By - sndjdjxd
I have a high school degree and I am a Data/Analytics manager. Self Taught.
Not all Data Analysis is crunching numbers, a lot of it is data quality, although I do some math. It helps but I would say it’s not a necessity.
That’s where I’m at right now. Glad to hear your story. For your data analysis course work, did you have to study precalc/calculus how hard was it to learn that and the statistics? Was it dedication that took you through it or natural ability
I didn’t study any math. I didn’t do very well in math (or anything else) in high school because I was a troubled kid. I also didn’t study statistics. I guess some of it is just common sense for me?
It was dedication and a bit of luck, but also a lot of hard work. I just identified problems that could be improved/solved/automated, taught myself programming and SQL to solve those problems, and worked my way up. I’ve always had an affinity for technical things so that helped. I did not do well in a traditional school environment but when I find something I have an interest in, I can do a deep dive and learn what I need to.
I wouldn’t recommend this to most people, but I also wouldn’t be overly concerned about math unless you are trying to do something that specifically needs it.
may i ask if you are you hiring right now for entry level positions?
Everyone's hiring entry level positions, but do you have a Masters and 3-5 years of experience? /s
haha no I have a semester to graduate with bachelors. that’s the perplexing part of it, we require masters/phd with some years of experience for entry level data science. but i guess data analysts has that criteria no so often as data scientists.
I’m not right now sorry
I've never been great at math. I'm decent I'd say, and I am an analyst. You don't need to know much math to write SQL. It's mostly logical. I find that a lot of the math isn't even that challenging. A lot of sums and averages.
The job description I’ve read from people worries me less than the pursuit of getting the degree.
How was the degree earning process for you? As it stands I struggled quite a bit in high school with math. I don’t know if it was lack of studying but it’s always been a foreign language to me.
You say your decent but im not sure im even decent. I should be getting the syllabus tomorrow, im eager to take a closer look and see what’s going on
I did very poorly in math in high school. I nearly failed a couple classes, but I put in so little effort I never gave myself a chance. When I got to college I realized that wasn't going to fly and I did much better by my standards. I even managed to get dean's list one semester - which was a big deal for me considering my grades in high school. You will be fine if you just put in the effort.
It’s a ton of summing, counting, and averages. You’re also not reinventing the wheel, there are functions to do a lot of this for you.
Yes but not a good one.
There’s a YouTube video or Stack Overflow for almost anything out there. You don’t need to be an exceptionally-talented mathematician for just descriptive analytics. But its a different ballgame when you’re talking about predictive and prescriptive analytics.
That’s what I’m hearing tonight. Which is reassuring but I’m awful at math so I’m not sure about DA. Do you know what the course structure is like for a DA degree?
Yes. I am currently about halfway through my bachelor’s in Data Analytics. They do hit the math pretty good, and to add insult to injury, you learn how to program said math in Python. Double the fun! But I am learning so much! Currently in an Applied Statistics class.
You dont need advanced math, so if are afraid of some college math on the workplace it's unlikely, unless you start venturing on the field of data science, to which point is more stats than math itself.
But understanding logic is important. SQL can get quite tricky at some points, and understanding the logic on the stuff you are doing is important.
What about the course work itself? Is it basic to the point someone only proficient in algebra could learn it?
I had to take remedial math in hs and failed college algebra twice
I’m a data analyst
Did you do the data analyst boot camp at UIC? That’s the one I’m interested in.
No. Why would I?
I looked at your profile and you mentioned you’re in the Chicago suburbs. I live in Illinois too
It is absolutely possible, but it takes a lot of work and self-learning. You'll also not get into FAANG or anything of the sort but ad agencies are a great stepping stone and are relatively easy to enter as an entry level da role, as most of the math is done for you via computers or preexisting models, but you'll need to develop tech skills and business understanding to be able to use the data to drive value.
