How To Become a Data Analyst

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Last updated on
05th Aug, 2021
16th Jul, 2021
How To Become a Data Analyst

With the increase in the generation of data, Data Analysis has become one of the major functions in any organization. Since the past few years, the job of a ‘Data Analyst’ has evolved immensely and is considered to be one of the most sought-after roles after ‘Data Scientist’.  

However, there are several questions that you as an aspiring data analyst may have. What is Data Analytics? What are the roles and responsibilities of a Data Analyst? How does one become a Data Analyst and what are the skills required? And many more. Our primary focus, in this article, will be to answer all these questions and take you a step further towards your dream of becoming a Data Analyst.

Let us first get a clear understanding of what Data Analytics is.

What is Data Analytics?

In layman’s terms, the term ‘analyze’ means to examine something in a systematic manner to gain meaningful insights from it. Data Analytics or Data Analysis refers to the process of analyzing the raw data to gather useful information. This data can be in the form of some corporate information, product innovations, or market trends.

Let us understand this more precisely with an example. We can compare Data Analytics with a jigsaw puzzle. The first thing is to collect all the pieces of the puzzle and fit them correctly to reveal the final picture. Similarly, in the process of data analytics, we collect the raw data from several sources, analyze it and transform it into some meaningful information that can be interpreted by humans.  

Thus, we can define Data Analysis as the process that helps to discover new and significant patterns by cleaning, summarizing, transforming, and modeling data which later can be used to make informative decisions. The collected data can be of any of the three forms – structured, semi-structured, or unstructured and can be represented visually in the form of graphs and charts. The visualized information enhances the precision and allows an individual to have a clearer view of the final analysis.

Organizations sniff around to recruit individuals who can perform the task of converting raw data into useful information which in turn helps in their business growth. There are numerous job roles in this field and out of all these, a Data Analyst’s career journey is the most satisfying and amazing.


Now, let us understand the role and responsibilities of a Data Analyst in the field of Data Science.

What is the role of a Data Analyst?

Organizations, in recent times, with the help of huge chunks of data often try to optimize their strategies for efficient business growth. In order to derive useful information from this massive collection of data, they require a highly qualified professional who can make sense of the data and help others understand. That is where a Data Analyst comes in.  

A Data Analyst collects, processes, and performs analysis of these large amounts of data. Every business organization, be it small or big generates and collects data which can be in the form of accounts, logistics, marketing research, customer feedback, etc.  

A Data Analyst processes the data and generates significant indicators useful for decision making depending upon the customers, or the products, or the performance of the company. These indicators help companies to decide what products should be offered to their customers, what type of marketing strategy is to be implemented, how to reduce transportation costs, or what changes are to be made to enhance the process of production.

Mostly data analysts collaborate with IT teams, the management, or data scientists to mine, clean, and then analyze and interpret information with the help of statistical tools. Their prime focus is to determine trends, correlations, and patterns in large and complex data sets which in turn allows companies to identify new ways for process improvement.  

Let us now understand the basic responsibilities of a Data Analyst.

What are the responsibilities of a Data Analyst?

The first step towards becoming a Data Analyst is to understand the numerous responsibilities they need to undertake in their journey. Some of the most common responsibilities are as follows:

  • Understanding the Goal

The first and foremost task of a Data Analyst is to identify the goal of the organization by evaluating the resources, understanding the business problem, and then collecting the proper data.

  • Querying

Data Analysts also write SQL queries in order to collect, store, and derive information from databases like Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, and MySQL.

  • Data Mining

Data Analysts mine data from multiple sources and structure them to build data models which help in enhancing the system’s efficiency.

  • Data Testing

With the help of analytical and statistical techniques, Data Analysts perform a logical examination of data.

  • Interpretation of Data Trends

Using different libraries and packages, Data Analysts identify trends and patterns from complex data thereby providing important insights to the organization.

  • Preparation of Reports

The leading teams of the organization are able to make timely decisions with the help of the summary reports prepared by Data Analysts. They perform this task using Data Visualization tools like Tableau or Google Charts, etc.

Let us now take a look at the most popular industries that hire Data Analysts.

What are the top industries hiring Data Analysts?

