If you have been considering a career in data analysis, there has never been a better time. Data analyst jobs are growing at a higher than average rate, with a predicted 20% increase from 2018 to 2028.
Learn more about what it takes to break into the field with these 10 tips and tricks.
What Does a Data Analyst Do?
A data analyst is a technology worker who focuses on data collection and statistical analysis on large data sets using a combination of analytical skills and technical expertise. Every business has tons of data, but they need someone to help them dig actionable insights out of it.
Data analysts mine raw data, organize data, and create business strategies and goals based on data patterns. Data analysis activities include the following:
- Determining how to use information gathered by multiple data sources and stored in data systems to solve business problems
- Using programming languages like Python or SQL and statistical tools to make sense of the information
- Gathering data, cleaning it, examining it for trends to support business decisions, and suggesting process improvements.
Data analysts may also design dashboards, maintain relational databases, and work with IT teams or other data scientists to generate data-driven organizational goals.
10 Tips for Landing Data Analyst Jobs in 2021
Springboard wants you to have the best preparation for today’s job market and business environment. Here are 10 tips to help you land that data analyst job of your dreams.
1. Know the basics
Know your toolset. Top in-demand skills include critical thinking, SQL, spreadsheets, statistical programming languages, and data warehousing.
2. Polish your communication skills
Your communication skills are just as critical as your technical knowledge. You must be able to share ideas and translate your work into language non-data scientists can understand. Visualization programs like Tableau provide graphics that simplify the meaning of the numbers you present.
3. Networking and peer groups matter
Even though the job market is hot, networking with those in the industry can help you identify opportunities. Stay motivated through peer groups, and learn about openings by attending industry events.
4. Show off your work
Get your work out on the internet. Employers want to see what you can do. Build a robust data analytics portfolio to showcase your skills and get those interviews. Create a Github repository to share your work with potential employers.
5. Focus on practical applications—not just theory
Theory is a necessary foundation for data analysis. However, you need to be able to apply that theory in real-world scenarios like logistics and market research. Be ready to demonstrate or explain how you can apply a particular theory in a business context to show a potential employer how well you understand and can apply abstract concepts.
6. Know your project
Show off your business skills. Employers want to see you know the business impact of your project. Be ready to explain everything about it, such as why certain machine learning algorithms have better predictive performance.
7. Prepare for behavioral interview questions
Companies care about more than technical skills. They want you to fit in culturally. Be able to describe how you handled disagreements and unexpected challenges. Think about a problem that occurred during a project, even one from a class, and lead the interviewer through your thought process and the steps you took to solve the problem.
8. Bring questions for the interviewer
Interviews are two-way streets. Show the interviewer that you are really interested in the applied job and you have thoroughly researched the company’s background. Tailor your questions to the role of the interviewer. Ask the hiring manager to describe a day in the life of a data analyst at the respective company. Ask Human Resources for an organizational chart or description of job hierarchies.
9. Set daily goals
Job-hunting is hectic. Treat it like a job, and create daily and weekly goals for yourself. It helps you focus and provides the basis for accountability. You can celebrate small daily goals to perk things up when you feel like you aren’t moving. For example, set a goal of identifying and applying for at least two positions each day.
10. Be confident
Show them you know what you’re worth. Research salaries on sites such as Salary.com so you know the salary range for a data analyst in different industries and in your region. Read the company website, and ask knowledgeable questions about how the company operates at a high level. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you convince employers to believe in you?
Do You Need a Degree to Become a Data Analyst?
People from related fields or educational backgrounds are not the only ones who can pursue a career in data analysis. While a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or similar may help, the demand for this role is quickly outpacing supply, and data analyst career paths can follow multiple directions.
Data analyst aspirants can either pursue programming certifications or opt for other non-traditional educational platforms to acquire the required data analytics skills they need on their resumes in order to sync up with data analyst job descriptions.
Online bootcamps and courses, such as those offered by Springboard, can teach you the skills and provide the runway for getting that first data analyst job.
Is data analytics the right career for you?
Springboard offers a comprehensive data analytics bootcamp. Our data analytics curriculum goes beyond just technical skills to focus on areas where employers find the biggest gaps: strategic thinking, problem-solving, and communication. Watch videos from Microsoft. Learn insights from McKinsey experts. Tackle case studies from Harvard Business School. No other data analytics bootcamp does this. You’ll graduate with an analytical mindset. That’s an edge not just for your job search, but throughout your career.
Check out Springboard’s Data Analytics Career Track to see if you qualify.