At a time when more and more businesses are looking to minimize expenses incurred from human resources, data analyst internships continue to be a commonplace program across the globe.
Not without good reason, of course. Ultimately, when all is said and done, it is the duty of a company’s executive team to navigate their business safely through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Therefore, if that means capitalizing on a recent graduate’s innocence in the workforce by way of an internship and, in turn, foregoing hiring a full-time data analyst, then so be it.
Besides, despite the minuscule salary compensation offered (if any at all), most data analysts who are now beginning their career path are eager to grab these offers.
That said, the question remains: just what type of responsibilities and role does a data analyst intern occupy in a company?
In this blog post, we’ll be answering this and much more.
Step into the world of the data analyst data to learn about the tasks that take up their day-to-day activities.
Let’s dive right in.
What Is A Data Analyst Intern?
A data analyst intern is a temporary staff member who has been onboarded for a limited time to provide support to the data analytical operations within a given company.
This time period may range from as little as a few weeks to as many as several months.
The candidates who access these types of internships tend to be current university students who are studying either a Master’s or Bachelor’s degree in fields such as Big Data, Computer Science, Advanced Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, or Machine Learning.
Why do Students Apply for Data Analyst Internships?
In some cases, students may be required by their university to complete an internship in order to graduate from their program. In other cases, a student may opt to voluntarily apply for an internship in order to build work experience prior to being their career as full-time data analysts.
Irrespective of the reason for which a student applies for a data analyst internship, the reality is that the benefits are quite telling:
- Quicker insertion into the workforce: Irrespective of the industry, It is a known fact that internships are a fast way for a candidate to get full-time employment. While it is true that there are companies who are only interested in onboarding a candidate for the sole purpose of an internship, most businesses tend to integrate them into other roles within the organization when their internship has lapsed. The same goes for a data analyst internship. 2019 Stats from Compare Camp point to an estimated 16% increase in the chances of securing a job if the applicant has done an internship.
- Guaranteed experience: As an intern in data analysis, even if you may not have the formal professional experience, what is true is that you will be put to work. Unlike other types of interns who tend to end up doing miscellaneous work which is unrelated to their field of study, companies take advantage of the analytical skills and problem-solving capabilities of their interns to beef up their analytical department. In doing so, the intern receives a promise of experience in data analysis-related activities.
- Buys time to plan their future: At times, when a student has just completed their program, they are unsure about what the next step should be. An internship is a good way for them to work on the skills that are needed in data analytics without being too taxing on their schedule, thus giving them time to plan their next move.
Data Analyst Interns: How They Differ From Entry-Level Analysts
Data analytics is a broad field in which many professionals coexist, oftentimes doing similar activities.
In fact, so similar are the activities of some of them that it is not uncommon for recruiters to mix up professionals such as data analysts and a business analyst or data scientist, for example.
In the case of an intern, however, many tend to think that they are synonymous with entry-level data analysts, also known as junior data analysts.
After all, the responsibilities shared between the two are quite similar.
Notwithstanding, there is one fundamental difference that separates an intern from an entry-level analyst, and that lies in the type of contract each one has.
An intern is a temporary staff member who is brought on for a limited period of time.
Consequently, they may or may not receive financial compensation in exchange for their services. Even if they do, they will not receive an elaborate benefits package or compensation plan.
Unlike interns who work part-time, entry-level analysts are full-time staff members who are offered standard compensation plans from the company.
They also enjoy more job security and are seen as more of a long-term asset to a company since they are already integrated into their line of staff.
Data Analyst Intern Job Description: Responsibilities
As is the case with all job titles, determining the exact responsibilities of a data analyst intern is unfeasible.
Each intern’s responsibilities would change based on the business model of the company where they are carrying out their internship as well as the type of data analysis process that they are required to leverage.
That said, there are standard responsibilities that data analytics interns ought to expect to accomplish when they are onboarded to support a company’s data analytics department.
These responsibilities will usually be included in an intern description when it is circulated so that candidates are aware of what the program requires of them.
Let’s take a look at some of these general responsibilities as well as how a recruiter may phrase them when drafting up an intern description:
- Help in data mining: One of the most common responsibilities that a data analyst intern can expect to participate in is data mining. This involves digging deep into batches of complex data and large data sets in order to spot patterns that may crop up. In order to do this, the analyst leverages a combination of machine learning, statistics, and database software systems like Tableau that help in data visualization and its simplification. From the point of view of an intern, this is an ideal skill to be honed. Consequently, it is something that they will be looking out for when going through intern postings. Recruiters tend to include this as one of the most visible responsibilities in an internship program job description, oftentimes including flowery language that seeks to attract the candidate since they know that this is a skill that they would love to hone.
- Data interpretation: Another standard task that data analyst interns are expected to accomplish is that of going through data sources in order to draw conclusions. Just like data mining, this is another skill that interns would like to develop since it tests not only their analytical skills and problem-solving capabilities but also their ability to use logic to arrive at a reasonably thought-out conclusion. When drawing up descriptions for intern job postings, recruiters indicate that in such cases, the qualified applicant will shadow a senior data analyst within the data analytics team so that they, in turn, can learn from the knowledge of someone who has more experience than them in the field.
- Report generation: As is expected, data analyst interns are required to participate in the creation of reports that reflect the work that they have done for a company. This will include leveraging leading software tools such as HubSpot Marketing Analytics, Answer Rocket, Microsoft Power BI, SAP Crystal Reports, Izenda Reports, or Microsoft Excel, depending on the company. In their advertised intern descriptions, recruiters will state the type of software in which the intern will get training so that they have a heads-up on what they can expect. They will also state the type of database programming language that the data analyst intern will need to use, be it Python or SQL.
Data Analyst Intern Roles & Responsibilities: Key Takeaways
Data analyst intern jobs have always been in high demand, and by the looks of things, it does not seem like the Coronavirus pandemic will put a damper on it.
The need for actionable strategies based on data that’s been stripped down to its most meaningful format will always be a priority for businesses and those who wish to develop their skills in it.
Data analyst interns are unique in the sense that while they may not have any prior formal experience in data analysis, usually, their academic background would have allowed them to hone the skills necessary to accurately analyze and interpret batches of complex data.
However, in the same way that businesses need to milk interns for what they are worth, so too should interns be willing to take advantage of the opportunity as far as they possibly can.
Let your communication skills shine through by paying particular attention to the way in which you phrase the responsibilities that are included in the internship programs that you issue.
These are the kinds of things that candidates look out for. After all, their professional development is paramount. They want to make the most out of your internship so that they can start their career off in style.
Also, if your company has the intention of collaborating with the successful intern after they have completed their program, be sure to include it in the brief that the candidate will go through.
For all you know, that extra possibility of full-time employment may just be the one incentive you need to put out there to reel in the best candidate for the post.
Lastly, even if your company is based in the United States, be sure to let all candidates know that your company is led by an equal opportunity employer who embraces all applicants irrespective of national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or disability.