There are around 82 thousand job openings worldwide in 2021 that require skills in data analysis, but there is a huge shortage of data talent. Almost every industry requires data to be analyzed and data jobs are diverging into a variety of fields.  

The top industries that hire data analyst are as follows:

  • Business Intelligence 

It is one of the leading industries that hire data analysts and according to a survey by Indeed, 20% of Data Analysts are from this sector. The most posted job vacancies for data analysts in the US and Europe are primarily from the Business Intelligence sector.

  • Finance 

It is one of the earliest industries to be associated with data science and takes advantage of big data to make business ventures more efficient. Finance organizations such as investment banks, consumer banks, capital firms are responsible for generating a large number of data analytics jobs.

  • Healthcare 

It is one of those industries that were dependent on paper data systems for many centuries. However, the importance of Data Analysis in this field is growing at a good pace and it is certain that they benefit the most. Most, Data Analysts in this sector are termed healthcare data analysts.

  • Sharing-based economy

This industry has blossomed in recent years. Nearly every urban area be it small or big hires data talent. eBay is considered to be the first global marketplace that successfully launched the service economy services. Data analytics can be a game changer in this field.

  • Entertainment

This sector is evolving very fast. Global streaming networks like Netflix and Amazon are major players in this market and are using data insights to boost their growth. Data Analysts along with messaging analytics engineers or marketing intelligence analysts are very common positions in this industry. 

What are the technical skills required to master as a Data Analysts

The most essential task of the data analyst is to parse through a good quantity of raw information and then develop meaningful insights in the entire process. The other tasks also include removing corrupted data, understanding the quality of data, and preparing various reports. All of these tasks involve knowledge of certain technologies and technical skills. Let us focus on a few of them.

1. Data Visualization

Data Visualizations revolve around a person’s ability to present data findings via graphics or other illustrations. It allows a data analyst to understand data-driven insights and helps the business decision-makers (who may lack advanced analytical training) to identify patterns and understand complex ideas at a glance.

Data visualization may even allow you to accomplish more than data analysts traditionally have. As one writer for SAS Insights notes, “Data visualization is going to change the way our analysts work with data. They’re going to be expected to respond to issues more rapidly. And they’ll need to be able to dig for more insights — look at data differently, more imaginatively. Data visualization will promote creative data exploration.”

Already, data visualization has become a necessary skill. According to a recent study conducted by LinkedIn Learning, “recent graduates are much more likely to learn hard skills when they first enter the workforce. And these hard skills revolve around analyzing data and telling stories with insights gleaned from the data.” Get yourself enrolled for the Data Visualization course offered by KnowledgeHut.

2. Data Cleaning

It is believed that cleaning is an invaluable part of achieving success. Similarly, data cleaning is one of the most critical steps in assembling a functional machine learning model and consumes a good amount of time in a data analyst’s day. 

Any uncleaned data may result in misleading patterns and incorrect conclusions. However, a thoroughly cleaned dataset is capable of generating remarkable insights. Data Analysts should necessarily have proper data cleaning skills.

3. R

R is one of the most pervasive and well-used languages in data analytics. The structure and syntax were specifically created in order to support analytical work. It comprises several built-in, easy-to-use commands. R can easily handle large and complex quantities of data. As an aspiring data analyst, considering the popularity and functionality of R, it is very essential to learn R. Learn more about R programming language from the course offered by KnowledgeHut.

4. Python

Python is among the most popular programming languages for data analysis. It is an essential language to be learnt by would-be analysts. It offers a large number of specialized libraries and built-in functions.  

Python is a cross-functional, maximally interpreted language that has lots of advantages to offer. It is easy to learn, well supported, flexible- a fantastic option for data processing, scalable, and has a huge collection of libraries. Python Certification course offered by KnowledgeHut will assist you in mastering the concepts of Python and its libraries like SciPy, Matplotlib, Scikit-Learn, Pandas, NumPy, Lambda functions, and Web Scraping. You will also learn how to write Python Programming for Data Analytics.

5. Linear Algebra and Calculus

In data analytics, one thing that is non-negotiable is having advanced mathematical skills. Some data analysts even choose to major in mathematics or statistics during their undergraduate years just to gain a better understanding of the theory that underpins real-world analytical practice!  

