How to Get Hired in Analytics


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How to Get Hired in Analtyics. The Best Advice From Those Who Have Done It.

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How to Get Hired in Analytics

  1. 1. How to Get Hiredin Analytics Everything you need to know to land a career in the most exciting job market in 2014, by those who have done it.
  2. 2. Table of Contents Introduction The Three Skills Technical Skill Business Vision Communication The Five Channels Your Resume Your LinkedIn Profile Your Blog The Interview The Little Something Extra Conclusion A Final Request
  3. 3. Introduction Why a Career in Analytics If you are reading this, you probably already know why the field of analytics is so great. But let’s take a quick moment to dwell on why this career choice may just be the peak of the mountain. Here are a few of my reasons: • You get to help people in ways no one else can help them • You are vital to the success of whatever organization you work for • You get to answer very interesting questions, often in clever ways • You get to learn about everything • You will never be without love, respect, or a good job (Unless you’re a jerk. So don’t be) Sound awesome? It is. Let’s get to it.
  4. 4. The Five Channels You can get into the field of analytics. Anyone can. It takes time and effort, of course. A position in a field this awesome doesn’t just fall from the sky into your backyard. But if you’re ready to put in the work, let’s go over some guideposts to help you get there as quickly and successfully as possible. We call them the Five Channels, because, well, there are five of them. And they’re important. We’ll discuss each of these in depth later. They are: • Your Resume • Your LinkedIn Profile • Your Blog (Yes, you need one of these. But don’t be afraid, it’s not that hard.) • The Interview • The Little Something Extra Introduction
  5. 5. The Three Skills Before we jump into the details of the Five Channels, it’s important to also mention the Three Skills. These are the core. The center. The essence of an analytical professional’s being. They are what makes you brilliant at what you do. They are the following: • Technical Skill • Business Vision • Vibrant, Emotional, and Confident Communication Let’s discuss them in brief. Introduction
  6. 6. The Three Skills Technical Skill Business Vision Clear Communication
  7. 7. Technical Skill This is the gritty, mechanical side of the job. It’s where you get your hands dirty. It’s where you get things done that other people ascribe to magic. And the best part about it is that most (if not all) of this can be learned for free. You don’t have to get a degree in analytics (although we’re not downplaying how awesome that is) to have the skills. You just have to know where to look. Below is a short list of skills you need to know. They take some time and effort, but they are all attainable and can be learned a la your convenience. There are many, many online resources. Mix and match these according to your specific interests, but as a whole you should be able to: • Write SQL code • Create predictive models (Python, R, and SAS are big names here) • Work with Google Analytics • Do Data Visualization (Tableau is hands down the best in the field) • Work Excel like a boss There are of course other skills you can pursue that will elevate your technical prowess to an even higher level. But these five are the basics. And if you can do them, you’re already fixing to be a top tier analytics professional. The Three Skills
  8. 8. Some people call it business acumen. Some people call it seeing the big picture. Some people call it focusing on the bottom line. Semantics aside, what it means is this - you understand and can solve business problems. Here are some good ones. Why is revenue down? Why are people unsubscribing from our newsletter? How do we persuade more customers that our products are the best thing that will ever happen to them? These are questions business people ask. And these are questions business people need answers to. Everything you do from a technical standpoint is going to be within the context of a business question or business problem. That’s where you are going to live. Business Vision The Three Skills “The artist is not paid for his labor, but for his vision..” - James Whistler
  9. 9. Pro Tip #1: Search for case studies in the industry you are most interested in. They will detail the business need, the solution, and how they arrived at the solution. Read up on several of these to get a feel for the industry. Focus on case studies dealing with analytics. Pro Tip #2: Research a real company online in the industry you are interested in. Think up questions and concerns they may have and how to answer them. Contact any friends, friends of friends, friends of neighbors, or friends you meet at the dog park while walking your husky that work in the industry and ask them what kinds of issues they face. If you listen sincerely, they will talk. Business Vision The Three Skills Below are two pro tips that will help build your business vision. Source: Wikimedia Commons
