IN THIS ARTICLE
- What Does a Data Analyst Do?
- Data Analysis Glossary of Terms
- What Is a Good Data Analysis Certification to Have?
- What Is a Data Analytics Bootcamp?
- 12 Top Data Analytics Courses
- How Do You Choose a Data Analytics Course?
- Making the Most Out of Your Data Analytics Studies
- Data Analytics FAQs
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Data allows businesses to uncover new and actionable insights, which can help managers make better decisions. One study found that data analysis skills are so in demand that non-technical managers can raise their salary by an average of 29% by learning these skills. And for those looking for a new career, data analytics bootcamp graduates see an average salary increase of $15,857 when they land their first analyst job after they learn data analysis.
However, with so many competing bootcamps, data analytics certifications, data science courses, and data analytics certifications on the market, it can be difficult to know where to start looking. We’ve created a curated list of courses and data analytics certifications that you can use to launch your career in data science. Good luck, budding data analysts!
What Does a Data Analyst Do?
A data analyst, data scientist, or data engineer is a professional who collects, cleans, analyzes, and interprets data to help businesses make better decisions. Data analysts use their skills in statistics, data mining, data analysis, data visualization, machine learning, mathematics, and programming to extract insights and analyze data that would otherwise be hidden.
Here are some of the specific tasks that data analysts typically do:
- A data analyst has to gather data from a variety of sources, such as surveys, customer transactions, and social media.
- A data analyst has to clean and prepare the data for data analysis, removing errors and inconsistencies.
- A data analyst will use statistical methods for analyzing data and identifying trends and patterns.
- A data analyst communicates the results of their analysis to stakeholders in a clear and concise way.
- A data analyst develops and implements data visualization tools to help stakeholders understand the data.
- A data analyst works with other data scientists and engineers to build and maintain data pipelines.
There are some differences between the work of a data engineer, data scientist and data analyst – you may need to obtain a specific data analytics certification to specialize in those fields.
Data Analysis Glossary of Terms
Whether you are a project manager that works with data scientists, or a complete novice that needs to know the terms, you should store these terms in Google Sheets or your favorite spreadsheet software when you need it:
- Data analytics certification: A credential that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and skills in data analytics.
- Data scientists: Professionals who collect, clean, analyze data, and interpret data to extract meaningful insights and inform decision-making.
- Structured query language (SQL): A programming language used to manage and manipulate data in relational databases.
- Certified data analyst: An individual who has passed an exam and met certain experience requirements to demonstrate their proficiency in data analytics.
- Applied data analytics: The process of using data analytics to solve real-world problems and make informed decisions.
- Data modeling: Data modeling is the process of creating a representation of data that is used to understand, visualize, and analyze data.
- Data manipulation: The process of cleaning, transforming, and preparing data for analysis.
- Raw data: Unprocessed or unorganized data that has not been cleaned or formatted.
- Data points: Data points are individual pieces of information that are collected about a particular entity or phenomenon.
- Data collection: The process of gathering data from various sources, such as surveys, experiments, or transactions.
- Data pipelines: Processes that automate the movement and transformation of data between different systems.
- Data repositories: Storage systems that store and organize large amounts of data.
- Data processes: A series of steps or actions taken to collect, organize, analyze, interpret and transform data.
What Is a Good Data Analysis Certification to Have?
The right data analysis certification for you will depend on your individual needs and goals. If you are a beginner, start with the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate. If you have some experience with data analysis and data science, you may want to consider the IBM Data Science Professional Certificate or the Microsoft Data Analyst Associate Certification. If you are interested in working with SAS software, then the SAS Certified Associate Data Analyst certification is a good option. And if you want to learn a wide range of data science topics, then the DataCamp Data Scientist Track is a great choice.
- Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate: This data analytics certification is a great option for beginners who want to learn the fundamentals of data analysis and data science. It covers topics such as data cleaning, data visualization, and statistical analysis.
- IBM Data Science Professional Certificate: This data analytics certification is more advanced than the Google data analysis certificate and covers topics such as machine learning and predictive analytics. If you are a data analyst with some experience, this can really move you forward in your data science career.
