Data Analyst Boot Camp
Statisticians are sometimes surprised at the difficulty of finding entry level data analyst jobs despite having a college or graduate statistical degree.
In this issue, we will be answering a question posted by a statistician with Marketing, SAS and Clinical background who is finding it hard to get an entry level data analyst job!
You need to broaden your skills by adding a number of more marketable Data Analysis skills and you also need to show more of your working marketing experience at the job interview.
Let\'s start by taking a look at what a data analyst does on a day to day basis:
Data Validation - collects, validates and cleans data.
Data Management - imports, transforms and loads data into a Microsoft Access, SQL Server or Oracle database using tools like SQL Server and Oracle Data Bulk Import Routines or Data Extraction, Transformation and Loading scripts.
Statistical Data Analysis - analyzes data stored in a database using statistical principles, SQL Queries and tools like SAS, Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel.
Your post graduate background in statistics already equips and prepares you for this task.
Reporting - prepares and distributes scheduled reports on data collected with tools like Crystal Reports, SQL Server Reporting Services, Business Objects, Microsoft Access Reporting.
Some of these reports may have to be designed in tables using CSS/ HTML and some others will be presented as written documents or with graphs and charts.
As a data analyst, you must be conversant with the process of producing reports distribution in multiple formats (HTML/CSS, PDF, Excel, CSV, Word)
Broaden your Data Analysis Skills: SAS and CDM (clinical data management) foundation courses alone may not be enough for an entry level data analyst job because data analysts work with other tools like Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, SQL Server and Oracle.
So, an employer reviewing your resume may decide that the only data analysis tool (SAS) which you know, is not used or needed for the job in question.
However you also need strong database skills because that is where the data you are working with will be stored in.
Some Data Analyst tools provide you with an interface for analyzing data without looking at the underling tables or having to write SQL statements.
However, many data analyst positions still require that you to have those skills even when you don't use them on the job.
Based on your post-graduate statistics degree and your background in marketing, you should reposition yourself online as a skilled statistician or data analyst with a background in marketing because employers prefer skilled and experienced professionals.
So, you need to review your resume, your presentation at job interviews and your online profile and determine if you are doing a good job at positioning your career.
If you are not, then you need to start a personal branding campaign and use it to re-position your career.
My recommendations are that you broaden your skills by learning an enterprise database development platform and that you also start a personal branding campaign that positions you as an experienced statistical marketer.
I hope that I answered your questions about finding a data analyst job.
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