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Strategizing your data analyst promotion

by | Mar 1, 2022

As an experienced data analyst, you’ve learned the skills required to complete day-to-day assignments. But now, you’ve asked yourself what steps are needed to achieve the next promotion and to make the leap from a junior associate to senior data analyst or data manager. 

In today’s workplace, the competition can be fierce as more people recognize the earning potential and career flexibility often afforded to qualified data analysts. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach to forging a career path in data analytics, but there are common denominators among the most successful data analysts.

Below is a list of tips to help you strategize your data analyst promotion:

Go beyond the fundamentals 

Data analysts are often required to wear many hats. They’re expected to deliver insights on data that drives mission-critical business decisions, highlight inefficient processes, and illustrate tangible data that can be harnessed and applied in the real world. While this requires a healthy mix of communication skills, business acumen, technical savviness, and the ability to process complex data sets, it’s also important to go beyond the fundamental requirements and expand your armory of credentials wherever possible. 

An accredited data analytics certificate program is a respectable alternative to a post-graduate university degree. The best programs offer a mix of predictive analytics, data modeling, programming, database management, and advanced mathematics.  

Employers and executive leaders also recognize that these certificate programs are a rigorous time commitment. Successful completion of the program illustrates that you possess the skills required to analyze big data, communicate big pictures, and have the faculties to complete strenuous tasks. 

Ask Yourself: What is the end goal for my promotion? 

Treat your career and your pursuit to excel like a long-term project and outline the goals you’d like to achieve. From data science and management to third-party consultants and specialization, data analysts can pursue an array of exciting career paths. The pathway from junior analyst to a team leader may not be predictable, but defining your career goal will make it easier to identify which milestones you need to achieve to pursue a promotion. Ask yourself: 

  • What position are you seeking? Am I a junior data analyst looking to become a data analyst? Or am I a senior data analyst ready to manage a small team? Be specific about your data analyst promotion. 
  • What soft and technical skills do I need to be in that role? Am I self-taught, or do I have the proper credentials to show that I can use data analysis software?
  • What does my company require to promote me? 

Plant and nurture the seed to secure your data analyst promotion

Developing milestones to achieve your goals and building your case for a promotion requires research. The best research you can do is be direct with your manager and demonstrate your willingness to grow and learn. Don’t underestimate the value of 1:1 meetings, reviews, and check-ins. Be wise and use these sessions to ask for feedback on your work, volunteer to own projects, and ask what it would take for you to get to the next level.  

Once you plant the seed, remember to nurture it. How? Say you spent the last month generating reports to forecast revenue growth. You presented your findings to the executive team and prescribed solutions to improve revenue. Show your supervisor that you are serious by meeting with them and asking for feedback. Making an effort to discuss the presentation shows you are willing to learn, grow and do the best job possible. 

Build your case for your data analyst promotion

To secure your promotion, prepare yourself for a conversation with your manager where you will need to answer the questions like: 

  • What have you done for our organization? 
  • What value do you offer our organization? 

The best way to illustrate your value to a company is to highlight your successes, express genuine curiosity about internal growth opportunities by asking questions, demonstrate your commitment to expanding your skills and investments in your credentials, and be open to constructive criticism.

How to do it: We recommend you keep track of your achievements. Keep a notebook or an excel spreadsheet that tracks your monthly goals and note the value-add you bring each time you accomplish one. This resource is invaluable when it comes time to ask for a promotion because you can easily prepare a memo with bullet points that include concrete metrics of the impact you’ve had or the solutions you’ve delivered. This shows your supervisors that you are working at the level you want to be promoted to. 

At Pathstream, our career services include coaching, interview prep, and tips for maximizing workplace connections to help you create a framework for your career and accomplish your goals. To learn more about our Tableau Data Analytics Certificate Program, click here. 

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