5 Skills you need to become an Analytics Professional

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Looking for a career change or a specialized training that is guaranteed to result in a sizeable salary with plentiful benefits? Then Data science or Analytics is what you need to look at.

With more companies using voluminous data, the demand for data analysts or data scientists, who can filter massive information, detect patterns and draw conclusions has assumed frenzied proportions. While demand increases multifold, the available talent pool of analytic professionals is about 20 % of the demand. This imbalance of supply and demand has made it the sexiest job of the 21st century  as coined by the Harvard Business Review!

As training institutes, students and mid-career professionals gear up to meet the rising demand for analytics professionals, some questions we come across are “What do I need to become an Analytics Professional?” “Do I have the necessary skills to become an Analyst?” “How do I know I am made for the Analytics industry?

If you are a fresher or student with no work experience, what you need to understand is that while courses will teach you tools and methods, you will need to have certain competencies that equip you for the analytics industry.

1. Ability to ask Questions

A sense of curiosity is good but not enough, what you need is the perception to see underneath the layers of information. If you have a journalistic disposition of asking questions, or getting to the bottom of an issue or problem, then you probably have the ability to ‘analyse’.

2. Be Maths / Stats / Computing savvy

Proficiency in Mathematics or Statistics is a desired skill-set, although not absolutely necessary. In today’s analytic environment, what is important is that you have good computing skills.  So a basic knowledge of mathematics that helps you query and analyse in a data-driven platform is good to begin with. Programming skills are always a bonus.

3. Ability to filter through information

Analytics is all about data science. So you need to understand information given, with the ability to filter pertinent information and apply your knowledge for spotting trends or patterns.

4. Ability to integrate learning into real-world problems

This is an area you need to develop on your own, using case studies and available datasets. A broad-based knowledge of industries (industry verticals) is important besides an understanding of application areas (horizontal solutions). You can choose your interest areas – be it web, marketing, healthcare or insurance, to name a few – and extend your learning to this preferred area. The key is the ability to apply tools and techniques learned in your curriculum to your preferred analytic domain.

5. Good communication skills

Analytics is also about communication – the ability to communicate with your team for problem solving, and ability to convince what you deliver has value. So you need to brush-up on your communication and persuasion skills.

A recommended practice is to work through some real-world problems in your classroom projects that help you develop these key skills.

If you think you have these 5 essentials skills over and above the course you have mastered, then you definitely have what it takes to become an analytics pro!


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