As someone who’s started his data analytics journey not too long ago, there are a few things I have learnt that I wish I had known before. 

It is a lot more than just visualising data

Data visualisation is just the tip of the iceberg, most of the work usually revolves around data preparation and finding insights. Let me preface that this is from my perspective and it will vary depending on each person’s exact role. 

While I do work on visualising data, it is often the last step of the process. Generally, there’s usually a lot of data wrangling required before a raw dataset can be considered ready for properly visualising data.

If you’re not a big fan of data preparation and still aspire for a career in data analytics, it is advisable to look for a role that exclusively requires visualisation skills. Often times, many organisations have separate teams that handle the data preparation side of things. 

Focus on the “so what?”

At the core of every visualisation you create, there is one question you must always ask yourself, “so what?”. What is the point of this visualisation? What information is it conveying? Is it resourceful or is it just visualisation for the sake of it?

The whole purpose of data visualisation is defeated if the end-user cannot understand and benefit from the visualisations you create. Keep it simple and make it easily consumable. The goal is to inform your stakeholders, not to bore them.

It can often be hard to admit that the end-product you have created isn’t adding much value. And if that is the case, do not hesitate to put it aside and try again.

There are More Tools Than You Have Time For

There are more data visualisation tools and software out there than you have time to master. And if you’re up for a challenge and think YOU want to be the ONE who will master it all, go ahead and be the first one. Because I don’t think anybody out there has actually mastered everything. 

So focus on the tools that suit you best. And if you’re smart, you’ll focus on learning the tools that’ll be dominating the industry soon in the future. 

So, if you’re considering a career in data analytics, these are the three things I want you to know. Of course, there’s a lot more to say, but I’ve hit the character count for this post, so I’ll leave those for another day. Good luck on your journey! 

Fairuz Khan
Author: Fairuz Khan