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How to build a data analyst portfolio to get you hired

by | Aug 10, 2022

Build an impressive data analyst portfolio with no prior job experience. 

Before you begin your search for a data analyst job, you must build a data analytics portfolio to showcase your skills to potential clients, recruiters, and hiring managers. Coupled with a resume, a portfolio will help you stand out as an impressive candidate.

If you don’t have a portfolio, don’t sweat it. This article will discuss building your data analytics portfolio and share plenty of tips. 

What is a data analyst portfolio, and why is building a portfolio important?

A resume summarizes your qualifications and experience, but you need to demonstrate your data analytics skills to get hired by potential employers or clients. A data analyst portfolio is a website that shows projects you’ve worked on and tells employers about you. 

Why is a data analyst portfolio important?

You can break into data analytics without previous job experience or a data degree. Neither are prerequisites for landing a data analyst job. A data analytics portfolio will:

  • demonstrate your data analytics skill set to potential employers
  • help you organize and keep track of your data projects in one place
  • introduces you to prospective employers or clients before they meet you in person 

Pathstream’s Director of Data Analytics Program, Experience, and Design says, “If you don’t have formal experience as a data professional, [a portfolio] is one of the best ways to showcase your data skills. This gives your future employer visibility into the type of projects you’ve completed, the tools you’ve used, and some of the data you worked with. Talking about your experience is great, but showcasing that work firsthand is even better!”

How to build a data analyst portfolio?

What portfolio platforms should I use?

Before building your portfolio, you need to pick a platform to host it. You can design a website from scratch, or there are plenty of pre-built templates to choose from. 

Free website options:

  • GitHub: GitHub is an open-source community of 56+ million developers. You can create an account for free and build a public project repository. 
  • Wix: Wix is a free website builder with dozens of templates for you to use. You can build an about me section and show how you solved data challenges. 
  • Kaggle: This platform is a customizable Jupyter Notebooks cloud environment that displays your work interactively. You can show the data sets you’ve built or the code you wrote on this platform. 
  • LinkedIn: You can easily upload and remove projects from your LinkedIn portfolio. It supports a range of formats letting you share many types of content. We recommend you add your projects under the Experience, Education, or Featured sections. 
  • Tableau: If you’re looking to show off your Tableau skills, Tableau allows you to create a public portfolio hosting all of the visualizations you built for projects. 

What to include in a data analytics portfolio?

A data analytics portfolio doesn’t need to be complicated. It should be concise and easy to navigate. We recommend it include a homepage, about me section, and a project section. 

Data Analyst Portfolio Homepage

Your homepage is the first touchpoint with potential clients and employers. It’s essential to keep it organized and brief. Include a photo of yourself and an opening tagline. For example, “Hi, I am Alexus, a Data and Reporting Analyst who enjoys helping businesses grow and succeed with data analytics and advanced reporting!” 

Below is an example of what your homepage might look like. As you can see, Alexus designed her data analyst portfolio to reflect her professional brand. 

Add an “About Me” section

Your “About Me” section is an opportunity to introduce yourself to employers. Focus on answering the following questions:

  • Who are you as a data professional?
  • How did you get started in data analytics?
  • What are you passionate about in data analytics?
  • What is your future professional plan? 

Don’t forget to include your contact information in this section and link to your LinkedIn profile.

Data analytics projects section

The most crucial section is the projects section. This is where you feature projects and business cases that demonstrate your data skills. It should comprise the majority of your data analyst portfolio. 

The projects you choose to add to your portfolio should show that you can understand business problems, scrape data, clean data, and visualize the insights you put together. Consider projects that showcase your ability to: 

  • Think critically about business problems. Successful data and business analysts identify what questions to ask before solving a problem, what data they need to collect, and how to process it. A strong data analyst portfolio will demonstrate that you have strong critical thinking skills. 
  • Scrape data from websites: Show your code and use hashed comments to explain your thinking.
  • Clean data: Your projects should show that you can take a data set with missing, duplicated, or other problematic data and clean it. 
  • Perform different types of analysis: Tailor the projects to the roles you are applying to. For entry-level data analysts, your data projects will most likely focus on how you performed diagnostic, descriptive, and prescriptive analyses.
  • Data Visualization: Projects that show your ability to use programs such as Tableau to create clear and compelling charts that organize data and make it easier to interpret will stand out in your portfolio. 
  • Communicate complex ideas: Consider adding a written element to your projects to highlight your communication skills. Soft skills like communication and presentation are essential because you will need to communicate your findings to different stakeholders and across various mediums (email, presentations, reports, etc). 
  • Collaboration: Your data analyst portfolio should demonstrate your experience working with internal and external stakeholders. Cross-functional collaboration is frequent amongst data teams. 
  • Use data analysis tools: Share projects that show off your ability to use SQL, Tableau, Python, R, Excel, PowerBI, Google Sheets, etc.

What if I have no work experience? What do I put in my data analyst portfolio?

Suppose you want to transition into a business analyst role and you’re a team lead at a grocery store. Data analysis skills can help your team more efficiently process online shopping orders. You should familiarize yourself with the job description and skills you need to become a data analyst. We’ve compiled a list of several blog posts to help you out.

Ultimately, the best way to build experience is through coursework. Enrolling in a data analytics certificate program will help you learn skills and apply them to many hands-on projects that you can add to your data analyst portfolio. 

What are some best practices when building a data analyst portfolio?

Take the time to research data analyst portfolios and look through different ones. This will help inspire you when it comes time to build your portfolio. You’ll also notice impressive portfolios often follow a few best practices.

  • Show the relevant use of data analyst tools. Knowing how to use excel and Google Sheets is a great starting point in your data analyst career, but using programming languages and tools like SQL, Tableau, R, and PowerBI help you stand out. Strong data analyst portfolios use platforms that allow sharing their live codes, texts, and visualizations interactively. This enables hiring managers to get a hands-on look at your work. 
  • Quality over quantity. You need to curate a selection of your best data projects because recruiters and hiring managers don’t have time to look through your work. Instead, you’ll want to choose projects that highlight the skills included in the job descriptions you’re most interested in. 
  • Show prospective employers and clients what you are passionate about. Are you looking at specific industries like healthcare, finance, or logistics? Share projects that are relevant to your industry. For example, maybe you want to work in marketing analytics in fashion. Pick data projects that solved business problems for companies within that industry. 

How to present your data analytics portfolio during a data analyst interview?

Before your job search, include a link to your portfolio on your LinkedIn profile and data analyst resume. Be sure to include the actual URL on your resume as well. Your hiring manager may scope it out before your data analyst interview and ask questions about it. 

We even recommend printing out a project or bringing a tablet to display your portfolio during the interview. If your interview is online, that’s a perfect opportunity to share your screen and show off your impressive project experience. 

Get Started with Pathstream 

Now that you’ve learned how to build a data analyst portfolio, it’s time to create one. But if you’ve realized that you might not have the appropriate project experience or skills, we’ve got you covered! 

Get hands-on data analytics experience in our Tableau Data Analytics Certificate Program. If you’re unsure about enrolling, we suggest you speak with one of our advisors today by scheduling an appointment or contacting them via email. 

 

day in the life of a data analyst

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