Data Analyst Interview Questions

If you are planning to take an interview or appear for one, it is important to practice some mock interview questions. An interviewer asks personal questions and technical questions. Hence, it is important to practice both to ensure that you portray yourself as an expert during the interview. We have presented here few questions and answers that are commonly asked for data analyst candidates. We hope you find these data analyst interview questions useful.

Every organization deals with voluminous data. Data may adhere to the organization as a whole or to the individual departments. This data becomes the basis for taking crucial decisions for the organization. Hence, the data analysts study the given data and make conclusions. The conclusions are made as per the objectives of the data base. The objectives are to find the reasons for failure of a project, to identify the cause of loss incurred, to interpret the trends in future, to make plans for the upcoming quarter, to segregate the revenue generating factors, etc. A data base analyst uses several software tools and applications for this analysis. These analysts work for manufacturing units, marketing firms, research centers, etc. Based on the common responsibilities handled by these analysts, we have made this list of interview questions. The questions may vary as per the nature of work expected by the organization.

  1. According to you, which are the qualities that a data analyst must possess to be successful at this position?

    Answer: Analytical and problem solving skills are crucial to be successful at this position. Also, one needs to be skilled at organizing and formatting data, so that information is available in an easy -to-read manner. Technical proficiency is important too, especially if your organization depends largely on the software and data processing tools.

    (Talk about other skills that the recruiter expects in his candidates as per the given job description)

  2. Describe the most difficult database problem you have faced? Why was it so difficult than other analytical problems you solved?

    Answer: My toughest challenge was to make prediction sales during the recession period and estimate the losses the organization may suffer in the coming quarter. It was difficult since I had to interpret information and forecast future trends. Till then I had analyzed the information that I already had and concluded on what had already happened. I had to evaluate the impact of receding economic conditions on different income groups and make an inference on the purchasing capacity of that group. I used different statistical methods and economic parameters to make this conclusion. (This is a personal interpretative question that must be answered as per your experience. Introduce the problem and highlight the exact nature of the problems faced. Give details of how you perceived the problem, analyzed the information, applied principles of analysis, managed information and found solutions to the objectives.)

  3. What procedure do you follow to analyze the given data?

    Answer: The procedure I adopt to solve analytical problems depends upon the objective of the analysis. At first, I organize information by making categories. Secondly, I find relationship between two or more categories such that any changes in one category affects the results of the other. Further, the procedure includes data cleaning, defining structure of samples, determining quality verification measures, computing statistics and making reports on the analysis.

  4. What do you understand from the term data cleaning?

    Answer: Data cleaning refers to the task of inspecting and cleaning data. From the given data, it is important to sort out information that is valuable for analysis. Also, one needs to eliminate information that is incorrect, unnecessary or repetitive. However, the entire database should be retrievable. Data cleaning does not impose deleting information completely from the database.

  5. Besides analyzing, have you ever participated in database designing and database development tasks?

    Answer: I have not directly participated in data designing and data development activities since we had a dedicated team to perform those functions. However, I have given valuable inputs to those teams during the discussions and helped them in research and data formatting. (Customize this answer as per your experience)

  6. I have provided you here some data regarding the sales figures of last 5 quarters. It shows the expenses incurred as a part of the sales activities? How would you analyze this data?

    Answer: (The answer to this question depends upon the nature of the problem that is given to you to solve. However, here are some steps that you should follow while solving the problem. Read the problem and the data carefully. Ask for an explanation for the terms that you could not understand. Extract the unusual and interesting trends that need attention. Apply the various statistical analysis methods and principles. Make a presentation or give a verbal account of your analysis as demanded.

  7. Which technical tools do you use often for analysis and presentation purpose?

    Answer: The tools to be used depend upon the nature of analysis being done. I am comfortable using the QDA (Qualitative Data Analysis) Miner, KNIME (Konstanz Information Miner), Root, PAW, etc. Also, most of my work is done using MS Excel features of shewhart control charts, stratification, histogram, scatter diagram, correlation and covariance, etc. I am keen on learning new tools as may be necessary to work at this organization.

While listing data analyst interview questions, we have concentrated on a few technical questions only. There are many questions that can be asked during the technical interview. Also, there are some questions that are aimed at finding out the personality and ambitions of the candidate. These come under personal interview questions. Refer to these questions and prepare some questions of your own while practicing for the interview. We hope these sample interview questions and answers help you to crack the interview successfully.

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