Practice English Speaking&Listening with: How I Became a Data Analyst (without a related degree)

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So how did I become a freelance data analyst without having a related degree

like computer science, statistics or econometry. In todays video Im going to share my story

and give you some advice if you want to follow the same path.

Whats up guys, my names Stefan and if youre new here, Im a freelance data analyst currently

working in Amsterdam, Holland. Funny enough, Ill be quitting my job later

this year, but more on that later. First lets get straight into it.

A little backstory about my life before becoming a data analyst.

I never knew I wanted to become a data analyst and while studying the possibility of me becoming a

data analyst hasnt even occurred to me once. After I finished high school I chose to study

something called Industrial Engineering & Management. Basically a combination between

Engineering and Business. part from And apart from some subjects like Calculus, Linear Algebra

and Statistics, it had absolutely nothing to do with Data Science. When I finished university and

got my degree, I still had no idea what to do with my career and my life. So what do most people do

when they have absolutely no idea what they want to do with their life? Thats right,

they go backpacking in South East Asia to find themselves, deep inside the Asian jungles.

I went backpacking in South-East Asia as a form of escapism. I was escaping the fact

that I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my career. So when I came back after 3 months,

now really broke, I was faced with the harsh reality, that I had to get a job

as soon as possible. So I got my first job that kind off matched what I was studying,

and I became a recruiter in the tech sector. But on my first day of that job I knew this

wasn't for me. So after exactly 1 month, I quit my job. Thats when I started this IT Management

Traineeship in Amsterdam which was basically the start of my career as a Data Analyst.

So how do you become a Data Analyst? To become a Data Analyst there a few key skills you need

to learn before picking up any online courses or technical tools. The first skill you must acquire

is having an analytical mindset. Being analytical means to apply logical reasoning to find out

more about something. It means you have to be willing to ask questions, the RIGHT questions,

to breakdown problems and issues to their very essence so they might lead to further insights.

For me personally this began when I started my IT Management traineeship

as a Performance Analyst and I got to use Microsoft Excel on a more advanced

level. I started building reports and dashboards in Excel. I started using Vlookups, Pivot tables

and even building some macros with VBA. I had no prior professional experience with excel but got

the hang of it pretty fast with the help of my colleagues and of course, the internet. You can

learn basically any programming language or tools, for free on the internet. More on that later.

I thank most of my analytical skills to that first job where I got to use excel.

And the second skill and probably the most important one is you need to keep on learning and

developing your data analysis skillset. This is because the data science field is such a dynamic

environment and new data is being generated at an exponentially growing rate. Meaning new tools,

new software and new programming languages are developed almost every other day to keep up with

the fast paced world of data analysis. Which brings me to the

tools you need to get started. There are a ton of different tools to analyse data

ranging from simple and low volume data to complex and high volume data. For low volume data

we use tools like Excel, VBA, SQL, Python and R. And for high volume and complex data, we use more

tools like Hadoop, Splunk, & again Python and R. Now I know, this might sound intimidating,

just make sure you pick one tool or programming language, and stick with it, try to master it.

I would recommend starting with Microsoft Excel as well. Excel as well.. Excel is a very easy to

use and intuitive tool that a lot of corporations and organizations use daily. Its a very basic and

all-round data analysis tool with a very visualyl focused user interface. Which can take away the

abstract aspect of data analysis. In simpler terms: you see what you build.

When I pretty much learned everything there is to learn in Microsoft Excel I started using

Power BI. Which is a Business Intelligence tool. Because nowadays I see more and more

Data Analysts acquiring business intelligence skills and tools, because data visualization

is a very important aspect of data analysis. And PowerBI is exactly that, a way to extract,

transform and load your data for you to visualize it in interactive graphs, tables or other visuals.

I can tell you, managers love these kind of dashboards. Other popular BI tools are Tableau,

Qliksense and Microstrategy. I would recommend deepdiving into a BI tool of your choice,

as soon as you feel comfortable with all the advanced functions in Excel. I personally

chose Microsoft PowerBI because it fits so well with Microsoft Excel, because of course

its the Microsoft stack. But you could go for any of the other mentioned BI tools as well.

Once I got the hang of PowerBI, I started developing my Python skills. And I was lucky

enough that my manager at that time offered the opportunity to me and my team to take an 8 week

Python course, to start developing our Python skills. This really helped us understanding the

foundation and basics of python and we actually pretty quickly started using it in our day to

day jobs. Its a programming language that you can use for Data Analysis but you can use it for

so much more. So if you have the opportunity to learn Python, wether it's trhough your job, or at

home in the evening, do it. Convince your manager of the value of knowing Python and see if he can

actually pay any of your courses or certification for you. Otherwise pay it yourself, because its

worth it. Ill drop a couple of resources in the description to some online courses. Some are

free and some require a payment. But see it as an investment in yourself. It will pay out, trust me.

Because it did for me. As soon as I developed my Excel, PowerBI & Python skills and I had a

couple of years of working experience as a Data Analyst, things went really fast. I got hired

for a big multinational where I got to develop my Business Intelligence skills in a very dynamic and

complex environment. I also started doing some freelance data analysis projects on the side.

After working there for almost 2 years I quit my job and went full-time into freelancing.

I now work full time as a freelance data analyst, a freelance contractor. Freelance

contractor!? A Data Analyst contractor. Ive now been working as a freelancer for almost

2 years at one of the biggest banks in Holland. So my point is that, Data Analysis,

Data Science and Busines Intelligence is a booming market right now. And the demand for quality Data

Analysts will only keep growing in the foreseeable future. But to become a quality data analyst,

you need to land that first job. So how how to land your first job as a Data Analyst?

So the way I got into Data Analysis is by applying to an IT Traineeship.

Traineeships are really becoming more popular as they are a good way to grow

your technical skills really fast. Traineeships also serve as a perfect transition from school

to work, or from one career to the other. Now another way that worked great for me

is to use Linkedin. If you pimp up your Linkedin profile correctly, this will be a great way for

recruiters to find you. Make sure you add all the certifications, courses & work experience

related to Data Analysis. In the header, use keywords like "Data Analyst", "Data Scientist"

or "Business Intelligence Specialist" basically anything related to Data Analysis. If you combine

this with a very short description of you and your backstory, and you can drop a couple of

those keywords in there as well, recruiters will start hunting you very soon. Thats what happened

to me. Apart from that first job, all the other jobs I landed were because recruiters approached

me through Linkedin. Use this to your advantage. And of course, once youve entered the Data

Analysis world, your network will expand as well, and it will be easier to land future

jobs and projects. So in conclusion:

If you want to start this journey, know that a career as a Data Analyst

is both an interesting one and a rewarding one. You will get to challenge and grow your analytical

skills, while also having an outlet for your creativity, as building dashboards and reports,

sometimes really does feel like you have a blank canvas in front of you for you to paint on. Which

brings me to the fact why I am quitting my job. Not only am I quitting my current job,

but the plan is to leave my Data Analysis career completely. Not because I dont like it.

But because I found something that I like more. Namely expressing my creativity through videos. My

Youtube channel basically. And I will be sharing my journey of quitting my job, leaving behind the

whole corporate office life and start traveling the world next year, where I can fully focus

on my new way of expressing my creativity and my urge for entrepreneurship. If you want to follow

me on that journey, or learn more about personal development or personal finance then definitely

subscribe. I also have an Instagram where you can follow my journey through my photos and stories.

I hope you find this video valuable and I wish you all the luck on your journey

of becoming a Data Analyst. See you in the next video, cheers!

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