As analytics is a relatively new industry, not many institutions offer courses or programs that are tailor made for this sector. For a pure play marketing analytics player, it is very important that the people we hire are exposed to different types of market research and statistical techniques, know how to use mathematical and statistical formula to break down large data sets, have enough strategic marketing knowledge to comprehend the patterns of a business problem.
We feel that universities need to involve industry professionals, entrepreneurs as lecturers to teach relevant business courses. Learning content should be made more interactive and fun. Students should be taught through simulation games, live project demos and apps. The alumni of a university should perform mentoring roles for students to make them "job ready."
Communication and cultural sensitivity are two important job skills which are required in this highly globalised economy. Many students come equipped with great attitude and analytical acumen but struggle to communicate their ideas or interact with clients. As businesses transcend boundaries, it is very important that efforts are made to redress this situation.
Skill Sets that every Fresher should have
An analytics professional, also known as a data scientist must have a high level of curiosity and imagination. Firstly, they must be comfortable with math, statistics, and large data sets. Then they must be able to visualize data and think through a business problem logically. They must also have the ability to connect the dots between the business problem and the data behind it. For example, if a corporation presents us with a problem in the sales area, our analyst should be able to first study the given data set and then take it upon them, to dig deeper, draw co-relations with other types of related data sets (marketing or finance data) to present a more holistic solution to the business. The soft skills which are required for this job are attention to detail, diligence to mine large volumes of data, curiosity to understand the business problem and good communication skills to translate the math into a language that business stakeholders understand.
While hiring campus fresher from engineering streams, we try and hire well-rounded individuals who like pursuing interests and hobbies outside their academic lives. We try and identify candidates with analytical and problem solving ability. When we hire MBAs, we prefer people who have some industry experience, so that they can add value to the client's business and use analytics to solve their business problems. Across fresher and experienced applicants we seek good communicators, people who have the potential to be trained in data visualization and "storytelling". Storytelling, is a very important differentiator at AQ, it deals with the ability to unravel the business stories behind data. To ensure that that all our people are able to deliver on this differentiator, we have a month long rigorous training program which includes variables like "theatre classes on the art of communication", rigorous statistical and market research training, data visualization and design classes, project management, and problem solving.
At AQ, we have a complex training program which helps new joiners become Aqbians. The one month program is structured around various modules. We conduct theatre workshops to teach new joinees about communication, train them on statistical software like SQL and SPSS, teach them problem solving techniques and ways to slice, dice and visualize data. We teach them our secret sauce; "the art of storytelling with data." Trainees are assessed after every module and are then given a final case to solve. The presentation of this final case needs to demonstrate all the techniques they have been taught through the modules.
We are a very young organisation with a lot of live wires. Celebration is a part of our culture and we celebrate birthdays, festivals, AQ days, good client feedback, the list is endless. Our off-sites have gone down in history as being fun drenched events which people don't want to return from. What's more, we even have our own rock band "The Storytellers." We have a state of the art open office, with an "ideas room with hammocks" where people can sit and ideate, hang out zones with AQ cartoons and meeting rooms named after cult movies and novels. We try and foster a culture of innovation, encourage people to bring a new idea to work every day, give them the opportunity to be self- starters, fix their own goals and targets for the year. However, cultural incentives are not the only motivation to join AQ.
People join AQ, because of our flexible work timings, a leave policy which does not stipulate a fixed number of days of leave, the opportunity to work on live projects from Day one and exposure to international clients and team management. Some of our current best performers and high potential talents come from our newest batch of freshers and we are committed to providing them with a challenging and exciting 't' career at AQ.
Analytics Quotient (AQ), founded in 2008 has close to 250 employees across India, Atlanta and Zurich.