How to become a Data Analyst?

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There are three steps required to become a data analyst: post-secondary education, related work experience, and computer skills. A data analyst is responsible for using sophisticated software tools to review, massage, and analyze large amounts of data. The information can be anything from financial to medical. It is very common to combine expertise or training in a specific field with computer skills in this role.

People who report the greatest satisfaction from this job are detail-oriented, enjoy working with numbers, and do not require a lot of social interaction in their daily work. An affinity for computer systems, understanding of database structures, and other data management concepts are all very useful in this role. This type of job is forecast for above-average growth in the next five to ten years, as companies look to utilize the data they have to maximum advantage.

The first requirement to become a data analyst is to obtain a university degree. There is no specific program for a data analyst, but training in accounting, business, math, and statistics are all very helpful in this career. While a degree may be acceptable to become a data analyst, career advancement opportunities usually require advanced training. This training can be in a specific software product, or in data management, statistics, or computer science.

Related work experience includes business analyst, computer programmer, or developer. These types of roles are available in a wide range of industries and are most commonly organized as part of the accounting or financial services department. It is common practice for large companies to have a department of systems analysis staff that includes data analysts. In order to become a data analyst, it is important to have a naturally analytical mind and enjoy problem-solving.

Computer skills are very important in this role. The software used in this type of work is quite specialized and requires training and dedication to use properly. Take the time to learn how to use business intelligence or data analysis software to help you become a data analyst. The most popular software programs are SAS, SPSS, Minitab, etc. Many large enterprise resources planning systems, such as SAP or Oracle, have their own business intelligence systems that can be used to review data in those systems.

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