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I'm trying to land my first job in analytics and I'm sometimes asked about my "portfolio". (I understand that the question is about portfolio in a physical sense - it's about the documentation of my projects so far).

As a person currently working in a different field my question is:

How do you build your portfolio while working in a position that's only to some extent linked to what you are applying for and what are the best ways to present analytics portfolios?

  • Just to confirm; you haven't had a job in this field before, but have you had any education or training in it? – user34587 Nov 1 '18 at 10:15
  • @Kozaky, I use quite a bit of analytics (statistical programming, dashboard building, predictive analytics) in my job and have used it a bit in my former jobs, but my current and previous positions were not typical analytics positions. I'm not paid to do analytics. I'm paid to solve other problems - I use analytics since it helps me enormously in solving these problems. I had some statistics/ econometrics and plenty of empirical research practice during my studies. Plus I learnt a lot on my own by trying to solve practical problems. – BigMadAndy Nov 1 '18 at 10:26
  • @JoeStrazzere: Yes. But I'm not 100% sure what a "portfolio" in data analytics is, so it's possible I just don't know that I would be able to create it quickly (e.g. on the basis of my past projects) or by doing some analyses in my free time. – BigMadAndy Nov 1 '18 at 10:51
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I have experience interviewing data scientists in my organisation.

  • Participate in Kaggle. If you're able to get yourself into the top 50 in the world, prepare for some of the best paid data science jobs in the world!
  • Formal data science university degree.
  • Share your machine learning models on Github. Don't forget to document your methods in something like Python notebooks. Nobody will have time to run your code.
  • Write a blog about machine learning on something you love
  • Participate in https://datascience.stackexchange.com and https://stats.stackexchange.com

For example, if you were a chess player, something like this will work very well. Do you see those *ipynb Python notebooks? They are very useful in communicating your statistical model.

Get something you love, and work on it!

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If you don't have any portfolio they will still need to understand you have the skills needed. First of all you do need to tell them that you want to move into full-time analytics.

A good option might be making a few tutorials - video or otherwise - or blog entries like Medium or LinkedIn articles about the topic. So they will be able to see that you know about analytics. Both "how-tos" and general discussions on analytics can be useful.

Also, you could describe a few projects you worked on just focusing on the analytics parts explaining what you did to the extent of what you are able to say.

If you are applying to a "full" Data Scientist position, then there's a lot more knowledge needed beyond analytics. Make sure you know exactly what they expect you to know.

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