6 Essential Tips on How to Become a Data Analyst

Data-driven strategies in business are a rage these days. With the depth of the data operation concept, more companies are emphasizing the need for employee participation in data operations. Companies and businesses have realized that developing the ability of data analysis with the help of data analyst is a futuristic trend. So, if you are trying to take data analysis as a career, you need to develop and use certain key skills.

Staying competitive in the market in data analysis is not easy. The competition is intense. Take it from me. I have spent years in achieving excellence in this very field. I started from the basics and went through all possible tactics and tips to be where I am today. With a degree in hand and online help with one of my Spectrum packages, it was a humble start.

Let’s help you become a master at the art of data analysis you can thank me later!

6 Effective Skills to Become an Excellent Data Analyst

  1. Critical Thinking
  2. SQL.
  3. Microsoft Excel.
  4. Statistical Programming.
  5. Data Visualization.
  6. Presentation Skills.

Let’s elaborate on them.

Critical Thinking

To be a great data analyst, you need to be a greater critical thinker. Your job is to use data to figure out answers to your own questions. This also means that you have to figure out the questions first. Sounds tricky? Yes, it is!

To be a competent analyst, you need to think like one. According to your job role, you have to be incredible at uncovering and synthesizing connections, which are usually not very clear. Work on enhancing your critical think skills. Take it as one of the essential basics related to your job role.


Structured Query Language or SQL is a ubiquitous and useful industry-standard database language. You may not consider it essential to being a data analyst. But it is often referred to as a graduated version of Microsoft Excel. You need to get a hands-on experience on this. The main reason is its ability to handle massive databases, which cannot be handled by something as basic as Excel.

Every organization needs a data analyst equipped with the know-how of SQL. So, consider it an essential in your skill bucket-list. Learn to manage it, store data, and to relate multiple databases on it. You also need to learn to change or build database structures on this platform.

If you look at the job postings, you will find plenty of offers demanding SQL skills. And the median salary of those with the expertise of SQL is way more than a regular data analyst. Consider learning SQL as your first step when working with Big Data. This tool is your opportunity to flourish in your field.

Microsoft Excel

Does a spreadsheet come to your mind when you think of Excel? It can do a lot more. Don’t undermine the analysis power of this tool. For quicker and lighter analytics of not-so-big data, advanced Excel methods such as VBA lookups and Macros are quite effective. This means that it is a great tool for lean companies and startups.

The tool has remained to be a mainstay for all sorts of businesses over the years. And that goes for businesses of every niche. Consider it a must-learn. Take advantage of free online resources to get started. You can also take structured data analytics sessions held by instructors online.

Statistical Programming

When it comes to statistical programming, you have to keep efficiency in mind. Whatever Excel can do, know that R or Python can do 10 times faster and better. In addition, it can handle what Excel cannot. Learn these highly powerful languages of statistical programming. They are used to perform predictive analytics and advanced analyses. These are done for particularly big data sets. R and Python both are industry standard. To become a competent data analyst, go beyond mastering SQL and become a pro at one of these two languages.

R and Python both are free and open source. As long as your analyses are correct and accurate, employers don’t care which language do you use. Both are equally good when it comes to ad-hoc analysis and exploring data sets.

Data Visualization

To keep your audience engaged, you need to be able to tell an intriguing story with your data. This is significant because you need to get your point across. If your data findings are not easily identifiable and understandable, you will have a tough time making others get them.

For this very reason, you can make or break the effect with data visualization. Pro analysists make an impact by using high-quality charts and eye-catching graphs to present the findings in a concise yet clear way. Consider using a user-friendly and effective analytical tool for visualization.

Presentation Skills

Presentation skills and data visualization go hand in hand. However, presenting effectively isn’t everyone’s thing. Even the most seasoned presenters can get nervous and shaky at times. And that’s only natural. The practice is the key, as it is for everything else. Practice more and some more until you finally become a pro at your thing.

I used to be very shy at public speaking. But all I did was practice. If it wasn’t for Pay Spectrum Bill Online facility, I would have wasted time running errands and paying my bills in-store instead of practicing my presentation skills.

Clare Abner

Hey, I am Clare. I am a Content Marketer with substantial experience in content development and analysis as well. I observe changes in consumer trends and offer my services to business that can benefit from them. I have worked with some of the best in the business. When I am not busy working, you will usually find me parked on my couch with a bowl of popcorn. Making full use of my Frontier High Speed Internet I would be watching my favorite TV shows or browsing online stores!

Clare Abner has 38 posts and counting. See all posts by Clare Abner

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