Curriculum Spotlight: Learning Data Analytics at Lighthouse Labs

Jess Feldman

Written By Jess Feldman

Last updated on February 22, 2023

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After years of teaching data science, Lighthouse Labs has launched an 8-week, full-time Data Analytics Program specifically aimed at career changers looking to break into data analytics. Lead instructor Simon Dawkins and Product Marketing Manager Jon Quinn walk us through the data analytics curriculum and what differentiates it from the data science curriculum. Find out what it takes to get into the Data Analytics bootcamp, and the types of tech roles (and salaries!) bootcamp graduates can anticipate in this high-demand field.

How do you each work with Data Analytics students at Lighthouse Labs?

Simon: I joined Lighthouse Labs in March 2021 as a Data Science Mentor, where I primarily worked with students one-on-one, supporting them and helping them learn from their coursework. These days I’m the Lead Data Science Instructor, so I see a lot more of the entire classes at once during lectures, but my favorite work is still the time spent hands-on with students, pair-programming, helping them think through the logic of their approach, and watching the lightbulb go off when a new concept clicks.

Jon: I joined Lighthouse Labs in March 2022 as a Product Marketing Manager specializing in cyber security and data. Most of my student interactions come in the form of interviews where I have the pleasure of hearing about a graduate’s experience in a program, why they chose Lighthouse Labs, and about their post-program success. It’s very rewarding to hear the overwhelmingly positive responses from our graduates! 

Lighthouse Labs has taught Data Science for many years – why launch a Data Analytics Program now?

Simon: The data professional landscape is quick-moving and ever-changing — At Lighthouse Labs, we do our best to provide course offerings that reflect the current job market and current interest of students. Data analytics is a specialization that we felt we couldn’t fully cater to in our Data Science course, so we’re happy to launch a more specialized program!

Is data analytics a smart career path in 2023?

Simon: Data analytics involves a highly in-demand set of specializations that is needed across many industries. Companies realize the amount of insight they can gain from data they already have, so they are seeking help from professionals to organize it, analyze it, and use it to make decisions. With a slightly lower barrier to entry (and therefore a shorter bootcamp!) than more complex machine learning approaches, data analytics fills a very needed niche in our data-driven world.

The Data Analytics Curriculum at Lighthouse Labs

What can students expect to learn in the Data Analytics Program?

Simon: We’ve built a carefully crafted and actively developed curriculum informed by industry professionals, data analytics experts, and education specialists. Our curriculum is complemented by tried-and-true reinforcement techniques designed to help students grow into self-sustaining professionals in the ever-changing landscape of data analytics.

In the Data Analytics Bootcamp, students will learn: 

  • Programming like Python and SQL
  • Data analysis techniques and tools
  • Data visualization tools like Tableau and dashboard best practices
  • Data soft skills like communication and presentation skills for technical and non-technical audiences. 

Students will use SQL to transform and analyze data, apply statistical modeling techniques with Python, and use industry standard python libraries as well as Tableau to create data visualizations and dashboards. Finally students will complete a capstone project, combining everything they’ve learned to develop a project to present during demo-day. This will also become part of their portfolio as they begin to search for their first data analyst position post-program. 

How is the Data Analytics Bootcamp different from the Data Science program at Lighthouse Labs?

Simon: Our Data Science program includes topics in Machine Learning (including Deep Learning - Natural Language Processing, Computer Vision, Recommender Engines, Reinforcement Learning, etc), as well as supporting skills in mathematics, cloud technologies (Deep Learning models don’t run well on laptops!), deployment and development processes, and so on. 

The Data Analytics program does not include these topics, and instead focuses on preparing students for analytics focused roles with an emphasis on data wrangling, statistical analysis, data visualization, and soft skills.

What is the teaching style like in the data analytics program?

Our learning approach has three phases:

  • First, students are introduced passively to a topic in the form of high quality examples, articles, or lectures. 
  • Second, we guide students through a first attempt or application, and give feedback as they build confidence. 
  • Third, students complete an assignment or solve a problem designed to help them to practice implementing their new skill or understanding. 

Throughout the program, we make sure that subsequent assignments and topics give students the chance to reuse and reinforce skills they’ve learned in previous days.

What are the instructors like for the Data Analytics Program?

Simon: Our instructors are active professionals working in data-related roles across the industry and research world, including fascinating specialties like computational linguistics/NLP, high-level business intelligence, cognitive neuroscience, solar technologies, and many more. This breadth of their experience supplies students with a wide range of inspiration, and many approaches and insights to common problems solved by data.

Jon: At Lighthouse Labs, we’re committed to building a diverse and inclusive learning community. Our students put their trust in us, so we hold ourselves to the highest standards to ensure that everyone coming into our program is set up for success. If you need help and support as a student, our team is here for you! 

Getting Into the Data Analytics Program at Lighthouse Labs

Is there an ideal student for this program? And can you be a data beginner when you apply?

