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How to get data analyst jobs

A data analyst job can be rewarding, especially when you have experience. Every year, the career skyrockets because businesses use data to make informed decisions.

But how do you land a data analyst job?

This article will give you an in-depth explanation of the role, skills, and how to get the data analyst job.

Let’s get to it!

How to get a data analyst job

Once you have the necessary skills, certification, and experience (through internships or training), the next is to make sure all your profiles, including LinkedIn, or Facebook, are relevant to data analysis. 

Take a look at Gilad Zafran’s data analyst profile on LinkedIn. 

The next step is to look at local newspapers and look for data analyst jobs in the job section. 

You can also look if your target company has available job postings. For example, if you want to work for Google, search for data analyst jobs in their Google career job board.

Indeed and Glassdoor are also great job boards to look for jobs. 

What does a data analyst do?

Data analysts collect, process, and review business data to find key insights that help leaders make business decisions.

They collect data from sources like Google Analytics, company surveys, or email marketing software. They then use statistical tools like Tableau or R to understand any valuable patterns. Upon identifying trends, the data analyst presents the insights as a report to the management.

For instance, a data analyst can help a company figure out how to reduce transportation costs by collecting information like how much money each department spends on transport. Next, they analyze data using tools like SQL queries or Tableau to find patterns and possible cost reduction areas. The analyst then compiles a report for the key stakeholders. 

Data analysts job description

First, here are screenshots of job qualifications and responsibilities a company requires from a data analyst:


Day to day roles of data analysts differ depending on the organization.  

Let’s see some routine data analysis tasks:

  • Collect data: Data analysts will take surveys, track buyer persona, or purchase datasheets from specialists to gather relevant data.
  • Clean data: Cleaning data means removing data that distorts analysis. For instance, data analysts will eliminate wrong data, duplicates, and outliers to make proper interpretations.
  • Model data: A data analyst will also create and design structures of a database. Here, you will choose the best data for your analysis and establish how data sections relate.
  • Interpret data: Interpretation is finding trends or patterns that help you solve the main problem being addressed.
  • Report/present: Lastly, a data analyst communicates the results by creating charts or graphs. They also write reports and present the information to relevant stakeholders.

How to become a data analyst

  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree that focuses on analytical and statistical skills, e.g., Mathematics, Statistics, or Economics, from a reputable institute
  2. Learn multiple skills that involve data analytics. You can start with Microsoft Excel and SQL to land your first job. But then learn Tableau, Python, or R to enhance your skills. 
  3. Get certifications by doing short courses on Business Analytics or Data Science such as Microsoft Certified: Power BI Data Analyst Associate.
  4. Gain industry experience by interning or obtaining an entry-level job on job boards like Indeed. 
  5. Earn a master’s degree in data analytics to enhance your career, such as a Master of Science in Business Analytics

What technical skills do you need for a data analyst job

Technical skills are the most critical for data analyst careers. Let’s look at the technical skills you need:


Data visualization involves the graphical presentation of data using charts, tables, or charts. 

An excellent data analyst will present data in a way that helps decision-makers understand complex ideas and see patterns. You can use data visualization tools like Power BI and Tableau.


Real data is imperfect with errors, resulting in misleading patterns and costly business mistakes. A data analyst should know how to fix and remove corrupted, incorrect, incomplete, or duplicate data.


Using advanced Excel techniques like PivotTables, VLOOKUP, INDEX/MATCH, and Data Tables can help data analysts make quick analyses.

You can get a deeper understanding of Excel by studying courses like Microsoft Excel – Excel from Beginner to Advanced


According to an article written by Scott W. O’Connor, Structure Query Language (SQL) is the most crucial skill for a data analyst. SQL is a database language that handles large datasets that Excel can’t.


A data analyst needs to go beyond SQL and master R or Python. R and Python are industry-standard statistical programming languages for complex analysis or predictive analytics. These programming languages will help you gather and clean data and perform statistical analysis.

Data analyst qualifications & where to get them

Data analyst qualifications include having a bachelor’s degree, certificates, appropriate work experience, and technical and soft skills. 

Let’s look at each qualification:

  • Bachelor’s degree:  E.g., in Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, or Economics. You can get a bachelor’s degree from a certified university. Still, you can learn from an online platform like Coursera if you need a flexible schedule.
  • Training or Internship: The best way to find an internship is to look online (on job boards) or visit websites you’d like to work for. 
  • Certificates: E.g., Google Data Analytics Certificate, Cloudera Certified Associate Data Analyst, etc. Microsoft, Cloudera, and Google are excellent sources for professional data analysis certifications.
  • Technical Skills: You need data visualization, machine learning, programming language, database languages, and data cleaning skills.
  • Soft skills: As a data analyst, you also need soft skills such as problem-solving, communication, and industry knowledge. Problem-solving makes you understand the organization’s issues, while communication is crucial in relaying your results. You can learn these skills through working experience. 

Data analysts job salary and outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the national average salary for data-related positions is $98,230 per year. Still, the amount depends on location and level of experience.

PayScale narrows down to a data analyst and determines that their average annual salary is $62,754. Skills such as SQL, Data Analysis, and Statistical Analysis increase the average pay of a data analyst. While having only Microsoft Excel and Data Management & Reporting skills will make data analysts get less pay than average.

The level of experience also affects the pay. Here is a graph that shows the income by experience for a data analyst


How about the outlook in data analyst careers?

College Foundation of Northern Carolina rates data analysts as one of the top ten careers for the future

And according to Purdue Global University, there is high demand for data analytics professions and skills due to:

  • The rise in data generation
  • Increased use in connected devices
  • Ease access of data


Industry of work also affects the amount of pay that data analysts get. For instance, the I.T. industry pays data analysts an average of $65,000, while healthcare pays $72,595. Finance institutions pay data analysts an average of $64,375 which can go up to $200,000 depending on experience. Lastly, the U.S. Federal Government pays data analysts an average of $109,209. 

Want to try a data mining analyst job instead? Check out our career guide on data mining analysts.

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