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Could A Career As A Data Analyst Be Right For You?

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Data Analysis, an occupation in the field of business analytics, is one of the fastest-growing STEM occupations today. It’s no wonder, considering the enormous amount of data that’s being generated daily.

As a data analyst, you’ll use the most up-to-date software tools to analyze and organize data that comes from business operations. It’s a career that requires not only organization skills, but creativity and the ability to think outside of the box.

In this article, we’ll look at what it takes to become a data analyst. What does it take to land this career? And what skills do you need to succeed in it?

Data Analyst or Data Scientist?

While falling under the same umbrella, data analysts and data scientists both perform different tasks. They are, however, usually grouped together due to the wide range of skills needed to perform each.

A data scientist focuses on capturing data, and building statistical models to make predictions. They work with computer code, machine learning, and they build complex computer programs to analyze and interpret data.

A data analyst, on the other hand, is responsible for organizing data into deliverable formats, and analyzing the data to provide solutions to problems. They could be involved in the data capture process, but many data analysts spend more time coalescing data into visual charts, and relaying them to business users.

So when considering data scientist vs data analyst as career options, you should consider whether you enjoy working with technical algorithms, machine learning, and other statistical analysis, or whether you’re more interested in communication, building and analyzing visual charts to present your findings to others.

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Key Skills of Data Analysts

Data analysts have a wide range of skills they need to succeed in their jobs. You’ll need a strong foundation in several core skills, which are:

  • SQL: Most modern database platforms are relational. SQL is the standard language used to connect tables and relationships between data.
  • Excel: Excel is the industry standard data analysis tool used by data analysts. Most data analysts use the Excel spreadsheet to manipulate data, create reports, and solve complex data problems.
  • Python and R: Python and R are statistical programming languages used by data analysts to analyze large data sets. Python is a popular general-purpose computer programming language that is used in a wide variety of industries, while R is a statistical package that allows for the analysis of data in a specific field.
  • Visualization: Data analysis involves visualizing data in a way that makes it easier for business users to understand it. As a data analyst, you’ll be expected to create data visualizations in a variety of formats, including graphs, maps, and charts.
  • Machine Learning: Machine learning involves learning how to teach computers to make decisions by providing them with a set of rules that can be applied to a given situation. Data analysts are required to use machine learning to analyze data and make decisions for business users.

This is just a small sample of the skills required for data analysis. You’ll need to acquire a diverse set of skills to succeed in this career, including the ability to work with complex software, understanding of the software and the data that it’s processing, the ability to collaborate with others, and the ability to analyze and interpret data.

How Much Do Data Analysts Earn?

The average income of data analysts in 2022 is around $62,382, according to Glassdoor job listings. This is reflective of entry-level positions, as there is considerable room for career growth within this field.

For example, Senior Data Analysts can earn up to $95k, and Analytical Managers can earn around $169k.

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