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Can you give me some tips and/or resources that will help me start to develop good analytical skills now, in high school?

I want to prepare for a career in finance but I'm not sure how to start doing that now, while still in high school, to get ahead of the game. What did you do to become proficient in analytics? Are there books you recommend I read? Website I could use? Thanks you in advance! finance financial-services investment-management investing analytics

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Sumant’s Answer

There are many analytics and business management courses offered by Coursera and edX. courses are good and some of courses also have high end analytics contents including machine learning, AI etc. Also they have separate courses for R & Python. definitely recommend these courses.

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Jim’s Answer

Hi Brodrick,
An important aspect to analytics is how you present the results in a clear and compelling way. I would encourage you to read Edward Tuffte's work on Data Visualization and Infographics. They are beautiful books that will give you principles to use throughout you career.


All the best,
Jim

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Sofia’s Answer

Hey Brodrick,

Good for you for taking an interest in developing good analytical skills. This is a great skill to have especially when there is a decent size of the population that are math-phobic.

I believe you should get into data visualization first as analytic analysis is a natural progression. I would advise you to look into Tableau; lead data visualization software. There are tons of resources discussing Tableau and you can easily learn how to build infographics that will allow you to analyze the dataset that you have.

Tableau is how I started my professional career and in a very short time I was able to become a Business Analyst for Airbnb.

Sofia recommends the following next steps:

Learn about Tableau
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Hemachandra’s Answer

Since you are just getting started with your goal to acquire analytical skills, please check with your counselor about additional courses offered at your school or community center. Most of the analytical software interfaces are becoming user friendly and does not need any advanced programming skills to master and use them for analysis. You can download SAS software for students and try to see if you like using the interface for analyzing simple datasets.

https://www.sas.com/en_us/learn/academic-programs/students.html

There are plenty of sample programs and datasets with in the downloaded software than can help you with analytical methods and how to arrive at useful conclusions. I hope you would find your passion in using the data to solve real life problems using an analytical software.
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Robert’s Answer

While you've received a lot of advice about analytics software and visualization of data, I'd also recommend at least a basic competence in statistics. The basis of all data analytics is statistical distributions and simulation, inferential models, and sampling methodologies on order to build, simulate, and test various hypotheses.

If you have any experience using Python, I'd recommend the Statistics Fundamentals With Python skills track on DataCamp. If not, the Data Skills for Business track will introduce you to a number of important concepts. DC's content is about $30 a month, but it's structured very well with lots of practical exercises.
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Simeon’s Answer

I am going through an analytics course right now that's been incredibly informative. It's the Data Analytics Certificate course offered by Google on Coursera. It sounds like you can use the certificate as a starting point for finding work as a financial analyst even if you've just completed a high school degree. Either way, you can take a look at the course at grow. google. com.
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Dana’s Answer

I would recommend that you find a topic that is of interest to you, see what data you can download easily about that topic and start digging into that data. First, learn simple pivot tables in Excel, then move to more advanced tools such as R or Python.

You could also try to take a class on Coursera that would have you work on a specific project. I recommend project work because you will catch things much faster.

Dana recommends the following next steps:

Take a Coursera class in Analytics
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Abhinav’s Answer

Hi,

I would recommend you to use microsoft excel if you would need to implement any of finance or statistical technique or visualization. Excel is available in every system & easy to learn.

You can find many blogs / tutorial available online on excel. I would recommend "https://chandoo.org/wp/2013/01/16/top-10-formulas-for-aspiring-analysts/". It has 10 most frequently used excel functions which can give you a good start.
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Pieter’s Answer

Definitely recommend Benoit Mandelbrot's "The (Mis)behavior of Markets" and Nassim Nicholas Taleb's "The Black Swan" for books that are both interesting reads and provide an analytic perspective. These would be completely interesting reads at a high school level, not math heavy in themselves, but give an insight into financial modeling, trading, and I think would spark a real interest in exploring maths afterward.

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Philip’s Answer

Go to reddit. Search for subreddits for excel and sql. There's plenty of links to get you started on practicing. This will help you build the technical skill.


Whether you do analytics in finance, sales, HR, accounting... the stories you tell from the data may be different, but the technical skills are going to be very similar.


Finally, don't pidgeon hold yourself to thinking you only want to do one thing. I know plenty of people that wanted to be an account, lawyer, doctor, etc... and many of them now do something totally different; successful people too. You're young. Explore lots of different things!


I wanted to be a software developer. 2 semesters into college I quickly found out I hated it. Keep learning many different things. That way you won't feel "stuck" into a specific occupation.

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