Skills Required by Analytics Profession

On Mar. 9, I presented an introduction to analytics as a possible career field (the slide deck remains available by clicking this link). In this post, I am adding to the introduction by focusing on the skills that employers desire in applicants. In these job postings for sports-related analytics as well as these job postings for web-related analytics, common themes emerge.

  • Excel is really important. This proficiency extends beyond using the simple functions offered in Excel such as live cell referencing. Rather, you need to show examples of pivot table, solver, and lookup. You should look into an Excel certification process to signal to employers that you have this required proficiency.
  • An internship in this area is vital. You should look for an internship that gives you exposure to Omniture, which is a standard software tool for this profession. Depending on the opportunity, you could consider a non-paying internship to burnish your resume.
  • Show examples of your HTML/CSS handiwork. Email campaigns continue to rely on HTML for the message. CSS has gained wide acceptance by many blog platforms. Retailer's websites are more likely to be run off programming languages. You need to provide a portfolio that displays your knowledge related to HTML and CSS. Remember, HTML sites do no require a lot of code to create simple but effective websites (like this example).
  • All organizations demand time management and communication skills. In a cover letter, discuss how you developed these skills. On your website, included an annotated picture of your planner along with written communication (e.g., first draft, second draft, third draft and final draft of a memo, report, etc.) and oral communication (e.g., a slide deck, a presentation posted on YouTube).

The knowledge you develop during your four years at Otterbein should fall into one of these three categories: analysis, business, and technology. However, you will need to develop this knowledge beyond coursework. For example, creating your HTML and CSS portfolio should be done on your time. Getting certified in Excel and/or analytics is your responsibility.