Data analysis is the process of inspecting, cleansing, transforming, and modeling data. The goal is to discover useful information and utilize it to the best of it’s ability. One can use it to gather conclusions and support decision-making. It’s a rapidly growing job field essential for every business. There are certain skills necessary to be successful at it.


Basic Skills for Data Analysis

A strong technical ability is essential to understand data analysis. There are a wealth of different languages that can help you. Java, Python, and R are the most common tools that an analyst utilizes. In addition, terminology is very complex and must be learned to understand proper data analysis. You will need to query, or ask, a database for information. It will then report the results in a complex graph or string of characters. Once the data is aggregated, they can be summarized in a report.

Industry knowledge is essential to be successful in data analysis. Its growth means that programming languages are constantly being created or improved upon. When that happens, older languages become less in-demand. Understand trends that may emerge in the near future. If you plan to have a career in data analysis, research five and ten year trajectories for the needs in this field. Understand the industry that is being analyzed, whether its health care or insurance.


Problem solving is essential in data analysis. You need it to think up ways of answering a question. You must envision ways of doing things that may not have been done before. If you’re using code, the language tends to be fickle. It could potentially take a long time to solve a seemingly simple task.


Anyone Can Learn Data Analysis

Data analysis involves parsing large amounts of information from websites. The information is then extracted and saved to the local drive of your computer or a centrally located spreadsheet. Web scraping allows this task to be automated and is not easy. There is a steep learning curve to becoming successful. Web scraping services are available to help streamline this task. To choose one, determine how much data you’ll need to access. Monthly fees are applicable for platforms such as Scrapinghub and Datahut.

A Bachelor’s degree is not required to be successful in data analysis, but is certainly helpful. For those who do choose to follow this route, recommended fields of study include statistics, computer science, and mathematics. Choose a course load that emphasizes statistical or analytical skills. While University courses may teach basic foundational knowledge, be sure to enhance your knowledge outside of the classroom. If so inclined, obtaining a Masters degree will only strengthen your overall skills in data analysis.

 Creativity is also an invaluable soft skill needed in data analysis. Just like how a painter envisions what an art piece will look like, you must envision what your data analysis will accomplish. Visualize what you want to find out. Then, figure out how to get there. While companies may not see the art in your work, it will nevertheless be invaluable to them.


Knowledge Is Power

Data analysis is a lucrative career option. The average salary is $57,261 per year. 60% of workers have 1 to 4 years of experience in the field. Above all, one must have a desire to learn. In order to advance your career, you’ll be encouraged to continually acquire new knowledge. Statistical methods are constantly being refined. Although there are basic fundamental skills, the technical possibilities will change.


Data analysis requires an array of both soft and technical skills. There is a learning curve, but overcoming it will yield great results.


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