The Beginner Analyst Guide
Updated: Jun 21, 2020
Data is the most common buzzword I heard in the last years.
Every company wants to have the person who best understands their data to get better and be the best in the market.
It started with the word analyst and continued with dozens of different titles for a similar role. In this post, I will explain in general what an analyst does and how to become one.
Who is an Analyst?
Role: varies between company to company and even within different teams in the same company. In some cases, you create new tables and decide which platform you want to analyze your data. If you are a part of a team of analysts you mostly analyze the business requirements and develop new dashboards.
Responsibilities: Analyze company data, identify trends, and makes predictions. You are the eyes of the company and give them a view about users' behavior, sales, marketing channels, etc.
Workflow: Retrieving and collecting data, clearing data, building reports/dashboards, and offering a solution to any problems.
Interfaces: Depending on the nature of the job, most of them work with business and technical teams (decision-makers, managers, development teams, and more). For example, you can be part of the marketing team and analysis all the KPIs of them. In that case, you probably interface with the business and data department. If you are part of the BI department you mostly interface with the data science team.
Goal: Help the company make decisions and execute processes based on business insights rather than gut feelings
Looking at the data roles, everyone is on the scale of Research, Technical, and Business.
The Data Analyst is a supergroup containing subgroups of different roles, such as BI Analyst, Data Product Manager, Business Analyst, Data Engineer, and more. Each one combines the scale I was mention.
Day to Day
It’s different from start-up to corporate and it depends on the number of analysts.
But, let give the main responsibilities.
Organizing and Creating Tables and DWH - Creating Schemes, Tables / Views, and ETL procedures.
Developing Business Metrics ( KPIs)- Creating Business Logic and Data Mining from various sources to many by using SQL queries.
Development of dashboards for the various departments and performing ad hoc analysis- characterization and execution of various projects from the query to the visualization.
You have to be the speaker of your company. Presenting the analysis to clients/stakeholders.
Working with various teams in the company. You have to be a communicator and create collaboration to get real business insights. There are metrics that influence many teams in the company and you should be patient and ordinary.
Note: DWH = Data Warehouse; ETL = Extract, Transform, Load; KPI = Key Performance Indicator
What’s your ninja skills?
We need to separate into a different category: technical and business.
Querying Language - SQL (Transact-SQL, MySQL, etc.), DAX
Data Visualization Tools - Excel, Tableau, Looker, Power BI, Sisense, Data Studio
Programming Languages / Statistical Tools - Python, MATLAB, R, STATA, SPSS
Business & Analytical Knowledge
Business understanding - knowledge of Success Metrics (KPIs), know the market in the company you want to work for, and what kind of their audience/users.
Working with decision-makers - asking the right questions, translating data into business insights, helping make decisions, inform and influence.
Presenting the data clearly - appropriate visualization, message transfer, storytelling.
Where I can learn these things?
Python + SQL: PY4E, W3, Data Mastery, Mode, HackerRank, RamKedem, Khanacademy
Product & Analytics: Cracking the PM Interview, Lean Analytics, A/B Testing
Statistics & Probability: Statistical Reasoning
Spreadsheets and Visualizations: Perceptual, Tandf
Go hacking your first position. good luck :)