Data and statistics seem to be making their way onto every avenue in the workforce, and there are hundreds of programming languages, tools and methods for practicing the craft. But which skills are in highest demand in the job market?
No, seriously, data analysis is the most in-demand skill. Granted, it’s a strange one to appear on a list of the same name, but Trilogy defines it as the critical-thinking ability to interpret numbers. “It’s the ability to tell a story that gives insight into a problem,” says Dan Sommer, Trilogy’s founder and CEO. In other words, in addition to knowing how to use specific programming languages and tools, employers need you to discern when patterns in data are meaningful, so that you can draw accurate and actionable conclusions.
SQL is the coding language of databases. There are variations like Presto SQL, Hive and Server SQL which keep things interesting. This language has been around for a long time and is a basic foundational skill set needed by every analyst. I use SQL every day, without fail. It’s the workhorse of the analytics industry.
R or Python or Statistics Software
Knowledge of a statistics software tool is essential in today’s world of Big Data and open source mania. Analysis of big data sets is just not possible without knowing one of these tools. Most analysts I meet are in either the R or Python camp. SAS also has a big community of analysts. Personally, I prefer R because of the brilliant, cooperative community that contributes packages to the R codebase. I suspect Python is just as flexible. Other options include SAS, MatLab, SPSS, Sage and Mathematica.
Data management relates to how you structure databases, which can have complex rules around who can access different pieces of information. And there are different approaches to storing data as efficiently as possible. A common job requiring data management skills is database administrator.
“Data warehousing is the process of combining large amounts of data (usually from disparate sources) into one place to enable analytics,” Sommer explains. Companies today often have large amounts of information coming from different places, and a data warehouse lets it all sit in one happy location. A common data warehousing job is data engineer.