5 Useful Tips From Experienced Data Analysis Practitioners

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If you need to do any kind of data analysis, whether it be qualitative or quantitative, you will find yourself dealing with a lot of data. This can be overwhelming and make it difficult to know what to do. But there are experts out there that have been through this before, and can offer their experiences on how you should approach the task at hand. 

The data analytics industry is full of disciplines such as finance, marketing, analytics, and comcast business. However these fields share one thing in common: the use of data to gain an understanding of our world. This means that there are some skills you’ll need to master in order to become a proficient analyst. Today we’re going to discuss five tips you can use right away towards becoming a Data Analytics expert!

1) Always Learn How To Break Down Information In Excel Spreadsheets: 

Let’s get this out of the way first. You’ll have to have Excel to become a Data Analyst. You’ll need it for calculations, recordkeeping, and more. However you can use many spreadsheets to help you analyze and understand your data. For example, you can use a spreadsheet or find something on the internet that’s already created as a template for analysis in Excel.

• How To Create a Simple Spreadsheet

The steps are simple:

1) Open up a blank spreadsheet in Excel.

2) Name the columns appropriately and add a unique color to each column so it’s easier to read

3) Label the rows appropriately (this is done by adding in a text box and placing it on top of the rows)

4) Add in formulas and value fields that will help you understand your data. This is ideal for analyzing costs, demographics, and other information. For example:

• You can have a column or row dedicated towards making calculations on costs or profits with one formula field taking the total amount of money spent, the cost of goods sold, rebate fees, etc. and then another column or row dedicated to showing the total gross profit/income, etc.

2) Memorize the Three Basic Data Types

The three basic types of data are numeric (numbers), date (dates), and text (words). You’ll need to be able to understand these three types of data in order to be a proficient Data Analyst. This will allow you to understand what information is important for the project, where you need more information, and how many pieces of information you’ll need in order to complete the project.

3) Understand The Importance of Variables: 

The world around us has variables and their values constantly changing. For example, one day the temperature will be 60 degrees Fahrenheit (1C), the next 40 (2C). In order to make sense of our data we need to shift into thinking in terms of variables. Even if we’re analyzing the same data, each time it’ll be in a different format. For example, last year’s newspaper printed their information on their website as the date of publication and then the word “reprinted” in March. 

• Read  Understanding Variables In Excel Spreadsheets

Each time you enter your data into a spreadsheet you’re going to need to know what variables you can use. This is especially important if you’re analyzing data that was collected in the past or a different location. In either case, you will need to reference a standard guide in order to find out what variables are available so you can use them in your analysis.

4) Build Your Own Toolkit: 

The world around us is full of tools that are used by analysts to complete their projects. A spreadsheet is by far the most common tool used by analysts. It’s easy to use and allows you to construct formulas and use visual clues to help you understand your data.

• Get your own Spreadsheets

If you need more tools, don’t worry. You can find them online in a number of places like DatabasesandQuestions.com! Here are a few other websites to research:

• How To Make Your Own Data Dashboard With Excel 

Use tools like the following to improve your analytical skills:

5) Be Creative and Innovative: 

As a data analyst, you need to be able to think outside of the box and be ready to be creative at every given moment. There is no data set that exists that can’t be analyzed or changed. You need to use this mindset in order to develop new techniques in your analysis. For example, not everyone has extreme knowledge of Excel so you may want to start with something different like Google Sheets, Pipeline, Minitab, and SAS since these programs will allow you more flexibility in your analyses.

To conclude, becoming a data analyst will require you to work hard and be creative. Use these tips to start building your data analysis skills and starting on a path towards success as a Data Analyst. 

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