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How to become a data analyst

In a profession as dynamic as data science, one career path that is generally simple to grasp is that of a data analyst. A data analyst accomplishes precisely what the job title implies analyzing data. Data analysis is something everyone does daily. Each one of us is continuously trying to learn and accumulate new information: data, reaching numerous findings, and making numerous decisions indicating: analysis. So, in the most basic aspects, a data analyst must collect data, arrange it, and make reasonable or result-based decisions. A data analyst is in charge of comprehending the patterns and insights disclosed in large data sets, converting that information into behavioral inferences or forecasts, interacting these with stakeholders, and eventually persuading, if not evaluating a company's judgments and instructions. Organizations constantly recruit data analysts to aid in notifying or boosting business processes.

What is a data analyst

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A data analyst utilizes information to aid businesses in making wiser business decisions. A data analyst gathers data on particular subjects, evaluates, analyses, and delivers conclusions in thorough reports. Data analysts are employed by a wide range of businesses varieties to assist with data collection and analysis. Data analysts are regularly asked to utilize their knowledge and resources to spot trends in specific sectors and to deliver competitive analyses. A data analyst is comparable to a data scientist, although their jobs are not the same, and they usually are not in charge of developing the methods employed for data collecting and identification. Data analysts sometimes find themselves leveraging pre-existing tools, methods, and data sets to complete particular business needs rather than developing their data projects.

What is the job of a data analyst

Data analysts transform facts, patterns, and trends into understandable and valuable data. Companies gather data like sales numbers, stocks, market research, logistics, and transportation costs. It is a data analyst's responsibility to apply the data to aid businesses in making wiser strategic decisions. Solving problems that cost the organization money and assisting in the decision-making process for corporate expansion are typically the major objectives of a data analyst. Here are a few examples of a fundamental job role for a data analyst;

  • Determining the actual cost of new resources
  • Lowering the cost of transportation
  • Deals and sales seasons
  • Choosing when to increase or decrease the workforce

Data gathering, manipulation, and analysis are the responsibilities of data analysts. To assess the pertinent data, data analysts employ standardized procedures, formulae, and approaches. Afterward, they often write papers outlining the findings of their analysis. Data analysts may conduct basic statistics like variations and trends for a specific item over a defined period. In addition, they evaluate the intrinsic frequency distribution of a collection of consistent data and forecast yields. When fulfilling their duties, they follow the conventional procedures for data gathering, processing, and reporting. Data analysts ensure that the results obtained obtain reliable, useful recommendations while constantly protecting the company's data.

Job market outlook

As per BLS, data analysts' salary is expected to increase by 25% between 2019 and 2029, which is substantially quicker than the average for all professions. Since it is so challenging to obtain these technically qualified workers, computer scientists are sure to have outstanding career prospects. 

Data analyst job description

  • Finding out what concerns are being addressed and assessing whether data can provide a solution
  • Identify technical difficulties with data collection and analysis, and provide reports
  • Explore new data sources and techniques to enhance data gathering, assessment, and reporting
  • Gather, examine, and present data to satisfy business requirements
  • Recognize behaviors and trends
  • Compile information in a thorough and consistent manner

Steps for becoming a data analyst

Here are the steps for becoming a data analyst;

Obtain a college degree in statistics, computer science, IT

Acquire your college degree in data analysis to position yourself for advancement in the field. The ideal courses for data analysis are undoubtedly information systems or computer science, with a specialization in applied statistics or data analysis. Study computer science with a focus on database and project management. Consider a mentor or career counselor knowledgeable about a career as a data analyst.

Get experience as a data analyst

If you lack expertise, finding work as a data analyst can be challenging. Being an intern when in college is a great method to learn useful skills and obtain knowledge about further education and training opportunities. Even so, the majority of people who pursue technical careers begin at entry-level jobs, which in this case include jobs like technician or statistics assistant. Such positions will offer beneficial on-the-job instruction and expertise. Attend as many in-house training sessions as you can, particularly those that emphasize and incorporate analytical tools and big data handling. You can advance to the stage you want and the credentials that recruiting professionals look for with experience, education, and a determination to learn.

Pursue a master's degree or certification

More work prospects and professional career prospects will be available with an advanced degree. Businesses need people with a variety of expertise, and also experience with the most recent tools and technology. Think about earning a master's degree in big data planning, data science, or analytics. Such presentations will typically expose to the most recent software packages from subject-matter specialists. Most institutions collaborate with businesses to develop group projects, fellowships, and capstone projects that allow students to get significant firsthand experience while pursuing a graduate degree. Another good choice is certification, which also provides an excellent academic stepping-stone. These certificates are designed to provide you with a thorough understanding of the subject in a very short period. There are exceptions and differences, but generally speaking, it takes 12 months to acquire a certification. You can pursue certificates in business analytics, predictive analytics, data visualization, and many other areas, so you don't always require to specialize in data analytics and visualization.

