How to Become a Data Analyst Intern

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How to Become a Data Analyst Intern

Who are they exactly? This is an entry-level position, playing an auxiliary role in the analytics department of a company. That means they support both data analysts and data scientists in their projects by performing various data mining or data quality tasks. In other words, the ultimate goal of the data analyst intern is to take some run-of-the-mill operations off the hands of the more senior data analysts and data scientists.

However, don’t be quick to judge this internship as a boring service job. it’s a quid-pro-quo game. In turn, full-time data analysts and data scientists have less workload and are happy to spend some of their time to show data analyst interns key practical aspects of their work. That said, data analyst interns are usually assigned to a data analyst or a data scientist who provides them with mentorship and technical guidance throughout the internship.

Yet sometimes, a data analyst intern is part of a team and has pre-defined duties. At least that’s the case in team structures where there’s always an intern on a rolling basis. That’s the flash presentation of the data analyst intern role. But to really understand what it means to be a data analyst intern, we need to look a bit deeper into some of their typical duties.

A data analyst intern is hired in an organization to basically audition for the data analyst role. Most often they’re given tasks revolving around working with data and preprocessing it, monitoring data quality and consistency. Sometimes data analyst interns also work with data stewards to improve the quality, accessibility, and value of the company’s data.

In the meantime, Big Brother is watching – throughout the internship, current data analysts monitor the ability of interns to work with data, turn it into information, then leverage the information and obtain insights that can be used to improve business decisions. A data analyst intern needs to show they are perfectly capable of deriving insights and communicating the results from their findings. Their goal during the internship should be to demonstrate that they are detailed-oriented professionals who can answer critical business questions by using available data sources.

Sounds cool, doesn’t it? But let’s address the elephant in the room and talk about how to become a data analyst intern. Have you considered a data analyst career? As we’ve mentioned in one of our previous articles, that’s certainly a great option to explore, both on its own and as a gateway into a data scientist position. And a data analyst internship can be the first step on that career path.

Many companies across literally all industries offer internship positions as part of their recruitment strategy, especially large firms who like to select their talent carefully and can dedicate the necessary management resources to an internship program. So, what are the key skills you need to apply for a data analyst internship? We researched many job postings to discover the desired tools and skills data analyst intern candidates must have.

For the record, 25% of the job ads were posted by companies with 10,000 or more employees. So, here’s what the data says:

  • 56% of the job ads mentioned Microsoft Excel skills
  • 37% quoted Power BI as a preferred tool
  • 31% mentioned Tableau as a preferred tool
  • 31% required knowledge of SQL
  • And 19% mentioned Python

But don’t think that being tech-savvy is the only thing that matters. At least 50% of the job postings make an emphasis on communication, so you’d better work on your soft skills as well if you want to get your foot in the data analytics door, as one of the key prerequisites is to be able to share your findings with people from the business.

What about academic background? 50% of data analyst internships require a Bachelor’s degree… and the rest didn’t… That means formal education is not that important as long as you’re well-versed in statistics, preprocessing with programming languages, ability to work with data and navigate databases, ability to extract information from data and turn it into insights, and willingness to go the extra mile and engage with data mining and data quality tasks.

Okay, let’s recap.

Overall, to be successful in this position, you need some programming abilities, to know how to work with data, and to internalize different statistical and advanced statistical techniques. Ideally, you should be able to see how these methods can be applied in practice in a business environment. In fact, it will benefit you greatly if you have already learned these skills prior to your internship.

This way, you’ll make the best possible impression, which is super important because – as we said earlier – this is your audition to a full-time data analyst role and a data scientist job. Alright! Now you’re aware of the most important aspects of the data analyst intern position and what skills to focus on in order to become one.


Useful links:

reference – How to Become a Data Analyst Intern

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