Becoming a Data Analyst: Steps, Skills, and Resources

Are you aspiring to become a data analyst? Explore the journey, skills, and opportunities in the world of data analysis. Start your career now!

How to become data analyst


Diving into the world of data analysis opens doors to understanding and smart decision-making. Imagine being a detective, but instead of solving mysteries, you're unlocking insights from numbers. Being a data analyst means learning how to do this detective work with data. This adventure will show you the crucial steps, skills, and tools necessary to become a proficient data analyst. With this assistance, you will acquire the expertise to transform data into valuable insights that can aid businesses in making informed decisions.

guide to become data analyst

What is Data Analysis?

Data analysis involves extracting insights from data to make well-informed business decisions. This analytical process comprises five iterative stages:

First, you define the dataset you want to study. Then, you gather this dataset. Next, you clean and refine the data to prepare it for analysis. After that, the actual analysis takes place. Finally, you interpret the outcomes of this analysis.

Data analysis can vary depending on your specific goals. There are several types:

  • Descriptive: This type explains what happened.
  • Diagnostic: It helps you understand why something happened.
  • Predictive: This form tries to predict future events.
  • Prescriptive: Here, you receive advice on what actions to take.

The nature of your inquiry shapes the way data analysis is conducted. You can explore different types of data analysis for a deeper understanding of their variations. In short, descriptive analysis uncovers past events, diagnostic analysis clarifies causality, predictive analytics forecasts future trends, and prescriptive analysis offers practical guidance for strategic decisions.

How Can You Become a Data Analyst? A Step-By-Step Guide

Follow the steps to become a top-notch data analyst.

Step 1: Grasping Data Analytics Fundamentals

Starting your journey as a data analyst requires building a strong base. Learning the basic ideas of data analytics isn't just for figuring out if the job suits you, but it also gives you useful skills. To become a data analyst, you usually need to study subjects like computer science, math, economics, or business info systems in college. These disciplines provide the essential quantitative skills employers seek, showcasing your proficiency.

Opting for a postgraduate degree offers real-world exposure, enhancing your learning. Tailor your studies to your interests; for example, a Master's in Data Science or Business Analytics provides focused insights.  Certificate Programs or university courses can fill knowledge gaps for those without a related degree. Complement these with Professional Certificates to exhibit your skills to potential employers.

Step 2: Develop Your Technical Skill

Becoming a data analyst requires honing specific technical skills. Whether you learn through formal education, certifications, or self-study, these essential proficiencies are your gateway to employment.

  • Grasp Statistics
  • Master Programming: R, Python, JavaScript
  • Command SQL
  • Navigate Visualization Tools: Tableau, QlikView, Power BI
  • Excel in Data Cleaning and Preparation
  • Excel in Microsoft Excel
  • Create Dynamic Dashboards
  • Explore Relational Databases
  • Embrace Machine Learning

As you prepare, align your learning with job requirements. Beyond technical skills, communication, problem-solving, creativity, and domain knowledge are prized by hiring managers.

Step 3: Engage in Real Data Projects

To truly grasp the art of deriving value from data, immerse yourself in real-world scenarios. Seek educational programs featuring practical projects utilizing authentic datasets. Alternatively, explore an array of freely accessible public datasets, ideal for crafting your own projects.

Initiate your journey with open-source data and resources from platforms like GitHub India. For a more cosmic challenge, delve into NASA's open data to address enigmatic issues spanning our planet and beyond. These are mere glimpses of the vast data landscape. Identify a topic of personal interest and unearth datasets for hands-on practice.

Step 4: Building a Portfolio to Highlight Your Work

As you learn to be a Data Analyst, figuring out how to display your data abilities is vital. Creating a professional portfolio is a key move. Begin by sharing your code on places like GitHub, even if it's from school projects. This lets others see what you can do and kickstarts your portfolio.

Tips for Creating a Data Analyst Portfolio

  • Put your code on GitHub or similar platforms where people can see it.
  • Join communities like Kaggle, where Data Analysts gather. It helps you learn more and get ideas.
  • Take on a personal project. Write down and show how you did it.

When you pick projects, go for something you're really interested in. Ask a question about it and use data to find the answer. Doing your own data project well shows off your skills and can impress people who might hire you.

Step 5: Navigating Entry-Level Data Analyst Roles

With confidence in your skills and a compelling portfolio, it's time to explore the realm of data analyst job opportunities.

Ensure Skill Alignment:

As you embark on your path to becoming a proficient data analyst, you'll discover that it requires a combination of technical expertise and excellent interpersonal skills. When striving for data analyst positions, developing a skill set that equally encompasses both aspects is crucial. This step shows you the core of your journey: the basic technical and important soft skills you need. These two parts come together to shape a successful data analyst. Let's explore them more:

1. Basic Technical Skills

  • Comfortable with Python or R (including specialized libraries for data analysis)
  • Familiarity with SQL (Structured Query Language)
  • Ability to navigate the command line
  • Basic understanding of statistics
  • Handling and cleaning data
  • Simple data analysis techniques
  • Creating clear data visualizations
  • Basic web scraping skills
  • Debugging knowledge
  • Telling stories with data
  • Working with messy, unorganized data

2. Essential Soft Skills

  • Understanding and thinking about information
  • Doing many tasks well at the same time
  • Always wanting to know and learn more
  • Having a lot of creative ideas
  • Sharing thoughts and ideas clearly
  • Being flexible and ready to change
  • Being good at working alone and with others
  • Making smart choices
  • Knowing a lot about a certain type of business

After improving your data manipulation and presentation abilities, it's important to update your resume and explore entry-level data analyst job opportunities. Don't hesitate to apply for positions that may not align completely with your qualifications. Your skill set, portfolio, and passion for the role often hold greater significance than ticking off every qualification checkbox.

With time, your remuneration is likely to increase, paralleling your growing expertise gained from education or professional exposure. In India, for instance, data analysts typically earn an average annual salary ranging from ₹4L to ₹9L, while senior data analysts command higher earnings, falling within the bracket of ₹7L to ₹18L per annum, as reported by Glassdoor as of June 2023


Becoming a skilled data analyst is an exciting journey into understanding and using data for smart decisions. It's like being a detective with numbers, unlocking valuable insights. To succeed, learn data basics, improve technical skills (like Python, SQL, and data visualization) by enrolling in the top data analytics courses in India, and work on real projects. Build a portfolio to show your abilities, and explore entry-level jobs. Remember, it's not just about tools but curiosity, creativity, and teamwork. Embrace the world of data and shape a promising future as a data analyst.


What technical skills are essential for becoming a data analyst?

A data analyst needs skills in Python or R, SQL, statistics, data cleaning, visualization tools like Tableau, and more. Soft skills like critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving are also crucial.

What job opportunities are available for Python-skilled data analysts?

Proficiency in data analytics with Python opens doors to roles like data analyst, data scientist, and business analyst in various industries.

How do I create a data analyst portfolio?

Build a portfolio by sharing code on platforms like GitHub, engaging in real data projects, and showcasing your abilities through practical examples and explanations.

Are there resources for learning data analytics with Python?

Numerous online tutorials, courses, and books offer comprehensive guidance for mastering data analytics using Python.

What are the advantages of combining data analytics with Python in data-driven decision-making?

Combining data analytics with Python empowers decision-makers with in-depth analyses and data-driven insights, leading to more accurate and effective decision-making processes.