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How much maths & stats do i need to know to pursue a career in analytics?

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New Contributor NMD
New Contributor
Posts: 4

How much maths & stats do i need to know to pursue a career in analytics?

Hi Guys

 

I am new to analytics and SAS, i found out from friends about it & is something which interests me. So far i have done bit of sas programming & e-guide querring n reportng, no problems. Next course will be statistics 1.

 

I have been observing job descriptions for analytics type of roles n many are asking for background in statistics, maths, quantitative discipline etc

 

My strength is not in maths & statistics. I have studied maths till high school level & that also have forgotten over time as there was no use for it.

 

My question is to pursue a career in data analysis or analytics, do i need to have need to be strong in maths n stats? My concern is am i heading in the right direction or better off investing my energies in some other area in IT.

 

Any guidance will be much appreicated.

 

Thank you

NMD

Super User
Posts: 18,586

Re: How much maths & stats do i need to know to pursue a career in analytics?

This is an opinion based question so you're going to get answers across the board.

 

My 2 cents is that if you only have high school math, it's unlikely you have the background for a full analytics career. You'll need to upgrade, so if that's within your plan then I'd consider it. You could also self train via Coursera - they have a good data science certificate program that's mostly free. Whether companies will value it as much as a University career I doubt. There's also all the bootcamps so you do have options. 

 

If your background is in comp sci, it would help, as a large portion is programming these days.  

I'm also assuming that you haven't covered linear algebra, random sampling, linear/logistic regression, and p-values in high school.

 

 

New Contributor NMD
New Contributor
Posts: 4

Re: How much maths & stats do i need to know to pursue a career in analytics?

thank you for the inghts. I have a bachelors in IT not computer science, been exposed to C programming.

Super User
Posts: 3,183

Re: How much maths & stats do i need to know to pursue a career in analytics?

I think it is worth remembering that there is way more to "analytics" than statistics. Doing statistics on a set of data is usually preceded by data sourcing, joining, transformation, cleaning, profiling, understanding etc. This is where having general IT skills is very useful especially those related to data processing.

 

What I'm trying to say is that a lack of advanced stats skills should not put you off pursuing a career in analytics as someone who is great at sourcing, preparing, and understanding data is just as valuable. Most companies have stats boffins for doing stats "heavy lifting" but often they are not very skilled in data processing. 

Super User
Posts: 18,586

Re: How much maths & stats do i need to know to pursue a career in analytics?

On the other hand, a lot of innovative ideas come from people outside the traditional paridigm because they're not used to or set on doing things a certain way.

Regular Contributor
Posts: 233

Re: How much maths & stats do i need to know to pursue a career in analytics?

This is a hard question for me to answer because I've had a very unique experience.  I took Stats in university and didn't do great (I did OK).  I started off doing database design and maintenance, and then slowly moved into more and more analytics.  I was extremely fortunate and it is very rare that I had a lot of managers that supported me and allowed me the opportunity to learn different analysis methods.  It has taken me over 15 years with **a lot** of personal time (evenings, weekends, holidays) to get me to a point where I can call myself an analyst, but I still have a long way to go.  

 

 

There are a number of websites that offer free courses on data analysis.  I recommend the SAS courses starting off with the basics (https://support.sas.com/edu/schedules.html?ctry=us&id=2588).  SAS also has a number of great books on learning statistics with SAS (https://www.sas.com/store/books/categories/getting-started/elementary-statistics-using-sas-/prodBK_6... is my personal favourite).  I also recommend https://support.sas.com/edu/schedules.html?id=2219&ctry=US - a 6 hour course on the basics of stats.

 

Good luck.  I have to admit it's not easy, but it is the best thing I've done in my career.  If you need software and like using SAS, the University Edition is free for learning and although doesn't have all the functionality of regular SAS, it's fantastic for learning.  You can get it http://www.sas.com/en_us/software/university-edition.html 

 

Chris

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