What skills does a Data Analyst need to have?

To become a Data Analyst, there is a range of hard and soft skills you will need to learn and become proficient with.

Hard skills include: 

  • Data mining 
  • Data cleaning and preparation 
  • Data warehousing 
  • Data visualisation 
  • SQL 
  • Machine learning 
  • Spreadsheets 
  • Dashboards and reports 

Soft skills include: 

  • Presentation skills and the ability to communicate data insights to non-technical stakeholders 
  • The ability to prioritise data resources and data assets and be able to make data-driven decisions 
  • Problem-solving 
  • Working to deadlines 
  • Collaborating with or leading a team

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How can someone learn essential Data Analyst skills?

On your journey to become a Data Analyst, you can pick up skills at university, bootcamps, training courses and more. If you are looking to upskill, Hays Learning for IT professionals offers free data courses online across a wide array of topics which can be completed at your own pace. 

You can also undertake formal education in a relevant discipline like computer science or information technology and then go on to do a graduate degree specialising in data analytics. You should also consider building data visualisation skills by learning data design principles. A good place to start is by learning HTML, CSS, Javascript (jQuery) and sketch. 

Required Data Analyst skills can change as you progress in your career. You should be looking to specialise in certain areas of data analytics - e.g., behavioural data analytics or data mining – as well as seek out on-the-job learning opportunities at your current employer. 

What qualifications does a Data Analyst need to have?

In most cases, expected Data Analyst qualifications include a degree in data analytics, data science or data engineering. The role is multidisciplinary, so professionals need to have expertise in data mining, statistics, data visualisation and a degree of programming knowledge. 

There are several certifications you can pursue to improve your chances of getting a job in this field. Two of the most popular Data Analyst certifications are the IBM Certified Analytics Professional certification and the SAS data analytics certification. It is worth gaining these certifications if they are relevant to your career aspirations. 
Do you need to go to university to become a Data Analyst? Not necessarily, a strong portfolio of proven work could help you get a job without a formal education. However, the vast majority of working professionals in this field will have a university education. 

What qualifications does a Data Analyst need to have?

Working as a Data Analyst means you will need to be data-driven in all your decisions, so you should read data analytics blogs, attend seminars and workshops. You can also subscribe to newsletters to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. 

A Data Analyst's role will grow more demanding as they gain experience, so it is important for you to continue upskilling by learning new data visualisation skills, data presentation skills and data strategy skills. Of course, you should also keep up to date with the latest technologies, software and productivity tools related to your job. 

Upskilling has traditionally been time consuming and expensive, but with Hays Learning, our free innovative e-learning platform brought to you in partnership with Go1, we are frequently adding more online courses to make sure you always have in-demand skills for a successful future. Sign up now for free to explore our online data courses. 

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