly data-driven. Regardless of the amount of data available, a data analyst ensures that they extract sense to make it meaningful. Strong science and mathematics skills aid in data collection and cleaning to ensure that business stakeholders have access to usable and reliable data. Below are some of the significant responsibilities of a data analyst.
- Understand the Company Goal
A data analyst should be capable of understanding the primary goals of any given business to provide meaningful value. They should evaluate all available resources to enable them to understand the existing problem in order to find a possible solution. By understanding the problem, a data analyst finds it easier to collect the right data to solve existing issues.
- Writing Queries
It is the responsibility of a data analyst to generate complex SQL queries and scripts used when gathering essential information from relational databases. Some of the more complex queries written by data analysts include Oracle DB, MS SQL Server, MySQL, and many more.
- Data Mining
Data mining involves the process of acquiring information from multiple sources and presenting it in an organized manner. The ultimate goal of data mining is to acquire new information that cannot be seen when data is scattered all over. The data models used in this case are designed to improve the general efficiency of the system.
- Data Cleansing
Data cleansing and wrangling are some of the primary responsibilities of a data analyst. The data gathered from different sources is usually messy in nature, and some critical values can often be missing. This means the data analyst should take charge of cleansing the data to ensure that it is ready for analysis.
- Data Examining
The process of data examination calls for the application of different tools and programming languages in order to conduct a logical examination of the data. This is the point where more technical skills are required since you need to use advanced modes of data evaluation to extract valuable information.
- Interpreting the Data Trends
A data analyst uses various package libraries to identify the trends and patterns available in the data. Regardless of the data complexity, the libraries and packages put in place have the ability to dig deeper and extract more information about the existing trends and patterns.
- Preparation of the Summary Report
The preparation of a summary report is done with the aid of different data visualization tools. The summary report is used to guide the decision-makers when making moves that are likely to impact business development.
- Collaborating with Other Team Members
The implementation of the summary report can only be successful if the data analyst collaborates with all the other team members. This aids in ensuring that there is proper implementation of all the business requirements to enhance business success.
How to Become a Data Analyst
Becoming a data analyst requires you to acquire higher education levels in specific fields. Below are some of the basic requirements you’ll need to undertake.
- Degree and Domain Expertise
In order to become a data analyst, you must have a degree in the relevant field and domain expertise in your area of work. If you have a degree in a different field, you can easily transition as a data analyst, provided that you have the required knowledge and skills in the field.
- Programming Knowledge
- Knowledge of Data Analysis Tools
A data analyst should have expertise when it comes to working with data analysis tools and databases. You should have impeccable skills when it comes to writing SQL queries and all respective procedures. Also, you need to be proficient when it comes to using Microsoft Excel and Matlab when analyzing data trends and patterns.
- Knowledge of Data Visualization Tools
A data analyst should be capable of generating different reports from raw data. This is only possible if you understand the art of data visualization and some of the data visualization tools used in the process. There are a bunch of data visualization tools, such as Tableau, ChartExpo, Power BI, and many others. Also, you need to have exceptional communication skills that will place you in a better position when delivering data reports.
Data analysts are in high demand considering the fact that the application of data in business operations has dramatically increased. If you’re thinking of starting a career as a data analyst, you’ll need to ensure that you have a strong background in science and mathematics. Also, you need to learn more about the roles and responsibilities of a data analyst in helping a given company develop into a bigger organization.
Before making any further steps, you need to ensure that you have all the qualifications that it takes to pursue this career. The good news is that there are multiple opportunities within the data Analytics field that you can occupy, provided that you have the right skill set. We hope this article has helped to highlight more about the steps that you can take to make your dream come true as a data analyst.