5 skills the data analyst should know

A data analyst is a professional who gathers, organizes and analyzes data to understand and explain it. Data analysts are essential for making sense of complex data sets and extracting meaningful insights from them. So what skills do you need to be a successful data analyst? Here are some essential domain skills and soft skills that every data analyst should have to gain growth in their career path.


The most crucial skill that data analysts must possess is the ability to use SQL, or Structured Query Language, which is the industry’s de facto standard database language. The language is often called Excel’s “graduated” counterpart because it can work with much larger data sets than Excel. Almost every business needs an SQL expert, to manage and store data, connect multiple databases (like the ones Amazon uses to suggest things you might like), or create or modify certain database structures. data.

Microsoft Excel

Although a spreadsheet is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Excel, this program has a lot more analytical capability than that. While advanced Excel techniques such as creating macros and using VBA lookups are still frequently used for smaller lifts and lighter, faster scans, programming languages ​​like R or Python are better equipped to handle a huge data set. If you work for a small company or a start-up, your database may even have been created and managed through Excel in the first place.

Critical mind

Finding the right questions to ask in the first place is often the hardest part of using data to get answers. You have to think analytically if you want to succeed as an analyst. A data analyst’s job is to find and combine relationships between sets of data that are not always obvious.

R or Python–Statistical Programming

R or Python can perform any task 10 times faster. When working with large data sets, these powerful statistical programming languages ​​are used to perform sophisticated analyses. They both meet industry standards. Proficiency in at least one of these languages ​​in addition to SQL could prove beneficial for a successful data analyst.

Data visualization

To make your point and keep your audience engaged, you need to be able to write a compelling story using facts. You will find it difficult to convince if it is difficult to immediately and simply identify your findings. For this reason, the impact of your data can make or break your data visualization efforts. Analysts explain their findings clearly and simply using eye-catching, high-quality charts and graphs. Because it’s so pleasantly user-friendly, Tableau’s visualization software is considered an industry-standard analysis tool.

Data analysis is a complex and challenging field, but it is also extremely rewarding. If you have the right skills, you can make a real difference in the world by helping organizations make sense of their data and extract valuable insights that drive their bottom line.

The 5 essential skills we’ve listed above are just a few of the skills you’ll need to be a successful data analyst. Data analytics can ideally be pursued by those in all engineering majors, degrees related to computer science and IT majors, or any other degree with a major in mathematics and statistics. So overall, anyone interested can transition from a non-technical career into this career option and, with the proper training, can slowly start building a career as a data analyst!

(The author is CEO, EduBridge)

Sean N. Ayres