Finding, Hiring and Keeping a Data Analyst

October 28, 2016 Jack Vawdrey

People shaking hands

Forget the needle in the proverbial haystack—finding a hireable data analyst is more like a flock of seagulls fighting over an unattended bucket of sardines.

All analogies aside, the process of finding, hiring and keeping quality data analysts in this competitive job market is tough. Dewy-eyed startups and long-time enterprises alike are in desperate need of filling analyst positions in their organization. And while universities are increasingly pumping out new candidates from data science programs, it just doesn’t seem to be quite enough.

Look at the numbers: between September of 2015 and August 2016 there were 832,542 job postings searching for a data analyst. And how many active candidates were there in the job market? Only 124,523.

Competing in the analyst job market is a challenge, perhaps even more so than competing in your industry, since your competition is everybody.

Yet the need is still there. A recent study showed that 88% of data that a company gathers goes unused. It’s doubtful that companies will ever use 100% of their data—because Big Data is pretty big—but also because companies don’t have enough analysts to wrangle in all that data.

Collecting data is expensive, and you want to capitalize on what you collect. Even if you use a free tool and don’t pay a premium on data, not taking advantage of Big Data has its costs. There is almost certainly a pattern that is affecting your bottom line that, without someone to discover the trend, will remain off your radar.

So we return to the challenge of finding, hiring and keeping data analysts. Corry Prohens, Founder and CEO of IQ Workforce, the leading analytics talent firm in the industry, recently said,

“Companies that have the best strategies for recruiting and retaining analytics talent have a huge competitive advantage. They are able to hire analysts that build a comprehensive view of the customer—something that many companies only dream of.”

Companies need to look for a meaningful yet realistic combination of technical skills, soft skills and level of experience in their candidates so that they don’t 1) rule out less visible but potentially brilliant candidates, and 2) hold out for the “perfect” candidate until it’s too late.

At the  2016 Analytics Summit, hosted by ObservePoint, Corry Prohens discussed 10 tips on how to improve recruiting results and extend the tenure of your teams. To learn these recruiting best practices, along with additional actionable insights from experienced analytics thought leaders, view his presentation on-demand.

Corry Prohens
Corry Prohens A picture of Corry Prohens

 

About the Author

Jack Vawdrey

A former student and present enthusiast of the humanities, Jack Vawdrey uses his love of language to explore the role of marketing and analytics technology in business. Jack joined the ObservePoint marketing team in August 2016 and serves as Managing Editor. Adamant about automation, Jack writes to educate the analytics and marketing community about the role of tag auditing and data governance in the enterprise.

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