5 essential data analyst skills (and how to learn them)

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Ready to land one of those high-paying data analyst jobs? Learn data analysis skills with these education bundles.
Ready to land one of those high-paying data analyst jobs?
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

If you’re reading this, you’re likely well aware of the fact that data analysts are in high demand. With more companies gathering staggering amounts of information — and scrambling to leverage it in their operations — data-savvy professionals are needed to make sense of it all.

According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Report, the U.S. job market is short more than 150,000 people with the required skills and know-how to work in data science and analytics. And, with high demand comes high pay. According to Glassdoor, data analysts average nearly $70,000 per year in the United States.

Of course, when it comes to actually landing one of these high-paid positions, demand alone isn’t going to cut it. Ask any data analyst worth their salt, and they’ll drop a knowledge bomb of various tools and concepts you need to know to get your foot in the door. It can feel a bit intimidating for those new to the field.

Data analyst jobs and how to get them

That’s where we step in. We rounded up some of the top data analyst skills and tools you need to get acquainted with. And we even threw in some learning resources to help get you started. If you want to land one of those hot data analyst jobs, start with these educational bundles.

Python programming

Much of a data analyst’s job revolves around manipulating and visualizing loads of data to give companies the insights they need. To make those things happen, they use Python. Famed for its versatility and user-friendliness, Python is often lauded as one of the best beginner programming languages to pick up — even if you’re a complete newbie. In the hands of a data analyst, Python is used on its own and in conjunction with a number of specific libraries (like Pandas, NumPy and Seaborn) to clean, organize and visualize information.

Mastering Python and its various libraries might sound daunting, but the right training can distill it down with a manageable and intuitive approach. The Complete Python Data Science Bundle is a perfect starting point for aspiring Python users. It packs more than 30 hours of training in Python, NumPy, Spark and more across 12 courses. You can get it on sale for $37 today.

The Complete Big Data Master Class Bundle is also a solid resource for new Python users. It also covers Python and a few popular libraries. Plus, it delves into other data analytics staples, like Hadoop and Hive, for an even lower price of only $29.

R programming

Peek inside any data analyst’s toolbox, and you’re definitely going to find R toward the top. The R programming language is a go-to tool for data analysts looking to perform data exploration, visualization, predictive analytics and the like. In short, if R isn’t a part of your data analyst skillset, you’re going to have a tough time doing your job.

If you’re keen to add R to your list of skills, The 2019 Certified Data Scientist Architect Bundle can give you a major head start. This collection sports 130 hours of training in not just R, but also Python and SAS. You can get it for only $49 today.

SAS programming

Speaking of SAS, this programming environment/language is another staple of the data analyst’s arsenal. Commonly used for advanced analytics, data management, etc., SAS can advance your data-crunching capabilities to a new level. With some experience, you can use SAS to access data in nearly any format; manipulate your data by creating subsets and columns, and even create some flashy reports to showcase your findings.

As mentioned earlier, The 2019 Certified Data Scientist Architect Bundle features loads of SAS training, spanning everything from data manipulation to optimization techniques.

SQL savviness

When you talk about data, SQL is inevitably going to come up. Short for Structured Query Language, SQL is an industry favorite among data analysts. Often viewed as Excel on steroids, SQL can manage vast quantities of data that would overwhelm even the most sophisticated Excel sheets. From managing and storing data to modifying the actual structures that house said data, SQL is a powerful tool. Once you land a data analyst job, you really can’t do without it.

Plenty of resources can teach you the nuts and bolts of SQL. But if you want to really enhance your hireability, consider learning Oracle SQL as well. With Oracle being a household name in the big data scene, coming to grips with the company’s own spin on the industry-standard language can be a smart investment.

On top of getting you up to speed with Oracle SQL and Oracle Database, The Oracle Professional Certification Training Bundle will prepare you to ace the Oracle 12c Oracle Certified Professional 1Z0-062: Installation & Administration exam, setting you up to impress employers with a powerful credential.

Microsoft Excel

The above tools and languages might be a bit more sophisticated than Excel. However, you’d be remiss to leave Microsoft’s spreadsheet software out of your data analyst skillset. While lacking the heavy-lifting capabilities of Python or R, Excel is better suited for lighter analytical tasks. It can even execute them faster than its more sophisticated alternatives.

Like most people, you probably dabbled in Excel before. But chances are, you still have a lot to learn about pivot tables, macros and the other features that make Excel a mainstay in every data analyst’s toolkit. Master them all with a lifetime subscription to the Excel Data Analyst Certification School. It covers all the essentials — and will even net you an accredited Excel certification upon completion. Get it for just $49.

Other handy skills and resources

Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services delivers everything from computing power to database storage to millions of customers worldwide. So, as you can imagine, learning about this cloud services platform can give your résumé that little extra “oomph” to get a recruiter’s attention. Get up to speed with the nine courses inside the Ultimate AWS Data Master Class Bundle, on sale for only $39.

Microsoft PowerShell

Data analyst or not, just about every professional can benefit from mastering Microsoft PowerShell. You can use this automation tool to create scripts and combine commands to simplify and automate tedious tasks. Whether you want to program a task to run in the background or kill a particularly unresponsive app, PowerShell streamlines the process. You can learn the ins and outs of PowerShell for only $19 with The Microsoft PowerShell Certification Bundle. That’s more than 90% off the usual price.

DevOps

For those not in the know, DevOps is a software-development methodology that merges teams from both software development and information technology operations into a single, streamlined powerhouse. Companies across multiple industries adopted DevOps. And while not specifically related to data analytics, it’s still good to know. There’s a good chance you’ll be part of, or working with, a DevOps team in your data analyst role. The DevOps Certification Training Master Class Bundle offers a solid introduction. It includes 75 hours of training, and it’s on sale for just $69 today.