Data analytics is a rapidly growing field, and for good reason. With organisations accumulating and storing large volumes of data, the demand for skilled professionals who can make sense of and extract meaningful insights from this information has skyrocketed.
With that said, whilst you might be considering a career as a data analyst, you might also be wondering, “Am I really suited for this role?”. Afterall, it is a highly competitive industry. So, what does one truly need to excel as a data analyst?
Essential Qualities for a Data Analyst
- Analytical Mindset: As a data analyst, you should have a natural curiosity and possess a flair for solving complex problems by breaking them down into bite-sized components. If you’re someone who finds pleasure in solving puzzles, working with numbers and uncovering meaningful insights from data, this might just be your calling.
- Technical Proficiency: As an analyst, you will be working with various tools and programming languages, such as Python, R, SQL, Tableau, etc. Of course, you’re not expected to be a coding genius from the outset. However, the willingness to learn, as well as an aptitude for problem-solving, will definitely go a long way.
Image source: Medium
If you enjoy programming and working with data-related softwares, you’re already on the right track.
Soft Skills and Attitudes
Besides one’s aptitude, which may not always be within our control, possessing the right attitude is just as important. Cliche? Hear me out.
- Attention to Detail: As the job title suggests, you will be working and sieving through large datasets (well, duh) to uncover hidden trends. Being conscientious and paying extra attention to detail is crucial to avoid careless mistakes, which also ensures that the insights gleaned are accurate. If you often find yourself scrutinising information and picking out details that others miss, data analytics will be a fulfilling career choice.
- Communication Skills: As a data analyst, you’ll most probably be working in a team, where you’ll have to bounce ideas and findings off one another. Thus, good communication skills are crucial as you’ll have to be able to share your insights in a clear and understandable manner. This is important to translate complex data into actionable recommendations.
- Problem-Solving Orientation: Data analysis is all about solving real-world problems (with numbers). As an analyst, you’ll be challenged with providing data-driven solutions and ensuring that decisions made are well-informed. If you have an interest in finding and applying data insights to decisions (and change the world), this is the path for you.
- Curiosity and Continuous Learning: In this ever-evolving landscape, it is never boring or stagnant. There’ll always be new techniques, tools, and technologies emerging, To keep up, you should have a thirst for knowledge, and possess a 活到老学到老 (translate: never too old to learn) spirit, where you’re always finding ways to upskill yourself.
Becoming a data analyst is a rewarding and challenging career choice. If you think that you’re a good fit for this industry and are ready to embark on this exhilarating journey, check out our DA100: Data Analytics with SQL and Tableau course at Heicoders Academy.