Timna on left, Hannah on right
Timna on left, Hannah on right

What do our two speakers from Saturday’s Lunch and Learn have in common? Their careers have evolved thanks to learning data analytics. At this past Saturday’s Lunch and Learn in Boston, we heard from Hannah Jacobs of comScore how her Level education proved to be immediately beneficial, and from Timna Molberger on her professional experience using data in multiple professional industries.

Hannah is a testament to how learning data analytics can enhance someone’s career. While Hannah’s successful career was already well-rooted in mathematics, she felt the need to change her focus, and decided on data analytics. Even after six years of work experience, she transitioned to data analytics in a parallel manner without having to start her career over.

Two weeks after graduating from Level, during an interview she was able to highlight her newfound analytic skills and portfolio to impress her now-current employer.

Key takeaways from Hannah: 
  • It’s never too late to enhance your career through lifelong learning.
  • By becoming proficient with programs such as SQL, R, and Tableau, you can become more confident walking into an interview and showing your potential employer’s real world examples of your skills.
  • Form relationships and leverage connections.

Her quickly-evolving career is proof of how much the data analytics field is exploding, and that it’s an appealing field for both entry-level career seekers as well as already-established professionals.

What do I need for a career in analytics?

Timna Molberger, the Director of Data Operations at Ellevation Education, addressed the packed room during our Lunch and Learn to share how she uses data analytics in her established career. She was able to provide guidance and show examples from past and current companies on amazing projects that she has worked on that involve data.

As evident by Timna’s impressive career working with data, she provided great advice on breaking into the data analytics industry, and what you need to consider and plan for to work with data professionally.

Timna’s takeaways include these questions you should ask yourself:
  1. What is important to you? When looking for a new job, think about what you want to gain from working there. Do you want to be mentored? Do you want to be a part of a larger, growing organization, or a smaller one? Does their mission align with your personal values? 
  2. Internal or external? When working with data, it can be used one of two ways: either internal or for clients. Take time to consider how you want to work with data, and who for.
  3. Established or developing? This is the age-old question of wanting to work with a large company as part of an established team, or do you want to be one of the first data analysts at a startup?
  4. Marketing, business, other? What part of a company do you want to work for? Maybe you want to work as part of a marketing team to develop more focused strategies for outreach, or maybe focusing on the business side of things is better for you.
  5. Research or development? What’s more exciting for you, answering questions through research, or creating algorithms and in turn, products?
  6. Big data? Does working with big data really matter for what you want to do? There’s plenty that can be done with smaller data sets, though ‘big data’ is a buzzword lately.
  7. Languages/Tools? What do you actually want to do? Are you aiming to work more on straightforward analysis with a programming language, or do you want to take it a step further and create data visualizations?

We saw common themes from both speakers. Data analytics is an in-demand field to become a part of, that can be applied to virtually any industry, and within any part of a company, be it marketing, business, or other. Hannah and Timna both focused on the clear benefits of data to any company, and how valuable this skillset is.

Thank you to both Hannah and Timna for making our Lunch and Learn an awesome event!

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