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Are you interested in becoming a data analyst or wish to excel in your career path as a data analyst already? To do this, you will need to be ahead of your competition by developing the right data analytical skills. In this article, we will share how to improve data analytical skills so that you can be a step ahead.
Who Is a Data Analyst and What Do They Do?
As a data operations specialist or analyst, one’s job entails collecting and using numerical and analytical data to assist in business decision-making. Because of the critical nature of the position, data analysts must constantly improve their abilities.
Investigating issues, identifying and resolving issues, and providing advice are all responsibilities of data analysts. If you want to succeed at your job as an analyst, you’ll need to have a solid foundation in both technical and business skills. This includes knowing how to analyze data, a program in various languages, use advanced statistics, and work with spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel.
You can expect a good salary in data operations jobs if you’ve got a lot of experience and a good education. The average salary for a data analyst is $69,517 per year, according to Glassdoor, with higher salaries going to those with degrees. It’s estimated that Operations Research Analysts make $86,200 per year, whereas Market Researchers earn $65,810 annually. Even more, you can earn money if you specialize in computer science or information security.
Data Analytical Skills You Need
Working as a data analyst requires a specific set of abilities. Are you interested in learning more about data analysis? It takes practice, dedication, and a desire to learn like any other skill. The following are some of the essential data analysis skills.
#1 – Know Excel Completely
For data analysts, this is a must-have. You must know Excel like the back of your hand to succeed in this field! Data scientists rely on it heavily, so you should learn how to use it well. Tableau, a data visualization program widely used by data scientists, is another important program to get started learning.
Prepare yourself by getting your hands dirty and starting to work! The best way to get a feel for a program is to play around with it in an informal setting. Create data sets and charts, and learn the most commonly used Excel functions by heart. Both Excel and Tableau have tutorials and online courses available. If you’re interested in learning Excel, check out Chandoo, and here are some excellent Tableau courses.
#2 – Learn Statistics
How is the data presented? Of course, using statistics. Basic Statistics, Comparison, Tendency Tests, Regression, and Predictive Modeling are just a few statistics topics you’ll need to be proficient in.
Incorporate machine learning, which is already the future of data and will be around indefinitely. Through statistical analysis and pattern recognition, machine learning enables a computer to learn from its data and eliminates the need for human intervention. It is possible to become a sought-after candidate for data analysis positions if you work hard to improve your statistical knowledge.
A degree is the best way to learn math. In addition to being the most comprehensive method for learning advanced topics, a degree is required for most data scientist positions. To become a data analyst, you must be able to work both in and out of the classroom, which is why online schools are an excellent option for your education.
Self-paced degree programs at our online institution allow you to learn the mathematical material while also mastering individual studies, such as Excel and business skills.
#3 – Problem Solving Skills
Data analysts are problem solvers by definition. Defining and narrowing down problems, as well as determining what needs to be researched, are all skills they’ll need to succeed in this field. The ability to think critically and effectively manage your time is an absolute necessity in this position, as is the ability to prioritize your workload.
Practicing yoga or meditation, keeping an idea journal, or engaging in brain games and puzzles are excellent ways to sharpen your problem-solving skills. Higher education also helps you become a better problem solver. Compared to non-college students, college students are better problem solvers, communicators, critical thinkers, researchers, team players, and time managers and organizers. In addition to the fact that college grads tend to earn more, these skills learned during a degree can help you land a better job.
#4 – Learn Multiple Computer Languages
Working with computers and computer programs requires familiarity with various programming languages, such as SQL, Hive, PIG, and other query languages (Python, Matlab). Also important is your ability to use statistical languages such as R, SAS, and SPSS in your job.
Online courses or boot camps are the best way to learn important programming languages for data science. Even though bootcamps can teach you a great deal in a short period, they can also be costly and fail to provide instruction in all of the skills necessary to become a data analyst.
Again, a college degree is the best option. You’ll learn programming languages and data analysis techniques, and as a result, you’ll be able to meet the requirements of both our Associate’s and Bachelor’s degree programs.
