Data analysts work with large amounts of data in many different fields, attempting to make sense of the information or create projections. Aspiring data analysts can take a wide variety of relevant courses through undergraduate degree, graduate degree and certificate programs in mathematics, information technology, economics or even insurance. Some of the most relevant courses for aspiring data analysts include statistics, probability and financial analysis.
A few schools offer master's degrees in data analytics, though applicants typically need a strong mathematics and computer programming background either through work experience or undergraduate coursework. These programs are often available in both campus-based and online formats.
Here are some of the main concepts learned while training to become a data analyst:
- Statistics basics
- Data gathering skills
- Data analytics software
- Working with financial statements
- Probability and data projection
List of Courses
Introduction to Statistics Course
Students discuss the terminology and concepts of statistics and how they relate to data analysis. Students will collect and summarize data, discuss probability and practice sampling distributions. Through the practice of interval estimation, hypothesis testing and random variables, students familiarize themselves with the basics of statistics. This course is a must for anyone who wishes to work with data.
Statistics and Data Analysis Course
Once the introduction to statistics course is complete, the next step is to use that training do to real data gathering, organizing and analyzing. Using computer software and calculators, students look at data as a variable and learn to classify and summarize data. This class is very similar to introduction to statistics, but students are asked to look more at analyzing data as linear information.
Accounting is a good course to take when considering a job as a data analyst. This course trains students on the business end of statistics and data. Students look at decision making and what it takes to put together financial statements with the data and information that is provided to them.
Through a probability course, students will look at methods of gathering data and coming together with probable outcomes. This course is good for individuals who want to work as data analysts because students learn how to give projections with current data and trends. Students study discrete and continuous random variables, theorems and probability distributions.
Students of an algebra course will study equations that help with problem solving and graphing. This class trains students to analyze which models and equations are best when gathering certain data and placing it into software or graphing calculators to create graphs.
An actuary course is good for students looking to work as data analysts or risk management analysts within the insurance fields. Students learn the basic mathematical and probability equations used in gathering data and projecting risk management for insurance claims. Students study life and multiple decrement functions, as well as insurance reserves. The purpose of the course is to familiarize students with the basics for actuary exams and insurances.