February 9, 2020

What Skills Do Companies Look For in a Data Analyst? (Toronto)

One of the most frustrating things can be looking for a new job. This is especially true if you are trying to break into a new field, with no idea what skills companies want in a particular field. So you are basically left to comb through job postings and try and figure out what you need to be successful. I have tried to simplify that process by looking for the most common skills mentioned in job postings, this time for a Data Analyst.

Data

The data was found using 365 job postings in the Toronto area on the website Indeed. Here are the most common skills found by searching “Data Analyst”. The largest words represent the skills found most commonly:

Word cloud of most commonly found skills in Data Analyst job listings.

Let’s get into some numbers now. Of the skills mentioned above, here are the top 5 mentioned in job postings, categorized by the type of skill:

Programming Languages: SQL (30%), Python (13%), R (7%), Java (7%), VBA (7%)

Software: Excel (44%), Access (29%), Powerpoint (18%), Word (15%), Tableau (9%)

Process: Web (15%), Agile (14%), Quality Assurance (10%), ETL (5%), Big Data (4%)

Non-Technical: Written (48%), Reports (46%), Customer (43%), Verbal (29%), Project Management (16%)

And here are all the skills, with the same grouping visualized:

Bar graph grouped by skill type showing each skill and what percentage of Data Analyst listings contained it.

Finally, here is the raw data that can be looked through for the skills mentioned in the graph above:

SkillType of Skill% of Posts
ACCESSSoftware20
AGILEProcess14
AWSSoftware5
AZURESoftware5
BIG DATAProcess4
C#Programming Languages4
CLOUDProcess10
CUSTOMERNon-Technical43
ETLProcess5
EXCELSoftware44
GOOGLE ANALYTICSSoftware5
HADOOPSoftware3
HTMLProgramming Languages5
JAVAProgramming Languages7
JAVASCRIPTProgramming Languages6
JIRAProcess3
LINUXSoftware3
MICROSOFT OFFICESoftware15
MS OFFICESoftware13
MYSQLProgramming Languages4
POWER BISoftware7
POWERPOINTSoftware18
PRESENTATIONSNon-Technical10
PROJECT MANAGEMENTProcess16
PYTHONProgramming Languages13
QUALITY ASSURANCEProcess10
RProgramming Languages7
REPORTSNon-Technical46
SASSoftware5
SHAREPOINTSoftware2
SPARKSoftware3
SQLProgramming Languages30
STATISTICAL ANALYSISNon-Technical3
TABLEAUSoftware9
VBAProgramming Languages6
VERBALNon-Technical29
VISIOSoftware4
VISUALIZATIONNon-Technical10
WEBProcess15
WORDSoftware16
WRITTENNon-Technical48
XMLProgramming Languages3

Conclusion

From the grouping results, it seems that non-technical skills are the most important for a Data Analyst. Software, programming languages, and process-related knowledge follow in order of most mentioned.

As far as non-technical skills go, being able to write reports and communicate are requirements, as they are for most analyst roles.

If there is one software to know, Excel seems to be the one. Most people have encountered this program before, but investing in a deeper knowledge could be beneficial as it is overwhelmingly the most mentioned. Because of this, it is likely to show up on any technical interview.

Programming languages are usually more flexible as the concepts are transferable. If there is one to learn for a prospective data analyst, Python looks like a solid choice.

General process skills are also good to know but don’t seem required. If the candidate has any business experience, these are probably already familiar and if not can be learned on the job in most cases.

Keep these skills in mind when preparing to apply for jobs as a Data Analyst.

Leave a comment below if you’d like me to analyze jobs in another city and/or field.

2 Comment on “What Skills Do Companies Look For in a Data Analyst? (Toronto)”

  • User
    Dustin Kleinhenz April 26th, 2020 Reply

    admiring the persistence you put into your blog and comprehensive information you provide.

  • User
    nunumbered May 9th, 2020 Reply

    I’ll forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a very good read.Many thanks for sharing!

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