When it comes to its analytics professionals, global online consumer lender Enova International makes sure its people are "the best of the best," recruiting only the cream of the crop and rewarding them for their accomplishments monetarily, with additional vacation time, training, tuition reimbursements, and so on.
Adam McElhinney, head of business analytics at the Chicago-based firm, told us so during last week's A2 Radio program, "How to Land a Great Analytics Job" (listen on demand). He didn't talk specifics, but the offers would appear to be enticing. Why? "We want to make sure Enova is really respected in the analytics profession and that we're driving a lot of value for the company."
Looking at the numbers, Enova typically receives a couple hundred resumes for each job it posts. If it interviews 100 people, it'll typically offer only four of them jobs -- and at least three if not all four accept, said McElhinney, who typically interviews about four to six candidates per week.
McElhinney said he thinks Enova's hiring practices and goals are what you'd find at most leading-edge analytics shops. So here are eight things you need to know if you're aiming to pass McElhinney's or his ilk's scrutiny and land a coveted analytics job.
Avail yourself to internships. An internship, as McElhinney said is the case at Enova, "is really an extended interview process. Its purpose is a pipeline for new full-time hires." What's more, as a potential job candidate, working within a company as an intern will give you a sense of whether the environment is really the right fit for you.
Get involved with a professional society. The emphasis here is on involvement. Don't just show up for meetings but become involved in some way -- offer up your web development skills if you have them, or help write a newsletter or volunteer to help plan an event, McElhinney said.
Show continued development. McElhinney suggested three ways to make your resume stand out in this respect. One, get an analytics-related certification, be it via an independent organization like INFORMS, platform-specific from a vendor like SAS, or related to a specific domain, like finance, risk, or actuarial science. Two, enter a data analysis competition at Kaggle or the like. You don't have to win, but do be prepared to talk about the experience. Three, participate in open-source software development, maybe creating a package for R, working on a Python data analysis tool, or showcasing projects on GitHub.
Be prepared for the interview. If you've neither read the job description nor researched the company, that'll be apparent during the interview -- and possibly end up excluding you from further consideration. Along the same lines, McElhinney added, make sure you can explain anything you've placed in your resume. "I mean, don't list some software package as a skill if you've only used it once and aren't prepared to talk through it extensively."
Ask plenty of questions. It's a "huge red flag" when you don't, McElhinney said. You're potentially considering whether you want to spend your workweek with these people and build this experience into your long-term career path. "So you should have a lot of questions about the job, the culture of the company, about the backgrounds of your area coworkers, and a lot of questions about the day-to-day activities of the job."
Don't try to be too impressive. Talking about some obscure modeling technique or software intricacy might serve to annoy more to impress, McElhinney said. Tread carefully.
Demonstrate business savvy and be a good communicator. Having quantitative expertise is usually a given for analytics positions, but some employers are going to want you to have business acumen as well, especially if analysts are embedded in the business units. And, if you want to be in the thick of things, you've got to be able to express yourself and hold your own in presentations and conversations with the business.
Supplement traditional analytics techniques with new skills. Today, candidates who have machine learning and programming skills stand out given the push for real-time analytics, McElhinney said. You might see this listed as data science, "but it's essentially analytics with a programming background as well."
Share your job-hunting experiences below. What's worked for or against you?
I really hate to see what has happened to Internships. It was how I got my start, and when I was doing it I was fortunate enough to get paid as well - that is for the most part is a foreign concept to most employers now.
Some companies realizing that they can get this labor for free, have more interns ( unemployed ) than they do actual employees.
These are great tips for getting an Analytics job or any job actually. I think being prepared for the interview, continuous improvement and humility are major structural foundations necessary to gaining employment in Analytics or any other area.
I'm glad you have had such positive experiences. Many are not as fortunate. Just today:
(Reuters) - PBS talk show host Charlie Rose and his production company will pay roughly $110,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by former unpaid interns, under an agreement approved by a New York state judge.
The victory, another win on the wages front for interns, comes amid a wave of lawsuits that followed a June 11 ruling by a federal judge in Manhattan that former production interns for the 2010 film "Black Swan" were de facto employees of Fox Searchlight Pictures.
In the so-called glamour industries of film, publishing and other media, unpaid internships are standard. The cost-saving practice has spread to other businesses, prompting experts to predict that litigation in more traditional fields could be next.
I'm actually very surprised that people on here are saying how bad internships are. I am currently on my 6th internship. At each internship, I have been treated as full-time staff, have been paid very well (a few even gave me the same benefits as full-time employees), and I've come away with great learning experiences. Are there "internships" where you are not paid and treated like dirt? Of course. The key is for the student to do their homework before signing the offer letter.
SAS Global Forum Executive Conference 2014 The Executive Conference is held in conjunction with SAS Global Forum, a SAS users technology event. Investing in thought leadership and technical training are two of the best moves a successful company can make so take advantage of the world-class speakers, sessions and discussions around Analytics, Big data, Risk, Fraud and Data management.
