Data is a powerful resource in today’s tech-driven environment and can significantly impact your business decision-making. Understanding the importance of data to business success will help you take action on key opportunities sooner than expected. Evaluating data has never been more challenging or rewarding. You use online resources such as books and research papers or read dozens of articles to learn about data. But you still wonder how to fill the gaps, get better, and reach the next level. Don’t worry; this blog post will discuss ways to increase your proficiency with data and save time in analysis and decision-making. Moreover, it’ll discuss how you can improve your record-keeping practices and reduce the amount of data you generate while still achieving high-performance levels. Let’s get started:
What is data analysis?
Data analysis is the process of collecting, cleaning, and transforming raw data into useful information or insights necessary for decision-making. A person who carries out data analysis is called a data analyst. Across different platforms, data analysts add value to different companies. The following are the steps for analyzing raw data:
- Identification of data
- Collection of data
- Refining data
- Analyzing data
- Interpreting the final results and sharing it with the stakeholders
A data analyst performs each step and requires specific skills to be proficient in data transformation. Are you looking to boost your skills with data? If so, check out these tips!
- Polish your SQL skills
SQL, or Structured Query Language, is a domain-specific language that allows you to add, delete and extract data from databases. As a successful data analyst, you must know how to access data, manage insights, perform analytical functions, and rework databases. SQL will save your time and programming efforts by giving concise instructions to solve complex queries. Learning SQL will also help you master managing relational databases. You can join a data analytic bootcamp to help you build foundational knowledge and skills in data analysis.
- Sharpen your programming skills
You don’t need to practice coding all day until your eyes are sore or your brain hurts. A coding session of 30-60 minutes is more than enough to help you understand the current knowledge. Following are some programming languages that you must know as a data analyst:
- Python: This language was developed in 1980 and is considered one of the easiest programming languages to master. Python is used to perform data analysis and development of applications. About 40% of data analysts use Python as their fundamental programming language. You can easily import SQL tables into your code by using Python. It is an open-source programming language used by many companies, such as NASA and Google.
- Java: This is mainly used to develop applications and data processing.
- C++: This is an extension of C language and is used for games, applications, and system programming.
- Julia: This language is a high-level data analysis programming language for computational science and speedy numerical analysis. Julia is similar to Python, and data analysts can solve complex computational problems more effectively by using it.
- R: This is built by statistics and is most common in the community of data analysts as it can analyze both structured and unstructured data. You can also use R to clean, analyze and graph raw data to create insights and graphical representations.
- Work on data engineering and visualization
Data engineering refers to collecting, analyzing, and storing data at a large scale, along with a graphical representation of this data. You should know data engineering and visualization foundations as a skilled data analyst. These days, companies and people rely more on data, and research shows that it is easy to communicate with customers using data. You can use google data studio to practice data visualization and generate fully customizable data reports.
- Keep a sharp memory
You may feel scrambled after a hectic data analysis routine and may also forget simple things. This seems harmless, but it can affect your efficiency while performing regular tasks. Some data analysts perform multiple tasks simultaneously, which can impair their memory. Research shows that you can perform regular exercise and follow a healthy diet pattern with a healthy routine to minimize memory loss and boost efficiency.
- Work on your communication and writing skills
Mostly, data analysts work remotely, but at some stages, they must communicate with the team members and customers. The mean of communication can be a meeting or by writing. You can deliver your message effectively and share different ideas and solutions for problems if you have excellent communication and writing skills.
- Harness patience and creativity
As a data analyst, you should be creative and patient because analyzing data and creating insights is difficult. Sometimes you will put much effort into solving a problem, but the results will differ from your expectations. It would be best if you had the significant mental strength to cope with and manage stress in these circumstances.
- Start a project
Starting a side project, especially the one you like, will allow you to test and polish your skills. Such steps can sometimes drag your productivity down, but if you do not give up, you will become a master of fundamentals. When you work on any project, try to find similar projects of expert data analysts. Analyze the journey and steps they follow to break down complex problems. You can find different beginner projects in data analysis to get hands-on experience.
- Become familiar with Machine Learning and AI
Reinforcement learning, neural networks, and supervised and unsupervised learning are part of Machine Learning (ML), and most data analysts need to be more proficient in these regions. If you develop a deep understanding of ML concepts, you can easily make predictions using valuable data insights.
A subset of AI called AI Analytics uses ML to filter raw data and finds relationships among it. If you know the fundamentals of AI analytics, you can automate data analysis, improving speed and the amount of data monitored.
Augmented analytics is the future of AI analytics that uses ML and AI to find patterns and create graphical representations of data.
These are some traits that successful data analysts should have if they want growth in their careers. You can nourish existing skills, but this will happen only if you are passionate about your field. It can be a long journey for some candidates, but a never give up attitude will make you the master of the field.