Data Analyst: Skills, Qualifications & Salaries

With the ever-evolving technologies and business proceedings, the relatively newer concept of Data Analytics has earned a critical place in any and every industry. Today a Data Analyst is one of the highest-demanded jobs and that is because of the key role they play, whether in business, finance, criminal justice, medicine, government, and further. But what is this key role that is relevant to an array of organizations, what does a Data Analyst do?

Who is a Data Analyst?

A data analyst works on retrieving essential data from a large data set, cleaning it, analyzing it, and using it to solve primary and secondary issues in the organization, helping in making better and readier business decisions and more. Thus a Data Analyst is one such wheel in an organization without which it may fall and crumble or work but not very successfully. It’s the essential grease to the running mechanism.

A Data Analyst may often need to collect the essential Data whether through surveys or analyzing website traffic or by retrieving working datasets from specialists. They are then responsible for filtering out this data by clearing errors, duplicate data, and so on. The third stage includes modeling this data into working categories by choosing what to keep or not, making it more accessible to work with. Now this modeled data needs to be studied and interpreted by the Analyst to recognize patterns or trends as such or retrieve the essential information that may help with the immediate problem at hand. The final job is to arrange this data and present it to the concerning party in form of reports, graphs, and so on.

It may seem like a lot but the job of a Data Analyst is interesting and the satisfaction at the end of the day, might just be what you need. So, let’s see what you need to do to become a Data Analyst?

Educational Qualifications Required to be a Data Analyst

To become a Data Analyst, a Bachelor’s degree in Data Science will surely come in handy. But other majors such as Computer Science, Economics, Finance, Statistics, Applied Mathematics, Management Information Systems, Psychology, or anything relevant can also be deemed applicable.

Statistics show that with a Master’s or Ph.D. your chances at landing the job of a Data Analyst is significantly improved, and a significant percentage of companies even demand it. But does that mean you cannot become a Data Analyst without it? No, there are a lot of in-demand data science certifications from reputed institutes such as USDSI™, MIT, Stanford, Georgia tech, etc.

Although your entry-level salaries may differ, it is however very much possible to acquire the skills needed to be a Data Analyst and learn through strong foundational online courses how to become an able Data Analyst.

What Skills Does a Data Analyst Need to Have?

To become a Data Analyst apart from the general workplace skills, you’ll need a few technical skills that’ll come in handy at your job. Here are the Data Analyst Skills and Qualifications one would require to become experienced personnel at the job:

  • A Data Analyst must be strongly acquainted with at least one programming language, but being proficient in more than one is always helpful. Popular choices include Java, Python, R, C++, PHP, MATLAB, etc.
  • Strong knowledge of MS Excel and at least familiarity with the following language is a must – SQL, R, Hive, etc.
  • A Data Analyst needs to be acquainted with Data Visualization tools such as SAS, Tableau, Excel, Oracle Visual analyzer, Jupyter Notebook, Cognos, and Microsoft Power BI, etc.
  • A Data Analyst must have a strong knowledge of Mathematics and Statistics as it’ll come in handy when working with the data, rooting out errors, and solving issues related to the specific fields.
  • A Data Analyst needs to have strong communication skills as it’d come in handy when working on data collection. Along with good communication skills, they should also be adept with presentations as it too comes in their job description.
  • A Data Analyst must be a critical analytical thinker and thus be good at problem-solving. That’ll help them analyze the organizational problems practically and work them out effectively, also helping with recognizing trends and patterns from the datasets.
  • A Data Analyst must have a conscious knowledge of the respective industry you’ll be working in, as it’ll give you an upper hand when trying to land the job.


Salary of a Data Analyst

The position of a Data Analyst is prized wherever you go. Even at the entry-level, you’ll be paid a somewhat handsome amount which will of course increase as the years go. Similarly, there are varying depending factors, apart from the skills, qualifications, and geographical locations upon which a Data Analyst’s salary depends. These include:

·        Number of Years on the Job

A Data Analyst at the entry-level will be paid around 40 to 70,000 USD annually depending upon their qualifications and skillset. With increasing experience after about 4 to 6 years, a mid-level data analyst is usually paid around 45 to 91,092 USD. This for an experienced data analyst increases around 70,000 to 1 Million USD. Similarly, the pay rise is steeper in countries like India where the entry-level salary starts around 3 lakh to 6 lakh per year which rises to around 8 lakh to 2 million yearly.

·        The Size of the Company

If you are opting to become a Data Analyst for a smaller and more localized company, your salary will obviously differ from that of becoming a Data Analyst in a multinational corporation. Amazon, Tata Consultancy Services, Accenture are some companies that pay their Analysts significantly well.

·        The Industry You are Going In

The Data Analyst salary also differs from the industries you’ll be applying for. For instance, finance or scientific or Data Analysts even in the IT sector pay quite well when compared to E-commerce or media and entertainment.

Now that you know who a Data Analyst is and if you too find their job and salaries appealing, what can help you out is opting for a reliable Data Science certification. Your employer needs to know you can handle your job, and a certified data science professional who has attended their course from a reputable source will always be deemed a more attractive candidate than the rest, as it is solid proof of their qualifications, skills, and knowledge. Moreover, a data science certification will not only help you in becoming a Data Analyst but is also a great go-to if you are out there searching for ways to increase your salary from a mid-level professional. 

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