This is the second article of our series on “Data Analysts: A Lucrative Career in the 21st Century”. The first article explains the prospects of becoming a data analyst. This article will provide a comprehensive guideline for anyone interested in becoming a data analyst.
Data analysts are in high demand as businesses increasingly rely on data-driven decision-making. A career as a data analyst can be rewarding and offer opportunities for advancement, but it also requires a specific set of skills and knowledge. Here is a guide on how to become a data analyst in 2021.
1. Earn a degree in a relevant field
A bachelor’s degree in a field such as mathematics, statistics, computer science, or economics is often preferred for a career as a data analyst. These programs typically cover the foundational knowledge and skills needed for a career in data analysis, such as statistical analysis, data visualization, and programming.
However, a degree is not always necessary to become a data analyst. Some organizations may value practical experience and skills over formal education. In this case, it may be possible to gain the necessary knowledge and skills through online courses, bootcamps, and self-study.
2. Gain experience with data analysis tools and technologies
Data analysts use a variety of tools and technologies to analyze and visualize data. Some common tools include:
Spreadsheets (e.g., Microsoft Excel)
Statistical analysis software (e.g., SPSS, SAS, R)
Data visualization software (e.g., Tableau, QlikView)
Data management platforms (e.g., SQL, NoSQL)
It is important to become proficient in at least one of these tools and to have a working knowledge of others. There are many online resources and courses available to help you learn these tools, including official documentation and tutorials from the tool creators, as well as third-party websites and training programs.
3. Develop strong analytical and problem-solving skills
Data analysts must be able to analyze large amounts of data, identify patterns and trends, and use their findings to solve problems or inform business decisions. This requires strong analytical and problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively.
4. Learn about data management and security
Data analysts often work with sensitive or confidential data, so it is important to have a strong understanding of data management and security best practices. This includes knowing how to handle data ethically and responsibly, as well as how to protect it from unauthorized access or tampering.
5. Build a portfolio of work
As you gain experience and skills in data analysis, it is important to document your work and create a portfolio that showcases your abilities. This can include projects you have completed for school or work, as well as personal projects that demonstrate your skills and creativity. A strong portfolio can help you stand out to potential employers and clients.
6. Consider earning a certification
There are several certifications available that can help you demonstrate your skills and knowledge as a data analyst. These certifications typically require passing an exam and may require experience or education in a related field. Some examples of certifications for data analysts include:
Certified Data Professional (CDP)
Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP)
Certified Analytics Professional (CAP)
7. Look for internships and entry-level positions
Gaining practical experience is crucial for a career as a data analyst. Internships and entry-level positions can provide valuable hands-on experience and the opportunity to work with real-world data. These positions may also provide the opportunity to learn from more experienced professionals and build a network of contacts in the industry.
8. Continue learning and staying up-to-date
The field of data analysis is constantly evolving, with new tools and technologies being developed all the time. It is always important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and development to make yourself relevant in the data market.
If you love reading data and have basic math skills, you can go a long way as the data analysts. Software and programming skills can learnt along the way, but you must have a love for data and statistical insights. Are you ready to build your career in data?