How To Figure Out If You’re On The Right Path

Today I decided to do a bit more research on what a Data Analyst really needs to have in their toolbelt in terms of skills, knowledge and experience. Browsing the courses on Udacity or Pluralsight, you could let yourself think that just finishing off the courses they recommend would get you there, but you can’t be really sure, they are trying to sell you something after all. Instead of relying on that biased view, I decided instead to browse a ton of Data Analyst, Business Analyst and Commercial Analyst job postings on LinkedIn.

In the past I’ve started a new job and it has taken me months to grasp what I needed to do. Once I became proficient, the learning curve just dropped off and I was even growing the role beyond it’s initial responsibilities (as I have with my current job).

This time I want things to be different, I want to be prepared for the new role and have some foundations for the next one as well and considering how much I found, I’m glad I started looking now rather than 6 months down the line!

Data Analyst/Scientist roles seem to be the most intensive in terms of what they require. None of it is really surprising, it’s just a lot. They’re looking for SQL, Python and R from the coding side in general, then some specialise in things like DAX queries, C++ and Scala. Then there are of course the data analysis and business intelligence tools that they favour, big ones being Tableau, QlikView, PowerBI and Alteryx. We also have the standard requirement of knowledge of statistics and analytical methodology, which you can pick up from most courses with that focus (I’m learning these on Khan Academy at the moment).

Finally, there are the things I don’t know anything about really, except the names, that I have to do some more research on later. A big one is Hadoop, which everyone mentions around Big Data, then there’s other ones I haven’t heard about, such as Google BigQuery, DataLab and something called Business Objects (BI4)?

Clearly there is more beneath the surface than I anticipated at first, but I’m sure I’ll be up to the challenge of picking up what I really need from that list, depending on where I find myself going next.

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