Analytical Interview Questions and Answers

1.What is meant by analytical or analytic?
If someone is analytical then it means the person is always thinking about things – analyzing, pondering, etc. A person who is analytical will have all of the facts about something before doing it.
Analytical is one of the 4 types of people. The other 3 are Promoters, Supporters and Controllers. Most everyone has a portion of every personality trait, but resembles 1-2 for the majority.

2.What do you see as the key skills of a business analyst?
There are several skills required to be a successful Business Analyst. They are not just linited to your work. These skills even include your personal qualities and approach towards your clients. Some of the key skills expected from any Business Analyst are:

  • Customer Service skills
  • Strategic thinking approach
  • Good communication skills
  • Collaborating with other employees and colleagues
  • Analytical skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Customer oriented
  • Ability to drive and adapt to the changes.

3.Explain the typical data analysis process.
Data analysis deals with collecting, inspecting, cleansing, transforming and modelling data to glean valuable insights and support better decision making in an organization. The various steps involved in the data analysis process include –
 Data Exploration –
Having identified the business problem, a data analyst has to go through the data provided by the client to analyse the root cause of the problem.
Data Preparation
This is the most crucial step of the data analysis process wherein any data anomalies (like missing values or detecting outliers) with the data have to be modelled in the right direction.
Data Modelling
The modelling step begins once the data has been prepared. Modelling is an iterative process wherein the model is run repeatedly for improvements. Data modelling ensures that the best possible result is found for a given business problem.
Validation
In this step, the model provided by the client and the model developed by the data analyst are validated against each other to find out if the developed model will meet the business requirements.
Implementation of the Model and Tracking
This is the final step of the data analysis process wherein the model is implemented in production and is tested for accuracy and efficiency.

4.What are the responsibilities of a Data Analyst?

  • Interpret data and analyze results by using techniques of statistics and give reports.
  • Look out for new areas or processes to improve opportunities.
  • Get data from various sources (primary and secondary) and keep the systems running.
  • Filter data from various sources and go through computer reports.
  • Make sure all data analysis gets support and makes sure customers and staff relate well

5.What is involved in typical data analysis?
The interviewer is making certain that you have a basic understanding of the work you’ll be doing. Your answer is extremely important, especially if this will be your first time in a data analyst position.
“Typical data analysis involves the collection and organization of data. Then, finding correlations between that analyzed data and the rest of the company’s and industry’s data. It also entails the ability to spot problems and initiate preventative measures or problem solve creatively.”

6.Tell me about a task that really tested your analytical abilities?
You should mention a time where he/she had to use reason and logic to resolve a problem. Job seeker may have analyzed all the relevant information and created a good, effective solution.

7.What is a use case model?
A business analysis presentation of the steps involved in defining the interactions between a user (actor) and a system (computer system) is termed as use case model. It gives details on the interactions and sets the expectations of how the user will work within the system. The use case model consist of 2 main elements:

  • Use case diagram – It is a graphical representation that details which actors can operate which use cases
  • Use case description – It is a detailed textual step by step presentation of interactions and dialogue between the actor and the system.

8.Mention some common problems that data analysts encounter during analysis.

  • Having a poor formatted data file. For instance, having CSV data with un-escaped newlines and commas in columns.
  • Having inconsistent and incomplete data can be frustrating.
  • Common Misspelling and Duplicate entries are a common data quality problem that most of the data analysts face.
  • Having different value representations and misclassified data.

9.What are the requirements needed for becoming a data analyst?
This is one of the most commonly asked data analyst interview questions. Listed below are the requirements needed for becoming a data analyst:

  • Sound knowledge of statistical packages used in analyzing big datasets like Excel, SAS, SPSS and many others
  • Very good knowledge of the programming language (Javascript, ETL frameworks or XML), reporting packages (Business Objects) and databases.
  • Strong technical knowledge in areas like data models, segmentation techniques, data mining and database design
  • Good skills in knowing how to run analysis, organization, collection and dissemination of big data accurately

10.What has been your most difficult analysis to date?
The interviewer wants to see if you are an effective problem solver. Be sure to include how you overcame the challenge.
“My biggest challenge was making prediction sales during the recession period and estimating financial losses for the upcoming quarter. Interpreting the information was a seamless process. However, it was slightly difficult to forecast future trends when the market fluctuates frequently. Usually I analyze and report on data that has already occurred. In this case, I had to research how receding economic conditions impacted varying income groups and then make an inference on the purchasing capacity of each group.”

11.Tell me about a tricky situation for which you found a very simple solution?
Your answer should show that they are a problem solver, that they can analyze all the information, and come up with a solution.

12.What is PEST analysis and what is its importance??
PEST basically stands for Political, Economic, Social and Technological. PEST analysis is used to assess the above four external factors in relation to your business situation. It is beneficial for your business as them help in understanding how these 4 factors will affect your business in the long term. A detailed understanding of PEST analysis can be obtained from our blog.

13.You are assigned a new data anlytics project. How will you begin with and what are the steps you will follow?
The purpose of asking this question is that the interviewer wants to understand how you approach a given data problem and what is the though process you follow to ensure that you are organized. You can start answering this question by saying that you will start with finding the objective of the given problem and defining it so that there is solid direction on what need to be done. The next step would be to do data exploration and familiarise myself with the entire dataset which is very important when working with a new dataset.The next step would be to prepare the data for modelling which would including finding outliers, handling missing values and validating the data. Having validated the data, I will start data modelling untill I discover any meaningfuk insights. After this the final step would be to implement the model and track the output results.

This is the generic data analysis process that we have explained in this answer, however, the answer to your  question might slightly change based on the kind of data problem and the tools available at hand.

14.What steps are in an analytics project?
The steps involved in an analysis project can be listed as:

  • Problem identification
  • Exploration of data
  • Preparation of data
  • Modeling
  • Data Validation
  • Implementation and tracking

15.What kind of data analysis software experience do you possess?
Data analysts are required to use software in their role. Additionally, analysts are sometimes responsible for database design and security. Share your relevant experience with the interviewer.
“I have advanced data analysis software experience. A few examples include creating PivotTables in Excel, producing databases from scratch in Access, and developing data mining algorithms in ELKI. Also in my previous role, I was tasked with upgrading the database to meet the demands of the market and the company to ensure it ran smoothly.”

16.What is meant by SWOT analysis?
SWOT Analysis is a strategic planning technique used to assess the internal and external environment in which a company operates and competes. Internal environmental factors are classified into strengths and weaknesses, while external environmental factors are classified into opportunities and threats.

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