Top 10 Data Analyst Skills in 2021
Data-driven business strategy has become the Holy Grail for progressive businesses. Corporate houses and organisations looking for newer methodologies for responding to the supply-demand challenge and preparing for steady growth, digital economy transition and improved employability are now relying on data science. Be it healthcare, manufacturing, telecommunication, banking, retail or education — the need for skilled data analysts has become perpetual for a constant flow of data collection and the processing of the collected information.
Also Read : Data Analyst Salary in India
As a data analyst, a professional should be able to retrieve, organise, access, and analyse business data, which is a powerful tool for boosting demand, production, efficiency, and market reputation.
Since data analysis is a highly specialised field, you must acquire special skills to excel in data analysis profiles.
Here we discuss the Top 10 Data Analyst Skills in 2021 that will help you build a promising career in this field and outshine in your career trajectory.
Top 10 Data Analyst Skills To Learn In 2021
1. Microsoft Excel
MS Excel is the most commonly used spreadsheet program. With basic math functions, data collection, charts and graphs, formulas and whatnot, Microsoft Excel has simplified work. Many lean companies worldwide rely on Excel for storing their database, and hence, expertise in Excel is always an added advantage to a data analyst.
While your employer may not be just expecting you to be proficient in creating charts, graphs and illustrations, but perform various other tasks on MS Excel such as data validation, consolidation and data cleaning and manipulation functions, such as LEN, Concatenation, conditional formatting, index match, logic functions and using a quick analytics tool. Some imperative MS Excel features you must master include Pivot Tables, Macros, Cross-Reference Table, and LOOKUP Functions.
Structured Query Language is a predominant domain-specific database language that helps in data extraction, data manipulation and analysis for organisations with an enormous database. SQL experts are recruited by business giants and emerging businesses dealing with big data, keen on taking relational database management to the dexterous level.
The efficiency and functionality of SQL are unsurpassed, and hence, learning SQL would not only be an added merit in your resume but also can become a comprehensible career to pursue.
3. Critical Thinking
When it comes to non-technical skills in data science, critical thinking is the first one to address. Evaluation of collected information to come up with a valid conclusion and finding a solution may not always be an innate aptitude but an acquired skill. As a data analyst, it is imperative to develop critical thinking skills to process data to uncover answers and synthesise connections from the given data. A critical thinker is judicious, voluble and equipped with data to break the stereotypes and come up with appropriate assessment and solutions.
Objective evaluation, multi-modal perception and unbiased perspective are a few attributes of a critical thinker. Data scientists with critical thinking ability can interpret data in multiple ways and process it for a specific purpose.
4. Data Visualization
As a data scientist, you will perceive the information in a particular fashion, but without data visualisation, you may not be able to get across the right message and make it understandable to your colleagues. You need effective data visualisation skills and a user-friendly industry-standard analytics tool to master to create high-quality charts, graphs, and credible presentations that are legible to all.
Your data retrieving and analysing skills turn futile until you share the findings clearly to all the stakeholders involved and use that data as a tool for the company’s advantage. Your data visualisation should be concise, convincing and self-explanatory.
5. Statistical Programming
Statistical programming is an essential component of a data analyst toolkit, especially if big data you’re dealing with. A statistical programming language helps you manage data in a much better way. Be it R or Python that you choose to master, statistical programming skills will significantly multiply your speed and efficiency. If Excel and SQL are inevitable technical skills for data analysis, R and Python are exceptional skills for big datasets and advanced and predictive analysis.
One of the industry-standard statistical programming languages like Python or R will add a feather to your data analyst’s hat. These free and open source languages can be self-taught, or you could choose to enrol for a professional programming course.
Must Read : Want to Be a Data Analyst?
6. Presentation Skills
We have already discussed data visualisation, but it takes more than a software application to face the crowd and communicate with them clearly when it comes to presenting your data. You can develop presentation skills with diligence, practice and improvising. Practice can never be enough, and you can utilise any free time for improving your presentation skills.
If you are an excellent public speaker, you can deliver engaging and effective presentations to any audience size without hesitation. It takes the combination of your slides, your voice and tonality, and your body language to be a successful presenter and convey the right message with the right intent to seek results.
7. Machine Learning
Not every data analyst is a machine learning engineer, but every data analyst with background knowledge of machine learning can succeed in every domain and industry. Machine learning is the newest limb of data analysis based on artificial intelligence. It is a reality of the modern world, thanks to computer algorithms and pattern identification technology that minimises human intervention in decision making.
Machine learning employs software programs to identify big data patterns to associate with consumer behaviour and spending patterns. This can help you design effective marketing campaigns and strategies.
Data analysts can establish a career in this field with the right combination of data mining and machine learning skills. Many IT giants are investing time and resources in the R&D of machine learning with an optimistic outlook for AI in the future.
8. Data Warehousing
Data analyst retrieves and accesses vast amounts of data and successfully stores and maintains it virtually. Hence, data warehousing is an essential skill that enables an organisation to make data-supported routine and tactical business decisions in the industry.
Data warehousing is done by data analysts responsible for monitoring the retrieved data and maintaining apposite security & protection points and safe access. You can utilise this data at any point of time for query analysis, analytics processes and reporting techniques.
9. Project Management
Not all data analysts turn out to be project managers, but definitely, project management is a skill that can help every data analyst in multiple ways. Project management incorporates the duty to supervise and track all the assignment’s rudiments, lead the team, and oversee their work progress. In many organisations, data analysts have a team of IT staff and other analysts to manage and undertake the responsibility of planning, executing, and monitoring the project while being accountable for its scope, resources, and outcome.
Large data sets sometimes turn insignificant without the use of statistics. With the help of statistics, data analysts can comprehend complex data sets, particularly from new sources. Statisticians discover ways to exploit the data to the company’s advantage, read between the lines and build relevance and connection. It takes wide-ranging skills and abilities to interpret numerical data in the best possible manner with statistics.
Online Data Analysis courses in India
Recognised by the prestigious IIITB and 1st PG Diploma to be validated by NASSCOM, this course offers a specialisation in Natural Language Processing, Deep Learning, Business Intelligence/ Data Analytics, Business Analytics, Data Engineering. Connect with a network of data science professionals and a global network of accomplished IIITB Alumni. With 14 programming tools & languages and 60+ industry projects, this PG diploma course prepares you for the real world with all essential technical and soft skills. Suitable for working professionals, this course not only upgrades your resume but also uncaps a horizon of career opportunities.
This is a 20-month program with 500+ hours of learning. The program with IIIT Bangalore & LJMU Alumni Status and NASSCOM certification offers a soft skill program, placement assistance, one-on-one with industry mentors and fortnightly group mentorship. This is the only online MSc in DS for working professionals. The course has 60+ case studies and projects and offers global access to job opportunities.
With more than 300 hours of learning, 5+ case studies and projects, and fortnightly industry mentorship sessions, this is a fantastic course from one of the most prestigious universities in the country designed for working professionals. The program has a globally accepted PG certification and offers job-seeking assistance too. You will get a complimentary Python programming Bootcamp and learn Statistics, Predictive Analytics using Python, Basic & Advanced SQL, Visualization using Python, EDA, Basic & Advanced Machine Learning Algorithms.
Be it programming skills, auditing system data, extracting insights or preparing convincing presentations and reporting to the audience, a data analyst dons many hats but to condense the jobs and responsibilities in a single line, he or she serves as the technical gatekeeper of a company’s data to ensure that it can be used in making strategic business decisions. This fulfilling role is well paid and provides an extensive experience that can help you climb the corporate ladder in the future.