When it comes to product analysts or analysts in general, I've identified a common pattern:
There's an obsession with tools and technology.
Many interviews, jobs, and professionals are focusing on highlighting hard skills.
- How proficient are you in SQL?
- What other platforms do you use for visualization besides Tableau?
- Do you also use Python or R?
The same emphasis on tools is seen in educational courses and universities as well. They concentrate solely on how you manipulate data and how to visualize it more effectively.
When it comes to analysis and analysts, there are two essential pillars to consider. The first is technical expertise. You can't be an analyst without a proper technical background.
The second is how you utilize your analytical thinking skills to perform an analysis.
❓How do you break down a problem into smaller parts?
❓How do you deal with the cognitive biases that might occur? (ex. cherry picking)
❓How do you respond to a problem where the only answer is "I don't know"?
❓How do you ensure that correlation does not imply causation?
❓How do you prioritize objectivity over validation?
This second pillar is often overlooked. I'm not sure why, but there could be several reasons.
One reason might be that your company only wants you to extract data from the database (using your technical skills) and then leaves the stakeholder to create the analysis. The question here is whether you want to be that person.
Another reason might be that data is not treated as a priority. That means you only maintain regular data reports that are mostly used for monitoring purposes and not as tools for making decisions that lead to actions.
Look for companies that value your analytical way of thinking. This approach will help you become a better professional, earn more money, and develop analyses that make a real impact.