How Do I Transition Microsoft Access or Excel Data Analyst Skills?

The Data Analysts Career Path
The Data Analysts Career Path

This question was posted by a Microsoft Office Data Analyst who wants to know “How to Upgrade Microsoft Access or Excel Data Analysis skills!

If you need help with a Question or Challenge, be sure to ask it as a comment on this page and I will answer it fully just as I am answering this questions now!

The Challenge Facing A Microsoft Access or Excel Office Data Analyst

My toughest challenge I face today with my career is I am itching for a move within the company I work for.

However, don’t know which direction to go and what course to take that will help to enhance my skill knowledge.

Currently, part of my roles and responsibilities include weekly data pulling (raw) and manipulating the data to build personalized reports for upper management.

I use Access (where i pull the data from), and Excel (where I transfer the data to and use multiple worksheets to compile the required reports needed for management).

Now my interest is becoming a Data Analysts, but I do not know what applications I need to focus my attention on, and possibly register for the courses (in class) to either know or advance my current knowledge and skills by December 31, 2009.

Your response is greatly appreciated!

How To Upgrade Microsoft Access Or Excel Data Analysis Skills

You’re thinking right because it’s better to upgrade your skills before changes in the workplace make them obsolete!

Information Technology (IT) Data Analysts collect or analyze data. They research, identify or report patterns, trends and insights back to stakeholders, decision makes or management … so you’re a data analyst because that’s what you do!

Employers collect and track data on their business operations including their client’s, support incidents, inventory or merchandise, orders and even their employees!

Employers who start out collecting, storing or analyzing data in Microsoft Access or Excel discover that they’re not up to the task of handling larger corporate data needs!

In addition, the Information Technology (IT) industry views Microsoft Access or Excel professionals as junior or entry-level IT professionals … which creates barriers or closes doors for MS Access or Excel Data Analysts!

Which then leads to the question … “What is the Best Upward Mobility Path for Microsoft Access or Excel Data Analysts?”

How To Upgrade A Microsoft Office Data Analyst Career

  1. Learn an Enterprise Relational Database Management System (RDBMS):

    The IT Industry now considers Microsoft Access to be a junior or entry level database professional tool.

    You need to move up in your career path by learning an enterprise relational database like Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle.

    Enterprise databases are reliable, secure, high-performance databases that can handle the day to day or most demand tasks of an enterprise!

  2. Learn an Enterprise Reporting Tool:

    Microsoft Access’s in-built reporting tool is handy for generating reports for very small business units.

    Because Microsoft Access is designed for really small business needs, you’ve got to migrate your skills towards an enterprise reporting tool like Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services or Crystal Reports.

    An enterprise reporting tool like Microsoft SQL Server Reporting services can be customized using an integrated programming environnment for complex report customization needs or requirements.

    Enterprise Reporting tools like Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services also allow sending of reports by e-mail or distribution of reports in various formats including: HTML, XML, CSV, Word, and even Microsoft Excel!

  3. Learn How to Build Web-based Forms

    Microsoft Access has an in-built Form Wizard for building data collection forms. However these Ms Access forms are for desktop applications and not for use over the web!

    However employers would like the option of collecting both offline and online data and prefer to store their data in a reliable, enterprise database.

    So, you need to learn just enough programming to build web-based intranet or internet forms for your data collection needs or projects!

    Learning a web programming languages is easier than you think … especially if you understand relational database design and development!

  4. Learn How to Analyze Data Using Statistics

    Some of the fastest growing professions for data analysts include web analysis, web usability and marketing optimization!

    These web 2.0 type professions require hands-on experience gained by solving real-world problems!

    For example, there are specialized tools used by data analysts for identifying, analyzing or reporting on website usage like the free and popular Google Analytics tool or the popular Google Website Optimizer!

    Getting hands-on experience with these types of tools will open even more doors for your career!

In this post, I answered the question of how to upgrade or transition Microsoft Access or Excel Data Analyst skills.

If you have a question, concern or challenge, click here to post it and I will answer it for you!

4 Responses to "How Do I Transition Microsoft Access or Excel Data Analyst Skills?"

  1. Ashish   July 5, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    how much important is SAS certification for data analyst, BI analyst?

    • IT Career Coach   July 11, 2010 at 9:56 pm

      SAS experience or skills trumps SAS certifications.

      Employers are not going after certifications … they are going after proven competencies. Which means that you must put more emphasis on learning SAS, mastering SAS, getting lots of SAS experience and then demonstrating your competency to employers.

      SAS certifications is one of the optional things that you can do to prove your competency but it is not necessarily the most improtant or first or primary!

  2. STANLEY   June 9, 2010 at 11:01 am

    I need help. My company is considering creating specialist areas for the Business Analyst in IT. Is there a model or any existing categorisation of Business Analyst role in IT? I am only aware of roles like Senior/Junior Business Analyst.


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