When it comes to growing a career as an analyst, soft skills might be pretty low on the hierarchy of what someone might imagine it takes to succeed. After all, thinking of an analyst position, the technical skills are what come to mind first. Technical skills are vital in being an effective analyst. Having the hard skills to do your job effectively cannot be understated.
However, the need for soft skills in this position (or any position really) are very important as well. As an analyst, you serve a vital role in an organization’s effectiveness. But if you are unable to effectively communicate your work, or ask the questions that will lead you to the right answers, then you will find your hard skills will lag behind as well.
Soft skills are important not only because they will help you do your job better, but because they will help you to advance your career.
In this article, we will be looking at 5 soft skills that are essential to being an effective analyst. These skills will work in conjunction with your technical capabilities to make you the most effective analyst possible.
Top 5 Soft Skills For an Analyst
We will start with what is perhaps the most important soft skill for an analyst – communication. Outside of your technical capabilities, you might find that communication is the foundation of anything you do.
Whether it is sharing your work with others, making recommendations, or simply just being respectful and friendly, communication is essential to fit into just about any work environment. As an analyst, it becomes especially important because your job is technical in nature, so knowing how to communicate your findings to others is very important in making sure that they know the value you contribute.
And at the end of the day, people want to work with people they like. It really is that simple. In order to advance in a career, you need to be respectful, you need to be kind, and you need to work well with others. Fitting into an organization is sometimes just as important as the quality of your work, and communication is a vital part of your fit.
Explanation and Recording
The next important step that an analyst should take is to ensure that they explain what they are doing. You can think of this as an offshoot of the communication skill. It is the simple fact that most analysts do tasks that are not well understood by the rest of the organization. Therefore, a good analyst will do their best to keep others in the loop as to what they are doing and be sure to keep detailed records that document their work.
While it is important to get your work done effectively and efficiently, it is also important that your co-workers and managers know what you are up to. This will keep people happy with your performance and will improve your chances of advancement.
As an analyst, your job is technical, by definition. Your skills allow you to interpret areas that others can’t. However, your work is still meant to help the organization achieve something, and to work toward an ultimate goal. This is why you need to know how to effectively share your findings to other areas of the organization.
Effectively translating means that you need to know how to take the complex things that you do and convey it in terms that anyone can understand.
As an analyst, you are in charge of areas that others in the organization may not understand. People may come to you with questions that they don’t understand how to answer. You must be open and willing to help. Even if the answer is simple to you, you should always be sure you are willing to help in a non-condescending manner.
Analysts need to work in harmony with the rest of the organization, and your willingness to help others with their problems is a major part of this harmonization. So approach any problem with an open mind, and recognize that your role in the organization is sometimes to help clear up the confusion.
One of the most important things you can learn to do in any role is to ask questions. Often, people are deterred from asking questions because they feel it represents that they do not understand their tasks, or that they struggle with their role.
The reality is that any manager’s top concern is whether you can get your job done correctly. So you need to learn not to hesitate when you have a question that you think will determine your performance on a certain task.
Of course, you don’t want to be the person that asks unnecessary questions. A good practice to eliminate the number of questions you need to ask is to listen attentively and take notes.
Carrying a note pad is an excellent strategy to ensure that you retain any and all important information, and it also shows your co-workers and managers that you are taking your task seriously. Once they know this, they will be more than happy to help you with any questions you may have.
As you can see, soft skills are very important as an analyst in growing and progressing your career. You can think of communication as the bedrock for all of your soft skills. Knowing how to effectively communicate with others will improve all aspects of your work. It will give others more efficient access to your findings and will help the organization overall.
It is important to take these skills and make them a habit. Because of the technical nature of an analyst position, many do not always make time for soft skills as much as they should. As an analyst, you should dedicate time every day to grow these skills. It might involve going outside of your comfort zone, but you will find the rewards well worth the extra effort.