When you’ve been a Data Analyst as long as I have, you get used to everyone asking questions about what “exactly” it is that you do. I mean, let’s face it, the title of Data Analyst is a little obscure. It’s both clear and confusing at the same time. People can determine that a Data Analyst must analyze data, but the confusion comes in when they try to figure out what the data is.
Early on in my career, I used to really try to explain it when someone asked. I’ve been a Healthcare Data Analyst for 25+ years now in several different capacities, so I would try to give them an answer related to that. I’d say something like…
“I use all the data gathered inside the hospital from patient demographics, procedures performed, charges applied, reimbursement gained, etc. to determine how the hospital should move strategically. We use the data to identify which services we should expand or remove, where we should build new outreach clinics, feasibility studies on whether new technology should be incorporated, which physicians have practice patterns that should be adopted by other providers, and which should be closely monitored for poor quality outcomes. Things like that.”
And…their eyes would glaze over.
So, I started just saying “I do physician report cards and monitor which physicians are having too many complications or deaths.” That’s like the understatement of the year when it comes to what a Healthcare Data Analyst actually does, but it’s something people can relate to and it’s really all they want to know. But, even for all the times I’ve been asked what “exactly” it is that I do, that’s still not the number one question I’ve been asked. Ready for it?
I mean, who can blame them? They know I make an excellent salary and do it all from home. How much better does it get, right? So, I’m going to break down the answer here today in case you’ve been wondering how you can make an excellent salary and work from home, too!
First, you’ll need to learn how to analyze data. Analyzing data is basically a process of taking large data files, pulling the data together in a useable format, and using queries to filter the data in specific ways that will turn it into information. Data becomes information when you can draw conclusions from it.
Think about it like this…You can’t learn anything by looking at large spreadsheets of raw data. But, if you take that raw data and start to summarize it, then it becomes something you can understand and evaluate.
Most people think you need a degree in order to be a data analyst. Not true. You need the right skills! If you’re looking for a great way to learn these skills quickly at home, check out my free training “The Making of a Data Analyst” here.
Next, you’ll need some organizational knowledge about the industry that you want to work in as a Data Analyst. This might be knowledge you have already from working in the industry, or it can be learned once you’re on the job as a Data Analyst.
All industries are different and have their own set of metrics that are important, but the methods of doing the analysis of the data are the same across the board. Once you know how to analyze data, you can work in any industry you choose!
Lastly, you just need to get started. Getting great at data analytics is just like anything else. The more you do it, the better you get! You’ll learn very quickly how to best analyze data to get the desired results for your organization. You’ll also learn how to anticipate next-step questions from your requestors and answer their questions before they even have to ask. That’s when you’ll start to be known as a Rockstar!
You may be thinking “Can it really be that simple?” and I’m over here screaming “YEEEESSSS!!” People try to make it harder than it really is to get started in the Data Analyst position. It’s really very simple. Get the training, get the job, and refine your industry knowledge as you work. That’s it! I can help you learn everything you need to be job ready in 60 days. You can learn more about my Rockstar Data Analytics Program for Beginners here.
As for the “work from home” part, this is the easiest area to tackle. There are soooo many organizations that offer remote positions these days for analysts and, sometimes, they even make it mandatory. The truth of the matter is this: there are many, many more job openings for data analysts than there are data analysts to fill the positions. Therefore, companies are offering as many perks as possible to make their job offers as attractive as possible to candidates. So, if this is a career that interests you, just work to get the skills you need, then go out and grab one of those awesome remote jobs for yourself! They’re everywhere, they’re everywhere! :)
I’ll be happy to help if you need me!