To succeed as a data analyst, foster curiosity: While technical tools may evolve and change, the single best skill to grow as a data analyst is curiosity. Curiosity to answer business problems, to look at data with a different point of view, and curiosity to understand your audience when delivering data stories,
Design skills are extremely important for data science: To deliver insights that drive action, pay attention to design skills when crafting data stories and data visualizations. They will help you empathize with the audience, and drive a message that resonates with them.
Data literacy is fundamental: Learning the fundamentals of data is paramount for a healthy, functioning organization and society. Being able to criticize charts, pick them apart, and discuss the insights in a common language, is a sign of a vibrant data culture.
Curiosity feeds a sense of empathy when working with data. Because I could be a hardcore data nerd, but if I can't actually express that to other people, express what I'm finding on my insights then, well then what's the point, right? I think sometimes we can over-focus on the technical skills and forget the last mile of analytics. Curiosity and empathy are the core skills underpinning that.
To create a data culture, there are three things. You need to have an agile system—so that's about creating that architecture that has the robustness of data sources, but also the ability for people to find things and respond quickly. There has to be a high level of proficiency, so that's the skill base across an organization, the data fluency, but also the hard technical skills of using the platform you've implemented. And then the community is the third aspect of success, and that's about having people who are engaged.
About Andy Cotgreave and Andy Cotgreave
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