Written By: Nick Thompson, Data Analytics Major, Class of 2019
I was a Strategic Growth Analytics intern this past summer at Fresenius Medical Care in Waltham, MA. When I read the job description for this position, the first thing I noticed is how much various Bentley courses had given me the technical skills needed for this position. The skills necessary for a position in data analytics include Excel, R, Python, and SQL. IT101, MA347 (Data Mining), MA346 (Data Science), CS350 (Database Management Systems), and CS230 (Python) are must-take classes for anyone wanting to pursue data analytics as a career.
While at Fresenius, I worked with Tableau, a business intelligence tool that allowed my team to build dashboards for other departments. Tableau is a great platform for data visualization, and from what I’ve seen so far is a very prevalent tool in analytics positions. My manager told me he learned Tableau through Googling and scanning various online forums where others asked questions similar to his own. He told me this is the way I should go about learning Tableau as well. The ability to learn a program on your own is a very valuable skill that companies are looking for, so he wanted me to practice this skill as much as I could this summer.
While technical skills are important, the most important lessons I learned this summer did not involve data manipulation or programming. The ability to take a large amount of raw data and communicate actionable insights to people who have no understanding of statistics was the most difficult, but most important, aspect of my job. Although writing assignments and group projects do not seem very applicable to analytics, I have come to realize that these assignments are just as important as those required for the major. While someone may have the technical skills to create the most advanced model to predict the future behavior of some variable, if no one can understand any of the work or no actions can be taken by the business as a result of this work, then the model is useless. Writing and presentation skills are just as important as programming skills.