EXL, being one of the leading operations management and analytics company that helps business enhance growth and profitability, makes it a favourite place for professionals to be a part of its analytics team. With products like EXLerator Framework\u2122 that integrates analytics, automation, benchmarking, BPO, consulting, industry best practices and technology platforms, EXL works extensively to help companies improve global operations, enhance data-driven insights, increase customer satisfaction, and manage risk and compliance.\n\nHeadquartered in New York and a global presence in various countries, including in Bangalore, India, this 1999 founded company serves various sectors including insurance, healthcare, banking, logistics, travels, among others. It has approximately 25,000 professionals in locations such as USA, Europe, Latin America, Australia, South Africa and Asia (primarily India and Philippines).\n\nTrying to get an insight on its analytics hiring, Analytics India Magazine interacted with Ankor Rai, Senior VP and Global Co-Head at EXL Analytics, who, describing the work culture at EXL, began with saying that at EXL they believe that there is always a better way of doing things. \n\n\u201cWe look deeper to gain rich insights on any issue and that helps us find the ideal solution and it\u2019s this trait of ours that makes us a leader in our field\u201d, he said. EXL team encourages innovative thinking and learn from their differences and diverse thoughts.\n\nAnalytics skill sets at EXL \u2013\n\nBelieving that the huge and diverse pool of talent from different geographies is core to their success, they offer their employees a seamless path to career growth and have built an environment that encourages ownership and is conducive to openness of thought and proactivity.\n\n\u201cIn analytics, we need a wide range of technical skills and the broad set of technical skills for a role by the job family\u201d, said Rai. He further explained that, for instance, the role of data scientist combines business analysis, programming and statistical skills, all rolled into one. Further, if the job content for this role is skewed towards one of these skills, that skill becomes the \u2018critical or a must have\u2019 skill, while others would be \u2018good to have\u2019 skills.\n\n\u201cAt the entry level data interpretation and numeric ability is key, but as we go up, domain knowledge and experience becomes equally critical. Moreover, communication skills and intellectual curiosity are requisites across all levels\u201d, he added.\n\nHiring Fresher vs. Experienced candidates \u2013\n\nWhen asked if the hiring process for fresher differ from that of experienced candidate, Rai said that for fresher entering the industry, the focus is more on their educational background, aptitude (numerical ability, data interpretation skills, basic coding etc.) and communication skills. \u201cWe hire fresher mainly through campus recruitment by conducting our own aptitude test\u201d, said Rai. It is the performance of potential candidates in this test, that becomes the basis for shortlisting candidates. Additionally, group discussions are leveraged as a filtering exercise in case of sorting out from large number of applicants.\n\nWhereas for experienced hiring, they mainly scrutinize the resumes on the basis of the skills and experience required in the job description, followed by interview rounds. \u201cWe do leverage aptitude test when deemed necessary\u201d, he added.\n\nHow to prepare for an interview at EXL?\n\nOnce a candidate establishes that he\/she is the right fit as per the job description, they are suggested to focus more on reading up about data analytics industry in general along with EXL website (such as the typical service offerings and case examples within the various industry verticals they function in). \u201cThe candidate should gain complete clarity on how his\/her skills can be an asset to the team and business unit\u201d, he remarked.\n\nRai further explained that apart from the mandatory educational background and experience, what helps differentiate a candidate from others is one\u2019s level of awareness around the methodologies and developments in the domain of data analytics. \u201cHaving a point of view on one\u2019s area of interest or domain that makes the candidate eligible for the said opportunity at EXL is an added advantage\u201d, he noted.\n\nOther must have traits in a candidate are communication skills and intellectual curiosity, that are central to all roles. \u201cAlso critical is one\u2019s ability to learn and grow, and have flexibility to take on any task in the data analytics value chain, right from data crunching to advising clients. We believe that no work is small or less significant\u201d, Rai added.\n\nList of factors\/ attributes according to EXL that a candidate must have \u2013\n\nThough most of the desirable attributes of a potential recruit at EXL has been listed above, let\u2019s have a quick highlight of it all as below. Apart from the technical skills, educational qualification and experience, below are the key factors or attributes according to Rai \u2013\n\n\n Aptitude \u2013 Numerical ability & data interpretation skills.\n Communication skills \u2013 written, verbal, interpersonal skills.\n Attitude \u2013 Intellectual curiosity, flexibility & openness, willingness to learn.\n Domain knowledge and awareness\n\n\n\u201cAs such, one\u2019s ability to clean data is as critical as designing the model output or creating business strategies for clients\u201d, he said in the concluding note.