Become an Analytics Engineer in 90 Days

The tale of a Data Analyst who evolves into an Analytics Engineer and resources so you can use to be like her.

Tuan Nguyen


Analytics Engineer is a new position coined (and made possible) by dbt. If a Data Engineer (DE) marries a Data Analyst (DA) and they have a baby girl, that baby girl will be an Analytics Engineer (AE). Well, it does not work that way, but you get the point.

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The context

An AE often starts off as a DA creating dashboards and doing ad-hoc queries. She wants to do more because that DE guy works like a snail. She knows her data well because she spent hours per day navigating it using her mad SQL skill. She also knows the business inside out, having to interact with them on a daily basis. But she is faced with enormous challenges wanting to take on the work of the DE guy. Here are some of them:

  • The pipelines were built in Python, and she doesn’t know how to code (besides SQL).
  • The DE guy mentioned something about using git to keep track of changes in the source code. She has her SQL codes stored in word files…
  • She has very little knowledge about the systems that produce data.
  • The team is using all sorts of tools, and she’s not familiar with them all.
  • That DE guy thinks this is above her, which pissed her off even more.

The solution

If only our DA gal can do the work that the arrogant DE does without becoming him… Enter dbt (data build tool)! How can a tool like this create an entirely new position in the field, you ask? Let’s see.

  • She can write transformation code with SQL instead of Python. What?
  • She can test for duplications in joins statements programmatically. Really?
  • She can write data documentation so that business people will bother her less. Nice!
  • She can use for loop and variable, pivot data using SQL templating. Splendid!