Learn what skills you need to become a data analyst, what tools and technologies you should be familiar with, and where to find resources that will help you on your journey.

So You Want to Be a Data Analyst? Here's What You Need to Know

  • Last Modified: 06 Nov, 2022

You may have heard the term data analyst thrown around in conversation or in your day-to-day life.

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You may have heard the term data analyst thrown around in conversation or in your day-to-day life. But what does it mean? Is it a job anyone can do? What skills do you need? How much do you get paid? I’d like to share some advice on choosing to become a data analyst, and how to succeed once you take that leap of faith and dedicate yourself to it.

The data analyst job market is booming.

Read about how to tailor your resume to find jobs in data analyst

There are many data analyst jobs available now and in the future. Data analysts are needed more than ever before because of the advancement in AI and machine learning. However, it can be difficult to break into this career without experience or education.

There are many data analyst jobs available now and in the future. Data analysts are needed more than ever before because of the advancement in AI and machine learning. However, it can be difficult to break into this career without experience or education.

To become a data analyst, you need some basic engineering skills. This includes understanding engineering principles and knowing at least one programming language.

To further your understanding of data analytics, you need a bachelor’s degree. There are lots of resources online and at local community colleges that you can use for free. For example, edX has classes on analytical skills, statistics and information technology that are valuable for entry-level analysts. Online courses allow you to take them on your schedule and go through them as fast or slowly as you want. These certificates aren’t directly connected to data analytics jobs, but they show potential employers that you’re serious about becoming an analyst in future.

A data analyst needs to have strong math skills.

Math science concept with school lesson items in retro cartoon style

Data analysts have the opportunity to work in many different industries, from finance to advertising. They typically use data-mining techniques and statistical analysis tools to extract insights from large quantities of data. This position requires strong analytical skills and experience with data visualization. Data analysts must be able to understand and interpret complicated information quickly. At least a bachelor’s degree is required, but many go on to graduate school.

Some industries rely more heavily on data analysis, such as scientific research and management consulting. Scientific research services are projected to add a large number of new jobs. Management consulting services and computer systems design is also projected to add a large number of new positions over time because they have many clients that need their expertise in dealing with data.

The job market has remained relatively stable over the last few years, but some experts say it will slow down by 2023 due to changes in government regulations and stimulus packages. The recession slowed growth until 2017, when there was an uptick in hiring again due to low unemployment rates, which continued through 2019.

Successful candidates for this position should seek out companies that will train them for future opportunities and places where their skills can be put into immediate practice.

The demand for data analysts is growing as companies become more adept at collecting information about consumer preferences and needs. However, some experts say that it is difficult for people with no experience in data analysis to break into these careers. To become a data analyst, you should get training from an accredited program focusing on statistics and computer skills. Most employers require at least a bachelor’s degree.

In order to succeed in this industry, you need excellent math and analytical abilities combined with superb communication skills. Companies are looking for people who know how to do advanced mathematical calculations like regression analysis, differential equations and trigonometry. Many people study computer science or engineering before pursuing a career as a data analyst so they can gain that specific skillset that would make them uniquely qualified among other applicants.

Data analysts need to be able to code

Data analysts need coding skills, so it helps to have some experience in this area. In terms of the number of programs that can be written in Python, it is one of the most popular languages among data scientists and is useful for managing large amounts of data. It can be used on both Linux and Windows operating systems.

Cute zebra working on laptop cartoon icon illustration.

Aside from Python, R is also widely used. This language was developed by statisticians and can be used for statistical computing, data management and data visualization. While not as user-friendly as Python, it is particularly good at handling datasets with large numbers of rows and columns.

Aside from R and Python, most data scientists also have some experience with SQL and Hadoop. SQL (structured query language) is an essential tool for manipulating data held in databases. Hadoop.is a software framework that can store and process large amounts of data. It’s particularly good at processing very large amounts of unstructured data that don’t fit neatly into tables.

Most data analysts also have some experience in at least one other programming language. C is another widely used programming language that can handle large amounts of data as it offers low-level access and often runs faster than other languages. Java is similar but can only be used on operating systems that use Java virtual machines.

Mary had always been good at math. In fact, she loved it. So when she was offered a job as a data analyst, she jumped at the chance. Little did she know that coding would be such a big part of the job. She tried her best to learn but found it difficult and frustrating. Eventually, she gave up and decided to focus on other parts of her job.

However, Mary’s lack of coding skills soon became a problem. Her boss wanted her to create reports that were more complex and interactive, but she couldn’t do it without help from her team members. Frustrated with herself, Mary decided to take another shot at learning to code. This time, she was determined to succeed.