Simon: Our Data Analytics program is available to everyone. No previous data science, data analysis, or programming experience is required to attend Lighthouse Labs — but that’s not to say the program will be easy! We’re looking for students with curiosity, grit, and an aptitude for analytics and problem-solving. 

What can applicants expect from the Data Analytics Program admissions process? 

Jon: Our admissions process includes a short 5-10 minute application for you to introduce yourself, including your education, previous experience, and your superpower — basically, the important details that help us get to know you. Our admissions team will then get in touch (quickly!) after reviewing your application and invite you for an interview. During the interview, we'll discuss your background and post-program goals. This is also your opportunity to ask any questions you might have.

After the interview, successful candidates will be sent instructions to take our logic test and materials to prepare for and take the technical test. You do not need to have prior experience in coding or data analytics to perform well on these tests. These are both multiple-choice and done online on your own time within a 2-week period of your interview.

Following the logic and technical tests, you’ll be assigned your prep work. This free, self-paced online course will introduce you to the technologies and tools you’ll use throughout the program, including Analysis in Excel, Version Control (Github), and The Command Line. You’re required to complete the Prep Modules before your first day of the program.

Tech Jobs Data Analytics Students Can Land

What types of tech roles does the Data Analytics Bootcamp prepare students for?

Simon: Data Analytics graduates at Lighthouse Labs could land tech positions, such as: 

  • Jr. Data Analyst
  • Jr. Data Modeler 
  • Jr. Business Analyst
  • Jr. HR analyst 
  • Jr. Machine Learning Analyst
  • Data Visualization Analyst
  • Marketing Analyst
  • Product Analyst
  • Analyst
  • Business Intelligence Analyst
  • Jr. Quantitative Analyst

These positions listed above could also include “intern” in their titles as well!

Data Analysts are in such demand across nearly every industry, so a student’s previous job experience and subject expertise may be beneficial to them as they look to secure their first entry-level data analyst position. 

What kinds of starting salaries can data analytics students expect after graduation?

Simon: Graduates could land data roles with starting salaries between $45K-$55K. 

What kinds of career support can data analytics students expect at Lighthouse Labs?

Simon: Our graduates receive lifelong support from Career Services as they advance in their professional lives. Our staff will work with you to determine your goals and guide you to attaining them at any level in your career, from helping them find their first roles in tech after graduation to mid-career boosts.

In order to keep their finger on the pulse of what companies are looking for in this quick-paced business, our Career Services staff maintain links with a constantly expanding network of industry contacts. We hustle from day one and expect you to do the same. Finding a career is not an easy undertaking, but we'll be there for you every step of the journey, whether you're switching roles or looking for your first job.

For our readers who are beginners, what online resources or meetups do you recommend for aspiring data professionals?

Simon: YouTube continues to grow as one of the most broad repositories of knowledge humans have ever created. But, just like Stack Overflow (infamous for its curt responses and dislike for questions already answered by documentation), YouTube requires its own set of skills to be an effective resource. I recommend beginners start the practice of ‘decoding’ instructions in YouTube videos, Medium articles, and other how-to content, as this is a skill that only gets more useful by the day! 

Jon: Lighthouse Labs offers a 6-week, part-time Intro to Data Analytics Course, which is great for those looking to get the most of their existing data for better business decisions. Students attend lectures twice a week for six weeks and cover topics including Data Collection and Data Cleaning, Data Analysis in Microsoft Excel, building dashboards with Tableau, before finally completing a capstone project that they present at the end of the course. 

What is your advice for students embarking on a program like this? Any tips for getting the most out of it especially if they are trying to change their careers?

Simon: As dramatic as it sounds, get ready for some seriously hard work and be prepared to put extra time into your wellness. We pack an incredible amount of material into a short time, and you’ll find it a lot easier to get the most out of the program if you’re ready to do what’s needed to stay rested, healthy, and mentally prepared for the hours of concentration needed. To me this is the most important thing, more than any other preparation, prior knowledge, or work ethic – being willing to work long hours doesn’t help if you’re too tired to learn effectively!

Jon: Use mentors and career services! These are two of the best parts of Lighthouse Labs and they can really make a difference in how you achieve your goals during the program and post-program. Our mentors come with real world experience and can help you through projects you’re working on, answer questions about career paths, or simply talk shop to help you better understand everything Data Analytics. Just as important is career services. Don’t think just because you’ve made a resume before, have a LinkedIn profile, or have had interviews in the past means you can’t improve on your job-seeking skills. Our Career Services team’s entire job is to help you find a job! Leverage their experience and expertise as much as you can. 

Find out more and read Lighthouse Labs reviews on Course Report. This article was produced by the Course Report team in partnership with Lighthouse Labs.

About The Author

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman is an accomplished writer and the Content Manager at Course Report, the leading platform for career changers who are exploring coding bootcamps. With a background in writing, teaching, and social media management, Jess plays a pivotal role in helping Course Report readers make informed decisions about their educational journey.

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