- Microsoft Data Analyst Associate Certification: This data analytics certification is designed for professional data analysts who want to demonstrate their skills in data analysis and data visualization using Microsoft tools such as Excel and Power BI.
- SAS Certified Associate Data Analyst: This data analytics certification is for data science professionals who want to demonstrate their skills in data analysis using SAS software.
- DataCamp Data Scientist Track: This data science track covers a wide range of topics in data science, including data cleaning, data visualization, machine learning, and natural language processing.
If you want more flexibility, the CareerFoundry Data Analytics Program or the Springboard Data Analytics Certification is best for you. You can hone your data analysis skills on your own time.
In addition to these specific data analysis certifications, there are also many general data analysis courses (including free courses) available online and in person. These courses can be a great way to learn the basics of data analysis and to gain hands-on experience with different data analysis tools and techniques.
No matter which data science certification or course you choose, make sure that it is accredited by a reputable organization. This will help to ensure that the content is up-to-date and that the data analytics certification is recognized by employers when you apply for your first job as a data analyst.
What Is a Data Analytics Bootcamp?
Data analytics bootcamps or courses are online programs designed to teach students the foundational skills needed to collect, prepare, analyze, and present data. Courses cover basic programming skills in languages like Python, R, and SQL and tools such as Microsoft Excel and Tableau. Knowing the basics, like using structured query language, performing Python data analysis, and data mining will give you a head start. All data analysts should complete a data science course to obtain the necessary data analysis certification to launch their career.
12 Top Data Analytics Courses
|Data Analytics Career Track||4.64||$8,500||Learn More|
|Google Data Analytics Certificate||4.8||$300||Learn More|
|Data Analytics Program||4.67||$6,555||Learn More|
|Data Analytics Course Online||4.7||$3,250||Learn More|
|Data Analyst in R||4.76||$49||Learn More|
|CCA Data Analyst Certification||N/A||$295||Learn More|
|Business Analytics: From Data to Insights||4.7||$2,337||Learn More|
|Online Data Analytics Course||4.31||$3,950||Learn More|
|Data Analytics Bootcamp||4.55||$12,250||Learn More|
|Become a Data Analyst||4.72||$1,356||Learn More|
|Applied Business Analytics||4.6||$2,800||Learn More|
|Excel Skills for Data Analytics and Visualization Specialization||4.8||$160||Learn More|
Below is our list of the current best 12 data analysis courses available online.
Course Report: 4.64 out of 5 (1,289 ratings)
Springboard courses focus on providing beginner-level students with the support they need to learn the hands-on skills needed to thrive in the tech industry. By providing each student with an industry expert mentor and a data science career coach, the career track courses are able to prepare students for the practicalities of their new career as data analysts as well as provide theoretical education.
In the Data Analytics Career Track, students will learn how to practice structured thinking to explore business problems, then analyze and visualize the data with SQL databases and the Python programming language. They will also be coached in best practices for communicating their findings back to the stakeholders and managers who will use them to inform their business decisions. You’ll learn how to analyze data, transform data, perform Python data analysis, cover the fundamentals of data mining, and more.
The course offers a flexible schedule to accommodate part-time workers and students that want to enter the field of data science and is fully online.
This course is aimed at tech professionals who want to expand their skill set or enter a new area of the data science industry as data analysts. You don’t need any prior knowledge of data analytics or data science to apply, but two years of professional experience in a role using office, design, or programming tools.
The average student puts in an average of 15-20 hours of study per week, but the flexible schedule can allow for fewer hours a week for students with less free time.
The course includes over 400 hours of content, which can be completed in around six months for students who study 15-20 hours per week. However, it is possible to progress through the course at a slower pace.
Prices Starting From
The discounted price of the course, when paid upfront, is $8,500. There are also options for monthly payments, deferred tuition, and credit loans.