With the help of online tutorials and practice exercises, Mary finally learned how to code. She was happy with herself - not just because she could now do her job well but also because she had proved to herself that she could overcome any obstacle if she set her mind to it.

SQL is a must-know for data analysts

Data analysts use SQL, which stands for Structured Query Language, to access databases. SQL can be intimidating initially, but it is worth learning as it will help you find information faster and more efficiently.

Maria was a data analyst for a major bank. She was responsible for analyzing the company’s data and creating reports. She used SQL to query the data and create her reports.

Today, Maria was working on her monthly report. She had been struggling to get the results she wanted. She decided to take a break and walk around the office. As she walked by one of the computer labs, she saw someone using SQL to query a database.

Maria was curious and decided to go over and watch. The person in the lab showed her how to use SQL and explained how it could help her with her reports. After watching for a while, Maria went back to her desk and opened up SQL Server Management Studio. She typed in some of the commands that she had seen in the lab and started querying her data.

After playing around with SQL for a while, Maria found that she could get the results she wanted much faster than before. She finished up her report and submitted it to her boss. Thanks to SQL, Maria was able to produce an even better report than usual!

Programmer working with sql

If you want to work as a data analyst, knowing SQL is an essential skill. Knowing how to use SQL will help you get your reports done faster and find relevant information more easily!

So, how can you learn SQL? There are many resources online that teach you how to use SQL. They range from beginner-level tutorials all the way through advanced books and courses. I recommend trying out several different resources and deciding which one is right for your level of experience with SQL!

In order to become a data analyst, learning SQL is one of your most important steps. But remember, knowing SQL is not enough! To become an effective analyst, you need more skills than just SQL.

Data analysts need to be able to use Excel

It is important for data analysts to possess excellent analytical skills, strong math skills, and knowledge of statistics. They also need excellent computer skills, including the ability to handle large data sets in Excel and other data analysis programs. Their ability to interpret complex information and present it effectively in written reports and presentations is also important.

Spreadsheet marketing budget report file concept

An undergraduate degree in business administration or a related field is usually sufficient for someone seeking entry-level jobs as a data analyst. While many of these entry-level positions do not require education beyond a bachelor’s degree, employers prefer candidates who have at least some education in business, computer science, or mathematics. Many firms provide extensive on-the-job training for entry-level employees.

Using data to tell a story is an essential skill for data analysts

In addition, you need good communication skills. After all, you’ll be translating raw data into stories and drawing conclusions based on that information. It goes without saying that your analysis should be accurate, but it needs to also be translated in such a way that everyone else can understand how important and actionable it is for them.

To become an analyst, you don’t need to go back to school or get a higher degree. The field of analytics continues to grow rapidly, and there are plenty of jobs available now with little education or experience needed. However, taking the time to learn more about what analytics entails will help in both your professional career and personal life, as well as equip you with valuable knowledge for understanding the world around us better!

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The skills you need fall into two main categories: business and technical. First, you’ll need to know how businesses operate, so you can identify their key drivers and determine what their data needs are.

Then, you need to learn enough about statistics and analytical methods to build predictive models or analyze trends in big data sets. These skills involve business acumen more than math — although knowing your algebra will help when it comes time for modelling and calculating probabilities.

Being able to work with big data is a plus for data analysts.

You’ve probably heard of the term big data. In the simplest terms, it means there is so much data being created and collected that it becomes difficult for humans to analyze everything. As the volume of this type of data increases, many companies are finding that they need help analyzing it and making sense of what they find. This is where data analysts come in.

Businessman pointing at his presentation on the futuristic digital screen

They’re experts at understanding big data by using statistics and computer science skills, as well as understanding how different industries work. With these skills, they can help identify patterns in large volumes of information and make predictions based on that analysis.

  • The term big data refers to data sets that are too large or complex to be processed using traditional data processing techniques.
  • The ability to work with big data is becoming increasingly important for data analysts as more and more businesses are collecting large amounts of data.

There are several benefits to being able to work with big data, including:

  • The ability to make better decisions: When you have more data, you can make better-informed decisions.
  • The ability to spot trends: With more data, you can more easily identify patterns and trends.
  • The ability to make predictions: With more data, you can develop better models for making predictions.
  • The ability to improve efficiency: When you have more data, you can identify areas where your processes are inefficient and make changes to improve them.
  • The ability to automate tasks: When you have more data, you can develop algorithms to perform tasks automatically.
  • Apache Hadoop: Hadoop is an open-source framework that allows you to process big data sets across a cluster of computers.
  • Apache Spark: Spark is an open-source framework that provides an alternative to Hadoop MapReduce for processing big data sets.
  • NoSQL databases: NoSQL databases are designed for storing and processing big data sets. Some popular NoSQL databases include MongoDB, Cassandra, and HBase.
  • Data visualization tools: Data visualization tools allow you to visualize your data in order to better understand it. Some popular data visualization tools include Tableau and Qlikview.

