3 Skills You Need to Be a Data Analyst

As companies continue to rely heavily on their data to make strategic business decisions, demand for data analysts has only increased. While the nature of the role can vary depending on a company’s precise needs, data analysts may spend time handling tasks like writing algorithms or providing insights to business leaders.

Often, based on their specialized skill set and the high level of demand, data analysts command high salaries. By having the right skills, you can transition into one of these lucrative roles. If you want to be a data analyst, here are the skills you need to bring to the table.

Technical Skills

A data analyst needs a wide range of technical skills to be successful. The ability to address data quality issues and define database quality is essential, as well as the knowledge that allows the data analyst to create appropriate documentation.

Additionally, a broad selection of platforms and software solutions may need to be in your repertoire. While the exact requirements vary by position or company, data analysts often must know how to use PostgreSQL, Tableau, Apache Hadoop, RapidMiner, Datawrapper, KNIME, Google Fusion Tables, SAS Sentiment Analysis, and similar technologies.

Programming skills are also critical for data analysts. R and Python two of the most commonly needed programming languages, and knowledge of SQL is typically a must.

Soft Skills

For soft skills, communication is vital. Data analysts must be able to effectively communicate with a variety of stakeholders, including some who may not be particularly tech-savvy, as well as team members, and managers. As a result, the ability to breakdown complex and highly technical concepts and discuss them in a way that is easy for everyone to understand is an essential capability for data analysts.

Collaboration and teamwork skills are similarly highly sought-after, along with an analytical mindset and problem-solving capabilities. Many data analysts work as part of a larger team, so the ability to work together cohesively to achieve shared goals can help a candidate or employee stand out. Additionally, issues will occur on occasion, so the ability to solve problems effectively and, at times, creatively, is also valuable to employers.

Essentially, a data analyst has to be incredibly well-rounded. Otherwise, they may not thrive in the position.

Education and Training

The vast majority of data analysts are college educated, having either a bachelor’s or master’s in a related field. Additionally, many acquire additional certifications that demonstrate their expertise in specific solutions or knowledge areas. For example, the CCA Data Analyst, Data Science Council of America, SAS Certified Data Scientist, and Microsoft MCSE: Data Management and Analytics certifications can all be potentially valuable additions to a data analyst’s resume.

Ultimately, a data analyst needs all the skills above. If you would like to know more about what it takes to enter the exciting world of data analytics, the professionals at The Squires Group can help. Contact us to discuss your questions with a member of our knowledgeable staff today and see how our data analytics expertise can benefit you.

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