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Why is SQL One of The Key Skills to Become a Data Analyst?

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data analyst

Data Analyst is one of the hottest job profiles in the industry with high demand. Data is an essential aspect for any organization that needs to be analyzed for better use. Data Analysts apply analytical logic and identify patterns to extract valuable insights from the data. A Data Analyst must know the SQL language to access, manipulate and extract a chunk of required data from a large dataset. But what makes SQL one of the key skills to becoming a Data Analyst? Let’s read what Data Analysts do and why SQL is an essential skill for them?

What does a Data Analyst do?

A Data Analyst uses technical and analytical skills to access and analyze and generate insights from data. Generally, the data is stored in the Database and requires SQL skills to access it from the dataset. Data Analysts should have wide domain knowledge and a good understanding of a Dataset they are working on before applying any analytical and statistical techniques to it. SQL is a standard Database language that was in use since the early 1970s. Many Databases are built upon SQL to manage Relational Database Management systems (RDBMS).

Data Analysts use their SQL skills to extract data from a database and then use programming and analytical skills to preprocess, identify patterns and analyze the data. The data can be in simpler to complex forms, and it is the responsibility of a Data Analyst to handle data with care to make maximum use of it. Then, they use their communication skills to showcase the analysis and report to higher officials of the company.

Let’s have a look at skills that a Data Analyst must have:

  • Analytical Skills include Statistics to identify and solve the patterns in data so that they can drill down into the dataset and build a relation between data points.
  • Technical Skills – the topmost requirement is SQL, then they should have a good command of programming languages such as Python or R.
  • Tools – Data Analysts should have hands-on practice on the widely used Data Analytics tools in the industry such as Tableau, Excel, Power BI, etc. to fasten the Data Analysis process and generate reports.
  • Domain Knowledge of the dataset they are working on so that they can relate data with the real-world scenarios and use cases.

Why SQL is important for handling Data?

SQL (Structured Query Language) is specially designed for managing data stored in Relational Database Management Systems. It is suitable for handling structured data that includes relations among entities and variables. SQL can access many records using a single command and eliminates the need to specify how to reach the record such as with or without an index. It is widely used across all industries because it can manage data more effectively than any other. SQL integrates into all aspects of business, making it one of the essential skills for applying a data-driven approach to the business.

Many modern systems and tools are modelled after SQL. Databases and Cloud Data Warehouses such as Snowflake, Google BigQuery offer standard SQL support so that a Data Analyst and other SQL users can query data from the Data Warehouse with ease. For example, BigQuery SQL is used to access data from Google BigQuery and use further to analyze it.

Why do Data Analysts require SQL Skills?

Now that you have understood why SQL is the only suitable language for handling data. It’s the Data Analyst’s job is to handle data so that they can bring valuable from it. Let’s have a look at why SQL is one of the crucial skills to become Data Analysts and how they use it in Data Analytics.

  • Understanding the Dataset – The Dataset can contain any number of columns and it is the responsibility of a Data Analyst to filter the features, identifying the NULL or missing values. SQL is required to query different data points of the dataset and study them individually to get a better understanding of it. Accordingly, Data Analysts can apply different techniques to it.
  • Data Cleaning and Preparation – Data Cleaning and Preparation consume around 80% of the time, and this step requires accessing data, manipulating, applying logical transformations, etc, to filter and fit it according to the business requirements before analyzing it.
  • SQL is an Industry Standard – Relational Databases played a prominent role in managing data effectively and SQL was designed to be an industry-standard platform making Databases easier to use for everyone. SQL is widely used from Data Science to healthcare to marketing, etc. Professionals handle huge volumes of data by applying logic with SQL.
  • High Demand and Easy to Use – As the is generating rapidly, there is substantial growth in use cases of data across the industries. SQL for Data Analysis is a necessary skill to handle the complexity as well as huge volumes of data with ease. Data Analysts use SQL skills to communicate with data and apply their Analytical skills to it. As SQL is one of the simplest languages to learn, most professionals learn it because every industry uses it for Data Analysis. Data Analysts are required in every field, and so SQL is an essential skill to get ready for analyzing data.

Conclusion

In this post, you read why SQL is one of the key skills required to become a Data Analyst and how they use it for handling and analyzing data. SQL is widely used across all industries as the data-driven approach is used by every industry. Data Analyst is an essential role in the industry to analyze data and generate valuable insights from it.

 

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