What’s the best thing about being a new analyst? It is the power to be creative and change the future for the better. I’ve spent the last year developing my skills alongside some of the brightest talent in the industry. Here’s what I learned during my first year:
Tableau is the cool kid on the block that everyone wants as their friend. Tableau is a data visualization tool that empowers complex data to unfold in front of viewers in meaningful, vibrant ways. The tool itself is user friendly with drag and drop features. Learning Tableau has a fairly low upfront cost with high future returns.
Don’t believe me? Check out Avaap’s Tableau solution for the state of Ohio’s interactive budget: https://checkbook.ohio.gov/
SQL is the old, next-door neighbor that isn’t going anywhere and has a ton of simple wisdom to share. SQL is a language used to manage and query data. The syntax is fairly simple and allows for powerful configuration that supports other advanced analysis. SQL isn’t always the flashiest skill set, but it is a resilient talent for the toolbox.
Need convincing? Avaap data engineers used SQL to pull data elements to build Ohio’s Public Health Advisory System: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/public-health-advisory-system/
Data governance is the helicopter mother that is constantly killing the vibe, but also foundational for your future success. Governance and security considerations are central to all data conversations. While the constant attention can feel like a drag, the importance to understanding how to best handle data instills confidence in all stakeholders involved in a data project.
To emphasize this – Learn more about the InnovateOhio platform that Avaap’s BI and Analytics team works on through program support and managed services: https://innovateohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/innovate/platform/analytics-and-data-sharing
You’ll be picked first for the team if you’re not afraid to dive deep into data to troubleshoot and can easily communicate technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders. Being adaptable and a strong communicator who can easily switch between deep technical tasks and overarching functional conversations will keep your role valuable and adaptable in an industry that is constantly changing.
Looking for an example? Avaap created an Alteryx solution to help identify duplicate payments in Ohio’s government which was then communicated out to all Ohioans: https://obm.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/obm/home/news-and-events/News-Release-06-16-2020
The documentation and templatization of solutions are comparable to doing dishes as a chore. It happens after every glamorous event, is time consuming, and no one likes to do it, but your team is thankful to have the foundational utensils clean and ready for the next project. No one wants to take the time after an exhausting couple of months of development and go-lives, but documentation facilitates knowledge sharing and helps quick-start future projects as a reminder to yourself or skilling up teammates.
See it first hand – The University of Georgia had Avaap create an estimated cost calculator that will need to update with each semester’s information. Upkeeping the solution required extensive documentation and templatization: https://busfin.uga.edu/bursar/ecc/
Stacy George is a senior analyst at Avaap with a focus in business intelligence and analytics. Stacy works with organizations to get the most value from their Alteryx and Tableau investments, including the InnovateOhio Platform and the University of Georgia.