  10. 10. Clear Communication Alright, you’re doing well. You understand the business questions and have the technical skills to figure out the answers. Now comes the part most analytical professionals (unfortunately) trip over. Communication. The work is not done until it has been successfully communicated to the people in the organization who need to understand it. Please note the deliberate use of the term “successfully”. Just because someone throws up a few hundred flashy charts and data tables doesn’t mean anything useful was communicated. In fact, it probably means that nothing useful was communicated. Good communication is tricky, especially in an analytics context. But it is so, so, so, so, so, so, SO, SO, SO very critically important. Please don’t underestimate how important this one is. It’s the difference between a brilliant, fulfilling, exiting career and an unsuccessful, marginal, and discouraging existence. The Three Skills Comic Source:
  11. 11. Clear Communication While there is a lot that can be said about good communication in analytics, here is the one rule that will get you closest to communicating brilliantly. Communication Rule #1: Show your analysis to someone who cares. Listen to their feedback, humbly. Change your presentation so it makes sense to them. Do this one thing, and you will become an awesome communicator of analytical insights. Nothing is sacred in your presentation. If it doesn’t make sense or add to the point, change it. Or better yet, take it out all together. No one cares how much work it took you or how clever your analysis was. Just tell them what they need to know. Only keep the parts they get excited about. The Three Skills “Show someone who cares. Listen to their feedback. Change accordingly.” - This Ebook
  12. 12. Putting it All Together Alright, we’re doing well. We understand the Three Skills and why they are so important. We’re working on them. Now, how to actually land that job? Here is the secret to the system. And it’s very simple. We’re going to project the Three Skills through the Five Channels. That’s it. Do it well, and that job is as good as yours. Why is this true? It’s true because the Three Skills are exactly what every hiring manager is looking for (if they are any good, and you don’t want to work for the bad ones anyway). And it’s a skill set that is very hard to find. You show them that you can work the tech, that you get the business, and that you have coherent communication abilities with real life people, and they’ll hire you faster than you can eat a pancake. Let’s talk about The Five Channels piece by piece, and why they matter. The Three Skills Source:
  13. 13. The Five Channels Your Resume Your LinkedIn Profile Your Blog The Interview The Little Something Extra
  14. 14. Your Resume Without a resume (or rather, without a good one), you don’t even get into the door. You don’t get to talk to anyone and tell them all about your experience and skills. They will never meet you or know you exist. The self-proclaimed social web experts will contest this point. They’ll say you can do it all with Twitter. Or LinkedIn. Or online talking videos of yourself. And these may work sometimes, and they may even be useful. But they are not fundamental. And despite what people will tell you, the resume is still fundamental. So, how do you write one that will make the recruiters call you and your future employer eager to talk to you? The answer is very simple, but please give it a moment of thought and let it sink in. Looking at your resume, they need to feel like you are someone that can solve their problems. Let’s talk about a hiring managers problems. He or she is under the gun to produce results for the company. They need to be able to show that they are adding revenue, reducing costs, and optimizing processes. They need to show that they are taking the company somewhere it’s never been before, and that that place is the promised land. The Five Channels, 1 of 5
  15. 15. Your Resume Does your resume reflect that you are the one that your hiring manager has been hoping for and dreaming about? If it has the following elements, then you bet it will. Element #1: Results What has been the result of all the effort you’ve put into your professional life? What good has come of it? When hiring managers see that you are someone that can actually produce real world results, and not just do hard-sounding things, they will swoon. Let’s have a look at two examples of statements you might find on a resume. The Five Channels, 1 of 5 Implemented and optimized technologies such as Tableau, Eloqua, Google Universal Analytics, SQL Server, and Python to enhance the company’s analytical capabilities. Saved the company an estimated $200,000 to date by creating strategic dashboards in Tableau and training the campaign managers how to use them. Lose. Win.