Two specific fields of mathematical study rise to the forefront in analytics: linear algebra and calculus. Linear algebra has applications in machine and deep learning, where it supports vector, matrix, and tensor operations. Calculus is similarly used to build the objective/cost/loss functions that teach algorithms to achieve their objectives.  

6. Microsoft Excel

While Excel is a great application to learn, it must be noted that the operations Excel can perform, other programming languages like R and Python can perform much faster. Excel is clunky in comparison to other platforms. However, Spreadsheets are still relevant and a great tool to learn about data. While it’s not the only or most fitting solution for all data projects, but it remains a reliable and affordable tool for analytics. It’s a foundational structure for intelligent data because it deepens your understanding of the analytics process. Many industries and businesses continue to emphasize the importance of Excel skills because it remains an intelligent way to extract actionable insights. Revenue patterns, operations, marketing trends, and more can be analyzed through Excel spreadsheets, but the real advantage is the process.

7. Critical Thinking

It’s not enough to simply look at data; you need to understand it and expand its implications beyond the numbers alone. As a critical thinker, you can think analytically about data, identifying patterns and extracting actionable insights from the information you have at hand. It requires you to go above and beyond and apply yourself to thinking, as opposed to only processing.

8. Communication

At the end of the day, you need to be able to explain your findings to others. It doesn’t matter if you’re the most talented, insightful data analyst on the planet — if you can’t communicate the patterns you see to those without technical expertise, you’ve fallen short.  

Being a good data analyst effectively means becoming “bilingual.” You should have the capability to address highly technical points with your trained peers, as well as provide clear, high-level explanations in a way that supports — rather than confuses — business-centered decision-makers. If you can’t do so, you may still need to build your skill set as a data analyst.

What are the Data Analysts’ salaries around the world?

According to a report by Forbes, around 92 percent of organizations worldwide gain effective marketing insights by analyzing data. As an individual in the technical field, becoming a Data Analyst is a pretty amazing career opportunity.  

In recent times, every business organization extracts information from sales or marketing campaigns and uses this data to gather insights. These insights allow the business to answer questions like what worked well, what did not, and what to do differently in the future. Thus, businesses can make more informed decisions with the right and organized data.  

The salaries of Data Analysts depend on several factors like which industry they are working in, how many years of experience they have, what is the size of the organization, and so on. However, one big advantage of being a Data Analyst is they are always in demand globally and if you get bored of working in a particular city or a particular country, you always have the option of moving somewhere else because of the freedom and flexibility that this role offers.  

Let us now look at the highest paying countries and their average annual salary of a Data Analyst:

CountryAverage Annual Salary
IndiaThe average annual Data Analyst salary in India is over INR 4,45,000
USAThe average annual Data Analyst salary in the USA is around USD 65,000
GermanyThe average annual Data Analyst salary in Germany is around €44,330
United KingdomThe average annual Data Analyst salary in the UK is around £26933
CanadaThe average annual Data Analyst salary in Canada is around CAD 55000
AustraliaThe average annual Data Analyst salary in Australia is over AUD 82,000
DenmarkThe average annual Data Analyst salary in Denmark is around DKK 881,794
SingaporeThe average annual Data Analyst salary in Singapore is around SGD 55,000

What factors affect the salary of a Data Analyst in India?

According to Payscale, around 78 percent of Data Analysts in India have a salary ranging between 0 – 6 Lakhs. A Data Analyst in India with experience between 1 – 4 years has net earnings of around 3,96,125 INR. On the other hand, an individual with experience of 5 – 9 years makes up to 6,00,000 INR per annum and someone with more experience than that can earn up to 9 Lakhs INR per annum. However, there are several factors that are also associated while deciding the salary of a Data Analyst.

Every company, big or small, around the world now considers data analytics as an important sector and looks upon its potential to change the market trends. The decision-making authorities of the companies are focusing more on technology and people.  

Now, let us understand what are the significant factors that affect the salary of a Data Analyst in India.

1. Based on Experience

According to a survey by Zippia, an entry-level Data Analyst in the USA having a bachelor’s degree and 2 years of experience, has an average annual salary of $54,000. A couple more years of experience can help them earn up to $70,000. A senior analyst gets an annual salary of $88,000 with experience of 6 years. However, someone with a specialization in the field can get a salary of around $100,000.