Coursera: 4.8 out of 5 (76,233 ratings)
Google provides a number of data science programs on various topics and technical skills, with a total of 222 courses listed on Coursera. Their data analytics program is aimed at beginner-level students with no prior experience in data analytics or related tech fields. It is split into eight modules, covering how data is used, prepared, cleaned, analyzed, and presented as actionable insights to aid in business decisions.
Rather than Python, this course teaches the open-source programming language R. The last module of the course covers case studies, portfolios, and tips on how to navigate the data analyst job market. There’s also an option case study for students to complete for their own data science portfolio. This is a self-study course that is taken completely online and according to each student’s schedule, so it can be completed while working. Data analysts who complete this course have gone on to have lucrative careers.
This course is affordable and flexible and requires no prior experience, knowledge, or qualifications. For students who are comfortable studying alone and without a live instructor or 1:1 mentoring, who want to become data analysts, this course comes highly recommended.
When studying at the recommended rate of 10 hours per week, this data science course can generally be completed in six months. However, deadlines and schedules are completely flexible, so even full-time workers could take this course by slowing the pace to a comfortable amount.
Prices Starting From
The Google Data Analytics bootcamp is available on Coursera with a standard subscription price of $39 per month. At the suggested pace, students can complete the course in six months and therefore pay under $300 for the entire course.
Course Report: 4.67 out of 5 (1,262 ratings)
Career Foundry’s Data Analytics Program aims to take students with no experience in data analytics and teach them all the job-ready skills they need to land an analyst role after graduation. Enrolling in the course provides students with a 1:1 mentor and access to expert career coaching to help them get real-life insight into the life of a data analyst, and plan their own career goals.
The CareerFoundry Data Analytics Program is fully flexible and can be taken full-time or part-time, with a third flexible option to switch between the two as needed. The curriculum focuses on real-world projects that students can use to develop their problem-solving skills and display them in their professional portfolios after graduation. Examples of portfolios created by graduates of the program are available to view on the course website, which is a great way to get a good picture of what you’ll be able to do by the end of the course.
Get To Know Other Data Analytics Students
With the flexible scheduling, this course is well-suited for budding data analysts that can set aside at least 15-20 hours per week to study.
Full-time students should complete the course in around five months, and part-time students up to eight months. The course includes around 420 hours of content altogether.
Prices Starting From
The upfront cost of the course is $6,555, and there are monthly payment and financing options available.
Course Report: 4.7 out of 5 (1,182 ratings)
BrainStation courses are delivered in a state-of-the-art online learning environment developed especially for its courses. Live classes are taught by expert tutors currently active in the industry, and students will collaborate with each other on real-world projects. By focusing on hands-on skills and projects, students can learn the programming skills they need for the analysis process while also building a portfolio to show prospective employers after graduation.
There are no prerequisites for this data analytics course, though a working knowledge of Microsoft Excel is strongly encouraged, as that is one of the main tools students will use alongside Tableau.
As classes are delivered in a live format, students do need to commit to a set schedule either on weekday evenings or weekends. So it’s great for those who need flexible scheduling.
The course takes 5-10 weeks to complete depending on whether you take evening or weekend classes.
Prices Starting From
The upfront price for the entire course is $3,250, but there are monthly payment options available as well.
Course Report: 4.76 out of 5 (19 ratings)
Dataquest’s data analytics career path focuses specifically on analyzing data with the R programming language. The course gives students foundational knowledge in R before starting on data cleaning and visualization using R and ending with modules on statistical analysis and machine learning.
With 19 modules ending in 19 projects, students can build a substantial professional portfolio as they earn this data analytics certification. The entire course is online and completely self-paced, so students can learn according to their schedules without having to quit their job.
The course is aimed at beginners, and anyone interested in data analytics or the R programming language. The self-paced nature of this online closure makes it accessible to all types of learners, though because payment is in the form of a subscription, the course will cost more for slower-paced learners.
The average completion time for the course is five months at 10 hours per week.
Prices Starting From
Dataquest works as a subscription service, and access to this course costs $49 per month or $33 per month when billed annually.
