There are, for all intents and purposes, four types of analytics positions in the U.S; data analyst, business analyst (BA), data scientist, and business intelligence analyst (BIA). Since these position titles tend to be fluid over time, there’s a need to continually re-identify the skill requirements for professionals in each of these areas.
Fortunately, several researchers have taken inventory of some of the most desirable analytics skills sought by employers between December 2016 and February 2017.
Verma et al. (2019) used content analysis to examine a sample of 1,235 job postings collected from Indeed.com. In their analysis, the authors focused on four states: Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, and Kansas.
What they found was that “there is a higher demand for skills in statistical software in case of BIA compared with BA [jobs].” Also, it’s important to note that “while the statistical packages required for BIA consist of Excel, SAS (SAS Institute, Cary, NC), and R, one clear leader (Excel) dominates tools required for BA.”
In addition to soft skills (communication, teamwork), here is how the technical skills break-out:
According to Verma et al. "future researchers should look at expanding this study to include more states...include [more] job descriptions in a variety of professional fields...[even] analyze the curricula of degree programs in the analytics domain." The findings of this study are useful for establishing a benchmark of skills which, for all intents and purposes, business students should have.
Verma, A., Yurov, K. M., Lane, P. L., & Yurova, Y. V. (2019). An investigation of skill requirements for business and data analytics positions: A content analysis of job advertisements. Journal of Education for Business, 94(4), 243-250.