#5 – Presentation Skills
Presentation skills are essential for impacting an organization’s decisions after presenting your findings. You need to know your audience and how to tailor your presentations to them. Make sure you use simple language so that your message is understood.
How can you do this? Practice!! Make a video of yourself and take notes on what you can do better. You can do this in front of the mirror or with friends. Attend other presentations regularly and take notes on what you like. Visualize yourself doing well on your presentations, and you’ll have a better chance of succeeding. Don’t forget to take deep breaths and maintain a powerful posture!
How to Improve Your Data Analytical Skills?
The ability to analyze data, learn about your customers, and predict future trends is a valuable skill in any industry. Here are four ways to improve your analytical abilities to make meaningful conclusions and data-based recommendations for your team.
#1 – Consider Different Perspectives
In addition to helping you gain a broader perspective, combating bias, and showing your coworkers that their opinions matter, interacting with those who hold opposing views can also be an effective way to hone your analytical skills.
When analyzing data, it’s important to keep an open mind and not get stuck in a single perspective.
Consider the case of a user who downloads an ebook after clicking a button on your site. There is a correlation between the user’s age and the likelihood of them clicking on a download button; this correlation grows with age. At first glance, it may appear that the user is downloading the ebook because they are of a certain age.
This conclusion, on the other hand, does not consider the many variables that change as we get older. Your older customers may be more likely to download the ebook because they have more responsibility at work, earn more money, or are more likely to be parents.
One way to illustrate this is to show the difference between correlation (a trending toward one another) and causation (a direct link between two or more variables) (when a trend in one variable causes a trend to occur in one or more other variables).
Test your assumptions and get other people’s perspectives to improve your critical thinking. To avoid a one-track mind when analyzing data, you must actively engage with various viewpoints.
#2 – Take Part in Games and Brain Teasers
There are many simple and enjoyable ways to improve your data analytical skills daily.
You can learn the ability to visualize relationships between variables, examine situations from multiple perspectives, and draw conclusions from known data points by playing games, puzzles, and stories that require this kind of thinking.
Sudoku and crossword puzzles are two examples of fun ways to improve analytical thinking. One can use these options with your academic studies in analytics and your current employment. Spending time with friends and family while you’re there, too, is possible. Aim to interact with one every day to develop your analytical skills.
#3 – Take a Course in Data Analytics
An analytics course is a great way to learn the fundamentals, brush up on your data analytical skills, or expand your knowledge. In a course, you can focus on the material you want to learn, engage with the material presented by a professional in the field, and network and interact with others in the data analytics space.
You can learn the language of data through courses like Harvard Online’s Data Science Principles. If you want to learn more about specific aspects of analytics, such as forecasting and machine learning, a more advanced course, like Harvard Online’s Data Science for Business, maybe a good fit. HBS Online’s Business Analytics may be a good fit for you if you want to put analytical formulas into practice. The trick is to figure out what you want to learn and then find a class to help you get there.
Taking an analytics course online may be a good option if you’re juggling a full-time job and school. Course content can be accessed whenever and wherever is convenient for students.
An online course may also allow students to meet and build relationships with other analytically-minded professionals. As you advance in your career, you can benefit significantly from the support of a group of like-minded individuals.
#4 – Engage With Data
After you’ve mastered the fundamentals of data science, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge to the test. When it comes to analytical skills, practice makes perfect.
Online or self-created mock datasets are an excellent way to put your skills to the test without taking a big risk. Transform it into a workbook that can be opened in Microsoft Excel and used as a starting point for further exploration. You can boost your confidence in your knowledge by experimenting with various approaches.
Engage with the data in your organization once you’re comfortable with the process. To get the most out of these datasets, you need to analyze them to get the most out of your business’s financial health, growth, or strategic direction.
Remember that to become a data analyst, you need both technical and business skills. You’ll have to weigh the costs and benefits of various options for honing your data analytical skills.
Getting a degree or certificate from a university or college can be expensive, both financially and in terms of time invested. Consider attending an online university that can provide you with the skills and computer science degree you need to become a data analyst and help you overcome these obstacles. Since everything is done online, you have complete control over when and where you complete your degree.