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How to become a Data Analyst with no Experience

Posted in Data Science

Who is a Data Analyst?

Nowadays, companies receive a tremendous amount of information every day that can be used to optimize their strategies. To get insights from the massive data collected, they need a highly qualified professional: the Data Analyst.

The task of a Data Analyst is to process the varied data concerning the customers, the products, or the performances of the company, to release indicators useful for the decision-makers. Thus, the information provided by the data analyst enables companies to define the products to be offered to customers according to their needs, the marketing strategy to adopt, or the improvements to be made to the production process.

Data Analyst Qualifications

If you have graduated from a data analysis program and have a high GPA, it should be easy for you to land an entry-level data analysis job. Even if you don’t have a specialization in data analysis, but have a degree in mathematics, statistics, or economics from a well-reputed university, you can easily land a data analysis entry-level job.

Most entry-level data analyst jobs require at least a bachelor level degree. Higher-level data analyst jobs usually guarantee a higher pay and may require you to have a master’s or a doctoral degree. Having a master’s degree in Data Science or Business Analytics is very helpful. If you are interested in data analytics, you should consider earning a master’s degree.

Skills Required for a Data Analyst

Data analysts scrutinize information using various data analysis tools. The results that the data analysts derive from the data available are used by their employers or clients to make informed decisions. A successful data analyst possesses the following skills:

  • A high level of mathematical ability: Knowledge of statistics and the right comfort level with formulae required for analyzing data to provide real-world value. As a data analyst, you should have a good grasp of mathematics, and you should be able to solve common business problems, for example, calculating compound interest, depreciation, statistical measures (for example, mean, median, mode). Also, you should know how to use tables, charts, graphs, and more. It is essential to be comfortable with college-level algebra, thereby Making visualization of data more appealing. Knowing linear algebra and multivariate calculus is very helpful for data analysts as they are all extensively used in performing Data Analysis.
  • Programming languages: As a data analyst, you should be proficient in at least one programming language. However, the more languages you are proficient in, the better it is. Popular programming languages that can be used to manipulate data are R, Python, C++, Java, MATLAB, PHP, and more.
  • Data Management and Manipulation: As a data analyst, you should be familiar with languages, such as R, HIVE, SQL, and more. Building queries to extract the desired data is an essential aspect of data analysis. Once you have analyzed the data, you would have to create accurate reports. Some standard tools for doing the same are SAS, Oracle Visual Analyzer, Microsoft Power BI, Cognos, Tableau, and more.
  • Domain Knowledge and excellent Communication skills: A data analyst’s job is to provide detailed and accurate information to the decision-makers. Hence, data analysts must understand the specific user requirements, along with having a deep understanding of the data. Excellent communication skills are essential for collaboration with the various clients, executives, IT specialists, to ensure that the data aligns well with the business objectives. Ultimately, the analysis done by a data analyst modifies/improves some business processes.
  • Microsoft Excel: Organizing data and calculating numbers are among the main tasks of data analysts. Hence it is beneficial if you are comfortable with using Excel. There are many great online sources where you can learn how to use Excel to its full potential.

Data Analyst Career Path

Skilled data analysts are in demand in almost every sector. Hence, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the predicted growth rate in demand for data analysts for the next seven years is 19%. Data analysis is considered to be the most crucial skill, so every professional should learn Data Science as soon as possible to excel in a career. Some industries where the demand for data analysts is quite high are as follows:

  • Market Research: 72% of marketers consider data analysis to be vital for thriving in the present marketing landscape. The success of the marketing campaigns can be understood using data analysis. Also, data analysis can be used by companies for market research before launching a new product or service.
  • Finance and Investments: Financial institutions generally require entry-level data analysts as well as expert ones. At many financial institutions, such as investment banks, the most common career path taken by data analysts is that of management. If you prove to be the best among your peer group, you are considered for promotion by the senior management as they consider you as someone who could manage new hires well.
  • Sales: There are many data related to sales of products and services in a company that is analyzed, which helps in increasing sales and customer satisfaction and also in identifying the potential sales barriers. Hence, a requirement for data analysts arises in this sector, as well.

A data analyst fresher makes a handsome salary, and the range of the salary depends on his/her expertise and skill-set. The skills required as a fresher may vary across the industry.

For example, the typical job of a Data Analyst is to run queries against the available data for finding the important trends and processing the data that might be of use to Data Scientists. In general, the Data Analysts are very good at database query languages, for example, SQL. They may also write scripts and produce visuals on the data available to them for better understanding.

A Data Scientist, on the other hand, builds models using Machine Learning. These models are used to make several predictions and can also explain the future of the organization. Data Scientists work closely with Data Analysts while preparing the data to be used for the machine learning models. However, the salaries of Data Scientists are much higher than those of Data Analysts because of very high demand and low supply.

