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The Beginner Analyst Guide

Updated: Jun 21, 2020

Data is the most common buzzword I heard in the last years.

Every company wants to have the person who best understands their data to get better and be the best in the market.

It started with the word analyst and continued with dozens of different titles for a similar role. In this post, I will explain in general what an analyst does and how to become one.

Who is an Analyst?

  • Role: varies between company to company and even within different teams in the same company. In some cases, you create new tables and decide which platform you want to analyze your data. If you are a part of a team of analysts you mostly analyze the business requirements and develop new dashboards.

  • Responsibilities: Analyze company data, identify trends, and makes predictions. You are the eyes of the company and give them a view about users' behavior, sales, marketing channels, etc.

  • Workflow: Retrieving and collecting data, clearing data, building reports/dashboards, and offering a solution to any problems.

  • Interfaces: Depending on the nature of the job, most of them work with business and technical teams (decision-makers, managers, development teams, and more). For example, you can be part of the marketing team and analysis all the KPIs of them. In that case, you probably interface with the business and data department. If you are part of the BI department you mostly interface with the data science team.

Goal: Help the company make decisions and execute processes based on business insights rather than gut feelings

Role mapping

Looking at the data roles, everyone is on the scale of Research, Technical, and Business.

The Data Analyst is a supergroup containing subgroups of different roles, such as BI Analyst, Data Product Manager, Business Analyst, Data Engineer, and more. Each one combines the scale I was mention.

Day to Day

It’s different from start-up to corporate and it depends on the number of analysts.

But, let give the main responsibilities.

  • Organizing and Creating Tables and DWH - Creating Schemes, Tables / Views, and ETL procedures.

  • Developing Business Metrics ( KPIs)- Creating Business Logic and Data Mining from various sources to many by using SQL queries.

  • Development of dashboards for the various departments and performing ad hoc analysis- characterization and execution of various projects from the query to the visualization.

  • You have to be the speaker of your company. Presenting the analysis to clients/stakeholders.

  • Working with various teams in the company. You have to be a communicator and create collaboration to get real business insights. There are metrics that influence many teams in the company and you should be patient and ordinary.

Note: DWH = Data Warehouse; ETL = Extract, Transform, Load; KPI = Key Performance Indicator

What’s your ninja skills?

We need to separate into a different category: technical and business.


  • Querying Language - SQL (Transact-SQL, MySQL, etc.), DAX

  • Data Visualization Tools - Excel, Tableau, Looker, Power BI, Sisense, Data Studio

  • Programming Languages / Statistical Tools - Python, MATLAB, R, STATA, SPSS

Business & Analytical Knowledge

  • Business understanding - knowledge of Success Metrics (KPIs), know the market in the company you want to work for, and what kind of their audience/users.

  • Working with decision-makers - asking the right questions, translating data into business insights, helping make decisions, inform and influence.

  • Presenting the data clearly - appropriate visualization, message transfer, storytelling.

Where I can learn these things?

Go hacking your first position. good luck :)

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1 Comment

Unknown member
Jan 16, 2022

hey, love your content including a video of yours on the "wize night" YouTube channel, hope you'll see my question here.

I'm interested in the data analyst role, leaning more towards the business side of things.

everywhere I ever worked (nothing from the field/Hitech; hotel factory...) including the army service I always gave recommendations on how to improve and make processes more practical and efficient (including in my personal life with things such as chores..). I also love numbers and stats.

now, my question is if I learn the needed skills through a course or independently through sources like mentioned here in the article and create a portfolio of say 2 projects (to compensate for the lack of experience), will…

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