10 Data Analyst Skills You Need to Get Hired

See also: Simple Statistical Analysis

Data analysts are some of the most in-demand people in the world today. A data analyst is someone who specializes in gathering and analyzing data. They are invaluable to many organizations across different industries that rely on data. So, if you’ve decided to become a data analyst, or switch to a career in data analytics, you’re going to have to learn and master data analyst skills so you can get where you want to go.

Read this article to understand more about the most important skills that a data analyst should put in their resume to get hired this year.

Data analyst

1. Domain Knowledge

Domain knowledge refers to having an understanding of how things are done in the particular industry or company you’re working for. For instance, if you’re hired by a company with an online store, you need to understand how things work in e-commerce. The same can also be said if you’re analyzing data for a company that manufactures different mechanical systems.

Domain knowledge is certainly something that you can learn and develop on the job. However, having an understanding upfront about a specific industry or company you’d like to work in can make you a more attractive job applicant.

Regardless of the industry or company that you’re going to work for, if you don’t understand what you’re going to analyze, you won’t be able to do your job effectively. This makes domain knowledge an essential data analyst skill.

2. Structured Query Language (SQL)

Structured Query Language (SQL) is the standard database language in the world of data analytics. Also, it’s the most important skill that a data analyst should have. SQL is a formal language that is used to query a set of data. It allows you to update data and collect specific data. It’s also used for processing large databases that some spreadsheets can’t handle. Therefore, most data analyst job listings always require someone to be knowledgeable about SQL as a requirement.

3. Spreadsheets

Although SQL skills are the main requirement for data analysts these days, it can still be very helpful if you have knowledge and an understanding of how to use various spreadsheet tools. Some organizations still prefer reports or databases to be presented to them using spreadsheets.

Despite being old, some spreadsheets have continuously proven themselves when it comes to handling data. Their simplicity and ease of use makes them incredibly useful so they remain the go-to tool for working with data.

Over the years, spreadsheets have remained a mainstay for organizations across different industries. So, mastery of these it is a must if you want to increase your chances of getting hired as a data analyst. If you think your spreadsheet skills are still lacking, there’s an abundance of free resources online to help you master using them and gain a deeper understanding of these tools.

4. Problem Solving and Critical Thinking

As a data analyst, it’s not enough to just simply look at data. You have to look past the numbers so you can fully understand them. This won’t be possible if you don’t have problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Being a data analyst means you have to analyze data and be able to identify patterns and extract information from it. It requires you to think deeper as opposed to only processing data.

As a data analyst, you’ll also eventually run up against different kinds of problems every day such as importing data from JSON to BigQuery. Fortunately, there are available online tools that can help you with these kinds of problems. But still, being able to find your way out of these problems is an essential skill for a data analyst.

On the other hand, your company may have limited resources which forces you to be innovative in dealing with a problem. You’ll never be able to overcome these problems if you don’t hone your problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Man analysing data on screen and on paper.

Developing these two essential skills can be quite difficult, but you can master them by always challenging yourself. Honing your problem-solving and critical thinking skills as a data analyst is critical in helping you land a job in data analytics.

5. Machine Learning

Data analysts aren’t generally required to be proficient in machine learning. However, it’s now increasingly essential because of how machine learning has become an important development in the field of data analytics. This skill refers to having the ability to build algorithms that are designed to identify patterns in big data sets. The algorithms you build should become more accurate and smarter over time as they process more data. Understanding machine learning could give you a competitive edge over other job candidates.

6. Attention to Detail

The job of a data analyst is like searching for a needle in a haystack, so you need to have a good eye for detail. As a data analyst, you should be able to find and identify the smallest clues of a larger message that’s hiding in plain sight in a big data set.

Having a keen eye for detail can also come in handy when you’re building processes for capturing and sorting data efficiently. A small error in your coding is enough to compromise your entire workflow. As such, you always need to be wary of any tiny mistakes that may lead to larger problems when you’re handling data.

7. Research

You might think data analysts have ready access to all the information they need to get their job done. Contrary to what most people think, data analysts still have to do some research to collect all the information they need and to make the most out of the data they have on their hands.

If you’re trying to create visualizations or interpret raw data, you must be comfortable in doing additional research to put your findings in a proper context. Moreover, this should be easily understood by your audience once you present it to them.

Additionally, data analysts have to research the latest industry trends that can help them process and analyze data better. Research can also come in handy when data analyst is defending their findings to their colleagues.

Data analysis professionals

8. Writing and Communication Skills

As a data analyst, you should also have strong writing and communication skills. Whether it’s speaking, listening, or writing, you must be proficient in all of these areas to increase your chances of getting hired.

Just like in any other job setting, strong communication skills are also critical as a data analyst. It’s impossible to collaborate with your colleagues if you don’t know how to communicate with others. For example, in a business meeting, having excellent oral skills are essential for you to provide and present the analyses they require.

Your communication skills can also help you in explaining complex data to your non-technical colleagues. You can’t also forget about your written communication skills as you’ll certainly be tasked with writing reports about your analysis and recommendations.

Writing and communication skills may be considered soft skills, but don’t ever underestimate them. They are essential skills that’ll help in advancing your career in data analytics. Even if you’re the best when it comes to data analysis, you can never excel in this field if you don’t know how to communicate effectively with your colleagues.

9. Data Visualizations

A good data analyst must not only be good at processing and analyzing data. Also, they must be capable of creating eye-catching tables, graphs, and charts to present your work to your audience. Besides, they should also have the ability to tell a compelling story out of the findings clearly and concisely.  This is necessary so your audience can easily understand your point. If you don’t have this ability, then you may have a hard time getting through to your audience.

Data visualisation analyst.

10. Team Player

While most of the tasks of a data analyst can be done alone, the results have a big impact on the organization at every level. As such, data analysts must be good team players and willing to work with a diverse group of people to ensure the organization’s goals and objectives are met.

Data analysts have to work with other people from different levels to get the job done. They work with web developers to ensure that a company’s website is designed according to the data you’ve presented to the table. They also work with the company leaders to provide their latest data findings.  This can help guide the company in moving forward towards achieving its goals and objectives.

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Final Thoughts

Data analysis is a profession that is gaining momentum as technology continues to evolve. The more businesses, companies, and organizations rely on automated solutions, the more demand for data analysts will increase. As a data analyst, you should do more than just gather the data.

You can have a great career in data analytics if you also have the skills mentioned above. By acquiring and honing these skills, you will be an ideal data analyst prospect, and this will increase your chances of getting hired.

About the Author

Winnie Fajardo is a data analyst. She shares her expertise by writing blogs and guest posting. She loves shopping and baking during her free time.