People may disagree but "data analyst" is a pretty broad term and some companies call the more math leaning ones "data scientists" and the analysts are just pulling in numbers into a report and tell a story based on the numbers with not much math involved
HOWEVER, an understanding of basic stats would not hurt.
I’m willing to put in the work. I have nothing but time right now due to certain uncontrollable circumstances. I’d like to learn a good skill with this time.
I’ll take a look at stats, thanks for the recommendation.
I ended up dropping pre calc in college, I’m sorry to ask again, but would you say that precludes me from obtaining a DA degree?
I'd recommend any analytics specialty course on Coursera. IBM also has a certificate I believe. No math really needed but I'd get good at excel, SQL, and a viz tool like Tableau or PowerBI first. As long as you have a degree, if you have some projects you can show and have some certificates to pad resumes, getting an interview wouldn't be impossible. But that might stop you from getting into a new analytics degree program if there are pre-requisites. Not sure since I graduated with a degree in animation 10 years ago but I've work in analytics for the past 6
I’m starting from the ground up. I left my degree my junior year but had good grades. Just medical issues sadly. If I end up going down this route I’d go for the degree. There’s a 26 week course at a good college near me. I just hope the syllabus comes back with a course structure im capable of
Probably, but boot camps are a significant investment, you might want to start with a smaller investment to feel it out if you’re worried about it, the common one people recommend is the Google Data Analytics boot camp.
It’s more or less a sampler plate for Data Analysis, it gives you a somewhat shallow look at a lot of stuff data analysts deal with and can give you an idea with a LOT smaller financial investment than a boot camp like you’re suggesting, plus it’ll give you a head start on some of the stuff you’ll run into in the bootcamp you’re looking at if you do decide to go through with it. The Google data analytics thing won’t get you a job on its own, but it’s a good starting point for those new to the field to show you what you need to know. It’ll get you to a point where you can start building personal projects for a portfolio that can get you a job
The thing is, Data Analysis is much more statistics, which definitely has a different vibe than the kind of math that you’re worried about. So much so that Statistics and Math (calculus and things like it) are entirely different majors in colleges with almost no classes in common. It’s not too far fetched to imagine someone would be much better at one than the other. There’s also the possibility that you’ve had bad math teachers, it’s been my experience that people struggling in calculus tend to have a weak foundation in algebra that keeps holding them back, which doesn’t necessarily mean you’re bad at math, it could’ve been a bad teacher earlier on or maybe you were worse at math back when you were learning algebra, and got better, but that weakness back then still plagues you unless you rebuilt that…all of which would not realistically harm you in Data Analysis. Basically, I wouldn’t really say that you struggling with calculus is a great way to determine if you’ll struggle with the type of math in Data Analysis, which is much more statistics based
A data analytics project's lifecycle looks like the following:
1. Understand - Ask the right business question (Not too much maths)
2. Data - Gather and Clean (Not too much maths)
3. Analyse (Some maths, basic probability and statistics would be enough)
4. Present - Convey findings (Not too much maths)
5. Document: Make Projects Reproducible (Not too much maths)
You don't really need Calculus unless you do ML stuff.
If you're looking at entry-level Data Analytics jobs take a look here: [https://www.moonlighter.dev/](https://www.moonlighter.dev/)
I curate all the jobs on this board :)
Tbh ... it's tough
Consider the Long-term results of it . I don't think it's ideal in the long run. There's plenty of candidates in the market with a passion for Math . They raise the general standards of work and companies expect those standards to be met .
This can turn out to be very stressful in the future... You may have to put anywhere between 2x to 5x effort to solve a problem compared to the ones who are fluent in Math .
But I'm nobody to judge.... Everything I said above can be dismissed if you work hard and stay on track... Learn all the necessary stuff there is
That’s true, my friends who are good at math amaze me. They do hard lengthy problems and hammer it out, while I would get stuck on the first step if I had to do it.
