Do you know that there can be no better time than now to be a data analyst?
Harvard Business Review has named it the most progressive career choice of the 21st century. Not only that, the claim is resonated by many leading web portals like LinkedIn and Glassdoor. No wonder it has sky-rocked in popularity among the young professionals who aim to have a career in the technical line.
The demand for data analysts has shot up by 344% every since 2013 which is a feat in itself, something that cannot be easily replicated. The best part is that the demand will continue to rise as data will continue to remain as a significant asset of organizations across the world. As data grows by leaps and bounds so does its applications. This has empowered this profile further as data analysts turn huge mounds of raw data into actionable information.
Apart from giving wings to many young dreams, data has also turned fortunes for many businesses. Any business that plans to sustain in the future needs to incorporate a fresh data strategy, a highly skilled team and of course a motivating culture. The level of success your business can achieve will depend not only on how you plan your next move but your expertise to study the trends and patterns hidden in data and be able to foresee the future.
Let us try to study the profile more closely.
What is the Meaning of a Data Analyst?
PwC has predicted that going forward in 2020, there will be more than 2.7 million jobs that will be created in the fields around data analytics or science. 2020 is just around the corner, so can you imagine what kind of jobs will take form in the next decade? Can we say that the jobs that will emerge in 2030, do not exist as of now!
The idea behind all this is that the hype around the data analyst job profile is not unfounded. It has given a new meaning to the same.
Technically speaking, a data analyst is involved in compilation and analysis of statistics and other information for their businesses in an effort to identify the problems and also suggest different solutions.
Now that you know the meaning of a data analyst profile, it makes more sense to explore how to become one.
How to Become a Data Analyst?
If you are wondering what are the best data analyst courses or data analyst certification, then you need to understand that apart from the technical skills and other basic information, what is primarily needed is the mindset. You ought to have that knack for numbers and knowledge of ways of how to do it.
You should have a general flare for data, statistics and also other algebraic functions that will help you in the job profile. Your success at your job will depend on your non-technical skills and not the technical ones. These are:
- Ability of Critical Thinking: As a data analyst the first and foremost skill you need to have or develop is critical thinking. You should be able to think beyond the boundaries and come up with the right solutions. It is a skill to be able to see data in more than one way and address the most plausible questions. Data interpretation has to be carried out in a way that it leads to an opinion. Critical thinking often fuels curiosity that is important to stay ahead of the growth curve.
- Communications: The skill of great communications is the need of the hour for almost every profession but in this case, the relevance cannot be ignored. As a data analyst, you will be continuously involved in making sense of raw data. Imagine, you have done that part with great efficiency but are not able to communicate the results effectively. The whole effort goes waste and actually becomes a drag on time and resources.
- Problem-Solving: As a data analyst, you have to be constantly involved in problem-solving. Infact this will the basic work that you have to undertake on a daily basis. You should have the ability to research intensively, to look deeper into every issue so you are able to get to the roots of the issue. This will help you get to the tricky parts. This skill pays off well in this line.
- Business Intelligence: Not everyone has this. You can be good at your own trade but having the skill to use to the advantage of the business is a different story. But, as a data analyst, you need to know more than your skill. You should know your industry well, the trends, competition analysis, etc. You should be able to see the hidden patterns and be able to give them sense as per the underlying vision of your organization.
Apart from these skills, you also need to possess certain technical skills to get you ahead in this line. For instance, a knowledge of Python, Hadoop, Apache Spark, SQL, Data visualization, and Machine Learning and AI going forward.
Once you have the above skills, you can also think about getting a data analyst certification. Why? Certification will not only polish your skills but also will be directed at the primary pain-point. Not only that, it gives more credibility to your candidature and helps you bag the right job offer. Of course, being a certified person you get an edge over the other counterparts and get a better package. Some of the most common certifications are-SAS Certified Base Programmer for SAS 9, EMC Proven Data Analyst Professionals, Certified Data Management Professional, etc.
Data analysts are continuously involved in making sense of the data. As the amount of data that is generated grows, so does the need for these professionals. They have to identify trends and patterns in the raw data- information that forms the basis of policy-formation for many businesses. Yes, formal education does count, but what really counts are the skills that are listed above. Getting yourself certified is a good choice as it gives you an advantage over many others in interviews. The profile is highly promising and full of activity. So, if you think you can handle the pulse of the market, go ahead.
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