Are you interested in earning a data analytics certificate? Looking for a way to start working fast? Concerned that you might have to enroll in a lengthy degree program at a major university to learn data analytics?
In the past, becoming a data analyst did require obtaining a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Fortunately, that is no longer the case.
Below, we’ll discuss what a data analyst actually does from day-to-day. We’ll also identify the skills you will need to start your exciting new career and show you how you can earn a data analytics certificate in only 6 months!
What Does a Data Analyst Do?
In the broadest sense, a data analyst is responsible for gathering, organizing, and cleaning data. Once they have completed these steps, they can analyze the data and interpret it to gain meaningful insight into a specific problem or question.
During the interpretation process, an analyst is often tasked with converting the data into a visual chart or graph so that it can be easily reviewed by others.
Data analysts work in a variety of fields, including legal, human resources, and marketing. Analysts use their findings to help their organizations make informed decisions about future policies. For instance, they may use analytics to project how a new product will perform when it is released. Stakeholders will take this analysis into account when they decide how much to invest in marketing, how much inventory to create, and more.
What Are the Top Skills Required to Become a Data Analyst?
Data analysts do much more than just crunch numbers. They are also tasked with communicating with consumers, coworkers, and C-suite executives.
Data analysts also use the latest technologies to compile and interpret data. You can learn many of these skills by taking a data analytics certificate program. Therefore, they need a diverse set of skills, including:
Creative and Analytical Thinking
Before an analyst can start gathering data, they must first identify and clearly define the problem they are trying to solve. This requires creativity and analytical thinking skills. They often have to think outside the box and take a nuanced approach to the problems that their organizations are facing.
Once they have selected a pain point to address, they will then need to determine which form of data analysis will be most effective in answering the question at hand.
There are four broad types of data analytics, which are as follows:
- Descriptive Analysis (what happened)
- Diagnostic Analysis (why something happened)
- Predictive Analysis (what will happen next)
- Prescriptive Analysis (what will happen and how to change it)
Of the four types of data analysis outlined above, prescriptive analytics is the most innovative method.
Prescriptive analytics tell businesses what is likely to happen in the future and also prescribes ways of influencing that outcome. However, it also requires highly advanced AI and machine learning technologies. This means that many smaller businesses do not have the resources to leverage this type of analysis.
Data visualization is an essential skill for analysts. Data visualization is the process of representing information in the form of graphs or charts.
Data visualization is important because it allows analysts to convey their findings in a meaningful and digestible way. While a data analyst may be able to interpret information in a raw format, their employers expect the results to be presented through an easy-to-understand visual medium.
For businesses, prescriptive and predictive analytics are the two most useful types of data analysis. Both of these fields require data analysts to leverage machine learning tools.
Machine learning is the field of study that focuses on computer algorithms. Specifically, machine learning involves algorithms that can automatically improve themselves through data collection and experience gained over time.
A data analyst uses machine learning algorithms to recognize and model specific patterns. This produces fairly accurate predictions of what will happen in the future. Business leaders use these insights to make data-driven decisions for their organizations.
Statistical knowledge is also a must-have skill for data analysts. This category encompasses proper data collection methods, analyses protocols, and interpretation.
Statistics can help data analysts to draw meaningful conclusions about important trends using a science-based approach.
Data Cleaning Skills
No matter how skilled a data analyst is, most pools of data contain some inaccuracies or missing values. If they use this data “as-is,” then the analysis and the conclusions that are drawn will almost certainly be skewed. In order to avoid these issues, analysts must “clean” the data before beginning interpretation.
During data cleaning, the analyst will detect and correct inaccuracies. Depending on the nature of the issue, they may delete, replace, or modify the dirty data. Once this process is complete, they can analyze and interpret the data sets.
The popular spreadsheet software is a great way to gather data for analytics purposes. It is especially useful when working with small or medium-sized data sets. However, it is not advanced enough to handle big data analysis. As a result, large organizations tend to rely on other methods of data tracking, such as SQL.
Structured Query Language (SQL) is a programming language that is designed for data management purposes.
SQL is a must-have skill for data analysts. SQL databases allow analysts to store their information in organized tables. They can readily access and “pull” data from multiple tables in order to perform their analysis.
Which Certification Is Best for Data Analytics?
If you are interested in earning a data analytics certificate, you have probably already conducted a bit of research on your own. What you likely found is a lot of conflicting information about which programs you will need and what certifications are the best ones for starting your new career!
Many sources will tell you that you need a four-year degree in statistics or a related field. Others may suggest that you obtain multiple certifications before you can apply for your first data analyst position. However, that is simply not the case.
In fact, you can obtain the skills of an entry-level data analyst by obtaining a single certification.
The Tableau Data Analytics Certificate
The Tableau Data Analytics Certificate is by far the best certification for data analysts. This certification is a great option, whether you are an aspiring analyst or just need to learn some new skills to expand your horizons.
Tableau is an end-to-end analytics platform. With it, you can prepare, analyze, clean, and share big data sets. This platform is extremely popular among major corporations because of its innovative data visualization capabilities.
Tableau can be used to:
- Import massive data sets
- Manage metadata
- Conduct real-time data analysis
- Create “no-code” data queries
- Engage in data collaboration
- Blend data sets
- Visualize data
- Perform business intelligence tasks
Tableau is perhaps the most comprehensive and efficient data analytics solution available today. The company continues to expand its services, which means that the Tableau certification will be a valuable asset to your data analytics career for years to come.
How Long Does It Take to Earn a Data Analytics Certificate?
Now that you have a better understanding of the skills you will need to become a data analyst, you may be wondering how long the certification process will take.
Contrary to popular belief, earning a data analytics certificate does not take years — or even a full twelve months!
With the right program, you can obtain your Tableau certification in just 6 months.
While working through your Tableau course, we also recommend studying SQL. This common programming language is an essential skill for data analysts and is easy to learn. Most students with no prior experience can master the core concepts in a few weeks and can become proficient with SQL in a matter of months.
Pathstream: Your Path to Becoming a Data Analyst
If you want to pursue a career as a data analyst, Pathstream is here to help. We offer a six-month Tableau Data Analytics Certificate that you can complete entirely online. The course is broken down into 21 weeks of instruction so that you can easily navigate through the assigned material. It even teaches you SQL in the process!
In addition, our courses include ongoing support so that you have all of the tools you need to succeed. We even assist our graduates with job placement by connecting our alumni with employers that are looking for candidates.
Pathstream is the premier provider of educational courses for aspiring and current data analysts. In addition to the Tableau program, we offer project management and social media digital marketing certifications that can accelerate your career. We even provide a Salesforce administration course for those interested in learning how to work with this popular CRM platform.
Don’t miss out on the opportunities in front of you! Contact us today to learn more about our certification programs or to apply online.