Ever wanted to become a data analyst? Here is what you should know.

Information is power. Today, this is the most important guiding mantra for individuals, organizations and companies alike. We are living in the information age and the more of it that you have, the higher your chances of becoming successful at your endeavor. In its raw form, information is known as data. It requires assessment to pick out what is important and get rid of the rest. This is the main responsibility of a data analyst. Organizations and companies around the world use the services of data analysts extensively. These individuals have a set of skills that make them highly capable in processing data into information with the objective of contributing towards the company’s aims. Here is more on the responsibilities of data analysts.

What qualifications do you need to have so as to be a data analyst?

To perform this job, you need to cultivate and demonstrate proficiency in mathematics, computer science and analysis. You should also be able to handle large amounts of workload in short periods of time. That’s because data analysts are expected to process the vast amounts of data that enters and exits business systems. To develop this ability, you should have a degree in mathematics, computer science or statistics.

Modern businesses use some database management software to process and store their data. Also known as relational data management systems, they include the Structured Query Language (SQL), Server 2008 and mySQL. Other examples are Oracle 11i, Hadoop and Salesforce too.

As a data analyst, you should be able to work with all of them. In addition to that, you should be able to use them to create reports that can help senior management make informed decisions.
Graduates of computer science related courses with familiarity of SPSS and related data analysis programs are often hired into the position of a data analyst. Those who understand data analysis software such as Excel, Gloucester and Swindon also have favorable chances of getting hired into this job.

Which specific skills should data analysts have?

To thrive as a data analyst, you should have some specific skills. Firstly, you should have some analytical skills. The job requires a lot of data assessment and conversion into information hence the necessity for this skill.

Secondly, you should have good communication skills. You will be expected to present your results to the other members of staff quite often. Hence, you should be able to communicate your findings clearly and in a helpful manner.

Critical thinking is a skill that every data analyst should have. They must be able to assess data and find the patterns within it for the purpose of finding and communicating trends.

Data analysts should also pay extra attention to detail. This means that they should be vigilant in how they look at numbers so as to avoid missing anything which could present a strategic advantage. Mathematical skills are also important for the purpose of reading, understanding and manipulating data presented in form of numbers.

What do data analysts do every day?

Data analysts handle data coming into the organization from different directions. They must use their skills and the software resources provided to them so as to interpret raw data and collect logical information from it. This information is then presented in spreadsheets, presentations and reports.

Sometimes data needs to be processed through specific formulae so as to reveal information. In such a case, the data analysts rely on resources such as Excel macros and Visual Basic programming to transform raw data into valuable information for the organization or company. They do this so as to identify any patterns in the data that the company or organization can interpret and use to their advantage.

Data analysts are expected to write reports for officials in various levels of administration in the company. They should present information in these reports in a way that is unambiguous and favors the use of graphs. Participating in meetings to help explain the information being discussed is also a major role of data analysts.


Data analysts are an essential part of every organization. The information that they present can be used for various important purposes. Examples of benefits that this information can bring to the company is helping it to know how to price it’s products, reduce the cost of transportation, solve cash leaks and determine the optimum employee hours required. The role of a data analyst is needed in every organization hence the job is very popular and there is high demand for individuals with the above skills.

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