5 Questions To Ask Before Choosing A L4 Data Analyst Apprenticeship Provider

Since its launch in 2016, we’ve seen a lot of demand for the Data Analyst apprenticeship with a limited number of providers genuinely able to deliver. The Data Analyst standard is challenging, both academically in terms of the EMC exam and vocationally in ensuring the skills learned meet the needs of the business. To help you make a considered decision, we’ve put together 5 questions you should ask before choosing a training provider for the Level 4 Data Analyst apprenticeship.

What real world analytics experience do your data coaches have?

We’ve seen many training providers delivering the Data Analyst standard using general IT coaches with no background in analytics. Though data analytics is a digital discipline, it also requires a deep knowledge of business and logic. Strong providers will be able to mentor your apprentice in their day-to-day role, as well as getting them through their qualifications. Look for real industry experience – our coaches include a former CTO, a rocket scientist and a manufacturing analyst

What’s the academic background of your data coaches?

The Level 4 Data Analyst apprenticeship includes complex statistical concepts. Apprentices need expert support to engage with these and develop their understanding. Look for degree-level qualifications in relevant subjects. All our data coaches have BScs in numerical subjects and most have MScs in areas such as Mathematical Modelling and Numerical Reasoning.

How well do you understand what we do and what our requirements are?

Analytics must be driven by your business goals. If your apprentice doesn’t understand why data is being analysed, they won’t be able to identify what’s important. It’s essential that coaches understand what the apprentice is being asked to deliver in order to help them put theory into practice. Look for coaches who have worked on a range of technologies such as PowerBi, Hadoop, Qlick, Azure and SAP – even if they’re not familiar with your preferred tool. Coaches with experience in business consulting or managing data teams will also be beneficial.

How do you plan to get apprentices through the EMC exam?

Don’t underestimate this exam, it’s tough! Many providers outsource this module to external 5 day courses which aren’t relevant for junior analysists and lead to poor success rates. We’ve developed our own curriculum and recruited mathematicians to coach it, resulting in a 100% pass rate.

Some of the biggest providers are lobbying to get the EMC qualification removed from the apprenticeship altogether. This is a highly relevant qualification for genuine data analysis roles and it would be a shame to see it scrapped on account of poor delivery.

How will you establish if the Level 4 Data Analyst apprenticeship is right for my role and candidates?

The Level 4 Data Analyst standard is not right for every data analyst role and an experienced provider will be able to advise if it’s the right fit for your business. Ideally, the provider would sit down with the apprentice’s line manager and understand whether the role focuses mostly on data analysis or data admin and reporting.

In terms of the candidate, we consider their previous academic qualifications and ask them to complete a data exercise using a relevant technology such as Azure Machine Learning.

Where either the candidate or the role isn’t right for the Level 4 Data Analyst apprenticeship, we’ve developed a Level 4 HNC pathway that may be better suited.