There is an assumption that certain college degrees are more helpful than others when it comes to preparing for, learning, or succeeding at information technology (IT) careers.
If you believe this to be true then you may also be of the mindset that a Computer Science (BSc.) degree is more valuable than a Liberal Arts (BA) degree!
Surprisingly, there may be some evidence supporting this assumption. For example, it has been noted recently that engineering and computer science college graduates are more employable and better paid than liberal arts college graduates.
Are there any required skills for entry-level data analyst job postings knowing that hiring managers are quite creative with their help wanted ads?
Keeping in mind that there is no “one size fits all” job requirement for data analysts or any information technology (IT) job, here are some of the more common skill requirements:
Number crunching, analytical or numerical skills & background
Reporting experience using Excel, Microsoft Access, Crystal Reports / Business Objects, SQL Server Reporting Services or any Graphing tool
Relational Database Design & Development with tools like MySQL, SQL Server, Microsoft Access or Oracle
A passion, interest, aptitude or background in number crunching or analytics
Many data analysts started out using Microsoft Access because it is a popular and versatile data analysis tool.
Microsoft Access provides a one-stop relational database, sql querying and reporting environment and it also provides data analysts with the ability to build a powerful graphical user interface (UI) for collecting data.
Many database professionals have a hard time writing complex, complicated or advanced SQL queries for the following reasons.
In a healthcare database project that I consulted on, I had to write fairly complicated and efficient SQL queries for physicians at several practices because of their specialized reporting requirements.
The real problem was not the complexity of the physicians database but it’s poor suitability to the physicians reporting needs.
Based on experience gathered from consulting on several database or data analysis projects, I have observed that writing complex or complicated SQL queries, may prove challenging because of the following:
Microsoft Excel is commonly used for data analysis because it’s part of the popular Microsoft Office Suite and it even comes pre-installed on some computers!
Unlike statistical analysis packages like, SAS and SPSS, Excel is relatively inexpensive and widely accessible to small businesses and mid-sized businesses in a variety of industries including healthcare, finance, sales and marketing etc.
Microsoft Excel is used in organizing and analyzing data, performing complex calculations as well as creating graphical displays.
Microsoft Excel’s user-friendly interface makes data entry convenient and it also comes loaded with a wide array of mathematical, statistical, financial functions and a Data Analysis ToolPak.