Key Data Engineer Skills

Data plays a crucial role in any business’s success in 2024. With high-quality data, any company can transform its operational efficiency and become one of the best in its domains. Companies must hire an efficient data engineering team to ensure that data quality is enhanced. These data engineers must possess the right data engineering skills and data collection, cleaning, and analysis knowledge. 

As data becomes increasingly important for businesses, the profession of data engineering is becoming more demanding in the market. In this article, we will explore the details of the data engineering profession and discuss data engineers’ various skill sets and responsibilities in detail. Let’s get started with the article. 

What are the Various Data Engineer Skills?

To become a data engineer, you must start investing in the right skills and gradually master them to become the best in your field. The necessary skills are mentioned below:

  1. SQL Proficiency

SQL, which stands for Structured Query Language, is one of the basic necessities for becoming a data engineer. First, you need to learn the basics of SQL queries. Then, you need to level up and start mastering handling complex datasets using various SQL dialects. Any good data engineer must know NoSQL, PostgreSQL, and MySQL to handle all datasets easily. 

  1. Understand the ETL Tools

ETL is the short form of Extract, Transform, Load. It refers to the overall process of collecting data from various sources, transforming these datasets into a proper analyzable format, and loading them in any data warehouse. With batch processing, data engineers help companies analyze these structured datasets and, accordingly, resolve any business challenges. 

The ETL tools have several types of use cases for collecting data from different points, modifying this data according to business guidelines, and flexibly loading this data into intelligent platforms. Here, employers and workers from different levels of the organization can check these data and make better decisions accordingly. 

  1. Programming Knowledge 

To become a qualified data engineer, you must develop high proficiency in programming knowledge. The major languages you need to explore are Java, Python, Scala, and others needed for particular business needs. With the right programming knowledge, data engineers can build effective data pipelines, implement the correct conversions in the collected data, and ultimately automate the data workflows. This is one of the crucial data engineer skills that you must develop for better results. 

  1. Hadoop Knowledge For Big Data Handling

Data engineers need to master Hadoop to handle big data efficiently. This great tool has powerful features, scalability, and an affordable cost. All businesses produce and handle large volumes of data every day. To handle these huge datasets and perform proper operations on them, you need to start learning Hadoop. It will help you maintain, analyze, and test all the datasets.

  1. AWS To Use Cloud Services

Next, you need to focus on the other important data engineer skills like AWS Cloud Services, comprising RedShift, EC2, and RDS. Initially, the businesses used on-premise infrastructures to store data, but gradually, as data volumes and usage increased, they shifted to cloud services like AWS. 

All data engineers need to learn about cloud computing. To do this, they should try out the online courses available. They should start exploring platforms like Google BigQuery, Snowflake, and AWS Redshift. 

  1. Data Warehousing 

Data engineers need to understand how to build and work with a data warehouse confidently. This is one of the compulsory skills that you need to develop in your data engineering career. It helps you aggregate all the unstructured datasets collected from various sources. This data is then compared and analyzed to improve business efficiency.  

  1. Data Architecture

To build a complex database system, you need to understand the data architecture properly. With the right knowledge, you will learn how to tackle movable datasets. Resting datasets and the relationships between these datasets and the business applications. 

  1. Machine Learning Fundamentals

Data engineers use machine learning-based algorithms to predict various trends from the collected datasets. Therefore, you need to start learning the fundamentals of ML algorithms. This will allow you to build stronger data pipelines and deploy more effective models. 

  1. Soft Skills

Besides these technical data engineer skills, you must develop basic soft skills to help you become your organization’s best employee. Start communicating transparently with the other members of your team. Try to document all the necessary details of the data engineering process so that you don’t miss out on any details in future processes. Besides, you also need to enhance your problem-solving skills to handle all situations easily. 

Responsibilities of Data Engineers 

When you become a data engineer, you will need to perform the following responsibilities:

  1. You need to collect data from various sources or third-party providers with the help of APIs.
  2. To satisfy the business requirements, you need to build a robust data architecture and maintain it properly.
  3. Collaborate with the product and business teams to understand the various aspects of the data you need to understand and analyze. 
  4. Build high-performing data pipelines and optimize them for business operations. 
  5. Keep a record of the changes and developments made in the datasets occasionally.
  6. Research a lot to understand how to improve your database and make the data more beneficial for the company. 
  7. Identify which tasks can be automated in the business.
  8. Improve the data quality and make it more reliable with efficient data engineering techniques. 

Final Words

In today’s world, data engineering has become a popular career choice among the youth. You need to start mastering basic data engineer skills like programming, handling big data, cloud services, ETL tools, data modeling and processing techniques, etc. When you learn all these skills, you will become fit for the roles and responsibilities of a data engineer. 

Apart from technical knowledge, you need to master other necessary soft skills like teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, communication, etc. This will help you collaborate with other team members and hence speed up your data engineering process. To learn all these, you can try to explore the various online courses available.