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What’s a Big Data Analyst and How Do I Become One

3 Mins read

In a world dominated by big data, the demand for big data analysts continues to expand. Predictions said, by the end of 2020, every human would have generated 1.7 megabytes of information every second. As organizations become data-driven, leaders of the business world have set high expectations that any decisions made should be anchored in data. 

The reason why every organization today needs big data professionals that can provide quick results. One of the major responsibilities of such a professional is to help decision-makers by gathering crucial data and providing important patterns in those data. 

Let us briefly define who a big data analyst is and their job roles.

What’s a Big Data Analyst and How Do I Become One. Typically, a big data analyst is accountable for helping organizations make better-informed decisions. At times, they’re even asked to perform competitive analysis to identify recent happenings in the industry. Their job includes gathering and examining huge chunks of data to uncover hidden patterns based on the customers’ preferences. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 19 percent of job growth will be seen in the data field and computer research from 2016 to 2026. Therefore, this is an ideal time to start building a career in the field of data. Such big data professionals tend to make an average salary package of USD 84,955 per annum, says Payscale. 

The tools and technologies used by organizations are well-crafted to analyze both structured and unstructured data and identify positive insights from such type of gathered information.    

Below are all the skills mentioned to start a career in the data field. 

  • Programming skills – basic coding/programming skills are needed in C++, Python, R, Java, Ruby, and SQL. Since dealing with unstructured data becomes a daily task, being equipped in multiple coding languages is a must. 
  • Computational frameworks – being well acquainted with frameworks such as Apache Storm, Apache Spark, MapReduce, Hadoop, and Apache Flink is a must for aspiring big data analyst. Knowledge in these frameworks will help the individual while data processing. 
  • Data warehousing skills – professionals getting into such careers must have good understanding and working knowledge with both relational and non-relational database systems – MongoDB, HDFS, Cassandra, CouchDB, Oracle, MySQL, and NoSQL. 
  • Statistics – Statistics is the foundation in the big data field. Any individual seeking to become a big data professional needs to have extensive knowledge of statistics and linear algebra. Concepts such as probability distribution, Hypothesis testing framework, statistics, and random variables should be known by the individual. 
  • Business acumen – since data analysts validate, gather, sort, and evaluate data, they need to have good knowledge in the domain they’re working on. They can be great in business as well as statistics but not in programming. 
  • Big data tools – when working with big data, you need to realize that you’ll be dealing with different types of tools depending on the type of project and task. Now to achieve this, you need to possess practical knowledge in big data tools like Impala, Pig, Hive, Hadoop, HBase, YARN, Flume, and HDFS, etc. 

Now that you know the skills required to become a big data analyst, we can further explain the core roles and responsibilities below. 

  • Collect data from disparate sources, clean, gather, analyze, and process it, and extract valuable information. 
  • Identify different sources of data and develop newer methods for analysis, reporting, and data mining. 
  • Writing SQL queries that help in extracting data from the data warehouse. 
  • Present the data findings in the form of charts or graphs so that the management understands what you’re trying to convey. 
  • Developing relational databases for data collection and sourcing. 
  • Apply statistical analysis methods to analyze consumer data research. 
  • Collaborate with seniors and data scientists in developing analytical tools. 
  • Monitor how the data mining system is performing and report if there’s any error seen. 

These are some of the daily activities a big data professional needs to take care of. To get started, you can always enroll yourself with a data analyst certification program. Doing this will not only help you stand out from the other applicants but will open doors to better job opportunities. 

Upskilling is considered a wise choice in the big data field. Based on a report by Allied Market Research, by 2021, the Hadoop market is bound to hit USD 84.6 billion. In a nutshell, job opportunities for big data analysts will grow. 

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