The CCA Data Analyst Exam is a great certification for your resume that students can aim to pass after taking a data analytics course. The exam sets a standard that makes it easy for prospective employers to confirm and assess your practical data analysis skills.
The exam assesses candidates based on their ability to:
- Create data tables from new and from existing tables
- Improve query performance with partitioned tables
- Alter tables
- Create views for simplifying queries
- Prepare reports
- Calculate aggregate statistics
- Perform queries
The exam consists of 8-12 performance-based tasks and has a 120-minute time limit.
This certification is aimed at SQL developers who want to prove their skills, and we recommend taking this certification after passing a full-time or part-time data analytics course.
The exam lasts for 120 minutes.
Prices Starting From
The cost of taking the exam is $295.
Career Karma: 4.7 out of 5 (35 ratings)
The Wharton Business Analytics course aims to give executives and business leads the knowledge they need to analyze and utilize their data to help inform their decisions and improve their productivity and success. The program includes four live teaching sessions by faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, with other content taught through video lectures based on real-world example problems and data sets. Over nine modules, students will cover topics such as descriptive analytics, predictive analytics, prescriptive analytics, and the application of analytics for business.
This program is aimed at business professionals without data analysis experience, but with an existing use for those skills. The course aims to equip them with the knowledge they can take right back to their teams and turn into actionable analytical insights.
The course should last around three months when students put in 6-8 hours per week.
Prices Starting From
The upfront cost of the program is $2,337, with flexible payment options available and special pricing for group enrollment.
Course Report: 4.31 out of 5 (588 ratings)
The General Assembly course in data analytics is used by big-name companies such as Twitter and Bloomberg to train their teams in data analysis. Employees who want to study the course of their own volition can also apply to have their companies sponsor the cost of the course. The schedule is designed for busy professionals, offering a 10-week evening version of the course, and a full-time accelerated course lasting one week.
Students will receive individualized instructor support and access to a network of over 70,000 alumni of the course, along with lifetime access to community events and workshops. By studying real-world projects, students will graduate with a professional portfolio they can use to land a new role, kickstart a new career, or get a promotion.
The course focuses on teaching Excel, SQL, and Tableau skills to help students start prepping, analyzing, and visualizing data as soon as possible.
This is a beginner-level analytics online course aimed at professionals across a range of industries. Statistics on the course website show that demand for Tableau skills has increased by 1,103% over the past five years, and roles like general and marketing managers earn higher salaries with data analytics skills.
The course takes 10 weeks with evening classes or one week if you choose the accelerated full-time course.
Prices Starting From
The full tuition price is $3,950 when paid upfront, but there are also employee sponsorship, installment, and loan plans available.
Course Report: 4.55 out of 5 (911 ratings)
The Thinkful data analytics bootcamp is a fully online training that gives students access to live classes, expert tutors, and personal mentors for the duration of the 4-6 month course. Aspiring data analysts can choose from the 50-hour-per-week full-time option and complete the course in four months or the 20-30 hours-per-week part-time option, which can be completed in six months.
With the full-time option, schedules will be based around daily live online lectures and workshops from 10 am to 5 pm ET, while part-time learners will take self-paced independent online lessons. The full-time option also requires a 4-week self-paced prep course to be completed before classes begin.
The curriculum covers all the necessary bases for data analysts, including:
- Advanced Excel skills
- Python programming language
- Tableau skills
- Statistical analysis
The course is aimed at beginner-level individuals who want to develop a career in data analysis and offers expert career advice to help them achieve this goal. Big names such as Google, IBM, Amazon, and Twitter have hired graduates of the program in the past, and they also offer some free beginner-friendly exercises you can try before enrolling.
The course can be completed at a full-time pace in four months, or at a part-time pace in six months.
Prices Starting From
The upfront cost of the bootcamp is $12,250, but monthly and deferred tuition options are also available. Full-time students also have access to a deferred tuition and living expenses loan option that covers food and rent for the four months of the course.
Course Report: 4.72 out of 5 (611 ratings)
The data analytics program at Udacity aims to instruct experienced programmers in the art of uncovering analytical insights and creating data-driven solutions. It is recommended that applicants for the course have experience with Python and SQL before enrolling.
