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Seeking a career path as an analyst

Question :

Hi Doc,

I am a Master graduate in statistics with engineering background. I would like to be Data analyst/ Business analyst.

I have experience in handling data in ERP system and statistical report.

I got interviews from MNC for the position of data analyst. However, I failed in the interview due to I am lack of exp in marketing/business.

The experience gave me the message is that statistical background or exp in data handling are not important for applying these role. The more important is the business acumen and the knowledge of the industry.

Recruit consultant would suggest I start with more junior position. As I observed, not many junior of data analyst I can find in the market.

Doc, could suggest ways for me to achieve my goal?


Posted by Foo on Tuesday, 28 Jan 2014

Comments :

Sidney Yuen - Career Doctor

Posted Monday 10th February 2014 09:45:00 AM


Dear Foo Thanks for your question. I believe that your skills and knowledge are vital to business success. Recently, there has been a lot of interest in the area of Big Data. MNCs such as IBM and Google, believe that top performing organizations are analytics driven. They turn their data into business intelligence to predict the outcome of their action and to stay ahead of the competition. I must say that I do not agree with the recruitment consultant who suggested to you that you should start with a more junior position. As a graduate in statistics with an engineering background, you stand a better chance than others in securing a job as an analyst. Your apparent lack of business or marketing skills can be learned. I suggest that you do the following: 1. Before your interview, you need to understand the business of the organization; why do they exist? (Mission), how are they achieving their mission? (Strategy), and what are they selling? (Product/service). You also need to understand the industry of your potential employer, their competitors, customers, and business model. It is even possible to find out what platform and ERP system that they are using. 2. Demonstrate your value proposition by explaining how your experience in handling data in ERP system can help your last employer gain a competitive advantage. For example, how does data analytics enable companies to adapt to changes within their customer segment, identify trends and empower customer service people to engage effectively to offer better service or incremental sales that will in turn lead to customer and employee loyalty? 3. Stay confident by brushing up your presentation and interviewing skills. Dress for the occasion, study the job scope, answer the questions without using too much jargon and most important of all, ask questions to show that you are keen and you are interested to work for the organization. You may consider asking these questions; what qualities are you looking for in the person you are hiring? What is the prospect of this positions? Is this position a replacement? If yes, why did the person leave? In general, employers are impressed by candidates who ask good questions. Getting an interview is a chance for you to sell yourself. If you do the above right, you will stand a much bigger chance to be hired. Best of luck!

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