Big Data and AnalyticsSo, you’re thinking about enhancing or building your data analysis knowledge but don’t know where to start. You may be considering a bachelor’s or master’s degree, or the possibility of different certificates and trainings. Maybe you have a bachelor’s degree and are looking at data analysis certificates, or vice versa. You may have little to no experience, or maybe you have decades of experience. Regardless, you want to master your career and take it to the next level. Search no further — there a plenty of methods and tools to help you achieve career knowledge enhancement.

Getting Familiar With Excel

First, there are several different tools available to you online to provide yourself with better advanced training. For data analysis, becoming proficient in Microsoft Office applications can help you move forward, especially Excel. There are a variety of online courses and mini-training sessions you can enroll in to learn more advanced tips and features. Jeff Lenning, an author, provides several different resources for learning more on Excel. Some applications are interactive training sessions, while some are a variety of readings and tools that teach you different Excel tricks.

Microsoft Office Beyond the Basics

Besides becoming a Excel expert, knowing the backends of other Microsoft Office applications can be beneficial as well. There are several Microsoft Office applications beyond the standard four (PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and Access) designed specifically for data analysis. The Data Analysis Bundle includes the following applications:

  • Microsoft Power BI
  • Advanced Excel
  • Advanced VBA
  • Advanced Microsoft Access

Learning how to properly use each of these applications can help enhance your data analysis career. Each program helps provide more accurate data, helping you turn raw data into “must make” decisions. Implementing these programs can also help you create more interactive data, along with the ease of solving complex problems. When these features are used correctly, your time performing data analysis can be simplified.

Data Analysis Degree

If you’re already familiar with the Data Analysis Bundle or are looking for other methods, considering a degree or business analytics certification training course from a institution of higher education is another way to boost your career knowledge.

Graduate school is becoming more common. According to Earnest, “today’s young professionals are more than twice as likely to have a graduate degree than those is in 1980.” Obtaining a graduate degree in data analysis or another similar field is a recognizable way to boost your earning potential. If you’re on the fence about dedicating the time towards a degree, try thinking where you would be in two years without it. Would you be …

  • Working the same position you have now?
  • Experiencing any raises in your pay?
  • Using a different method, such as online training workshops?

If you have the funds and the time for a degree, it may possibly be the right next move in your career path. It truly depends where you currently are with you career and where you want to elevate it. A degree may be your next career-boosting move.

Data Analytics Certification

If the idea of obtaining a degree sounds tempting, but longer time commitments may be difficult, certificate classes may be the best option for you. From the comfort of your own couch, you can obtain a Advanced Analytics Education Graduate Certificate available through Arizona State University. In order to qualify for this certificate, you must have successfully earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree, and hold a minimum of a 3.00 GPA. The certificate consists of 6 classes, totaling to 15 credits. Each class has a length of 7.5 weeks — which is shorter than an average semester class. If you take three classes in the first 7.5 weeks, and three the next session, you can easily earn this certificate in only 15 weeks. Certificates are a simple way to fast-track your career.


If you’re wanting to advance or tune-up your career, looking into certifications and online educational materials is a great start. There is an endless amount of material online to teach yourself, but you always have the option of adding certificates and degrees under your belt. Regardless of which route you may choose, enhancing your current skills can be the best next move when trying to advance your data analysis career.