Internships are essential for starting a data analyst career if you don't have prior working experience because they reinforce your skills and prove you’re job-ready. The benefits are countless, from the opportunity to be mentored by professionals and building your analytics skillset to expanding your network.
This article addresses how to become a data analyst intern. We’ll examine the job description and responsibilities and what skills and education you need to gain a competitive edge over other candidates.
Check out our video on the topic below, or scroll down to keep reading.
Table of Contents
- What Does a Data Analyst Intern Do?
- What Are the Responsibilities of a Data Analyst Intern?
- What to Expect from the Data Analyst Internship Job Role
- What Skills and Tools Do You Need for a Data Analyst Internship?
- Do You Need a Degree to Become a Data Analyst Intern?
- Where to Look for Data Analyst Internship Jobs
- How to Become a Data Analyst Intern: Next Steps
What Does a Data Analyst Intern Do?
The data analyst intern is an entry-level position that plays an auxiliary role in the analytics department of a company. A person on the data team is typically assigned to provide advice and technical guidance throughout the intern’s training. This means an intern will support data analysts and data scientists in their projects—most often by performing various data mining or data quality tasks.
One aim of hiring interns is to help senior data professionals with run-of-the-mill operations.
But don’t think that the data analyst internship is a tedious service job. It’s a quid-pro-quo game. You take on some of the data team’s responsibilities, and, in turn, the full-time professionals have less workload and more time to spend showing you the key practical aspects of their work. And that’s the true benefit of this position
What Are the Responsibilities of a Data Analyst Intern?
Sometimes, a data analyst intern has pre-defined duties. At least, that’s the case in team structures, where they run internship programs on a rolling basis. Based on a few job postings we’ve observed, some responsibilities include the following:
- Gathering, preprocessing, and reporting data
- Creating and presenting dashboards with valuable insights
- Tracking and analyzing business performance to identify opportunities for growth
- Internalizing different statistical and advanced statistical techniques
Ideally, you should see how these methods can be applied in a business environment.
It would be beneficial to learn the skills before your internship. This way, you'd make the best possible impression on your employer and open up further opportunities.
What exactly will you be doing, you may ask. Well, your specific tasks depend entirely on the company you’re applying for. But overall, your primary purpose will be to solve various problems through data and expand the business’s reach.
Interns often receive tasks that involve preprocessing data and monitoring its quality and consistency. Sometimes they also work with data stewards to improve the quality, accessibility, and value of the company's data.
What to Expect from the Data Analyst Internship Job Role
Throughout the internship, current data analysts monitor the interns’ ability to work with data, turn it into valuable information, then leverage the information and obtain insights that can be used to improve business decisions.
An intern needs to show they can derive insights and communicate the results from their findings. Their goal should be to demonstrate that they are detailed-oriented professionals who can answer critical business questions by using available data sources.
What Skills and Tools Do You Need for a Data Analyst Internship?
Our most recent research into a sample of data analyst internship job postings revealed the most in-demand tools and skills that candidates must have:
- 56% of the job ads mentioned Microsoft Excel skills.
- 37% quoted Power BI as a preferred tool for dashboard creation.
- 31% said Tableau was a preferred tool.
- 31% required knowledge of SQL.
- 19% cited coding abilities with Python.
For the record, 25% of the job ads in our sample are from companies with 10,000 or more employees.
But don’t think being tech-savvy is the only important matter—you also need essential soft skills. At least 50% of the postings emphasize communication. After all, one of the key prerequisites is sharing your findings with those from the company.
Do You Need a Degree to Become a Data Analyst Intern?
This means you have a fighting chance of successfully landing the data analyst intern role, even if you don’t have a formal education from a traditional institution.
But it is essential to have the following capabilities:
- Be well-versed in statistics
- Handle preprocessing with programming languages
- Work with data and navigate databases
- Extract information from data and turn it into insights
- Go the extra mile and engage with data mining and data quality tasks
It's important to note that because we examined only a sample of postings, there may be variations in the overall tendencies. We recommend studying the job description carefully because some employers look for current students or those who have obtained a relevant degree, such as in statistics, data science, or computer science.
Of course, you’ll still need certification—even if it’s not from a traditional institution—to prove to employers you’re qualified to do the job. Our 365 Data Science program offers industry-recognized certificates to attach to your application to reinforce your abilities before employers.
Where to Look for Data Analyst Internship Jobs
Many companies across all industries offer internship positions as part of their recruitment strategy—especially prominent firms that select their talent carefully and can dedicate the necessary management resources.
Plenty of organizations offer summer or year-long programs for aspiring data analysts. For this reason, we recommend keeping an eye out for internship opportunities on company websites.
Other ideal places to search for data analyst intern jobs include recruitment websites like Indeed, GlassDoor, and LinkedIn. Typically, employers cross-post their openings, redirecting you to their listing or allowing you to apply in-platform with built-in functionalities like LinkedIn Easy Apply.
If you’d like to learn more about the internship-hunting process and how to optimize your chances of becoming a successful candidate, read our comprehensive guide on how to get a data science internship.
How to Become a Data Analyst Intern: FAQs
How to Become a Data Analyst Intern: Next Steps
A data analyst career is an excellent option to explore independently or as a gateway into a higher position within data science. And a data analyst internship can be the first step on the ladder.
Now you know the essential aspects of the intern position and what skills to focus on to become one. Download our free Data Analyst Intern infographic and use it as a guideline as you upskill and apply for internship positions.
And speaking of upskilling—the 365 Data Analyst Career Track is the ideal opportunity for you. Whether you’re a student from a data science-adjacent educational background like computer science or statistics, or transitioning from an unrelated field, our career track will ensure you’re equipped with the right tools and capabilities for success. Moreover, the Career Track Certificate you acquire after the exams gives you a competitive edge over other candidates.
Start your career journey by signing up for the 365 Data Science program below.