LEADERS FROM THE BUSINESS AND IT COMMUNITIES DUEL OVER CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY ISSUES
The Current Discussion
Visual Analytics: Who Carries the Onus? The Issue: Data visualization is an up-and-coming technology for businesses that want to deliver analytical results in a visual way, enabling analysts the ability to spot patterns more easily and business users to absorb the insight at a glance and better understand what questions to ask of the data. But does it make more sense to train everybody to handle the visualization mandate or bring on visualization expertise? Our experts are divided on the question. The Speakers: Hyoun Park, Principal Analyst, Nucleus Research; Jonathan Schwabish, US Economist & Data Visualizer
At the Strata Conference / Hadoop World 2013, Samuel Kommu, technical marketing engineer at Cisco Systems, shares some of the benefits that Hadoop brings to analytics platforms that leverage next-generation hardware. Kommu looks at big data operations that required 3,500 nodes in 2009, 2,000 in 2011, and now require only 64 nodes.
Wayne Thompson, manager of SAS Data Sciences Technologies, delivers a fascinating preview demonstration of SAS Visual Statistics, a tool that enables fast and flexible modeling against massive datasets on the fly. Visual Statistics will be made generally available in March, but you can see it here first.
At Strata/Hadoop World 2013, Cloudera CEO Tom Reilly discusses the new Enterprise Data Hub offering, explaining how it works with Hadoop, how it creates a single repository of full-history and full-fidelity data, and how it exposes that data to all users interested in exploratory analytics.
At this year's Strata Conference/Hadoop World 2013, SAS big data vice president Paul Kent presented a session on setting up Hadoop clusters for advanced analytics. We caught up with several audience members and recorded their impressions of the presentation.
In hearing directly from a doctorate-level Hadoop specialist, a healthcare data analyst, and a marketing executive, it's clear that big data analytics is a burgeoning field that cutting-edge companies are eager to explore.
At this year's Strata Conference/Hadoop World 2013 event, SAS VP of Big Data Paul Kent presented several sessions about modernizing and deploying advanced data analytics infrastructures based on Hadoop. In this video, he talks about the state of Hadoop adoption among enterprises today and looks out to the big data-driven applications of the future.
Companies that use SAS analytics tools for their traditional databases are looking to derive even more value by mining unstructured data. Data management platforms like Hortonworks enable that relationship by delivering an enterprise-ready Hadoop framework.
In this video, Shaun Connolly, vice president of corporate strategy at Hortonworks, explains how companies can incorporate Hadoop into their data analytics streams.
At the SAS Premier Business Leadership Series in Orlando, Manuel Sanchez, CRM Manager for Club Premier Aeromexico, explains the challenges and opportunities of transaction data. Using dozens of data sources among participating airlines and merchants, Club Premier creates robust customer profiles and works to maximize benefits for members and business partners alike while protecting individual privacy.
At SAS's October Premier Business Leadership Series (PBLS) in Orlando, attendees from the corporate and academic worlds joined thought leaders and analytics professionals to share insights and strategies around big data.
Will Hakes, CEO and co-founder of Link Analytics and keynote speaker at the SAS Analytics 2013 conference in Orlando, Fla., last month, talks candidly about the challenges that large enterprises face as they explore advanced analytics solutions. He also shares some practical tips for smoothing the transition.
At the SAS Analytics 2013 conference in Orlando, Bob Gladden, vice president for decision support and informatics at the Ohio nonprofit health insurance provider CareSource, explains how his company uses advanced analytics to keep administrative costs down and to identify at-risk patients for targeted healthcare initiatives.
At the Analytics 2013 conference in Orlando, Fla., two analytics experts from Dell -- global decision sciences manager Natalie Kortum and senior credit risk consultant Jack Chen -- share their real-world advice for analysts who want to sell their project ideas to business executives.
At the SAS Premier Business Leadership Series in Orlando, Fla., Lousiana State Representative Chris Broadwater outlined the state's success with analytics-driven fraud detection and shared his vision for streamlined processes at the DMV, the healthcare system, and even the department of corrections -- all delivered via a centralized repository of rich customer data.
Organizations that are ready to leverage big data need to move beyond buzzwords and approach the challenges with a business focus. Peter Guerra, principal at Booz Allen Hamilton, shares his insight and experience in helping clients transition to Hadoop and embrace new decision support platforms.
At this year's Strata Conference / Hadoop World 2013, Michael Steinhart chats with Rackspace Product Marketing Manager Sean Anderson about Hadoop, cloud computing, and how the two come together for companies that want to undertake a "proof of value" project.
With today's advanced visual analytics tools, you can stream data into memory for real-time processing, provide users the ability to explore and manipulate the data, and bring your data to life for the business.
Dynamic data visualizations let analysts and business users interact with the data, changing variables or drilling down into data points, and see results in a flash. Advance your use of data visualization with tools that support features like auto-charting, explanatory pop-ups, and mobile sharing.
No doubt your enterprise is amassing loads of data for fact-based decision-making. Hand in hand with all that data comes big computational requirements. Can traditional IT infrastructure handle the increasing number and complexity of your analytical work? Probably not, which is why you need a backend rethink. Big data calls for a high-performance analytics infrastructure, as Fern Halper, a partner at the IT consulting and research firm, Hurwitz & Associates, discusses here.
Redbox's bright-red DVD kiosks are all but ubiquitous these days, located in more than 28,000 spots across the country. Jayson Tipp, Redbox VP of Analytics and CRM, provides an insider's look at how the company has accomplished its phenomenal nine-year growth.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), a seven-brand global hotelier, has woven analytics into the fabric of its operations. David Schmitt, director of performance strategy and planning, shares IHG's analytics story and his lessons learned.