Many Data Analysts gain relevant skills and become Data Scientists. The transition to becoming a Data Scientist is not very difficult for Data Analysts since they already have some relevant skills. Many Data Analysts go on to become Data Scientists.

The designations of a Data Analyst would depend on the company he/she works. However, generally, the technical work of the Data Analysts keeps on decreasing, and the managerial work keeps on increasing as they climb up the corporate ladder. After a certain point, the promotion starts to depend on the leadership and managerial skills. Hence, Data Analysts need to work on their soft skills as well.

How to Become a Data Analyst with no Experience?

To become a data analyst, you must first earn a Bachelor’s degree, which is a requirement for most of the entry-level data analyst positions. The relevant disciplines include Finance, Economics, Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, and Information Management.

Considering that you don’t have any prior work experience as a data analyst, the most important task is to gain relevant work experience. As with a majority of professions, work experience is invaluable for a data analyst too. Fortunately, because of the massive demand for data analysts, there are many data analysis internship opportunities. You can work as an intern, which would help you gain the relevant work experience and also add a star to your resume.

Data analysis deals with understanding changing trends and technologies, which makes it essential for a data analyst to commit himself/herself to lifelong learning. You can take up MOOCs to ensure that you keep learning new things relevant to data analysis, which helps you stay ahead of the curve.

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Harshita Srivastava

Harshita Srivastava

Harshita is a graduate from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. She is a technical writer and a blogger. An entrepreneurship and machine learning enthusiast, who loves reading and is a huge fan of Air Crash Investigation! View all posts by the Author

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Niharika
Niharika

thank you for a useful information.. it really helpful to me

Paul
Paul

Thanks. Paul From Uganda. Its a distinctive and clear guide

Jim
Jim

I'm been working in Business Intelligence for 14 years using SQL, Brio, Hyperion Designer, Looker, Denodo and Birst. Any suggestions for how I might transition into Data Science? I've taken two Tableau courses on Coursera and I'm taking a Tableau A to Z course on Udemy. I plan on taking a Python A to Z course on Udemy next. Thanks. Jim

Barbara J Guster
Barbara J Guster

Hello, my question is will Human Service bachelor degree's on professional studies get accepted as readily as a bachelor's degree in marketing?
Now if continuing education is the key; what do you suggest?


Sincerely
Barbara Guster

Adedeji Hammed Adewale
Adedeji Hammed Adewale

I have experience but I still need it. So, me know how it is going to be.

GANI AJEIGBE
GANI AJEIGBE

I have a diploma in mechanical engineering and wish to become a data analyst, please, kindly advise me on a very good path to follow to achieve this. mind you, I have got no experience in this area before.

Khan Immran
Khan Immran

Hello Harshita,

You have given an awesome brief on Data Analyst as a career option, Kudos.

I am a BTech graduate in Electronics and communication and currently working in a totally different domain.

I want to come back to tech industry and have started gathering knowledge on relevant tech jobs and tech skills needed to purse an awesome career with some tech companies.

I find data analysis as a good opportunity for me as I have been good in mathematics and I love to find patterns and trends using data’s. Although I have never done anything substantial in statistics apart from school / College lessons, I would love to use them in real life to see results. While studying statistics I had always wondered who uses these things. Is it any good ?? But now I understand the importance.

I have decided to join online courses to develop necessary skills required to start as a junior Data Analyst or an intern .

Could you please suggest some online courses which will help me in my endeavor??

I have been searching for courses in Coursera and Udacity.

Please give some suggestions as in where to start with.

Looking forward to receive your recommendations.

Many Thanks,
Khan Immran Moideen

Harshita Srivastava

Hi Khan,

Thanks for reading my article or liking it. Here I am suggesting you some good tutorials. which you can directly buy from udemy and coursera. Once you will go through with these courses I am expecting you will have the strong basic and command over the analytics part.

Here are the courses:
Udemy

Udacity

Deepika Bagh
Deepika Bagh

Thank you very much for this useful information. It means a lot to me.

zuan
zuan

Great blog,Thanks for sharing the information!

Sayeed
Sayeed

Whether B.E-Mechanical Engineering graduate are eligible for data analyst jobs?
Also whether experience in non-data Startups will add value to resume?

DAVID
DAVID

YOU'VE REALLY MADE IT CLEAR TO ME ON WHICH JOB I CAN DO WITH MY DEGREE IN BACHELORS OF SCIENCE IN MATHEMATICS

Sajid Abbas
Sajid Abbas

Whole information counts a lot for me.


Thank you so much.


Regards
Sajid Abbas