Learning Path: Data Analyst

By Geoffrey Grosenbach on October 20, 2014
Data analysts play an increasingly important role in modern business. It's no longer enough to just plug a few numbers into a spreadsheet; you must be able to fluently query data, store it and visualize it so that your company can make informed decisions. Our own VP of data, Ben Sullins (previously at Facebook and Mozilla), explains everything you need to get there.

Learning path objective:

You'll learn to use the basic tools needed to go from raw data logs to full featured dashboards. This learning path covers SQL, Excel, Tableau and D3.js, along with the concepts behind data warehousing and business intelligence.

Target audience:

A bit of prior experience with programming and mathematics will help you successfully complete this learning path.

Learning path description:

This learning path starts with the fundamentals, covers the big picture, goes straight into practical visualization tools and ends with a powerful framework for creating custom dashboards. Before you can visualize and present data, you'll need to get it into your database and know how to query it. Introduction to SQL is the starting point for the language, which is used to interact with most business databases.

Next, you'll learn about Relational Database Design as a way to store intermediate data. After that, you'll move directly to a big picture course on storing that data and understanding what business intelligence is all about.

Now comes the fun part! Business Dashboard Fundamentals covers both the aesthetic issues around visual communication and the practical application of these concepts in Microsoft Excel and Tableau. You will then move on to a more in-depth course on one of the most powerful visualization tools available today: Tableau. With all of this under your belt, you'll be ready to tackle Microsoft Excel, the standard for desktop spreadsheets for almost 30 years.

Finally, you'll finish with a lower-level graphics package: D3.js. As one of the most popular projects on GitHub, D3 is used by the The New York Times, Facebook, and many other companies to create custom visualizations and dashboards.

Learning path course sequence:

Introduction to SQL3h 22m
Relational Database Design7h 33m
Introduction to Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence1h 13m
Business Dashboard Fundamentals3h 36m
Data Analysis Fundamentals with Tableau4h 47m
Excel: An Analytics Superhub3h 02m
D3.js Data Visualization Fundamentals4h 35m
Total28h 11m

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Geoffrey Grosenbach

is VP of Open Source at Pluralsight. He previously founded PeepCode and is an all around entrepreneur, developer, designer, teacher and athlete. Follow him on Twitter at @topfunky.