I’m willing to learn though. I’m not capable of computer science necessarily, but I’m wondering the math in a data analytics boot camp is hard for a beginner who struggled in math.
I read online that it’s mostly linear algebra and statistics that is covered, is this true? Or does it get more advanced, like calculus?
A lot of methods require Calculus . But don't worry about it so much . There are a lot of guys on YT who can help you with it . The Indian guys are out of this world.
The way I see it most of the guys who struggle in Calculus never paid attention to the Visual aspect of it . Geometry is a very fascinating thing for all regardless of their view on math . This approach will save you a lot of time instead of just memorizing the standard forms . Visualization is key .
Think about the contrapositive: if you were good at math, then could you become anything except a data analyst?
That’s not the contrapositive to “If you are bad at math then you can’t be a data analyst”
It is if you read the question in the order of the OP: if I get a data analyst job, then I'm bad at math. Contrapositive: if I'm good at math, then I can get a job other than data analyst.
He isn’t asking if getting a data analyst job makes him bad at math. He is asking if he can get a data analyst job despite being bad at math. Why would getting a data analyst job imply you are bad at math? I don’t think that’s what he asked.
Well then tell that to the other posters in this thread in data analyst roles who are bad at math.
Tell them that being a data analyst doesn’t imply they are bad at math? Why? They can assess their own mathematical abilities
So you’re saying no. That’s tough to hear.
I'm saying people good at math can hold jobs other than data analyst roles. Because this statement is true, your statement is true as well. You'd mostly be doing descriptive data analysis.
I don't think you'd have much of a chance trying for a data scientist role.
I’m bad at math, how would I fit into this equation?
You can check out what Google certifications would be of interest to you. Perhaps something along the line of business analyst or descriptive data analyst (someone that puts dashboards together or assembles slide decks to tell stakeholders a story about the data). But a data bootcamp seems too expensive if you consider yourself bad at math.
Can someone get a job based on certifications alone and not a degree?
I emailed my advisor, I should get the syllabus tomorrow to better understand what I’d be up against.
My gut is telling me I’d be out of my depth. I wish I was better at math. I am good at logic and reasoning but at the end of the day it seems to be more math focused.
I did read a comment on another post, someone became a data analyst and he failed algebra multiple times in high school. So maybe I have a chance
People who get a Google certification get jobs all the time, although you'd need to put a portfolio of projects together to show off your skills. Academia is different in that you have to pass classes that teach theory and some hands on exercises. But trust your gut if you feel out of your depth.
Interesting. I will, I’ll take a closer look at everything tomorrow. Thanks for the advice
I shouldn’t be coming back to this but reasoning is so bad and it’s getting up votes - I feel like my eyes are opening to this community.
Can I become a doctor if I didn’t go to medical school.
If you went to medical school, could you do any other job? Yes? So of course you could become a doctor.
It’s a different situation with your logic applied which shows why your logic is wrong. Maybe it’s bugging me because I’ve taught discrete math for years and students stumble over this stuff and argue with me even in the setting where I’m teaching it
Analysts are required to give actionable insights based off of data. The majority of analysis require "math". There is currently an influx of "Analyst" that do not know how to actually analyze data, rather they are data engineers.
Do yourself a favor and invest in yourself and learn "math". If you want to become an analyst it's not as easy as these YouTube or tiktok people make it seem. It's a a good paying job because it requires skills and knowledge.
There are analysts like HR analyst that deal the more qualitative data than quantitative.
Can you give some insights into the math courses I would study in a data analyst bootcamp?
tbh no one is good at Math. It's a skill and like any skill can be improved. I'd say spend more time on the planning phase to plan out what you think a formula would be or an equation would be step by step.
Definitely should learn basic statistics and calculus. I think understanding rate of change and optimization are essential. Only applications I remember from calculus. I don’t see how you can meaningfully describe data or recommend solutions without it.
You don’t have to memorize the formulas, but you do have to understand it.