5 Tips for Non-Programmers Learning Analytics

There has been a perception lately that for someone to make a career in analytics, one must be a programmer. I think this statement is as absurd as saying that to swim you must be a fish! We know there are other creatures out there that can swim and aren’t fish. Any analytics company requires people with diverse skill sets

The only important skill that you must have is the ability to understand data and be able to draw insights out of it. If you think you are not a programmer, then these are the 5 things that you must focus on:

1. Become good with a GUI tool

If you don’t enjoy programming then the first thing that you can do is to become good with a GUI tool. There are plenty of such tools out there, you can start with plain old excel and graduate to more sophisticated tools like Tableau and some R GUIs such as R Commander or Rattle.

2. Be a story teller

Even after a model is created and an analysis is prepared by people well versed in programming, someone still has to communicate the results to the stake holders and stake holders also don’t understand programming and the mumbo jumbo of statistical models. Someone has to break it down for them. You can be that person!!!

3. You think you have sales skills? Become better with them

No analytics company will be able to execute analytics projects if they don’t have people who can convince prospective clients to do business with them. You think you have a knack of convincing people and also you are someone who understands what analytics is, then you can actually end up making a lot of money, may be more than a data scientist!!!!!!

4. Be good with statistics

Most programmers are good at hacking things up and coming up with an analysis but 99% of them lack the academic training to understand statistics. If you know your p-values well and can come up with good experimental designs, then you can give any programmer a run for their money any day. It’s very difficult to find good statisticians.

5. Know your domain well

If you are veteran of a specific domain (Retail, Telecom, Health Care etc), you know how business is conducted by different players in your domain, then you can be a very valuable resource for any analytics company. No amount of programming knowledge or mastery of statistical techniques can beat the experience gained by being in a specific domain for a long time.

Like I said in the beginning of this post, to swim you need not be a fish. To be a part of rapidly expanding analytics industry you need not be a super programmer.

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