Guidebook for striving analysts
Welcome back to the second part of our exploration of landing a job as an analyst in Sweden.
For this part, we’ve decided to collect additional qualitative data in the form of in-person interviews. This enabled us to conduct a more in-depth exploration of research subjects’ opinions, experiences, and ask for clarifications when needed. The interviewing process also allowed us to expand our network and establish valuable connections — continue reading to find out why this is so important!
After selecting and contacting ten data analyst professionals, six agreed to participate in the project. We ended up with a diverse sample in regard to gender, age, ethnicity and academic background. Each interview was unique and provided us with lots of great insights and tips which we will be sharing here with you.
TOP skills discovered.
Let’s start by exploring the common views that our interviewees had in common, regarding some key concepts.
Key hard skills
All of them suggested to first research the chosen industry and based on that learn the preferred tools. However, generally SQL seems to be the most popular tool, followed by Excel which is not yet outdated and goes a long way. As a programming language Python was mentioned and for visualisation it’s enough to know one of the BI tools like Tableau or Power BI, since every company uses different BI tools and once you know one of them you can easily learn the others.
Key soft skills
Again, all agreed that it depends on the industry you want to work in, but excellent communication skills are a must. Most data analysts work closely with both stakeholders and engineers, so strong business acumen and being able to communicate insights in simple ways as well as technical terms is crucial.
Asking questions and being curious are also a big part of an analyst’s role, who often does detective work and needs to dig deep to find relevant insights. Strong presentation skills are also indispensable, since insights often need to be conveyed and understood by both technical and non-technical audiences.
So these are some of the top in-demand skills. Now you must probably be wondering, where are all the PhD in Math or Computer Science and fancy university names? Good news to our fellow Hyper Islanders, according to our interviewees experience outweighs the education! Sure, some banks and other financial institutions still want to see your Masters diploma, but most companies will actually prioritize your references, problem-solving skills, analytical thinking, as well as completed online courses and projects.
If you also wondered how to prepare for an interview, we got you covered! Our interviewees shared many great tips for interview prep:
- Make sure that your CV highlights your skills well and try to make it stand out within the first two lines by adding a personal touch.
- Read and understand the job description.
- Find out who’s your interviewer because the interview content will likely depend on the interviewer’s role and educational background.
- Go through your past experiences and reflect on them, since this will definitely be questioned.
- Learn about the company and the challenges it’s facing and highlight the projects or skills that are relevant to solving them.
- Show that you’re ambitious and eager to learn by asking detailed questions about the company and the role.
Time to talk about money.
Salary is still a taboo topic, which makes it difficult for the students to know what to expect or negotiate. We had no shame and got our readers information about the minimum salary for the entry-level analyst role in Sweden. The answers we got varied from 25 000 kr to 40 000 kr a month, however the majority considered 35 000 kr a month to be the minimum salary a new analyst should expect.
Learning by doing.
And finally, those who are curious about the onboarding process after landing a job, we can shortly mention that though having a mentor or buddy seems like the typical training concept, most of the time you will be expected to work independently and organize your own learning routine.
If you want to become an analyst make sure to:
- learn one or two tools well,
- expand your network by interacting with professionals in the field,
- don’t be afraid to ask for a referral,
- come well-prepared to the interview,
- and most importantly be curious and ask a lot of questions to show that you are eager to learn!
We hope you got a lot of useful insights from this article. Please leave a comment down below with any questions or your tips for the future data analyst colleagues. Feel also free to connect with us on LinkedIn :)
We wish you best of luck in finding your analyst job!
Beata Wotoch & Liucija Daskute
Data Analyst Students