How To Get Hired In The Data Analytics Industry

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What does it take to get hired in the Data Analytics Industry?

As companies increasingly turn towards data to make intelligent decisions for their business, data analysts are becoming some of the most valuable professionals on the market. This can make data analysis an attractive industry for young professionals looking to begin their careers. Data analysis is not a simple job, however. It requires quite a bit of knowledge of programming languages and software to mine large amounts of data for actionable insights. But with persistent motivation and the proper technical skills, you can get a job in the data analytics industry in just a few months.

What Does a Data Analyst Do?

Before you can get a job in the data analytics industry, you need a firm understanding of exactly what you’re getting into. For example, there’s a significant difference between a data analyst and a data scientist, the latter of which has a much higher barrier of entry. Data analysis, however, is a relatively easier industry to break into for newcomers to the field.

Data analytics refers to analysing raw data and creating accurate and actionable insights. Simply put, data analytics turns a jumbled mess of raw data into a clear and concise report with insights that can help a business make intelligent decisions. As for the data analyst, their role is to collect and analyse data to answer specific business questions. For example, suppose a business wants to cut spending or raise the customer retention rate. In that case, it’s the role of the data analyst to collect and analyse the necessary data to answer those questions.

This process usually begins with collecting raw data from relevant sources (i.e. weekly sales rates or total monthly material expenditures). Then they organise and clean it to ensure its accuracy in gleaning actionable insights (this may involve looking for typos or duplicates that can render the analysis useless). Next, they analyse it using whichever technique is appropriate to answer the question asked. This usually involves looking for patterns and trends that they will then visualise in a graph or chart and deliver in the form of a clear and concise report. Lastly, they make specific recommendations for the next steps based on the information gleaned from the data report.

What is the Usual Background of a Data Analyst?

Unlike data science, a data analyst doesn’t need a postgraduate degree in a quantitative field. In fact, as long as you can familiarise yourself with the necessary data analytic skills, you don’t need a technical degree at all. However, most data analysts study relevant subjects in college, such as mathematics, statistics, finance, computer science, or information management.

If you don’t have a degree in one of those subjects, any role that requires you to work with data or numbers will make you an attractive prospect. This can include marketing, IT, and customer service, among others. While more experience will make you a more attractive candidate, the basic needs to become a data analyst are interest in business and comfortability working with numbers.

What Skills Does a Data Analyst Need?

A data analyst needs to be familiar with various business intelligence and analytics tools. This includes querying and programming languages like Python and SQL and software such as Microsoft Excel. It will also require you to be proficient in Tableau, Power BI, and SAS, used for business intelligence and analytics.

A data analyst should have a few hard skills to work with data. This includes working with large datasets, understanding data profiling and data visualisation, communicating findings to the business and making recommendations. These skills are usually picked up as one familiarises themselves with business intelligence software.

Soft skills that are usually required include communication, problem solving, meeting deadlines, and a fair amount of business acumen. If you don’t have these skills, consider getting a job or internship in any business-related field. This is an excellent way to acquire the skills you need in a commercial setting.

Steps to Get Hired as a Data Analyst

Learn the basics

Without prior experience working in data analytics, you’ll need to learn the fundamentals to get hired. This includes learning a programming language like Python, which you can learn via online courses. You can also get hands-on practice through coding challenge sites like LeetCode or HackerRank. Next, you’ll want to learn SQL, as you’ll need SQL skills to query data. You can learn this from online courses through Udacity or DataCamp.

Find the proper course

Online courses are an excellent way to learn the necessary skills to become a data analyst. Still, it’s important to invest in one that will give you the structure you need to get a job afterwards. Look for a course that offers one-on-one mentorship and a practical curriculum that helps you build a portfolio. Some higher-level courses even offer career coaching or job guarantees, which can be incredibly attractive prospects.

Network

Making connections is the best way to find a job as a data analyst. Start by joining data analytics groups on LinkedIn or attending events on Meetup.com.  These can be useful in finding other analysts in your area and gaining expert career advice.

Create your portfolio

Your portfolio is your most helpful tool for finding a data analyst job. Build it through online courses and make sure to refine it based on advice from a trusted mentor. You’ll want a polished portfolio to use when applying for jobs or internships.

If a technical career working with numbers appeals to you, you may want to pursue a job as a data analyst. Follow these tips to gain the skills you need to get a job and begin your career today.