data analyst pointing at a chart

How to become a data analyst in Malaysia?

Jun 25, 2023

Have you always been looking to switch to a data analyst career but don’t know where to start?

In this blog post, I outline a 5-step approach that you can follow step-by-step and find your dream data analyst job in Malaysia.

 1. Do the research

Many people think that data analyst is a generic position.

It’s not.

If you look closely, there are not many companies hiring for the position “data analyst

Instead, they are hiring data analysts with a specialization.

For instance, in banking, we have finance analyst, their job is to assess the market and find good investment opportunities.

We also have fraud analysts in e-commerce, their job is to identify potential suspicious transactions.

In tech companies, we have web analysts that look after the performance of a website, and social media analysts that keep track of the engagement of social media.

The list goes on, but you get the idea.

Each of these jobs requires unique skills and responsibilities.

Go to job listing sites like JobStreet, Indeed, or Hiredly, and browse through the analyst jobs in your industry.

Then, shortlists 20 positions that suit your interests. You will form a common theme. You can learn the key characteristics and requirements for each of the analyst job.

2. Pick up the key skills

Next, we need to become qualified for these jobs.

Go through the jobs that we identified earlier, and identify 2-3 skills that were most mentioned.

Not all job requires Python like what everybody thinks. Especially if you are not working on unstructured data, or real-time big data.

For example, a business data analyst will need to be good in SQL and BI (Business Intelligence) tools like Tableau or PowerBI.

A web analyst will need also need to know pull data from Google Analytics and Facebook, and combine them together.

A customer service analyst will need to know how to use NLP (Natural Language Processing) to analyze customer comments.

Pick up two to three key skills in your field is sufficient to start. You can learn other skills on the job later.

3. Work on projects using real data

Now it’s time to put our skills to the test.

To solidify your skills, work on real-world projects or participate in Kaggle competitions.

Apply your knowledge to solve practical data problems, analyze datasets, and derive meaningful insights.

This hands-on experience will enhance your problem-solving abilities and provide valuable portfolio material.

Where you can find Malaysia datasets

In case you are looking to join a local company with strong presence, e.g. Khazanah, Petronas, or other GLCs and ministry departments, here are a few sites where you can find related datasets. 

  1. Open Data Malaysia (data.gov.my)
  2. Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM)
  3. Matrade 

4. Build a portfolio

A portfolio might sound fancy, but it’s simply a group of your past projects presented in a logical way.

Of course, we don’t want to just dump all our projects together.

We want to organize it by themes, topics, or even better, a coherent story around it.

Take a look at the portfolios from our past students in Data Science 360 and the Data Science Uncut Bootcamp.

These portfolio have either helped them to get promoted to a data position in their current company, or to get a data analyst job.

5. Begin job search

And now you can begin to search for a job.

A good resume is a ticket to impress the HR and get past the door.

Watch this video for some tips on how to edit your resume.

Key elements in a good resume

A good data analyst resume should include:

  • Short and simple resume
  • Recent past projects with measurable results
  • Relevant skills with tangible outputs

How many jobs should you apply?

You should apply as many jobs as possible. Not just to the company that you are interested.

This is to get yourself warm up and have a much better understanding of the job market.

Attend a few interviews, so that you can gauge the vibe, understand the questions that interviewer ask, and also the job market.

When you finally get an interview from your dream company, you will be more relaxed, less nervous, and perform much better.

Nervousness is actually the main reasons that people flunk their interview.

Customise your resume

Ideally, you should have a customised resume for each of the job you are applying.

If it sounds too difficult for you, at least prepare 4-5 different versions for different industries.

This is the easiest way to stand out among other candidates. You want to stand out and catch the attention of the HR.

Following templates and best practices are good, but it also make you boring. A simple way such as moving your past projects sections before your education, can make a lot of difference.


Data analyst is a challenging and fun job.

The demand for data analyst will be growing as long as we continue to generate data.

However, there are still many companies that are keen to onboard a digital transformation journey, but they are not too sure who to hire first, what are their job scope, and how to manage them.

It’s our job as a data analyst to work together with the market, and making sure that we help the company to maximize the value of the data. 

With Malaysia’s growing emphasis on data-driven decision-making, aspiring data analysts have a promising landscape to embark on a rewarding career path.

By staying curious, dedicated, and adaptable to emerging trends and technologies, you can thrive as a data analyst and contribute to the advancement of industries in Malaysia and beyond.


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