How to pass an analytics job test – Part I – SQL.
With the demand in data analytics professionals growing stronger than ever, recruiters find themselves in a peculiar position of having to screen hundreds of potential, seemingly qualified candidates. Some firms turned to the proven selection tool: pre-employment skills assessments; and analytics-related tests are on the rise, especially for the junior level industry positions. No tests are the same, but most are designed with the sole purpose of gauging candidate’s cognitive ability to understand the problem at hand and having the technical know-how to implement a working solution. Two types of analytics tests that my students shared involved using either: Microsoft Excel or SQL language. Most of relational databases can be queried using a dialect of SQL, and as such, knowledge of SQL is as essential for a data analytics professional, as their excellent communications skills. In this post we will go through an example of a SQL job test, while in the next article we would focus on an Excel problem.
Solving ModelOff Data Analysis problem using Microsoft Access SQL.
Last week we solved ModelOff’s Data Analysis problem from their 2013 championship. Since the second round of 2014 Model Off competition takes place this Saturday, November 8th, let’s pay respect to the data superheroes making it thus far. Our previous ModelOff solution involved using PivotTable feature of Microsoft Excel. Would you believe that we can realistically conceive a solution to the Data analysis problem, using Microsoft Access, or even better, Microsoft’s flavor of the SQL language?
I am as big of an Excel fan as the next guy, much bigger, actually, on the second thought. However, I also believe that when possible, using the right tools for the job will yield better, faster results, than duct-taping your workarounds. So, why Access? Why on Earth, SQL? Well, let’s go to the source: ” If you often have to view your data in a variety of ways, depending on changing conditions or events, Access might be the better choice for storing and working with your data. Access lets you use Structured Query Language (SQL) queries to quickly retrieve just the rows and columns of data that you want, whether the data is contained in one table or many tables. You can also use expressions in queries to create calculated fields.”