If you’re looking to get started in working with big data, there are a few things you can do:

  • Learn the basics of big data: You need to understand what big data is and how it can be used before you can start working with it. Start by reading some introductory articles or taking an online course on the subject.
  • Choose the right tool for the job: Not all tools are created equal when working with big data sets. Make sure you choose a tool that is well-suited for the task at hand.
  • Get hands-on experience:The best way to learn how to work with big data is by doing it yourself. Find a dataset that interests you and try working with it using the tools and techniques you’ve learned about. The best way to learn how to work with big data is by doing it yourself. Find a dataset that interests you and try working with it using the tools and techniques you’ve learned about.

Networking is important for data analysts.

Networking is an important aspect of being a data analyst. You will have more opportunities if you know more people. Networking has never been so easy, and with upcoming technology, it will be even easier for you to connect with like-minded individuals and make valuable connections in your field.

Happy woman chatting with friends online

Take advantage of social media as well. It makes connecting with like-minded individuals easier than ever. And when you use social media for networking, it doesn’t look like you are network building, so your company and clients don’t see it that way either.

Find out who else is doing what you are doing in your field. Learn from their successes and mistakes. Never stop learning, or else you will fall behind.

1. Helps You Stay Up-To-Date

One of the main reasons why networking is important for data analysts is that it helps you stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends. When you’re connected with other professionals in your field, you’ll be able to learn about new developments and technologies as they emerge. This knowledge can be extremely valuable in your role as a data analyst, as it can help you make better decisions and recommendations for your company.

2. Helps You Develop New Skills

Another reason why networking is so important for data analysts is that it can help you develop new skills. When you’re connected with other professionals, you’ll have opportunities to learn from their experiences and expertise. For example, if you’re connected with a data analyst who specializes in machine learning, they may be able to teach you some of the basics of this technology. Or, if you’re connected with a data analyst who works in a different industry, they may be able to provide insights into how data is used in that industry and what trends are emerging.

3. Helps You Meet New People

In addition to helping you stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends and develop new skills, networking also allows you to meet new people. When you attend events or meetups, you’ll have the chance to meet other data analysts who may be working in different industries or have different areas of expertise. These connections can be valuable as they can provide new perspectives on data and analytics. Additionally, meeting new people can also simply be enjoyable, and it’s always good to expand your network of friends and acquaintances.

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4. Helps You Find a Job

If you’re looking for a job as a data analyst, networking can also be extremely helpful. By connecting with other professionals in your field, you may be able to learn about job openings that haven’t been publicly advertised. Additionally, if you have a good relationship with someone in your network, they may be willing to provide a positive reference or recommend you for a position. So, if you’re looking for a job, networking is definitely something that should be on your radar.

5. Helps You Advance Your Career

Finally, networking can also help you advance your career once you’ve landed a job as a data analyst. When you attend events or meetups, you’ll have the opportunity to meet people who are higher up in their careers than you are. These connections can be invaluable as they can provide advice and mentorship as you move up the corporate ladder.

Certification can help you get hired as a data analyst.

Certification concept illustration

Certificates also add another string to your bow, which might give you an edge over other candidates. If you already have a degree from a reputable university, there are plenty of roles available for junior-level positions where you don’t need any particular qualifications. Entry-level roles often include organizing data and formatting reports - these will help build up your resume with transferable skills. A certificate will always stand out on a resume, too, so make sure yours is up to date!

While an undergraduate or master’s degree in business, engineering or computer science will help you get your foot in the door and can make you more marketable, it is often hard to land a job without having some practical experience of what it’s like to be on either side of an interview.

Earning a data analyst certificate might mean that you need fewer years’ worth of experience to land your dream role - and could put you ahead of other candidates who don’t have any industry credentials.

It’s no secret that the tech world is booming, but competition for data analyst jobs is high.

There are numerous certificate programs out there that provide training and help you set yourself apart from other applicants. We’ll look at three of them in detail below.


In this blog, we’ve discussed the ins and outs of what it takes to be successful as a data analyst. We’ve covered the skills needed, what you can do when you don’t have experience, how much you can expect to make, and how to get your first job in data analysis. Before pursuing a career as a data analyst, keep these things in mind. These tips will give you a good foundation to start your research if you’re interested in a career change in data analysis. Remember that this is just a starting point – there is still much more to learn about becoming a data analyst. But if you’re armed with the right skills and knowledge, you’ll be well on your way to success in this field.

Make sure not to make these mistakes on your resume.

Do you have what it takes to become a data analyst? Let me know in the comments below!

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