Building your data skillset – where to start

After building data solutions for nearly a decade, I compiled a list of skills I would recommend to anyone looking to start a career in #data:

1. Learn SQL – this is the top skill I would recommend for anyone in the data field. SQL is standard across every platform I’ve used (even helps querying NoSQL databases).

Where to start: SELECT, COUNT, DISTINCT, SUM, WHERE, GROUP BY, ORDER BY

2. Learn data modeling concepts – understand why we use different modeling techniques for different scenarios.

Where to start: Research Ralph Kimball vs Bill Inmon, transactional modeling vs star schema modeling, ER Diagrams. Most agree modeling is more of an art than a science.

3. Learn a data integration tool – learning one makes the others simple to pick up.

Where to start: Move data from a source to target, transform data in a flow, access data in various formats, schedule jobs, handle errors.

4. Learn a data visualization tool – learning one makes the others simple to pick up.

Where to start: Know when to use certain charts, learn design concepts, slicers/filters, manipulating data to fit your charts.

5. Learn statistics and python – this is good to know even at a high level

Where to start: probability distributions, statistical significance, hypothesis testing, regression

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