Hiring A Data Analyst: Green Flags To Look For

hiring data analyst green flags

Data analysis is a very broad field with many practical implementations all across the marketplace. It’s used in science, in marketing, in sociology, and in many, many more fields. Data analysis, at its core, is the process of reading, understanding, modeling, and dissecting information with the goal of uncovering helpful insights. As such, there are many different roles that data analysts can take in any organization. 

Hiring a good data analyst, though, is as important as hiring a high-quality employee anywhere else within the organization. However, when it comes to data analysts, there are reasons that making a good hiring choice could change the whole shape of the organization. A good data analyst is capable of finding new angles to examine their data and can utilize it to influence the direction of a company through supported research. Data analysts could even double your company's efficiency or profit margins through their analysis of various spreadsheets and databases.

There are 4 green flags to look for when it comes to hiring a good data analyst that will be discussed below in greater detail. 

1. The Raw Skills 

First and foremost, like with any position, the qualifications need to match-up. A good data analyst needs to, very simply, have the skills that are required to be a data analyst in the first place. The field and type of data with which the analyst is working could influence the technical skills required for that certain role. Additionally, certain organizations may be looking for a data analyst with knowledge in specific softwares that they use regularly. 

Typically though, a data analyst needs to know SQL, Tableau, Python, SAS, and could be required to have knowledge and understanding of a variety of other software as well utilized in data organization

Vetting a data analyst based on their raw-skills should be easy enough as this is information that is usually directly on the resume. Furthermore, if there are any questions about specific software programs or domain knowledge, these can be asked in an initial phone-screening conducted by an internal HR representative, or a recruiter that is either internal or external. 

2. Level Of Experience 

After vetting data analyst candidates by the technical skills they’ve acquired, it’s important to have a good understanding of the job for which you’re hiring. This plays into the amount of required experience that it’s feasible to ask for. Once there’s a good understanding of how much experience a candidate would need to be successful in this role internally, HR departments can vet candidates by the necessary experience range. 

It is important to keep in mind that if you’re hiring for an entry level data analyst position, there should be no required years of professional experience in order to be considered. Similarly, if you’re hiring for a mid-level or senior data-analyst, the experience required should scale appropriately. Typically, 3-6 years of experience can be considered mid-level whereas anything over 10 is almost definitely considered to be senior level. The demands, responsibilities, and level of the job position will dictate how much experience is necessary for the data analyst candidates to bring to the table. 

3. Industry Specific Knowledge 

Another green flag to look for when hiring a data analyst is if they have any industry-specific knowledge or related-experience. This is a marker for mid-level and senior-level positions, as an entry-level candidate would have no experience whatsoever. 

However, if you’re specifically looking for a data analyst to fill a mid or senior level role within the organization, finding one that has industry-specific knowledge and experience can be a game changer. This typically saves time on training, and new hires are able to pretty much hit the ground running. Going further than that, this can be specifically helpful in a data analyst role because of the impact of data insight. Having a familiarity with consumer-patterns, or the role of data analysis in that industry coming into a position can help create immediate impact. 

4. Strong Referrals 

When it comes to hiring for any position, strong referrals are a great indication of a good worker and act as a major green flag. If you’re able to call up previous associates, bosses, or freelance clients, and they all speak well about your candidate in consideration, you may want to consider expediting that hiring process. 

Good workers are hard to come by these days, and many members of the modern workforce prioritize things like a work-life balance, flexibility, and remote-work-environments. Having the confidence that you’re hiring a good employee from their preceding reputation is especially important in a workforce that is mainly virtual. 

A Few Last Words On Hiring 

Whether you’re hiring for a data analyst, an accountant, or a writer, there are green flags to watch out for in any hiring instance that point to high-quality candidates. Vetting applicants by experience level and skill can be done through reading resumes, and from there, referrals and references can help narrow down the applicant pool even further, leaving you with a few high-quality data analyst candidates to interview.

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