Welcome back. Earlier, we talked about what a case study was and why adding one to your portfolio could help you stand out in a job search. Now let's talk about some best practices for building case studies and portfolios and check out some great examples of other analysts' work. When it comes to case studies there's a few important tips you'll want to keep in mind. First, make sure your case study answers the question being asked. Let's check out a sample case study for a company we'll call Data Partners Real Estate. They asked job applicants, "How would you rate Data Partners Real Estate's resale performance in 2020, what's driving these trends, and what would your action plan be?" The company gave job applicants a market dataset including things like active listings, visits, resell contracts, price points, and geocodes. Applicants had a day to go through the data analysis process and share a proposal. Here's a presentation one applicant came up with. Slide 2 lays out the question. The job candidate has identified poor performance in a specific housing price band that the company could improve. Including a quick overview of their findings here helps keep the case study focused on the task at hand. On top of answering the question, you also want to make sure that you're communicating the steps you've taken and the assumptions you made about the data. One of the reasons potential employers are interested in case studies is because they show your thought process and problem-solving skills. Showing the steps you took to reach your conclusion can help them get a good idea of how you work. Here, we've got an explanation of the metrics they use to perform the analysis. And in each slide after this, they use the title to tell their story and explain the steps of their analysis. They state the overall market share of this companies resell contracts has remained steady and they explained that this is the result of high growth in one area and losses in another. Then they explain this gap and outline some potential causes. And in the speaker notes, they've added some key assumptions they've made. To wrap it all up, they've acted on the data by providing recommendations for the business to consider. Their metrics were clearly defined, their data findings were organized in a logical, step-by-step order and they've made sure to explain any background information about their data that their audience may not know. In this case, the job candidate also shared documentation of their analysis, including their SQL queries and spreadsheets. This is a great example of how a case study can showcase an analyst's thought process. Now, any case study you complete during a job application usually needs to be kept private. But you can also complete case studies on your own time and add these to your personal portfolio. As we talked about earlier, your portfolio is a collection of case studies you want to show off and there are some best practices you can use for creating your portfolio too. The best portfolios are personal, unique, and simple. You've learned different ways that you can post and share your portfolio, like on a blog, GitHub, or Kaggle. Let's explore some portfolios so we can understand what personal, unique and simple really means. As you might recall, these examples were also featured in a reading, so feel free to go back and check them out yourself. Your portfolio is a chance to show people who you are, what you're interested in, and what's important to you. Here's an example portfolio. Right away we can tell how personal this is from the title, Sharing my cancer story with data viz. This data viz showcases this analyst's health journey as they prepared for a marathon while also undergoing treatment for their cancer. It's a very personal and powerful story and he talks more about this project in his blog post. But it's also showing off his personality in the data viz itself. Let's read some of these notes: "Mom if reading send more cookies." "Fitbit died, didn't care to charge it nine days." In addition to the personal story this data tells, we also get these insights into the analyst's personality. Making your portfolio personal doesn't mean the focus has to be completely on you, but it is an opportunity for other people to get to know your better. It's good to add things to your portfolio that you care about, things that are interesting to you and stuff you'd love to share. This will highlight your technical skill and how you approach technical problems too. Making your portfolio personal also helps make it unique. By highlighting the things you're interested in, you can stand out from the crowd. Let's check out another example. This is a Kaggle user's profile with some of the notebooks she's created. Each one of these is basically a case study that she's completed for her own enjoyment. She's got a few notebooks where she's worked with the palmer penguins data we used in R. But she's also got notebooks where she did an analysis on a video game she likes. Using common examples can be great practice and show off practical job skills, but adding some unique and interesting case studies to your portfolio make it cool and memorable. In general, you want to keep your portfolio pretty simple. Our goal is to highlight our skills as data analysts, so we don't want to distract anyone who's visiting our portfolio with unnecessary clutter. Here's an example of a portfolio on GitHub. This user's created a master list of R tutorials they created. It's simple and straightforward. There's a table of contents that leads to different pages to keep the portfolio landing page simple and easy to navigate. This doesn't mean this page is boring. They've added this fun cover art and talk about their own experiences with R here. But even with all that, we're not distracted by a messy webpage. Finally, you want to make sure that your portfolio is relevant and presentable. If you know you're interested in a certain kind of data analyst position, you can tailor your portfolio to highlight those skills. Make sure you keep it up-to-date, ready for an employer to see and most importantly, that you're proud of what you've put together. When it comes to case studies, you want to make sure that you're answering the question and communicating the steps you've taken. As you build your portfolio, remember: keep it personal, unique, and simple. Now that we have some ideas about how to create great case studies and portfolios, you're ready to start working on your own. Coming up, we'll take our first step towards building our own case study. See you soon.