In my last post, I spoke about what a Business Intelligence Data Analyst is and provided some internet and YouTube resources for those looking to make the career shift.
If you haven’t read that post, I’d HIGHLY encourage you to do so as this post will supplement some, not all, of the information provided.
Here’s a link to our previous blog post.
Previous Blog Post
Let’s Get Started
In the past 6 months as a Business Intelligence Data Analyst, I’ve had several people ask me what my background was and how I got started.
In fact, one of the most common misconceptions is that you need a 4 year degree or some specialized in-person training to become an analyst.
I’m here to tell you that with the amount of free information on Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn, that truly isn’t the case.
In January 2020, I founded an e-commerce company known as The Hook Up. While my company’s products and services have expanded over the years, we started out selling crochet headbands for $20 each.
We actually had a blog similar to this! I’ve posted some links for those who have no clue what crocheting is.
That entire journey led me to become a Data Analyst, so they may be worth your while to read.
Blog 1 - Welcome
Blog 2 - Day 1
Blog 3 - Allow Yourself To Fail
Blog 4 - Preach!
What Is Shopify? - The Hook Up
When I began my journey, I was marketing primarily on Instagram but eventually built a website in March 2020.
Since then, I’ve collected roughly two years of Shopify data and was looking for a solution to better understand my sales data, and also create actionable insights to increase overall company growth.
My sales were great, but I felt there was always more that could be done. In the past, I hadn’t truly made the commitment to aggressively analyze my data, apart from monthly Shopify Analytic reports.
If you’re looking to start an e-commerce business, I’d recommend you check out Shopify over any other platform available. Their ease of use and straight forward app integration is unmatched by any service I’ve used prior.
If you haven’t heard of Shopify or are ready to kickstart your e-commerce business, you should check out the links below. The first one will answer any initial questions you have regarding Shopify. The second link will help you set up your first store!
What is Shopify?
How Do I Create A Store?
What Is Coursera?
My search eventually led me to Coursera!
Coursera is an online educational service with more than 5,400 courses, Professional Certificates, and degrees from world-class universities and companies.
One of the major benefits is that you can enroll in courses to gain hands-on experience in technology roles such as Data Analyst, Project Manager, UX Designer, IT Support Specialist, Data Scientist, etc.
What separates Coursera from the rest is that while there is a monthly subscription fee, you are free to enroll in as many classes as you’d like and you can work at your own pace.
This was extremely beneficial to me given I had a full-time job and was actively working on The Hook Up in my spare time.
The ability to do a few hours a day in my downtime and at my own pace was priceless.
There aren’t too many platforms that can match Coursera’s catalog of courses at the same price point, so I believe it was more than worth it.
My first course was the IT Support Specialist Specialization which was a 3-6 month track. As I mentioned prior, I had no prior tech experience and IT Support seemed to be a common role that I kept hearing about.
Shortly into the course, I learned that it wasn’t what I wanted to do and I stumbled upon Google’s Data Analytics Professional Certificate.
It was a 6-month track and was the best decision I’ve made to date. I was so excited to learn that I finished the course in 2 months and continued to enroll in more courses on Coursera to expand my knowledge.
In addition to hands-on projects and tutorials, there is a final Capstone Project that I recommend you complete to showcase your newfound skills to potential employers.
Coursera is an EXCELLENT place to start and below are a few links to help you get started.
What Is Coursera?
What Tech Certifications Are Offered on Coursera?
Google Data Analytics Specialization
My First Interview
My first interview consisted of a 50,000 cell excel spreadsheet and a blank Power BI canvas with the direction to create a dashboard and a 1-page insight report.
Having completed Google’s Analytics Certificate, I can truly say that I felt prepared and proud of what I’d ultimately created, which landed me a 2nd interview and the job.
If you’re not familiar with the terms above, it’d be in your best interest to check out my previous blog post!
Your role as an analyst will require you to take initiative and think of solutions to problems that you don’t know exist yet. It will force you to put yourself out on a limb and provide the support and documentation to support whatever insight you’ve uncovered.
The last major tip I can give to anyone looking to transition into tech is to harness the power of LinkedIn.
You can never underestimate the power of networking and you might as well begin that journey now rather than waiting until you’re actively in the employment pool.
After you’ve done a deep dive into what your prospective role is, you should create a LinkedIn profile and set up job alerts for the role and your desired salary.
While you may not have the qualifications or required skills at this time, these alerts will identify what companies are hiring and what their expectations are. You can use this to research the companies and make yourself a better future employee.
You’re also building that constant mental connection to what it is that you desire.
While I can’t say everyone who reads this will successfully become a Data Analyst, I can advise you on what worked for me.
This journey will be as much mental as it is technical. You will be required to self-learn and self-motivate because you will not make it very far in this industry without that drive.
The role is not easy, but it is rewarding and it’s a great way to make a living for yourself and your family in this Internet of Things (IoT) world.
What Is LinkedIn?
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” - Henry Ford
I encourage you to write this quote on a sticky note and place it somewhere you will see it 100 times a day.
Your success in the industry will depend entirely on you, your dedication, and your commitment to searching for the answers you don’t immediately have.
I wish you ALL the best on your journey and I encourage you to comment with any questions you have below.
I promise to answer them directly or provide more details about anything I’ve discussed in my recent posts.
Go get 'em!
The Hook Up - Website
The Hook Up - Instagram