Is analytics career for me?
I am writing this blog specifically for students and working professionals who wish to make a career in analytics but are not able to make a decision. This blog intends to help one evaluate their aptitude and develop skills necessary for the analytics industry.
Skills required for Analytics
When choosing a career, it is most important for one to understand his/her passion. Next comes the skills required to be successful in the chosen career path. Let me highlight the three critical skills required to be successful in the field of analytics:
• Logical Thinking and Business Understanding is very essential for one to be able to gain domain knowledge and thereby solve the business problem.
• Mathematics and Flair for Numbers is important as all your analytical outputs will be full of numbers and statistics
• Ability to work on Data Management Tools as you will be constantly working on data, data and data.
If you think you have an aptitude for any two of the above skills then you should embark on analytics career. To add to above you should be highly passionate for at least one of the above three.
If you are not confident about your abilities, continue reading to do a self-assessment of your skills for Business Analytics
I am sharing here my experience of being part of an interview panel visiting various Engineering and MBA institutes for fresher hiring. Over the years I have learnt that some very basic questions are good enough to assess the aptitude of a candidate for analytics.
1. See if you can add the 30 single-digit / double-digit numbers within one minute.
(Let me share a short experience here. Once we were interviewing college freshers. My colleague in another panel called me saying that he is unable to decide for a particular candidate. I simply gave him the addition problem. My colleague was shocked to see the candidate’s hand were shivering while doing the addition and after 3 minutes he said he is unable to do it. If you too find doing simple additions a tough ask then my advice is analytics career may probably not be for you )
2. See if you understand basic calculations like Simple Interest / Compound Interest calculations which we learnt in high school.
3. Do you understand basic statistics like Mean, Median and Mode?
4. Do you have an understanding of database concepts like what is Table, Row and Column?
5. What is Data according to you? What kind of data do you think you would work on in analytics?
6. Do you know how to do vLookup in MS Excel?
7. Assume there are two variables X and Y. Let X = 10 and Y = 15; Write a logic by which value of X gets assigned to Y and vice-versa. Can you write programming code for this?
If you feel the above questions are very basic and you are not challenged by them then Analytics may be a career you may wish to choose.
8. Now try this puzzle. Suppose you are in a garden with your friend which is circular. Both of you are standing at a common point on the circumference of the garden. You start walking clockwise and your friend anti-clockwise. Your speed is twice the speed of your friend. How many times you and your friend will cross each other by the time you complete 3 rounds.
This is one of the standard puzzles which I typically ask. In my experience 1 out of 10 candidates is able to solve it. If you are the one who can easily solve such logical puzzles then I would recommend you to pursue analytics career…. provided you are passionate about analytics.
Develop Analytics Skills
If you have the necessary aptitude for analytics then you should further pursue your adventure in analytics. There are lots to learn in Analytics, I recommend one to start with R, Base SAS or Tableau.
To learn these Tools and Statistical Techniques, there are lots of free training content is available on the net. The most preferred site for free training.
If you still find it difficult then enrol into a suitable training program. Training programs are specially designed to impart you with knowledge and skills in a structured format. Training will help you learn essential skills faster and in a shortened time frame.
If you are still confused or you would like to seek any counselling then feel free to write to me. Remember to attach your resume along with the email. I will provide you with possible guidance with the best of my capabilities.