The Next Generation of Data Analysts

our consultant managing the role
Posting date:6/28/2018 1:48 PM

From coast to coast, a new breed of data analyst rises. No longer siloed and pigeon-holed into one specific area or another, today’s professional must be able to nuance actionable insights for better business predictions and performance. The evolving role of data analyst marries technical prowess and analytical skills with the soft skills of coaching and communication.

Every organization from AdTech to FinTech to the Food and Beverage Industries, and every industry in between, depends on data. In fact, by 2020, IBM estimates the number of open positions in the U.S. for data professionals will increase to 2.7 million. Yet, the surge and the shortfall in analytics talent remains as data analyst recruitment efforts rise to the challenge.

Broaden Your SkillSet

With high demand and short supply comes the opportunity to go beyond your comfort zone and expand your skillset. Add to that companies that may not have the budgets to cover their recruitment efforts and the data analyst skillset must expand to meet the demand. From technical to soft skills, below are a few things to keep in mind when crafting your resume or CV:


  • Don’t shed the basics of analytical mainstays such as Excel, SQL, and SAS; enhance them with languages such as R and Python. Want to boost your chances to the top of the pile? Don’t forget next generation tools and platforms like Tableau, Domo, Adobe Analytics, and/or Snowplow.
  • Be specific: Companies will be more interested in interviewing you if you can clearly outline why/what you have used different technology for.
  • Keep this punchy, concise, and outline your in-put with said technologies.
  • Outline projects you’ve worked on.
  • Become a storyteller – communicate key insights more effectively with the power of data, visualization, and narrative. The ability to tell a story with data can translate across business functions and departments for a unified predictive or prescriptive analysis for more impact.
  • Offer actionable Insights - put the power of actionable insights into decision makers’ hands with real life application explanations. 
  • Steward data responsibly. Data governance is now business critical and the new data analyst must be able to act with fiduciary responsibility to ensure data privacy. Data must be protected, standards must be followed, and trust must be maintained

I, Meet Robot

The blending of the physical and digital worlds through AI, Machine Learning, and IoT remain the frontrunners in technology through 2020. According to McKinsey’s Report Ten IT-enabled Business Trends for the Decade Ahead, the latest technologies shaping the current business world include automated knowledge work, the mobile platform, and the Cloud. Skillsets and experience within these three technologies are the next wave in the modern digital world and it’s the new breed of data analyst who can best rise to the challenge to fill the gaps.

Not only will these three technologies make an impact, but the impetus of social platforms and their data will be a powerful contribution to business outcomes. This melding of the physical and digital worlds allows businesses to understand and implement the collected data in scenarios in real-time driving them forward to better reward.

Your Turn

In this section, we ask our candidates and clients what we as recruiters can do to help you find the perfect fit. This is your chance to answer and ask questions as well as get creative in helping us improve our efforts in data analyst recruitment. Below are a few questions to get you started.

  • What kind of cross-training programs might businesses and schools employ for future Data Analysts?
  • What other backgrounds are we overlooking in our quest to for the next generation of data analyst as businesses seek to find and engage this most critical role within their data teams?
  • What can we, as recruiters do to engage qualified candidates ready for their next role in the world of data and analytics?

If you’re a data analyst ready to spread your wings, we may have a role for you, check out our current vacancies or contact us to learn more.

For the East Coast and Mid-West teams please call 212-796-6070, or email newyorkinfo@harnham.com.

For the West Coast team call 415-614-4999 or email sanfraninfo@harnham.com.

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