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.
for the Business and IT Communities Executive forums with additional hands-on learning opportunities offered around the world
Each ideal for practitioners, Business leaders & senior executives
2014 VA Interactive Roadshow -- DetroitThe 2014 VA Interactive Roadshow will feature SASŪ Data Management and SASŪ Visual Analytics experts covering topics like prepping data for VA and VA integration with SASŪ Office Analytics. This year's events will keep presentations at a minimum and focus on giving attendees hands-on exposure to the latest version of VA.
2014 VA Interactive Roadshow -- ChicagoThe 2014 VA Interactive Roadshow will feature SASŪ Data Management and SASŪ Visual Analytics experts covering topics like prepping data for VA and VA integration with SASŪ Office Analytics. This year's events will keep presentations at a minimum and focus on giving attendees hands-on exposure to the latest version of VA.
2014 VA Interactive Roadshow -- Cary, NCThe 2014 VA Interactive Roadshow will feature SASŪ Data Management and SASŪ Visual Analytics experts covering topics like prepping data for VA and VA integration with SASŪ Office Analytics. This year's events will keep presentations at a minimum and focus on giving attendees hands-on exposure to the latest version of VA.
2014 VA Interactive Roadshow -- BostonThe 2014 VA Interactive Roadshow will feature SASŪ Data Management and SASŪ Visual Analytics experts covering topics like prepping data for VA and VA integration with SASŪ Office Analytics. This year's events will keep presentations at a minimum and focus on giving attendees hands-on exposure to the latest version of VA.
2014 VA Interactive Roadshow -- AtlantaThe 2014 VA Interactive Roadshow will feature SASŪ Data Management and SASŪ Visual Analytics experts covering topics like prepping data for VA and VA integration with SASŪ Office Analytics. This year's events will keep presentations at a minimum and focus on giving attendees hands-on exposure to the latest version of VA.
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
The hospitality industry gathers massive amounts of customer data, and mining that data effectively can yield tremendous results in terms of improved CRM, better-targeted marketing spend, and more efficient back-end processes. Roger Ares, vice president of analytics at Hyatt Corp., discusses the ways he and his staff use big data.
Charged with keeping track of travel assets, including employees, iJET International relies on data management best-practices and advanced analytics to keep its clients in the know on current and potential world events affecting travel, Rich Murnane, Director of Enterprise Data Operations & Data Architect, told All Analytics in an interview from the 2014 SAS Global Forum Executive Conference.
Jason Dorsey, chief strategy officer for the Center for Generational Kinetics and keynote speaker at last month's SAS Global Forum 2014, describes how Gen Y professionals are enhancing the makeup of multigenerational analytics organizations.
From analytics talent development to the power of visual analytics, All Analytics found a variety of common themes circulating throughout the exhibition floor and session discussions at the 2014 SAS Global Forum and SAS Global Forum Executive Conference events held last month in Washington, DC.
Talking with All Analytics live from the 2014 SAS Global Forum Executive Conference, Eric Helmer, senior manager of campaign design and execution for T-Mobile, discussed the importance of customer data -- starting internally -- in devising the mobile operator's marketing plans.
The big-data analytics market can be a confusing place. Among the vendors vying for your dollars are traditional database management providers, Hadoop startup services, and IT giants. In this video, All Analytics editors Beth Schultz and Michael Steinhart sit down in a Google+ Hangout on Air with Doug Henschen, executive editor of InformationWeek. Henschen discusses use cases for big-data analytics, purchase considerations, and his recent roundup of the top 16 big-data analytics platforms.
At the National Retail Federation BIG Show last month, All Analytics executive editor Michael Steinhart noted a host of solutions for tracking and analyzing customer activity in retail stores. From Bluetooth beacons to RFID tags to NFC connections to video analytics, retailers must find the right combination of tools to help optimize the shopper experience, streamline operations, and boost revenues.
The days when historical shipment trends and gut feelings were enough to forecast retail demand accurately are long over. SAS chief industry consultant Charles Chase outlines the benefits of pulling real-time sales information from point-of-sale and product scanner systems, then flowing that data into dynamic forecasting tools from SAS.
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.