How to Become a Data Analyst
Data analysts gather and interpret data to reach conclusions and are becoming an increasingly valuable asset to businesses. Find out how to become one here.
A data analyst collects and interprets data to aid businesses in making decisions. They gather information from various sources and interpret the patterns and trends the information provides. Once the data has been gathered and interpreted, the data analyst will then compile the report and liaise it with the relevant department of the business. Many companies employ a data analyst as their insight is valuable but what can be even more valuable is running your own business as a data analyst. A data analyst’s report often informs their clients about customer behaviours, allowing the company to make business decisions. Besides this, a data analyst is also responsible for preventing data breaches.
A data analyst usually has the following skill set:
- Highly analytical skills to be able to work with large amounts of data and identify the patterns and trends.
- Mathematical skills to be able to deal with the numbers and understand the relationship between them.
- Communication skills to be able to interpret and communicate what the numbers mean.
How do I become a Data Analyst?
1. Get qualified
It’s important to have the right credentials before you get started. This can be through completing a university degree or relevant course. Other subjects that can help include a degree in mathematics, statistics, computer science, or information technology.
2. Be Familiar with Programming
Although it is a separate thing, it’s beneficial to have a solid knowledge of programming and coding. This includes being familiar with programs such as Python, SQL, Github, etc.
3. Get Experience
The best way of understanding what a data analyst does or to become good at anything in general, is to get experience. Practical experience will allow you to experience the tasks a data analyst is given responsibility for.
4. Start your business
Once you’re accredited and have some experience under your belt, then you can venture out on your own. At this point, you’ll have to decide how you want to structure your business. You can operate as a sole trader by registering for an ABN, which means all your business’s profits will be considered part of your personal income. You can also go into business with another person by forming a partnership, or you can register a company. Either way, registering your business is one of the first things you should do to ensure that you’re complying with the law.
5. Consider further education
A masters degree in data science, data analytics, etc. will open up more doors for you to advance your career. Furthermore, a masters degree will equip you with better knowledge in analysing and interpreting data. Furthermore, it will also give you better exit opportunities should you want to progress your career as well.
A career as a data analyst can be rewarding and highly profitable. However, it’s important to be familiar with the roles and tasks a data analyst does and ensure you start your business the right way.
Ryan currently works in the content team as a Legal Intern for Lawpath. He is in his third year of a Bachelor of Law and Business degree at UTS.