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If you want to pursue a career in Data Analysis but you’re not sure how much programming is required, I hope that this article will answer all your questions.
A data analyst’s job is to support organizations and senior-level stakeholders in making better-informed decisions based on data. That data first needs to be cleaned, managed, manipulated, and analyzed through a series of advanced processes.
In order to perform these operations, analysts use various sets of tools and technologies to manipulate massive amounts of unstructured information.
Does data analytics require coding?
Yes, but it does not require advanced programming skills. It’s a must to have mastered the basics of Python or R, and proficiency in a querying language like SQL. Luckily, the basics of these languages are easy to learn.
Depending on the industry you want to work in, some may ask for SAS or Julia. We covered everything you need to know in detail in our latest article on the best programming languages for data analysis.
How much coding is required for data analysis?
It depends on the role and the technologies used within the company.
Most companies heavily rely on performing scalable analysis using essential coding languages like R, Python, SQL, and BI tools.
But there are also roles out there that require less coding focusing more on a mix of tools like Excel (advanced level – using VBA formulas, charting, pivot tables, aggregate reports, and more), Tableau, or Power BI, tools with friendly drag-and-drop interfaces.
Strong coding skills are a big plus
Going beyond the basics of Python or R will help you get hired faster and negotiate higher paid salaries. Companies prefer people who are comfortable with coding for analysis, building pipelines, data collection, and automation purposes.
Often, businesses focused on growth want to automate data processes to ensure scalability – this requiring Python skills.
Besides basic coding skills, analysts also need to master at least one visualization tool like Tableau, Power BI, or Google Data Studio.
Data Analyst Job Interviews May Include Coding Tests
Many companies that hire Business Intelligence Analysts / Data Analysts can give candidates coding tests.
Basic exercises/questions can look like:
- How to read CSV files in Pandas?
- Filtering and counting in Python
- How to create a dataframe using Python?
- How to change data types from integer to string in Python?
- How to load and save CVSs with R?
- What function returns summary statistics in R?
Important to mention, data analytics is not data science.
While data analysis focuses more on the basics of coding and more on analytical tools (eg. Tableau), data science roles require heavy programming, and typically advanced knowledge of Machine Learning algorithms, building predictive models, strong math and statistics skills.