Let’s see how experience affects the salary of a Data Analyst in India:

  • The average annual salary of an Entry-Level Data Analyst in India is ₹325,616.
  • The average annual salary of a mid-Level Data Analyst in India is ₹635,379
  • The average annual salary of an experienced Data Analyst in India is ₹852,516.

2. Based on Industry

Since every industry around the world recruits Data Analysts, there has been a significant increase in individuals who are choosing this career path, which in turn adds a lot of value to this field.  
In an organization, the Data Analysts are directly responsible for some of the decision-making process and they perform this task with the help of the analyzed data using statistical tools like Excel, Tableau, and SQL. The progress impacts the salaries of these Data Analysts, which range between $54,000 to $70,000 for entry-level professionals.  

Financial accounting companies hire financial analysts to predict the company’s performance and study the macro and microeconomic trends. The analysts in this industry are responsible for creating economic models and forecasts using the data. In 2017, Robert Half made a survey on the salary of entry-level financial analysts. The survey showed that their average annual salary ranges between $52,700 to $66,000.

Data Analyst Salary Based on Industry

Source: Data Analysts  Salary Trends in India By Industry

Marketing research analysts use sales data, customer surveys, and competitor research to optimize the targeting and positioning efforts of their products. This industry has a pay scale ranging from $51,000 to $65,000 at the entry-level.

Similarly, the Data Analysts working in the healthcare industry whose job is to maintain the daily administrative advancements and operations get an average annual salary of $46,000 to $80,000.

3. Based on Location

The number of Data Analysts and the average annual data salary in India is the highest in the Silicon Valley of India, that is Bangalore.

Data Analyst Salary Based on Location

Source: Data Analysts  Salary Trends in India By Location

Bangalore, Pune, and Gurgaon offer 19.2%, 9.8%, and 9.5% more than the average annual salary in India respectively. On the other hand, Data Analysts working in Mumbai get 5.2% lesser than the national average. Hyderabad and New Delhi receive 4.85 and 2.8% lesser than the national average respectively.

4. Based on Company

The top recruiters of Data Analysts in India are tech giants like Tata Consultancy Services, Accenture, and Earnest & Young whereas, according to reports, salaries offered are highest at HSBC which is around 7 Lakhs.

Data Analyst Salary Based on Company

Source: Data Analyst Salary Based on Company

5. Based on Skills

Skill is an important factor while deciding the salary of a Data Analyst in India. You need to go beyond the qualifications of a Master’s degree and gather more knowledge of the respective languages and software. Some useful insights are as follows:

  • The most important skill is to have a clear understanding of Python. A python programmer in India alone earns around 10 Lakhs per annum.  
  • There is an increase of around 25 percent in the salary of a Data Analyst in India when you get familiar with Big Data and Data Science.  
  • Experts in Statistical Package for Social Sciences or SPSS get an average salary of 7.3  Lakhs whereas experts in Statistical Analysis Software or SAS have an earning of around 9 Lakhs to 10.8 Lakhs.
  • A Machine Learning expert in India alone can earn around 17 Lakhs per year. Along with being a Data Analyst, if you also have Machine Learning and Python skills, you can reach the highest pay in this field.

How KnowledgeHut can help

All these free resources are a great place to start your Data Analytics journey. Beside these there are many other free resources on the internet, but they may not be organized and may not have a structured approach.  

This is where KnowledgeHut can make a difference and serve as a one stop shop alternative with its comprehensive Instructor-led live classes. The courses are taught by Industry experts and are perfect for aspirants who wish to become Data Analyst.

Links for some of the popular courses by KnowledgeHut are appended below-

In this article we attempt to understand about Data Analytics and the major roles of a Data Analyst. We also learnt about the responsibilities of a Data Analyst, the various industries offering jobs to Data Analysts and also the technical skills required to master to be a Data Analyst.  

If you are inspired by the opportunities provided by Data Analytics, enroll in our  Data Analytics Courses for more lucrative career options in this field.


Priyankur Sarkar

Data Science Enthusiast

Priyankur Sarkar loves to play with data and get insightful results out of it, then turn those data insights and results in business growth. He is an electronics engineer with a versatile experience as an individual contributor and leading teams, and has actively worked towards building Machine Learning capabilities for organizations.

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