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Learning & Development Blog

data analytics as a skill

Six Must Have Data Analytics Skills

Over the past couple decades, a steady increase in the use of technology has opened many new opportunities for organizations to streamline operations, solve a myriad of problems, and innovate. One of the most substantial benefits of technology is its ability to collect data. While data analytics is an integral part of many company processes, L&D professionals and employers often neglect teaching it to their employees. As technology continues to make business easier and more efficient, it is necessary that employees have the knowledge and skills to analyze data and mine for insights as well as present those findings clearly. Given the accessibility and prominence of technology in the modern workplace, data analysis is no longer assigned to a specific role in a company—it is something that everyone on your team must be comfortable in doing.

There are many different ways in which data analysis skills can help your team—it’s not always about knowing specific software or analytical methods. We recommend that a balance of soft and hard skills is the best way to engage and educate your learner. Here are some of the skills we suggest you focus on when training data analytics to your employees.

  • Critical thinking. classic example of a soft skill, critical thinking can improve performance across the board, but is also very important for data analytics. The role of data analytics is to discover connections within data and use those connections to draw conclusions. Without critical thinking, data analytics would be surface level, making it ineffective. By fostering critical thinking growth, you will not only improve individual performance—you will be able to expand your team’s ability to interpret and analyze complex data.

  • Microsoft Excel. Despite what you may think, not everyone knows how to use Excel, and even fewer know how to use it to its full potential. Advanced Excel methods can allow users to interpret, sort, and analyze large groups of information. Furthermore, Excel is a great tool for collaborating and viewing data with other team members and clients. Creating a training initiative that focuses on specific Excel uses within your company can create a more versatile and valuable workforce.

  • Data Visualization. One of the most important characteristics of an effective data analyst is their ability to present information clearly. Just like other business processes, clear and effective communication of data and their implications is a skill that your employees must have. Implementing data visualization software such as Tableau can be a great way to standardize and improve data presentations. Remember, employees who are able to use data to tell a compelling story and improve comprehension can save your company valuable time and resources.

  • Presentation skills. Much like data visualization, the ability to present information clearly is essential to data analyzation. Fortunately, this is a skill that can translate to a variety of different areas of business. With most teams working remotely, it is important now more than ever that employees are able to present information clearly and keep their audience engaged. Implementing a training program that focuses on data presentation skills is a great way to improve engagement and understanding, whether you are gathering data for clients, upper management, or your team.

  • Statistical knowledge. Statistics drive data, and knowing how to create and present statistics is essential to being a successful data analyst. Knowledge of statistics will help you and your team validate your data claims and avoid errors in logic and probability. A rigorous understanding of statistics is not necessary for all employees, but it may be helpful if one or two team members had a deeper understanding depending on the data you are working with.

  • Storytelling. Effective storytelling is a great way to maximize the impact of data analysis. Much like presentation skills, being able to tell a compelling story related to data is a skill that is often overlooked and underappreciated. Storytelling is a skill that is prominent in all kinds of media but is often neglected in the business world. Being able to tell a compelling story will allow learners to capture their target audience, fuel creativity, and create a more memorable experience for all involved.

 

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While you can focus on specific data analysis software, it is often a better use of time and resources to foster skills that are applicable across your business. These skills allow your learners to grow professionally and also ensure that they are able to interpret, group, present, and explain data. By creating a team of proficient data analysts, you can expect to understand and recognize business trends sooner and solve root-cause problems.

 

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