Employers are keen to see a wide range of skills for data analyst careers. Naturally, you will require a mixture of IT and non-IT-related skills. Data Analysts will need awareness of the business area in which they are analysing data, statistical knowledge, and good numerical and logical skills. However, we will focus on some of the key IT skills for a data analyst career.

Key Skills for Data Analysts

Anyone looking to work as an Analyst should start with the most important program for their career, which is Excel. Any data analyst should aim to study Advanced Excel. Microsoft Excel provides a full range of capabilities that includes data cleansing, data manipulation, data analysis and the presentation of data. These are key attributes in the working day of a data analyst.

We have mentioned that you should aim to take an Advanced Excel Course, but if you want to focus more on what is required within Excel, here are some must-haves: Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts, Lookups, IF statements, nested formulas, array formulas, SUMIFs, INDEX MATCH and many other formulas. In essence, you will need to be able to create summary dashboards to monitor and control the main data within your spreadsheet.

Data Analyst Career Skills

Since dashboards are a very common requirement for data analysts, you may also consider Power BI. This is a relatively new program with Microsoft Office that enables you to create real-time summary dashboards. This is an exciting new alternative to Excel and is ideally taken by people who are advanced Excel users. Therefore, we recommend that most data analysts consider Power BI as a core skill. BI, or Business Intelligence, is something that we are seeing growing from lots of IT programs, and it’s something that you can expect to be central to business in the future. The concept of real-time data means that things are constantly up-to-date and have the ability to summarise in a fast manner and create presentable data.

PowerPoint is a key tool for anybody who is in data analysis. You often must present your data in summary, presentations, and charts. The industry standard for most of the economy is to use PowerPoint for visual presentations. It would be ideal for you to have nice interactive presentations that can interact with Power BI or Excel.

You may also consider certain specific industry systems that may be of use. These could include skills using ERP systems and EPM systems from providers like SAP or Oracle. If you were in HR as a data analyst, you may require skills in Workday, Oracle HCM or similar systems. The list of industry or career-specific systems is extensive.