Modules cover statistical analysis, data wrangling, and data visualization with Python, including hands-on projects based on real-world scenarios using popular analysis tools. Mentors can give students technical guidance as well as answer questions about the job and the industry. They can be reached via Udacity’s chat app, where you can ask your technical question and receive an answer usually within an hour.
As mentioned, this program suggests that applicants have knowledge and skills in both Python and SQL in order to make the most of the curriculum. This makes it perfect for professionals who are currently in a different sector of the tech industry and want to move into data analytics, and the flexible schedule of the course can help them study around their full-time jobs.
The course takes four months to complete with 10 hours of study per week, but students are free to take longer than this if they prefer.
Prices Starting From
Udacity gives students two payment options: paying for four months of access upfront for $1,356, or paying $399 each month until you finish the course.
MIT Sloan School of Management Applied Business Analytics Certificate
Career Karma: 4.6 out of 5 (60 ratings)
This course from MIT focuses specifically on data analysis and its use within businesses. The curriculum aims to teach students how to pick the right data sets, ask the right questions, and effectively conduct analysis to turn previously underutilized data into actionable analytical insights.
The course covers the following strategies and areas:
The course is taught through case studies of real applications in well-known organizations such as Netflix, Twitter, and the Supreme Court. The modules are delivered through a mixture of live negotiation simulations and video lectures. Discussions, reading materials, quizzes, surveys, and assignments, all of which are fully available online. The capstone projects aim to arm students with proper hands-on experience with analysis tools to help them succeed in the job market.
The course is designed to benefit and accommodate both non-technical and technical professionals, with extra code snippets available to those who are interested. The curriculum is suited to general managers, consultants, and entrepreneurs across multiple industries.
The course runs for six weeks with 4-6 hours of study per week.
Prices Starting From
The price of the program is $2,800.
Coursera: 4.8 out of 5 (1,785 ratings)
Macquarie University hosts a specialized Excel data analytics program on Coursera that focuses on the data analysis and visualization capabilities of Microsoft Excel. The course is aimed at individuals with some basic knowledge of Excel tables and formulas, but who are otherwise inexperienced in data analysis. Excel is still one of the most widely used basic tools for data analysis, so it’s perfect for professionals who are interested in gaining some knowledge in the area and using it to inform their work.
The course is fully online, independent, and self-paced, making it accessible to any kind of full-time or part-time learner. The course does not cover more advanced topics like statistical analysis and machine learning. All paying students will receive a certificate of completion when they pass the course.
Anyone with some basic knowledge of Excel can enroll in this course, but aspiring students could also find a free Excel course to brush up on their skills before signing up. The schedule is fully flexible and self-paced, as students will use recorded video lectures and reading materials to progress their online training. There are also subtitles available in multiple languages other than English.
The course will take approximately four months to complete at the suggested pace of three hours per week.
Prices Starting From
With the standard paid subscription from Coursera, the course would cost under $160 when completed in four months. The faster you complete the course, the less money you need to spend.
How Do You Choose a Data Analytics Course?
This list includes 12 of our best recommendations for data analytics online courses, but there are many more courses available. To pick the right course that suits your need, try keeping the following factors in mind:
There are various levels and areas within data analytics, from simple Excel data visualizations to predictive algorithms using machine learning. Before enrolling in a course, it’s helpful to read the syllabus carefully and make sure it covers the kinds of topics you’re most interested in.
Many courses are written by industry experts and university faculty, but to do the curriculum justice, the instructors also need to be qualified. The best online data analytics programs are delivered by experienced and current workers within the industry, who can instruct and guide students on technical problems as well as general questions about the career and industry.
One of the most important things to consider when you find a course that you want to enroll in is whether you have the ability to put in the recommended amount of hours. Many courses, both full-time and part-time, will include live online classes with instructors which require students to commit to a certain schedule either on weekday evenings or weekends. Most people learn best when they’re well-rested and relaxed, so we recommend not enrolling in a course if you’re not completely sure that you’ll be able to study comfortably.
