You would love to work in analytics.

You could tackle lots of interesting and challenges. You could help people by solving their problems. You could change the course of your organization.

The pay isn’t bad, either.

But how do I get there? What should I be focusing on? What skills do I need to have, and where can I learn them?

These are good questions. And the answers are exactly what you need to know to land a career in analytics.


Answering the Questions

Let’s look at one of them. “What should I be focusing on?”

As I have gone through interviews, read job postings, and worked in the field of analytics, I’ve noticed a pattern. Three things that seem to come up time and time again. Three things that every hiring manager is looking for in a good analytics employee.

Three things that every analytics professional worth his salt is good at.

They are as follows.

  • Technical ability
  • Business vision
  • A dazzling aptitude for communication.

These are the core. They are fundamental. Make them yours, and nothing will be able to stop you.


The Big Three

Technical ability, of course, makes sense. It’s usually what everyone thinks of when they think of analytics. It’s the gritty, in the weeds kind of work.  Writing code, working with databases, and building models.

But it’s only a third of the story. If technical ability is all you’ve got, you’ll be a squirrel for the rest of your career.

And you don’t want to be a squirrel.

Which is why you will want to throw some solid business vision into the mix.

Some people can cut through the waste and get right to the heart of what’s important. Some people know the difference between a task that’s critical and a task that’s trivial. Some people know what the real problem is, and how to fix it.

These people have business vision. And you want to be one of them.

But that’s only two thirds of the story. If that’s all you’ve got, you’ll be a lemur for the rest of your career. And even though a lemur is better than a squirrel, you still don’t want to be one.

Which is why you will learn to be a brilliant, bright, and vivid communicator.

Why? Because you have important things to say! You’ve done the work to answer hard problems!

But if you don’t tell anybody, it doesn’t matter. Or, if you tell people and they don’t understand you, it still doesn’t matter. The only way analytics ever matters is when something valuable is communicated. Otherwise it’s all a waste.

And it would be a tragedy for you to waste all your hard work.


In Summary

There they are. The three critical elements. Hold them close to your heart and never forget them.

  • Have technical skills.
  • Have business vision.
  • Communicate brilliantly.

If you can manage those three things, you will never be without a job (a good one).

If you are ready to start developing these skills, you may want to have a look at this E-book.