The Skills Analytics Professionals Need
Whether working as a Data Analyst, Business Analyst or even a Web Analyst, there are some tools and knowledge that span the entire analytics field. No matter the speciality, these are the skills that every analyst needs to know from the get-go:
Undoubtedly the most important skill for any analyst is knowledge of programming languages. Think SQL, Python, R and Oracle – knowledge and expertise of these languages is necessary for most analytics jobs. These listed languages are arguably the most powerful and transferable of the available languages, and also are the most widely regarded options. At least one of these programing languages should be listed on an analyst’s CV.
If you are an analyst with a statistical analytics focus, R is the programming language you need to know. It is the language best suited for regression analysis and normal distribution whilst also being great for individual predictive analysis, such as analysing customer behaviour.
Another programming language which is vital for any analyst is SAS. This language is useful when analysing and manipulating data. SAS is the go-to language for many analysts as it is used by many businesses in their data storage. This may be an Oracle or a SQL Server, however there are also other options used by businesses. A strong analyst knows how to query a database and extract and manipulate data as needed.
Navigating Microsoft Excel with your eyes closed is an obvious analyst must. Whilst this may seem somewhat basic and obvious (very few do not know how to use Excel), in reality Excel is great tool for cleaning, arranging, manipulating and visualizing data. And, with the right additional plugins, Excel is a powerful tool capable of navigating massive data amounts as long as this data amount does not come near the significant data margin.
Knowledge of visualisation tools is also an analyst must. It falls on Data Analysts and Data Scientists to know the right chart or graph for any data visualization scenario. Cue Tableau. This is a tool that not only meets an analyst’s graph and chart needs but also aids in building data dashboards and creating compelling data stories. Tableau is a relatively new tool that has been gaining popularity in the analytics arena.
The above list is a look at an analyst’s basic toolset requirements. Once an analyst begins their career, they will quickly learn the many tools and techniques needed. Furthering this, the tools used by one business may vary greatly to the next. It is an analyst’s responsibility to be adaptable to these continual changes and keep their skill set up to date.