How to become a Data Analyst with no experience?

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Yes, one can become a data analyst even without any degree or experience if one possesses relevant skills and knowledge. But first, one needs to understand what role does a data analyst play and why one needs to choose to become a data analyst in the present scenario.

What is the role of a Data Analyst?

A data analyst analyses data sets to provide valuable insights which can help in strategic decision-making, and then try to provide a solution to the problems relating to the business. A data analyst then communicates the analysed information to management and other stakeholders of the business. The data analyst encompasses many different industries such as business, finance, criminal justice, science, medicine, and government etc.

In other words, the role of a data analyst can be defined as someone who has the knowledge and skills to turn raw data into information and insight, which can be then be used in making data-driven decisions.

Why to opt for Data Analyst as a Career Path?

Today, the world is data driven. Organizations in all the sectors/industries are increasingly becoming dependent on data to make important business decisions about which products to produce, which markets to enter, where they need to invest, or which set of customers to target. They are also using data to identify weak areas in the business that need to be addressed.

Hence, data analysis industry is blooming and is growing at a rapid pace as mentioned in Jobs Tomorrow Report by the World Economic Forum offering handsome salary & perks and giving a chance to new comers to hop onto this opportunity as currently there is shortage in the industry.

How to become a data analyst without experience?

If you want to become a data analyst without experience, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Get a Foundational Education/ Start Self Study

If you are a fresher who wants to get a career in data analytics or new to the field of data analytics, start reading journals relating to the field which will help in forming the basic foundation. A thorough overview of data analysis can help you decide if this career is a good fit for you and will enlighten about which type of skills are needed for the job. After this one can start reading about the software like Python, SQL, and Power BI etc. through widely available various internet resources which can help you in getting started towards a career as a data analyst.

Step 2: Build your technical skills

As a data analyst, one requires specific basic and soft skills. One must have a knack for problem-solving combined with excellent math skills and knowledge of programming languages. In addition, one needs to know how to use data visualization tools to create comprehensive charts and graphs for presentations.

  • Problem Solving- The data analyst uses data sets to find ways to solve a problem. Therefore, one must possess problem-solving skills.
  • Mathematical Skills – Data includes numbers and shapes; hence, one needs advanced math skills. For example, one needs to know how to work with complex divisions, fractions, and decimals. One also needs to develop statistical skills such as regression analysis and correlations etc.
  • Programming Languages- Data analysts often use models and computer programs to analyse and extract data.  Some of the programming software like Tableau, MySQL, Microsoft Power BI, Python, R, are in high demand in the job market.
  • Communication- In addition to these hard skills, hiring managers also look for workplace skills like strong communication skills which can help in presenting the ideas clearly and convey detailed information; as in the organisation one has to work in a team that often consists of experienced analysts and experts from other departments.
  • Data Visualization- As a data analyst, one also needs to prepare interactive dashboards so that the information can be conveyed clearly and understood by the team members and the stakeholders. The interactive charts and graphs help in achieving this goal. And hence, one needs to develop visual elements like charts and graphs to clearly explain the data. For example, Tableau and Microsoft Power BI are the most common tools data analysts use to analyse and create visualizations for their team members.

Step 3: Certification or Advanced Degree

After researching and learning about the pre-requisites for becoming a data analyst, one can enroll themselves into a certified data analytics courses like Google Data Analytics, IBM Data Analytics. They provide a professional certificate to the individuals for which financial aid is also available. Through these certified courses, one can learn the necessary skills, gets to work on assignments, and also learn time management skills.

Step 4: Work on Projects with Real Data/ Try to do Internships

To become a data analyst, try to work on projects with real data which can help you gain insights as well as polish your data analytical skills along with data visualisation skills. For example: One can get the data of stock market available online, and then try to clean the data and make the relevant visuals which can help others understand the problem or weak areas or structural break. Also, one can try to dig deeper into the analysed data to find the reasons for the same and can come up with a solution etc.

One must try to get the internship for data analytics as under a mentor. With a mentor, one can learn the requisite skills and apply the theoretical knowledge to practical use which involves transforming data, data visualisation and data insights etc. One can get internship at organisation like The Sparks Foundation which provides internship tasks relevant to the individual each month.

Step 5: Create a Portfolio

After doing assignments and internship, one must start creating his/her portfolio which showcases one’s skills to the hiring personnel. A good portfolio must highlight the following skill set:

  • Scrap data from various sources
  • Transforming data
  • Data Visualization through graphs and charts
  • Data-Driven solution and insights from data

GitHub can help one in creating the portfolio.  It also helps in broadening his/ her network and find job opportunities.

Step 6: Practice Presenting Your Findings

One must also try to practice his/her presentation skills along with the technical aspects. Presenting the data accurately also forms a significant part of the data analytics. For this, one can try making presentation after doing assignments and other internships. And try to make videos of the relevant finding and post it on the job platforms like LinkedIn.

Conclusion

Data Analysts are in high demand and with skill mismatch and shortage of data analyst in the market, the job comes along with handsome salary packages and perks along with the advantage of work from home. You can become a data analyst without any experience by getting a professional certificate and doing internships. You have to pick one in the relevant or closely related fields which can help one in building a good portfolio. This will result in landing up in your dream job with good CTC.

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