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Why do Data Analysts Need to Build an Outstanding Portfolio?

Are you interested in taking advantage of this rising demand for data analysts and entering the lucrative data science industry? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of operations research analysts is expected to grow up to 23% between 2021 and 2031, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. To secure a data analyst position, you need a wide array of analytical, statistical, and technical skills. Employers will only consider you if your portfolio stands out. Let us discuss how you can create a data analyst portfolio that will excite recruiters. 

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Why is a Data Analyst Portfolio Needed

There are a ton of data analyst portfolios out there. To get yours noticed by employers, you need to create a portfolio that captures the attention of recruiters. Here is a list of best practices to follow while building your portfolio: 

1. Showcase Your Interests Through Projects

Rather than listing out interests on a separate page, let your projects reflect them. For example, if you’re interested in fitness, why not create a project using data from your fitness band? 

2. Showcase the Use of Relevant Tools

Use web tools that let you share live code or text in an interactive manner. It will showcase the extent of your skills to recruiters. 

3. Curate Your Projects

Make sure to only include your best work in the projects you add to your data analyst portfolio. Recruiters don’t have the time to sift through too many projects and are more likely to read through them if you include a well-thought-out selection. 

ALSO READ: How to Become a Data Analyst and Help Draw Insights for Businesses

What is a Data Analyst Portfolio?

A data analyst portfolio is a website that showcases who you are, your skills, and the projects you’ve worked on. As a data analyst, you will need to demonstrate your skills in order to get hired. Just a resume won’t help you make the cut. 

Who Needs a Data Analyst Portfolio?

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A portfolio is an important tool for a data analyst no matter what kind of work you are looking to get. Whether it is a full-time role or work as a freelancer, you will need a data analyst portfolio to show recruiters and potential clients.

How do You Build a Data Analyst Portfolio That Will Get You Hired?

Your data analyst portfolio needs to highlight essential skills that you bring to the table. When building a portfolio, you will need to showcase the right technical skills as well as effective soft skills. Build your portfolio to reflect these technical skills: 

  • Structured Query Language (SQL)
  • Probability and statistics
  • Programming languages such as R or Python
  • Data visualization

What Should be Included in Your Data Analyst Portfolio?

There are four things you should include while creating your data analyst portfolio. 

1. Homepage

This is the first thing potential employers will see when they enter your website. It is important to keep your descriptions brief yet informative so that you make a good first impression. The contents can include a statement about who you are and what you do, and a short, high-impact statement to grab their attention.

2. About Me

Link your ‘About me’ page to the homepage and add more details about yourself. This can include your academic and professional background and why you are passionate about data analytics. 

3. Projects

Ensure that your portfolio includes a ‘Projects’ section. This is the section that employers are the most interested in. These projects should be your best work and highlight your ability to handle the kind of work potential employers or clients are specifically looking for.

4. Blogs and Testimonials

Consider writing blogs on your work or insights showcasing your understanding about data research. Including testimonials or feedback from your clients or previous employers is a great way to showcase your experience and prior successes. 

Importance of Having a Data Analyst Portfolio

Data analytics is a field with a very high skill requirement. Employers need to ensure that potential candidates have the ability to do the work they say they can, which is why a resume alone won’t get you hired. Having a portfolio that showcases your skills, previous work, and reliability are essential for gaining the trust of potential clients and employers. 

Example of an Effective Data Analyst Portfolio

It is a good idea to reference the portfolios of other successful data analysts when building your own. Here is one such example:

Claudia Ten Hoope 

Claudia is a successful data scientist and freelance data analyst based in the Netherlands. Her portfolio demonstrates how keeping things simple is the easiest path to success. As a freelancer trying to find clients, her portfolio is a perfect example for this. It is short and focused, which makes her appear trustworthy and experienced.

Her services are mentioned immediately after the section which highlights her skills so clients don’t need to spend time looking for them. She then directs visitors to her projects. Each skill highlighted in her portfolio can be tied back to a project. You can check out her profile here.

What Not to Include in Your Portfolio

There are a certain number of things that are a complete no when it comes to your portfolio. 

  • Don’t include too many projects; only your best work
  • Don’t use distracting design schemes; keep your portfolio focused
  • Don’t include your work from school or university unless you are a fresher
  • Don’t share your social media profiles unless they are professional 
  • Don’t include skills you are unsure of in your portfolio 

How to Present Your Portfolio During an Interview?

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Before an interview, it is best to prepare an elevator pitch consisting of just a few sentences which give the recruiters an overview of the projects mentioned in your data analyst portfolio. When asked about these projects in the interview, you can elaborate on the process, the problems you solved, and how each one helped you enhance particular skills. Prepare your pitch in such a way that it brings out these skills when you talk about your projects. 

How to Build an Impressive Data Analyst Portfolio Without Prior Job Experience

Every beginner has to go through the experience cycle as most job openings look for prior experience. In such situations, beginners with no experience usually get the short end of the stick. In order to break out of the cycle, you need to showcase relevant coursework in your portfolio.

You can do this by enrolling yourself in certificate courses that give you hands-on experience in the field like the ones offered by Emeritus. This can help you gather projects to add to your portfolio.

Conclusion

Never before has the demand for data analysts been as high as it is today. The average base salary in the U.S. for data analysts is $72,334 annually, with some drawing as high as $110,244 per year. Clearly, it is an extremely lucrative profession. If you wish to build your career as a data analyst, you will need to take up projects that help you secure these jobs. Consider taking up a data analytics course from Emeritus to build up the necessary experience, shore up your data analyst portfolio, and kick-start your data science career.

By Tanish Pradhan

Data Analysts Portfolio

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