Top Skills You Need to Become an Expert Data Analyst
Data analytics is a process that is designed to transform and ensure that raw data can be used to make crucial decisions. It can be done in several different ways ranging from automated AI systems to fully manual processes that are run by an expert data analyst. Most businesses fall somewhere in the middle, using both machine learning in combination with some manual manipulation of data to achieve the final result.
Expert data analysts have the job of setting up systems that can transform raw data into a format that can be used by decision-makers to help them create high-profit strategies.
If you plan to become an expert data analyst, you must know all that it takes to become one. Here is a look at the top skills that you need to become an expert data analyst.
Naturally, a data expert will be expected to understand how to write complex codes that can be used to develop analytical data systems. Small businesses can get away with using analysts that are not a full-fledged programmer, but if you are planning to work for a large corporation and make big money, then you will need to be an expert.
The reason that complex programming skills are required is that data processing is still in the early stages. There are not a lot of standard processes yet, so data experts are expected to develop custom systems. Remember that your job would be to transform raw data sets into digestible, understandable reports that leaders can use to make decisions.
Data Analytical Skills
In addition to being able to write complex coding, data analysts must possess superior analytical skills. It’s also necessary that you be skilled in the industry that you’re planning to work in because you need to understand the intricacies of the market.
Having a creative mind is also a bonus because sometimes it requires some outside of the box thinking to be able to find specific data patterns.
Be Good with Numbers
Mathematical skills are going to be vital because you’re dealing with a lot of statistical data. But this is a commonly required skill for programming itself, so if you possess an aptitude for coding, then you likely possess the right mathematical skills. There are two essential abilities that you must possess here:
- The ability to understand numbers and figures.
- A deep understanding of how specific figures interact with each other.
Financials are the lifeblood of businesses, so you will need to be able to organize information related to budgets and schedules. Business leaders will need this information organized into graphs and tables.
The Ability to Visualize Data
Visualizing data and being able to tell a story are a critical part of being able to get your point across. This is an extremely important skill for data analysts to possess. Not only do analysts need to communicate with leaders within the company, but they also have to develop strategies that communicate those things to consumers. This requires innovative thinking and the ability to visualize data.
Data visualization ultimately influences the way that data is interpreted across a business. You will need to be able to create compelling visuals that present information in an easy-to-understand way that clearly communicates the findings. This is where data analysts earn a lot of their salary too. Top analysts can use their technical skills in combination with their creativity to create state-of-the-art systems that provide visuals.
Analysts Must Understand Machine Learning
Earlier, I spoke about the fact that data analysts that work for large corporations will need advanced programming knowledge. Machine learning is where that skillset comes into play. While small businesses can get by without using machine learning, large companies have too much data coming in to properly manage it without automated processing systems in place.
Therefore, if you want to stand out from other data analysts, you’ll need a vast understanding of how machine learning works and how to develop these systems. There are no templates for this since all businesses are different, so an expert data analyst is expected to develop these from scratch. It’s one of the biggest values that is brought to the table – and the reason top data scientists earn such a high salary.
Must Understand Computational Frameworks
Another technical area where data scientists excel is in their understanding of frameworks that are used for data processing. You’ll need to be fluent in applications like Apache Spark, Hadoop, and other valuable data systems. The exact framework used will depend on the company, but they are all essential to getting the most from big data.
You’ll be expected to create custom data analysis systems using these frameworks so being able to expertly navigate them is an essential skill.
Excellent Data Interpretation Skills
Finally, being able to interpret data on a fundamental level with relation to a specific industry is essential. It allows analysts to be able to present data in a way that their colleagues can understand. Interpretation is not just about being able to understand the data itself though. All industries have certain metrics that are considered a key to their success. These same metrics will have a completely different meaning in another industry so interpretation is about understanding those differences.
The process starts with a collection of data that has been gathered by the system or businesses have the data entry outsourced. Whatever the case, that data is then processed using machine learning frameworks designed by the analyst to pull specific metrics from it. It’s up to an expert data analyst to create a system that filters in the right information and removes information that is not useful.
Data analysts have the all-important job of helping their team leaders make better decisions by providing them with the right information in the right format. You need to develop a technique that sets you apart from others who are vying for the same job. You’ll become the foundation of the entire analytical team.
There is a high demand right now in top industries for an expert data analyst, so as long as you possess the skills mentioned in this post, you have a high chance of landing an amazing career.