  16. 16. Your Resume Which of these two individuals are you more persuaded to hire? The first statement sure sounds fancy. There are a lot of interesting technologies mentioned and big words like ‘implemented’ and ‘optimized’ and ‘analytical capabilities.’ But for a hiring manager, this one falls flat. Can you see why? It’s because it doesn’t pass the litmus test of our one, all-important, all-guiding rule – it doesn’t tell (directly) how you solve the hiring managers problems. And we must be direct in these matters. On to the second statement. To a hiring manager, this one shines. It’s brilliant. Why? Because they can directly see what problem you solved. You saved the company $200,000 dollars. Hero! That’s the kind of person I want to hire. But you didn’t stop there. Oh no. Lest the hiring manager doubt your statement, you then proceeding to tell them how you did it. You said, “This is the problem I solved, and this is how I did it. And I’ll do the same thing for you.” Bingo. You’re in. Need more insight on how to quantify the value you create, or need to generate some value to quantify? We’ve got you covered. The Five Channels, 1 of 5
  17. 17. Your Resume Element #2: Skill Words This one is for the recruiters. Put skill words in your resume, load it up to a few job sites like Monster and Career Builder, and sit back and wait for the phone to start ringing. In the field of analytics, I guarantee it will. Recruiters everywhere are trying to find people that fit into the hard- to-fill analytics positions their clients are asking them for. They are searching desperately for anyone that can do ‘web analytics’ or ‘predictive modeling’ or ‘data visualization.’ Another level down, they are looking for people who have skills with specific (and very important) tools that are widely recognized in the industry. Here are a few of them: • Tableau (data visualization) • Omniture, of Adobe, SiteCatalyst (Web Analytics) • Google Analytics (Web Analytics) • SAS and SPSS (Statistics and modeling software) • R (Open source Statistical language) • Python (Open source programming language good for data handling and predictive modeling) • SQL (Programming language used to communicate with databases) • Eloqua (Email marketing system) • Salesforce (Widely used CRM) The more of these you can put on your resume, the more likely a recruiter is to find you. If you have them all, get ready for the phone to ring off the hook. The Five Channels, 1 of 5
  18. 18. Your Resume Element #3: Professional Authority People need to know they can trust you. That you’re not pulling a fast one on them. In a word, you need some street cred. This one is basic, but important. Education, certifications, honors. Put them on the resume. Got your degree in something other than analytics? Get a certification, take a class, or join an association that deals with analytics. This shows you are interested in and involved in the space. (In fact, this is a really good idea even if you have a degree in a related field. Check on this list for ideas on certifications, associations, and classes. Here is an (short) example of a resume that has it all. The Five Channels, 1 of 5 Comic Source:
  19. 19. Your LinkedIn Profile LinkedIn is your de facto online resume. But it doesn’t replace your real resume. Rather, it is the faithful sidekick. And as the sidekick, all of the same rules apply. Write a good resume, and LinkedIn is easy. The Five Channels, 2 of 5 It becomes little more than a cut and paste exercise into the appropriate boxes. Here is why it’s important – It’s guaranteed that your hiring manager will look you up on LinkedIn before you come in for the interview. This is your chance to greet them, show them you are a pleasure to work with, and that you can solve their problems. So greet them with a nice, professional, smiling graphic of yourself. Wow them with the resume statements you copied and pasted (changing a few things here and there, just for fun). As an aside, you should probably have a decent number of connections (anything over 70ish is fine) and at least a few of those silly endorsements at the bottom. Nothing big to worry about, but the absence of either of these may cause a little bit of pause for the hiring manager. Source: Wikimedia Commons
  20. 20. Your Blog Not your personal blog (the one where you post all of the cat memes). That one might be damaging. No, we want a blog on analytics. A whole blog on nothing but analytics? Yep. A whole blog. For three important reasons. The Five Channels, 3 of 5 Reason #1: It shows the hiring manager that you are invested in the field. That you’re interested enough in it to write about it. That you are engaged and excited by what analytics has to offer. Reason #2: It keeps you up to date on the field, specifically in your area of interest. Maybe you post once every two weeks, maybe every other day. Either way, finding something interesting to post about keeps you thinking about the possibilities what people are doing in the field. Reason #3: It will solidify your understanding of the concepts. Having to write out coherent posts about topics in analytics makes it concrete in your mind. And what’s more, you’ve already done the hard thinking of how to communicate this to the world at large. When you go in for the interview, it’s already there in your mind. Source:
  21. 21. Your Blog So how often do you post, and what about? How often is up to you, but try at least once a month (as long as they are longer, more thoughtful posts). Or you could do shorter posts a few times a week. Whatever fits your style. And what do you write about? There are an infinite number of possibilities! Here are some to think about: • New analytical technologies • Niche applications (preferably in your area of interest. This is especially interesting if you are gunning for a job in a specific industry. How many people are writing about analytical applications in veterinary science? You’re it. You get the job.) • Projects you’ve done (How did you do them? What was the result? What did you learn? ) It’s nice to have a mix of these (and others). The first two keep you up to date on the industry. The second show your personal expertise. The Five Channels, 3 of 5
  22. 22. Your Blog One more word about this – it really does set you apart from the majority of all of the other candidates. Most people just don’t take the time or the effort. But you do. And you’ll get the job for it. So don’t give this one up. Be consistent! Ps, if you’re not sure where to start your blog, do the smart thing and head over to You’ll have your free blog will up and running in minutes. The Five Channels, 3 of 5 Source:
  23. 23. The Interview Phew. You’ve come a long ways. Writing resumes, LinkedIn Profiles, and Blogs. Now it comes down to the moment of truth. And you’re going to do great. Because you’ve prepared. Quantifying your impact on your resume. Learning the skills to include in your profile. Writing about your projects and the field at least monthly. You know your stuff, you know what you can do, and you know you’re the one for the job. Now let’s make sure they do as well. There are a few things that will make your interview the best thing that ever happened to your hiring manager. After they’re done talking to you, they’re going to go tell everyone they know in the company about the unbelievably competent employee they’re about to hire. The Five Channels, 4 of 5 “I often conduct interviews in my truck.” - William Shatner
  24. 24. The Interview Here is what you do, in 4 easy steps. • Briefly review your resume and practice articulating some of the points. Have it present in your mind. • Research the company you are interviewing for. Know how they bring in revenue. Know something about their customers. Then, do this: Think about two ways you could help improve their business. How are you going to do it? Have a plan ready to go. After all, they are going to hire you and then you already have two projects to start on! (Pro tip – make this a blog post!) • Ask questions. They show you are intelligent and are curious. They show you take initiative. Have at least 3 intelligent questions ready. • Smile! No, seriously. Smile. The job you’re about to get is awesome. It’s what you’ve been working for. It’s going to change your life for the better. This is an incredible moment. If you’re not happy and excited about it, they’re not going to be happy and excited about hiring you. Go in knowing your resume, knowing how to solve their problems in at least 2 specific ways (I guarantee none of the other candidates will have this), asking intelligent questions, and smiling, and it’s all over. Buy yourself a new tie, because you’re going in to work. The Five Channels, 4 of 5
  25. 25. The Little Something Extra You’re already more qualified than 98% of the other candidates. You’ve done great work and performed admirably. But there’s just one more thing. The one thing that will really put you over the top. You’ve got to know how to dance. Not really. Or rather, not literally. Have you ever seen someone out on the dance floor that really knows, and loves, what they’re doing? What separates them from the rest of the good, but not great, dancers? Heart. They love what they do. They move with purpose. The Five Channels, 5 of 5 “Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music.” - George Carlin
  26. 26. The Little Something Extra I’m not saying analytics should be the most important thing in your life. In fact, it shouldn’t. But if you can’t find your meaningful purpose, your motivation beyond money, your compelling reason beyond earthly compensation for spending so many waking hours of the day in data, then everything you do is going to fall flat. My reason is that I can help others in ways no one else can. The work I do makes a difference in their work and in their lives. And that’s a good feeling. It’s got to be genuine. It’s got to be real. It’s got to be meaningful. If it’s not, they’ll see right through you. And besides, life becomes brilliant when you have a reason to love what you do. Find your reason. Your life depends on it. The Five Channels, 5 of 5 :)
  27. 27. In Conclusion The analytical jobs are yours for the taking. You are brilliant and you can do it. We have faith in you. The world needs you. Hopefully this E-Book has been helpful for you to see how to get there. What’s important and What’s not. Where to focus. See you in the field. And thanks for reading.
  28. 28. A Last Request Let us know what you thought by clicking a button below! I Loved This Ebook! More, please. I hated it. What a waste. It was just okay.