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How to Become a Data Analyst

What Tools Do Data Analysts Use?

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Data collection and analysis tools enable organizations and Data Analysts to collect, organize, and interpret data, and then present key insights. There are a number of tools Data Analysts use, and this evolves at much the same pace as the field of data analysis itself.

Is Excel a Data Analysis Tool?

Excel is the most widely used analysis tool, although that is changing. According to the BrainStation Digital Skills Survey, 66 percent of data professionals cited it as their most-used tool in 2020, down from 81 percent in 2019.

There are a number of potential reasons for the reduction in the number of Excel users, including the potential for accidental data loss in spreadsheets, as well as the inability to share data and information in real-time.

What Tools Do Data Analysts Use?

A close runner-up in terms of use by Data Analysts is SQL, the industry-standard query language used in database management, which is routinely used by 48 percent of respondents. Big-data number-cruncher Python is the most widely used tool for statistical programming, with 45 percent of respondents relying on it on a regular basis (coming in next at 15 percent, is R, another important player in this category).

We’ve also reached the point where more data professionals work in the cloud than don’t. Only 36 percent of respondents said they work without a cloud computing platform. Amazon Web Services is the most popular cloud platform here, used by 43 percent of survey respondents, with Google Cloud following at 24 percent.

Spark is the dominant processing framework—used to write applications across a range of operators for large-scale data processing—with 43 percent of professionals naming it their framework of choice; Hadoop, in second, claims a further 24 percent.

Tableau is by far the most widely used visualization tools, with 60 percent of Data Analysts using it. Other popular visualization tools include Matplotlib and ggplot2—Python and R’s respective visualization packages.

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