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What is an average salary of a data analyst

As per BLS, operations and research analysts which includes data analysts earn an average pay of $82,360 annually in the year 2021. The degree of education, years of experience, certifications, and participation in professional organizations are just a few of the other elements that influence pay. The income grows a little during the first five to ten years in this profession, but any further experience has little impact on salary. After gaining more than 10 years of expertise in this field, the bulk of individuals moves on to other careers, like data engineers, data architects, or data scientists. According to the study, California, NY, NJ, Virginia, and the District of Columbia offered the best salaries for data analysts.

What are the top countries for master's degrees in data analytics

The United States, Australia, Canada, and Germany are a few of the top nations to study for a master's degree in data analytics. A few of the leading universities like Columbia University, the University of Chicago, New York University, and the University of Washington are great to pursue a master's degree in data analytics in the USA. The leading universities for data analytics are RMIT University and UTS in Australia, UBC, Saint Mary's University, and Trent University in Canada.

Can I get a job as a data analyst without a degree

Yes, but your prospects will probably be better if you have a degree in a related profession. Although a bachelor's degree is often listed as a criterion for employment, it is viable to be recruited with the correct combination of experience and qualifications. Invest more time constructing your portfolio to demonstrate your skills if you lack a degree in a relevant industry.‎

Which are the best certifications for data analysis

Here are the best certifications to become a data analyst;

Wharton Business Analytics Online Certificate Program

This online certification is appropriate for managers and other professionals who want to understand how data analytics may enhance their decision-making methods. It's a customizable, low-intensity way to study the basics of data analytics for business if your goal is to succeed in your present role and guide your team instead of changing careers. You must commit around six and eight hours each week to finish the program in three months.

 BrainStation Data Analytics Certification

The BrainStation program is one of the less time-consuming alternatives and is perfect if you are not prepared to commit to a long course because it lasts only 10 weeks part-time. You will master all the principles of data analytics in this certification, enabling you to use what you have learned in your current position or to pursue additional education. The BrainStation curriculum is less geared towards career transformation than a few of the other available options, so you won't get much from extended supervision or career coaching. Part-time students can finish the course in ten weeks. Whether you join in person or take the course digitally will determine the schedule and length.

Harvard University Business Analytics Course

Anyone interested in learning the foundations of data analytics should enroll in this beginning course. If you're a recent graduate or university student getting ready for the corporate world, a mid-career individual trying to cultivate a more data-driven attitude, or if you're thinking of taking a more in-depth study in data analytics and just prefer to improve your reasoning skills first. This is an excellent alternative if you'd like to dive in without devoting a significant amount of money and time because it is online, can be completed at your own pace, and is reasonably priced. The eight-week program needs a total of about 40 study time to finish.

MIT Sloan School of Management Applied Business Analytics Certificate

The MIT Sloan program is targeted toward non-technical individuals interested in learning how to use data analytics in the business world. It is a very convenient alternative if you're handling a hectic schedule while juggling a full-time job because it is totally offered online and only requires four to six study hours weekly. In terms of cost, it's the most affordable course available. The course material is centered on many case studies that show how actual businesses may benefit from data analytics. If you want to undertake a more analytical approach, you can also study via engaging conversations, practical tasks, and additional code snippets for R and Python. Approximately four and six study hours each week are needed to finish the program in six weeks.

What are the advantages of getting a data analyst certification

Data analysts with a few years of knowledge and expertise dealing with data usually think about getting certified. You can use this to demonstrate to prospective employers that you possess the skills required to successfully complete the certification procedure. Your ability to be a data analyst might be well demonstrated by certification. You may have a benefit over non-certified applicants when searching for jobs as a result. Additionally, it can be useful in salary negotiations.

What should you consider when choosing a data analytics certification

Focusing on a technology that you are familiar with or that is generally used in your field will help make the certification applicable to you. Working on the abilities you don't regularly employ in your present employment can also be a smart move. You can think about learning advanced talents that will aid in your job advancement. Discovering new techniques and developing abilities can be a great approach to demonstrating your dedication to data analytics while ensuring you are familiar with the most recent technology. If you intend to work in data analytics and the certification appeals to you, it can be valuable to acquire it.

How many years will it require to become a data analyst

Becoming a data analyst could take a few months to many years. Your progress will be influenced by your existing level of expertise, the academic route you pick, and the duration of time you devote to learning data analytics per week.

What are the skills necessary to become a data analyst

Here is the list of skills for a data analyst;

  • SQL
  • MS Excel
  • Python & R
  • Fundamentals of Mathematics
  • Data collection
  • Data mining
  • Data cleaning
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Communication
  • Statistical knowledge
  • Analytical and creative skills
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