Data Analysts collect and analyze data to uncover useful information. They analyze data in several ways including inspecting and cleaning data as well as altering data and creating models from data.
This career choice is vast. Data Analysts are needed in many areas of the work force including science and business areas. Many covet this career choice and luckily, there is much need for Data Analysts.
So, still wondering how to become a Data Analyst? There are several requirements and responsibilities. Education and experience are a must in the field of data analyzing.
How to Become a Data Analyst: All Things You Need to Know
Basic Job Requirements
Data Analysts must be fairly well organized and have an eye for detail. They must also be willing to sit for many hours a day as Data Analyst jobs usually require using a computer often. Data Analysts need to naturally be problem solvers and be well versed in mathematics.
Data Analysts will most likely need to be tech savvy as they may have to design databases, and possibly even build them, to hold the information they have and are building upon.
This career requires a Bachelor’s Degree, if not a Master’s Degree. The type of degree will be determined by the company you wish to work for and the tasks you will be required to perform for that company.
Experience is a must with most Data Analyst opportunities. Look for entry level positions if you are new to this field.
Data Analyst Responsibilities
Data Analysts are not Data Scientists and usually have the nickname of Junior Data Scientist. However, many companies will have Data Analysts perform many of the same tasks as Data Scientist because they really do not understand the difference between the titles.
Data Analysts mainly collect, view, and analyze already found data but do so from a new perspective.
Data Scientists have to be efficient in digging deeper and finding unknown data from existing data.
Regardless, you, as a Data Analyst, may find yourself working both job titles. Some days you may be working with something simple and other days more complex data will be your job.
Your base responsibilities will include:
Developing data collection systems
Implementing data collection systems
Identifying, understanding, and interpreting complex data
Reviewing computer reports
Locating and defining process improvement
Obtaining the education for this career choice is crucial and really the first step in how to become a Data Analyst. Although some companies may work with you in an entry level position, most require you to have a BS in either Computer Science, Economics, Information Management, Information Statistics, or Mathematics.
The degree and area of study required will, of course, be determined by the company you choose to work for; or really the company that chooses you to work for them.
If you want to be considered for advancement, a Master’s Degree may be something to pursue. A Master’s Degree in Information and Data Science would be extremely beneficial for advancing in your field, or in your company.
Wondering how to become a Data Analyst when you have no work experience as a Data Analyst? Seek an entry level position. Most of these jobs offer training and will give you experience with some of the software you will need to work with as a Data Analyst. Many of these entry level positions will work with you based on your education in the field. However, if you are serious in finding forever employment as a Data Analyst, seek entry level employment where you will gain experience and knowledge about Structure Query Language. This is a programming language that will most likely be used in any type of data analysis positions.
Consider Trade Organizations
Joining a trade organization can only benefit you. Trade organizations offer education, resources, and even training in specific fields. They do this in a variety of ways including networking, conferences and job boards.
Up to Date Information
As with any other field, technology is always changing and moving forward. It is very important that you stay up to date with any new technology. There are different ways to do this. You could, of course, take further courses to understand any new technology. There are also various publications that offer a “what’s new” take on the industry. Some of these publications are Analytics Magazine, Big Data, and Data Science Journal.
Final Tips for How to Become a Data Analyst
While you are working hard and earning your degree, you could always seek a position as an assistant. You are gaining knowledge in school. Why not start gaining your experience before you begin seeking placement as a Data Analyst? Data Analysts and Data Scientists do occasionally need assistants who have a general idea of what they are doing. This position is considered a statistical assistant and is also titled “Actuarial Technician.”
If you cannot find placement as an assistant, you can also look into an internship. You will gain work experience with an internship. The only downfall with an internship is low to little pay but the experience is beneficial to your future employment!