Data analysts, or more fancily called as data scientists nowadays, have become essential people to have in expanding businesses. Despite that, the employment rate growth for this occupation is rather slower compared to other office-related jobs. However, they are one of the few who enjoy handsome salaries. And unlike other office personnel, data analysts usually dictate the future of the companies they serve.
The job of a data analyst is to assess, organize, and gather data from different resources. They use the data to formulate useful and possibly important information. Mostly, data analysts are involved in product research and development, and market trends and conditions analyses.
A data analyst candidate must have a four-year university degree related to computer science, business administration, math, and statistics. They need to be knowledgeable of statistics, data management, computer science, and data analysis tools and software applications such as Microsoft Excel and Tableau on Hadoop.
In addition, the candidate must be familiar with the most common data format types such as XML, JSON, and RDF. To some extent, he or she must be familiar with using programming languages in order to create data analysis solutions of his or her own and improve the functionality of the data solutions that you use.
Translating data into layman’s terms
The candidate must be an expert when it comes to translating data and information in layman’s terms. He or she must know the easiest and fastest ways of distributing important information. He or she must be an expert when it comes to creating and interpreting graphs, data mashups, scorecards, and dashboards.
When it comes to skills, data analysts must be detailed-oriented; if possible, they must be a bit critical. Of course, mastery of intermediate mathematics is mandatory. In large-scale companies and systems, a data analyst must be also capable of handling databases, employing data management concepts, and troubleshooting database structure problems.
On the other hand, people who have experience as operations research analysts and market research analysts are good candidates to apply for data analyst jobs.
When hiring a data analyst candidate, one of the most important questions that you should put on the table is how many data management applications the candidate knows and has used. Do they know some of the few most used applications in data analysis such as Spark and Tableau on Hadoop? Do they even know how to take advantage of scripting languages such as Python to manipulate and handle huge streams of data?
Data gathering and management
Unlike before when casual data analyses for businesses were done with pen and paper (and with little input to a computer), data analyses now happen inside the analyst’s computer. The massive influx of data that companies receive every day has caused analysts to rely on automated data gathering and management software programs.
Alternatively, the candidate must be capable of sorting out the data and creating quick decisions on whether a piece or set of data is useless or useful. After all, before the analysis of data starts, it is essential that the analyst have the right data at hand.
Aside from that, it is important that you measure the candidate’s logical and creative aptitude. The most common test to measure a candidate’s thinking skills is asking them how much marbles are inside a jar. The number of marbles does not matter first. What’s important is the methodologies the job candidate used to come up with the answer, the considerations he or she included, and the confidence he or she has with his explanations. And just for fun, you might want to ask what is the next winning lottery number combination.
If all the candidates were able to impress you with their answers and their background, then it will be up to the final test. The final test is to know how much information they have in your company and the nature of your business. That will be the decisive factor if the candidate is fit to have the job.
Picking the right candidate for the job is crucial. After all, you will be entrusting the future of your company or department to that person. Data analysts are the ones that can help you move your businesses upward. They can solve internal and external business problems and even identify them before they happen. You can also get your analyst to help you figure out your business if you do not know what is going on in or with it.