Here are some key skills you should hone to become a good analyst:

  1. Approximation thru Triangulation: You remember (or have it handy) the key business metrics and are able to leverage that to guesstimate the impact for any product/feature or bugs.
  2. Hypothesis Formation: You closely follow day-to-day business though networking and subscribing to various reports & internal communication. You can leverage that to come up with hypothesis when your metrics move.
  3. Validation of Hypothesis: This is where your technical skills get used. Use SQL or Python to dig into data to prove/dis-prove hypothesis. Learnings go into your knowledge base for future triangulation.
  4. Story Telling : This is where your presentation skills get used. Convert your data and findings into clear charts & insights and communicate to leadership. In addition to sharing insights from past data, highlight opportunity. This is what gets leadership team excited the most.

Lead Data Scientist @ Facebook