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How to Become a Data Analyst in 2020: A Complete Guide

How to Become a Data Analyst in 2020

Thanks to the digitization of the world, massive amounts of data are being generated. This data can provide deep insight into the functionalities involved in a certain action and the paths to take to rectify and improve upon these actions to get the desired outcomes. The only person who can process this data, and get meaningful insights are data analysts.


Data analysts have to process a vast amount of data that is derived from transactions, forms, customer behaviour, products, a companys performance, market conditions, and data taken from the past years. From this, they have to provide actionable insight based on which the decision-makers of a business can make decisions, create marketing and sales strategies, and improve the performance of the company by removing pain points and bottlenecks in the supply of products and services. The data analysts are integral to the growth and betterment of the business.


What Does a Data Analyst Do?

In modern business, data analysts have taken up an important role. Based on their work, all the future actions of a company are decided and plans and strategies are drawn up. If a company is serious about its growth, they will ensure they have expert data analysts among their employees. Analysing data analysts is a blanket term that actually involves many tasks.

Heres all that is a part of a data analysts job description.

1. Collecting Data –

Though modern technology has made it easy to collect data, it still requires human intelligence as a guide to collect the right data. Data analysts help in data collection.

2. Classifying Data –

The collected data in its raw format requires the right classifying. Data analysts do the classifying of the vast amounts of data.

3. Remove Mistakes –

Many times, data can be incorrect and even duplicate. It is the job of the analyst to recognise this wrongful data and discard it so it does not affect the analysis.

4. Operation of Tools –

All analysis is now done on analytics tools and software. The data analyst has to know all about these tools and their operations. They have to suggest the right tools for the management for purchase and use.

5. Developing Tools –

Rather than buying analytics software and tools, many companies prefer developing analytics tools that conform to their ecosystem. Data analysts have to work with programmers to develop such products.

6. Data Models –

Data analysts also have to design the data models according to which the data will be collected and collated.

7. Analyse –

This is the main job of the data analysts – analysis. They have to analyse vast amounts of data according to the need for the analysis. They have to assess the quality of the data and find the meaning of the data to present the findings.

8. Present Reports –

Based on the analysis, the data analysts have to prepare reports full of pie charts, histograms, bar graphs, etc. to be presented to the senior management. The management will decide their further course of action based on the findings. This data has to be visual for better understanding and presentation.


Skills Required for a Data Analyst

Not anyone can become a data analyst. You need to have a few skills and predispositions for you to become a good data analyst.

Heres some information on the skill required to become a data analyst.

1. Analytical Skills –

This is the foremost requirement for anyone looking to become a data analyst. You should be able to analyse well. Be it data or even a real-time situation, you should be able to see more than what is one display.

2. Statistical Skills –

Data analytics are based mostly on statistics, and you need to have the ability to record data in statistical formats and be able to understand the statistics even without the help of analytics tools and software.

3. Mathematical Skills –

A career in analytics can begin with a liking for numbers. If you are good at math, you will excel in this field. You need to be good with calculations, solving complex problems, and presenting the numbers in a way understandable to all. Your mathematical skills will also come in handy for visual presentations like charts and graphs.

4. Programming Languages –

You must know one or more programming languages. Analytics are now done through tools and software, and with your knowledge of programming languages, you will be able to use the tools like an expert and customise these tools to get what you want. You should know languages like PHP, C++, HIVE, SQL, Java, and R. You should also be an expert in using Microsoft Excel, which is a part of the Microsoft Office Suite. Excel is one of the best and most widely used data and reporting software that provides users many options for calculations.


How to Become a Data Analyst (Steps)

Now that you are sure of a job as a data analyst, the next logical step would be to know how to go about it. Heres information on how to become a data analyst. Follow them step-by-step to get an opportunity at becoming a data analyst.

1. Education

  • Get Your Degree – You will bever be able to work as a data analyst without a formal degree in analytics or something similar. Therefore, get enrolled for a degree course in data analytics.


  • Go for Higher Education – To be able to do well in the analytics industry, a postgraduate degree is a must. If you have a bachelors degree that is not related to analytics, this is your chance to get into a postgraduate degree that will let you pursue data analytics as a career. You can also choose to do a doctorate in analytics.


2. Necessary Skills

Many additional things can further your chances of becoming a data analyst. Learning a program, improving your mathematical skills, getting analytics related certifications, and other things like this will help you become a data analyst.

  • Mathematical Abilities – Even though mathematics is about numbers, mathematics is the main language of data analytics. You can take further classes to understand it better. Algebra will help you a lot in your pursuance of data analytics.


  • Statistical Knowledge – Do you know what is mean, median, and mode? These are the statistical concepts you will be dealing with in data analytics. You should be able to interpret this data. So, you can take courses in statistics.


  • Learn Programming – Along with your education, you can learn a few programming languages that will make you a desired candidate and help you in the long run.


  • Develop Presenting Skills – In data analytics, you will have to present reports and your findings. So, now is a good time for you to improve your presentation skills and be prepared for what you will face in the future.


  • AI & Machine Learning – You need to update your knowledge of AI and Machine Learning, which are now becoming an important part of all analytical tools and software. Certification in AI & Machine Learning will help you a lot in your career as a data analyst.


3. Data Analysts Salary

In a country like India, which is fast becoming a hub of data analytic, a data analyst is high in demand. Today, there are data analytics companies that purely provide products and services related to data analytics to small and mid-level companies. Other large-scale companies have also understood the importance of data analytics, and now have their separate departments for analytics.

On average, data analysts start with a salary of INR 6 lakhs per annum, which is a better starting salary than most professional positions. They are also entitled to get good benefits, along with yearly appraisals, and opportunities to grow. With the right certifications, data analysts can also get jobs in multinational corporations or companies in other countries.


Difference Between Data Analyst & Data Scientist

A data scientist is the hot new profession you keep hearing about. But is this professional any different from a data analyst? Are these professions polar opposites or are they different sides of the same coin? Lets take a look at what the main differences are in this profession.

A data analyst will perform data analytics, mainly on the pre-existing models that are a part of the tools and software. The data processing they do requires to get results that are insightful yet general in nature. They can customise but they have their limitations. Data scientists have to make data models that go beyond the usual. They do customised analysis and get insights that provide a deeper look at the data. A data scientist is the next step, and many data analysts first become analysts and do additional courses to become data scientists.


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ASM's Institute of Business Management & Research, Pune was established in 1983. It is affiliated to University of Pune. It is a prominent institute for higher education in the state of Maharashtra.