Understanding and utilizing data analysis to inform your business decisions is of paramount importance in today’s fast-paced business landscape. As data experts ourselves, Moser Consulting wanted to take some time to discuss how beginners can dive into the world of data. Even if you’re not interested in a career in data analytics, it’s a good idea for anyone who is interested in the tech industry to have a basic understanding of data science. On a business level, companies from all industries are turning to Big Data solutions to stay competitive. Therefore, understanding how to implement and manage complex data systems is vital.

Getting started with data analysis

Data analysis is a vast and complex field of study, which is part of its appeal. When studying data analysis, you’re never going to run out of new topics to explore. Since there is so much to learn, we decided to break down the basics for you and answer some of the top questions about studying data analytics.

1. How do I start learning data analysis?

So what are the skills required to become a data analyst? To get a well-rounded introduction to data analytics, you should explore broad and basic concepts of data before diving into specifics. Some examples of these concepts are:

Understanding data structures and types Processing and preparing data Using data to answer questions Different methods of data analysis Data visualization

Once you are familiar with how these concepts function within the realm of data science, you can then begin to study and master the various programs and software systems. Here is a list of standard tools and methods used by data analysts.

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is one of the most commonly used tools in data science, and it’s one of the most accessible programs to learn. In Excel, you can begin by learning simple tasks such as table data processing, printing, querying, filtering, and sorting.

After you have learned the basics, you can then study functions and formulas and apply them in Excel. In addition, Excel is a handy tool when it comes to data visualization. When studying data analysis, you need to understand how to visualize your data using graphic display, advanced charts, chart plugins, and PivotTables.

SQL

When studying data analysis, you should familiarize yourself with commonly-used databases such as DB2, Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, and MongoDB. Data analysts should also have an in-depth understanding of the storage and reading process of databases.

Statistics and Programming Languages

To understand data analysis, you need to have a good grasp of statistics related to data systems. Therefore, you will need to understand concepts like data mining, quantitative methods, database principles, data management, etc. You will also need to learn the basics of programming languages such as Python, HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and R.

2. Can I learn data analysis on my own?

You can learn the basics of data analysis on your own. For example, a novice could pick up the basics of SQL through independent study. However, the data science industry is fast-paced and constantly changing. Therefore, pursuing an official data analysis course or even a data analyst certification could be beneficial to ensure you have a solid knowledge base to build upon as things continue to change. As the data science industry is ever-evolving, data analysts will continue to learn to stay up-to-date on the changes to languages, tools, and trends.

3. How much does a data analytics course cost?

The best data analytics courses should include training on everything listed above and more. Luckily, many online courses are available to study data analysis, which means you can become a professional data analyst without committing to a four-year college degree. Most of these programs are more affordable and accelerated, starting at $9,000.

Now you might be asking, “Can I learn data analytics for free?” Of course, there are free resources available to help you get started. For example, the company DataQuest offers a free beginners course covering the basics of using Python for data analysis. However, since data science is a complex and nuanced subject, you should consider exploring other course options once you get past learning the basics. Choosing to pursue a data analytics course with a set curriculum and access to a reputable professional ensures that you’ll get a reliable and data-centric education. Coursera offers over 2.000 data analytics courses ranging from professional certifications to beginner-level training courses.

Moser: Building your competitive data analytics strategy

It’s a fact, the skills needed to implement a competitive analytics solution for your business are technically demanding. And highly qualified data analytics professionals are hard to find. But that’s where we come in. At Moser, we’ll build your data and analytics ecosystem and mentor your personnel to ensure it continues to deliver the insights to give you the competitive edge you need. Let’s unlock the power of Big Data together. Contact us today.