What the hottest topic in today's business world? Data! What does every business need in order to analyze trends and make informed decisions? Data! On what basis are key policies framed that can make or break our modern world? Data again! Sounds interesting?! Imagine being involved in data analysis at some level and enabling businesses make such key decisions... if this is something you would like to do for a living, then Data Analyst is the thing to be!
Typically, data analysis fits the bill for people who have an eye for details and like bringing out solutions- not based on guesstimates but on sound statistical analysis. There is rarely a mundane work week in the life of a data analyst as each day demands a creative solution and there are many ways to do the same thing. However, there are three essential skills that every Data Analyst must possess-Programming, Statistical Knowledge and an ability to understand the business problem. Your success as a Data Analyst is largely dependent on how well you can use your programming and analytical skills to solve the business problem.
Being a master at Programming is all about the amount of practice and effort you put into it. The market is filled with data analysis tools - each having their own advantages and disadvantages. For example, SAS, SPSS are powerful data analysis tools. SAS is popular in Clinical and Pharmaceutical industry because of the standards and regulations in that industry. SAS is also used in several other industries such as Finance. SPSS is another tool that actually does not need any programming. But therein lies its disadvantage also. Coders may not prefer SPSS as it does not offer the flexibility that they seek.
R and Python are powerful analysis tools, and what adds to their allure is that they are free! These two softwares have similar data and coding set up. Therefore, familiarity with one makes learning the other very easy. In addition, both R and Python have flexible packages for programmers to install instead of spending hours to create their own functions. As both these softwares are free, many intelligent programmers develop very powerful and useful packages for different purposes using them.
One thing users need to bear in mind is that many packages that are free and from third-party, may have limited functionality. In some special situations, the packages may give you huge errors. Defining customized functions can help programmers overcome this issue and enhance the capability of any packages. Programming skills are therefore indispensible.
The second essential skill is statistical or mathematical knowledge. For example, to predict sales bigdata, time series may be a good method to use. Forecasting can be done based on analysis done on sales data that we already have. When this data has a lot of outliers, one way to work around this is to remove these outliers and another way may be to use median instead of mean to find the base level sales. Understanding statistics is an important requirement to be a data analyst as it helps you find creative solutions to the requirement at hand.
The third pre-requisite to being a good Data Analyst is good business knowledge of the vertical / industry you work for. A data analyst needs to know the business in order to understand what the business problem is, and to prioritize the problems at hand and the time-sensitivity if any, involved. All these questions could directly or indirectly affect the methods or tools you choose to deploy.
Now that you have a fair idea of what it takes to be a data analyst, here's one more suggestion that can help you master programming faster: Organize a study group to learn and practice. Since analysis and coding are both so varied depending on the choices programmers make , there is no 'one-size-fits-all' kind of a solution. Often, different data analysts have different methods of solution -even for a simple task. Mutual discussion and communication between programmer trainees will not only improve your skills but also provoke your thoughts at the same time.
Wish you all great success on this journey!
About Rang Technologies:
Headquartered in New Jersey, Rang Technologies has dedicated over a decade delivering innovative solutions and best talent to help businesses get the most out of the latest technologies in their digital transformation journey. Read More...