Requirements for an Entry-Level Data Analyst

Digital transformation has uncovered gigantic development opportunities for organizations worldwide. Data, now considered as the new oil, is helping organizations make more informed decisions and offer state-of-the-art products and services to the consumers. If you haven’t paid attention to how fast the investment in big data analytics is growing, you would be surprised to know that the global big data analytics market is projected to reach USD105 billion by the year 2027. Huge, isn’t it?

The power of big data is being harnessed by technology professionals who have great analytical skills. As a matter of fact, the LinkedIn Workforce Report states that the demand for data analysts has grown sixfold compared to five years ago in the US. Moreover, the data analyst will continue to be the most sought-after designations over the next five years. Businesses are trying to address this growing career interest by offering Data Analyst training. Such training programs are beneficial for both entry-level and experienced professionals.


This article lets you know more about the data analyst role and the associated requirements to be fulfilled for entry-level positions in this field.

The Data Analyst Role

Do you have good logical thinking and reasoning skills? Are you always curious about things and often ask questions? If yes, then a data analyst might just be the job for you. They take raw data, clean it, and analyze it so as to uncover hidden trends and patterns. This data comes from a variety of sources and is usually unstructured. Data analysts eliminate the redundancies in data, interpret and analyze it using different statistical tools and techniques.

Going through the data and applying a logical, methodical approach along with the right questions in mind is one of the major tasks of data analysts. Post analysis, trends and correlations are observed, and information regarding why such trends are observed and what improvements can be done is obtained. When data analysts find all such answers, they document everything and present the insights in the form of reports to the concerned stakeholders.

Today data analysts can take up jobs in various fields like information technology, healthcare, digital marketing, eCommerce, travel, banking and finance, manufacturing, as well as government agencies. Not all the sectors have the same designations for data analysts; they are also termed as a marketing analyst, financial analyst, business intelligence analyst, system analyst, research analyst, quantitative analyst, and so on. The day-to-day tasks for each role will vary depending on the type of industry and their work can come under other technologies as well like data warehousing, data science, and business intelligence.

What Should an Entry-Level Data Analyst Do?

First off, most professionals are expected to hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science, mathematics, statistics, or finance for entry-level data analyst positions. Next, you need to build some foundational skills to become eligible for taking the responsibilities associated with this role. These skills include proficiency in SQL, storytelling, core math, probability and statistics, fluency in computer programming languages, and so on. If we talk about soft skills, then you will be expected to have strong analytical skills, self-motivation, statistical analysis skills, pattern recognition, high attention to detail, and excellent communication skills.

After you have learned the basics, it’s time to work on data warehousing, data mining, machine learning, and data visualization. Work on some industry projects that involve the use of programming, data mining, or data analysis. You can participate in some webinars, conferences, or workshops to understand how professionals solve real-world business problems using data analysis. Another option is to participate in data science challenges conducted by platforms like Kaggle. You will get a chance to work with real-world data and win prizes upon solving them successfully. These platforms are also useful in growing your network. You will connect with like-minded people and understand what steps they took to land an entry-level data analyst position.

Moreover, you can also enroll in a reliable data analysis training program and learn everything from scratch. These days, online training providers not only offer theoretical study materials, but give access to virtual labs, case studies, industry projects, interactive quizzes to strengthen your learning. When you work on such projects, you step into the shoes of a data analyst and know how to work in an actual job environment. This way, even when you don’t have any work experience, you will be able to talk about your personal approach in handling a data analysis (industry) project. Another option is to take up internships or freelance work to add some relevant industry experience.

There is no denying that there are a handful of opportunities available for data analysts. What makes you different from other professionals is the way you approach in gaining the requisite data analysis skills. A course completion certificate or certifications achieved from popular vendors like IBM, DASCA and SAS will definitely position you high in the interview process and increase your credibility. So, start learning data analysis today and pave your way towards a high-paying career ahead.

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