One of the most popular benefits of online data analytics programss is the affordability and flexibility in payments when compared to a traditional college education. However, many courses still cost upward of $10,000 and require a good amount of thought before enrolling. We recommend thinking carefully about the different payment options and which will work best for you and your situation and making sure to read the terms and conditions.
Reviews & Ratings
While many online data analytics courses may seem similar in the analytics tools they use and the hands-on projects they offer, the quality of the courses can vary considerably. In order to get a better idea of the course provider, the effectiveness of the curriculum, and the quality of the instructors, we recommend reading reviews and ratings before you enroll. You can read reviews on sites like Course Report and Career Karma or on forums like Reddit.
Making the Most Out of Your Data Analytics Studies
Here are some things to consider to help you get the most out of the course you choose:
How Does a Data Analytics Program Work?
Each data analytics program you come across will have a set of learning outcomes that they intend students to achieve upon graduation. For some introductory courses, this may just be a basic understanding of data analysis principles, but longer courses with job guarantees will have a detailed list of skills and tasks graduates should be able to accomplish.
The content you learn will be created around these learning outcomes and delivered in a variety of different ways depending on the kind of course provider and the type of course you choose. Typical methods include:
- Live lectures with instructors
- Recorded video lectures
- Reading materials
- Surveys and quizzes
- Hands-on tasks using tools like Google Sheets, Excel, or Tableau
- Discussion classes to build communication skills
- 1:1 time with mentors or tutors
- 1:1 time with career specialists
- Real-world capstone projects that can be included in a portfolio
What Should You Expect From a Data Analytics Program?
A data analytics program can guide you in your learning journey and provide you with the basic foundational knowledge in a range of basic to advanced areas, but it’s important to remember that extra study and experience are always beneficial in the job market. Taking the skills, you learn during your bootcamp and using them to build a portfolio of data analytics projects or find open-source projects you can contribute to will help you stand out when searching for your future employer.
Data Analytics FAQs
We’ve got the answers to your most frequently asked questions.
Do I Need To Complete a Data Analytics Program To Get a Job?
A data analytics bootcamp is a great way to get a structured education in data analytics and demonstrate your skills on your data analyst resume, but it’s not the only way to start your data analyst career. If you’ve gained the skills you need to land an entry-level role, you can demonstrate them by creating a portfolio and gaining experience within the industry.
What Are the Common Prerequisites for a Data Analytics Bootcamp?
Prerequisites for data analytics courses can vary, but most commonly, beginner-level courses don’t require any prior knowledge or qualifications.
Common prerequisites for intermediate courses aimed at professionals include experience with Python, SQL, Excel, and programming tools. Some courses also prefer students to complete a prep course before classes begin.
Is Experience or Course Certification More Important When Looking for a Data Analytics Job?
Relevant experience is a great way to impress hiring managers, but building up experience usually comes after education. If you want to contribute to an open-source project or land an internship, so you have experience on your resume, you’ll first need to develop your skills with analytics tools, and courses are a great way to do this.
What Is the Best Way To Choose a Certification Program?
If you want to learn data analysis, but don’t know how to choose a certification program, it’s time to deploy some analytics tools! Use spreadsheet software like Google Sheets and apply data analytics to the job. Make a list in Google Sheets of the features of each program, e.g. does it offer a job guarantee? What does the job guarantee entail? If there’s no job guarantee, is there a job seeking assistance or mentorship component? What does the course teach, e.g. artificial intelligence, data collection and cleaning, how to identify trends or visualize data? Will it steer you towards your chosen specialty, e.g. systems analyst or quantitative analyst? How do other data scientists rate the program? Use an artificial intelligence program like ChatGPT to help you scan the info. Once you have all of the data at your fingertips, you can make an informed decision.
Since you’re here…
Switching to a career in data analytics is possible, no matter your background. We’ve helped over 10,000 students make it happen. Check out our free data analytics curriculum to gauge your interest, or go all-in with our Data Analytics Bootcamp.