Helping Students Become Data Analysts

By Jason Thompson, co-founder, 33 Sticks   I recently had the opportunity to speak to a group of MBA students from the University of Utah on the topic of analytics & entrepreneurialism and it reaffirmed my belief that there is amazing amount of really smart people that want to get involved in the world of analytics but they are struggling to figure out how to get started.   From my interaction with the students, both during my presentation and after, I boiled down our conversations to three core questions:   What classes will prepare me to be a better data analyst? What resources can I use to stay up-to-date on the analytics industry? How do I start getting real world experience?   What classes will prepare me to be a better data analyst? Obviously, being at a university with a wide-range of class options, the most frequently asked question was which classes should I take?   I’ve broken down my recommendations on which courses to take into three tiers. The tiers aren’t to suggest that one class is more important than other but that the tiers build upon each other. By adding foundational knowledge in the earlier tiers, students will be able to gain greater value out of the later tiers.     Tier 1 is meant to provide the student with a foundational layer focused on the development of critical thinking skills.   Tier 2 adds functional skills that all data analysts should possess.   Tier 3 begins to introduce the student to more complex frameworks for analysis, these skills will set the student apart from the majority...