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How to become a Data Analyst: Your Ultimate Guide to Making the Leap!

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data analyst

Among the roles in data science, we find the Data Analyst. What does a Data Analyst do? How to become a Data Analyst? Don’t worry, we’ll provide you with answers in this article!

What is a Data Analyst and how to become a Data Analyst?

In Data Science, the role of a Data Analyst often complements that of a Data Scientist.

A Data Analyst is responsible for data exploration, cleaning, analysis, and utilization of databases. Unlike a Data Scientist, a Data Analyst doesn’t typically handle the creation of algorithms to extract data.

They are frequently hired by companies to assist in decision-making and enhancing business processes by leveraging available data sources through big data. Let’s explore how to become a Data Analyst.

What are the skills of a Data Analyst?

To effectively carry out their tasks, a Data Analyst possesses strong technical skills. Primarily, they need to be adept at data cleaning and preparation, which can occupy up to 80% of their working time.

They must be capable of retrieving data from one or multiple sources and preparing it for analysis. Data cleaning involves tasks like removing incomplete, corrupted, or redundant data from a dataset to prevent skewed analysis results.

Naturally, data analysis is the core competence of a Data Analyst. In practical terms, this involves using data to answer questions for a company. An alternate approach is data exploration without a specific question, seeking out interesting trends or relationships.

A Data Analyst possesses a solid understanding of probability and statistics, often acquired through a Master’s degree in mathematics (at the bachelor’s +4 level). This knowledge guides their data analysis and exploration. Statistics also ensure the validity of analyses and prevent logical errors.

Many data analysts work with spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, or proprietary statistical software such as SAS, Stata, or SPSS. However, proficiency in a programming language like R or Python allows them to surpass the limitations of these programs. These languages enable working with large datasets and creating complex data visualizations.

Data visualizations consist of graphs or diagrams that simplify data comprehension compared to numbers in a table. A proficient Data Analyst can create simple and effective visuals to aid data communication and analysis results. Data visualization also aids in data exploration.

In addition to data visualizations, a Data Analyst must generate dashboards and reports. The goal here is to grant access to essential data by removing technical barriers.

In terms of personal qualities, effective communication is paramount for a Data Analyst. Their ability to communicate in various formats is one of their most valuable assets. In written and verbal communication, this expert should comprehend their colleagues’ needs and share the outcomes of their work.

Furthermore, understanding their company’s domain is crucial for a Data Analyst. Each industry has specific requirements, and grasping subtle nuances is essential.

Lastly, a Data Analyst needs to possess a problem-solving mindset. Daily challenges, bugs, and obstacles will arise. In the face of these barriers, their reflex should be to seek innovative solutions.


How to become a Data Analyst - What their tasks?

In practical terms, a Data Analyst gives meaning to numbers, for instance, by presenting them as graphs or by summarizing a company’s data, transforming it into understandable and accessible information for everyone.

Nevertheless, the tasks assigned to a Data Analyst can vary based on the company, its expectations, and the available data. To analyze this data, the Data Analyst frequently employs Business Intelligence (BI) software. BI empowers them to process information to solve specific problems in the company’s interest.

For instance, a Data Analyst might be tasked with estimating market shares, suggesting pricing for a new product about to be launched, reducing logistics costs, or optimizing workforce management.

Data Analysts can work across various industries, including manufacturing, commerce, marketing, finance, banking and insurance, and even the healthcare sector. That being said, large companies with extensive data repositories often require the expertise of a Data Analyst.

Still wondering how to become a Data Analyst ? This is the salary for a Data Analyst

According to a survey conducted by DataScientest among around thirty companies listed in the CAC 40 (French stock market index), the salary of a Data Analyst ranges from €35,000 to €60,000 per year. On average, a junior Data Analyst earns €41,309 per year, and after four years of experience, the salary reaches €51,547.

In the United States, where more extensive studies have been conducted, the average salary was $83,750 per year in 2020.

What are the employment opportunities for Data Analysts?

The profession is already among the top 10 most sought-after jobs worldwide.

This trend is expected to continue, as per the survey conducted by DataScientest, where 74% of Data leaders expressed their intention to hire Data Analysts for their teams.

Furthermore, with the increasing volume of collected data and the necessity to process this data, the demand for analysts is projected to grow in the near future.

After a few years of experience, a Data Analyst can progress towards a Chief Data Officer role. This individual will be responsible for establishing the overarching strategy to analyze and manage a company’s data and subsequently utilize it effectively.


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