Why You Should Learn Data Skills

updated on 29 May 2024

Data can help us understand ourselves, our environment, our society, and our future. It can help us solve problems, create opportunities, and make better decisions.

Data skills are the abilities to work with data effectively and efficiently. They are not only for data scientists or data analysts, but for everyone who wants to succeed in the digital age.

These skills refer to the ability to gather, interpret, and communicate data, and sit in these categories:

  1. Data Analysis: The ability to collect, clean, and interpret data effectively.
  2. Statistical Skills: Understanding of statistical concepts and principles.
  3. Data Visualisation: The ability to present data in a visual context to make it easier for others to understand.
  4. Programming Skills: Knowledge of programming languages like Python, R, SQL which are commonly used in data analysis.
  5. Machine Learning: Familiarity with machine learning algorithms and how to apply them to data.
  6. Data Warehousing: Knowledge of how to store, retrieve, and manage large amounts of data.
  7. Database Management: Understanding of database concepts, and skills in managing and manipulating databases.
  8. Data Mining: The ability to extract and analyse large volumes of data to discover patterns and trends.
  9. Predictive Modeling: The ability to create models that predict future outcomes based on historical data.
  10. Big Data Processing: Familiarity with tools and frameworks like Hadoop or Spark that are used for processing big data.

Data skills are in high demand

Data is the driving force of the modern economy. According to a report by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, UK companies are recruiting for 178,000 to 234,000 roles requiring hard data skills. 

Roles requiring these skills are also among the top 10 in-demand skills in the global job market, according to LinkedIn and Microsoft.

These are skills are are growing in demand in pretty much every industry can open up many career opportunities for you, whether you want to work in tech, finance, gaming, healthcare, education etc.

There are simply not enough people with these skills to go around, which is why we encourage GenZ to upskill. Having these in-demand data skills can help you stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of landing a well paid high-valued job.

Data is everywhere! It is the information that we collect, store, analyse, and use to make sense of the world.

Data skills are useful for everyone

It's important to know that data skills are not only for technical roles, but for anyone who wants to communicate, collaborate, and innovate with data, it's becoming particularly popular in advertising, business analysis and social media market too.

Data skills can help you:

  1. Communicate with team members. If you work with data specialists, you need to understand what they are doing, what they need, and how to support them. Data skills can help you speak their language and avoid misunderstandings or delays.
  2. Be independent and save time. If you need to access, manipulate, or visualise data, you don’t have to rely on others or wait for them to do it for you. Data skills can help you do it yourself and save time and resources.
  3. Ask the right questions and make better decisions. If you want to find answers or solutions from data, you need to know how to ask the right questions, how to collect and analyse the data, and how to interpret and present the results. Data skills can help you do that and make informed and evidence-based decisions.
  4. Communicate value and insights to stakeholders. If you want to share your findings or make recommendations from data, you need to know how to communicate them clearly, convincingly, and persuasively. Data skills can help you do that and create impact and value for your audience.

Data skills are fun and rewarding

Data skills are not only useful, but also fun and rewarding:

🀩 Explore your interests and passions. Data can help you learn more about anything that you are curious or passionate about, whether it is sports, music, art, or anything else. Data can help you discover new facts, trends, patterns, or stories that can enrich your knowledge and enjoyment.

πŸ’‘ Express your creativity and innovation. Data can help you create new things, whether it is a blog, a podcast, a game, or anything else. Data can help you generate ideas, test hypotheses, or experiment with different possibilities that can spark your creativity and innovation.

πŸ’ͺ Challenge yourself and grow. Data can help you challenge yourself and grow your skills, whether it is learning a new tool, a new technique, or a new domain. Data can help you expand your horizons, overcome obstacles, or achieve goals that can boost your confidence and satisfaction.

How to learn data skills

If you are interested in learning data skills, there are many microlearning opportunities available for you.

Here are some examples:

DataSkills by The Open University is a free, flexible, and comprehensive training programme that can help you develop the data skills you need to access digital jobs. You can work towards the internationally recognised Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals and Microsoft Data Associate certifications, and get a job interview with an employer once you complete the course.

Data Science for Everyone is a free online course by Datacamp that can help you learn the basics of data science and data literacy. You can learn how to work with data, how to analyse data, and how to communicate data in a fun and interactive way.

Online Data Science Courses by Harvard University are free online courses that can help you learn various aspects of data science, such as data wrangling, data visualisation, data analysis, and data modelling. You can learn from experts and apply your skills to real-world problems and datasets.

A good place to start is YouTube tutorials; we've gathered some beginner ones here

Take the next step; we unlock data upskilling opportunities regularly on @miFutureSkills social channels, we find the best, the free, and those that will help you get the skills employers really want. 

You've got this 😎✌️

Gem Hallett, miFuture Founder

www.miFuture.co.uk | @miFutureSkills

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