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Before we get into any of the skills you need for this job or internship, we need to talk about a pair of terms that you’ll hear very often in this article and in the hiring world, and if you don’t already know, make it a goal to add it to your vocabulary:
Hard Skills and Soft Skills.
A ‘hard skill’ vs a ‘soft skill’ is not talking about the theoretical difficulties of mastering these skills. Some hard skills can be very easy to learn and some soft skills can be incredibly difficult to master.
Rather, when one talks about ‘hard skills’ and ‘soft skills’, they’re comparing the way you learn these skills, or how you get the knowledge.
Still confused? No worries, let’s break it down.
Hard skills are the qualifications on your resume that get your foot in the door. You can’t be born with a hard skill. Instead, hard skills are learned, either through work, education, or other training. Hard skills are also measurable. In fact, some interview processes can include testing of these skills, such as Excel or coding, so Hiring Managers can get a quantifiable evaluation of your skills.
The hard skills you’ll need are going to be specific toward your career field since these skills encompass what you’ll be using in your day-to-day.
Soft skills are the skills that are much harder to define and harder to teach, but they are far more important in your career. If hard skills are what you’ll do, soft skills define how and how well you’ll do it. For example, say you’re highly skilled in Tableau, a data visualization tool used to present data and finding through visual representation. In order to best present insights to stakeholders and other teams, you will also need strong communication and storytelling skills.
The average person spends around 90,000 hours at their job, so you’ll be around your coworkers more than family. Having great soft skills not only makes you better at your job, but it also makes you an enjoyable person to work with, which means people will want to work with you and see you succeed. In fact, a LinkedIn survey shows that 57% of employers value soft skills over hard ones.
Another reason soft skills are valued is that they transfer easily from job to job. Companies may use a different development stack, a new mailing service, or even a different project management system, but being able to communicate and adapt under pressure will start adding value on day one.
Now that we know what a ‘hard skill’ and a ‘soft skill’ is, let’s take a look at what the job itself entails, which of these skills you’ll need, as well as some places to gain these skills.
A Day in the Life
Business Intelligence (BI) Analysts leverage data to identify trends that can help companies make more informed decisions. Through the use of data analytics, data visualization, and data modeling techniques and technologies, BI Analysts can identify trends that help departments, managers, and executives make business decisions to modernize and improve processes in the organization.
- Apply a broad range of analytical approaches to identify trends and new opportunities
- Develop visualizations and other methods for conveying key insights and reports
- Simplify and automate reporting, audits, and other data-driven activities
- Support the business with time-critical data analyses
- Data Collection/Management
- Data Analysis
- Tableau/Power BI
- Programing Languages (Python/R)
- SQL Knowledge
- Business Acumen
- Project Management
- Time Management
Where to learn these hard skills?
- SQL - MySQL for Data Analytics and Business Intelligence ($99.99)
- Google Data Analytics
- Data Warehousing for Business Intelligence
- Business Intelligence Concepts, Tools, and Applications
- Python Courses
- Power BI Instructor-Led Training
- Framework for Data Collection and Analysis
- Work Smarter with Microsoft Excel
- Tableau Virtual Instructor-Led Training
Interested in exploring this job, the skills it takes to break into this career, or still looking for that perfect fit in the workforce? Download the Pathmatch app to discover companies that match your interests, strengths, and goals! Pathmatch can help find the perfect career fit for you!