If you’ve recently got a job as a data analyst, you probably think you’re good enough because you studied, tried hard, and got the job. But when you join a team with people more experienced than you, you may feel like you don’t know anything… To make sure that this newcomer experience doesn’t dampen your motivation, here are some top tips for data analysts starting out.
Being organised when working with data is one of the most important things. Don’t be lazy! Name folders and projects clearly from the very first job, no matter how small, because any unspecific names will quickly create a mess on your computer that you won’t be able to keep track of yourself. And most importantly, write down what you have done on a daily, or at least weekly, basis so that you can better plan your work.
Have confidence in yourself
Of course, when you start working, it seems that everyone knows and understands more than you do. Naturally, people who have been working in the field for years have more experience. But that doesn’t mean you don’t know anything. You know the basics, and everything else takes time to learn and understand. Especially since the essence of a data analyst’s job is not about knowing everything perfectly, but rather about flexibility and the ability to learn on the job.
Learn more about what you don’t yet understand
Don’t avoid the jobs that cause you the most confusion. On the contrary, if you don’t understand something yet, try to practice and create projects on that topic so that you can learn without being pressured by deadlines and clients. Don’t be afraid to ask your colleagues to help you with such projects, as their experience and knowledge will be great teachers in your new job.
Watch how your mentor works
Your mentor will most likely be a senior data analyst. This is someone who not only knows the technical side of the job better but also has a good understanding of the company’s culture and working principles. Pay attention to how this person plans his/her day, how he/she interacts with clients, how he/she explains his/her work to colleagues who don’t know about the technical side of the job, and what decisions he/she makes on a daily basis.
The most important thing is to listen
No matter who you talk to in your new job – a client, a mentor, or a team leader – always listen carefully to what they say. Of course, this is important in every job, but it’s especially important as a data analyst. That’s because the work of a data analyst often involves different teams working together so that everyone’s efforts work together to produce a single meaningful result. This is why it is so important to listen to and “digest” all the information that comes in.
Asking questions is what will make you a better data analyst. Nobody in a new job expects you to know everything right away, everybody expects you to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to say that you don’t know something, that something needs to be explained to you again. If you hear others talking and using terms you don’t know yet, feel free to ask what they are talking about. Even with clients, don’t be afraid to say that you will explain something you don’t know and then get back to them. There is nothing worse in being a data analyst that is pretending to know something you don’t understand.
Trust your hunches
As a data analyst, you will often be faced with situations where there is more than one way to proceed. Some of these decisions will be less important than others, but they will all determine what your outcome looks like. As we said in the first point, it is very important to keep a record of what you do, and therefore what decisions you make, because if you make a mistake somewhere, it will be easy to go back and find out where the mistake was. And if you get completely lost sometimes and don’t know which way to go, of course, you can turn to more experienced colleagues.
We hope these tips have been useful and will make you feel more confident at the start of your data analytics career. Remember – everyone started at the bottom so everyone understands how you feel. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help, because one day you will be helping a newbie like you!
If you are interested in becoming a Data Analyst, then check out Dublin CODING School Data Analytics course HERE!