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Google, an American tech giant with internet-related products and services ranging from operating systems (Android, Chrome OS) to mobile and desktop applications (Google Chrome, Google Adwords, etc.) and from hardware (Google Nexus line) to services like Google Cloud, Youtube TV, etc.

Founded in 1998, the company is headquartered in Mountain View, California. Google’s corporate mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” and this is only possible through data.

Data is important to Google, which is why they own and operate over 20 data centers around the world. With over 3.55 billion search queries processed daily and 5 billion Youtube videos watched per day, Google is one of the most “data-rich companies in the world” and the best spot for data analysts, data scientists, and business analysts to build their careers.

The Business Analyst Role at Google

Business analyst image from ProjectBI

Business analysts at Google analyze data to develop different insights to drive business decisions for products, answering questions such as "How do we make the product better?" and "What do users like about the product?”.

Google has a strong data culture and business analysts use this data to inform and drive business decisions. Roles may differ slightly based on which team an analyst is assigned to, but the general role at Google ranges from identifying solutions and new business insights through extensive data analysis and predictive modelling to requirements management and communication of insights to relevant stakeholders.

Interested in the business analyst role at a similar company like Amazon? Check out "The Amazon Business Analyst Interview" on Interview Query!

If you're preparing for your big data analyst interview, check out our article on Data Analyst Interview Questions to make sure you're prepared!

Required Skills

The role of a business analyst at Google requires field specialization and extensive industry experience. As such, Google only employs the most qualified applicants with a minimum of 4 years (7+ for senior roles) of industry experience in quantitative analysis, consulting, or any relevant data-driven business roles.

Other basic qualifications include:

  • Bachelor's (MBA, Master's degree or PhD preferred) in Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science,  Physics, Engineering, Operations Research, Economics, Engineering, or equivalent practical experience.
  • Experience with relational databases including SQL, MySQL, MapReduce queries, database definition, and schema design, and business intelligence tools.
  • Basic experience with scripting languages (e.g., PHP, Python, R, Perl, Java, etc.) and statistical software such as R, SAS, Matlab, Numpy/Pandas, etc.
  • Experience extracting, sampling, and visualizing large data sets, along with writing and maintaining Extract, Transform, Load (ETLs) from a variety of structured and unstructured sources.
  • Experience working cross-functionally with engineering and business teams.

Business Analyst Teams at Google

“Google is and will always be an engineering company” and as such, data drives business decision-making at Google. Data science is at the very core of Google's culture, employed in all facets of the company.

To emphasize just how important data science is to Google, they created a “People Analytics Department” to assist the company’s HR decision-making process, including deciding if managers or team members make a difference in their teams’ performance based on analysis of performance review data. The gap between data and sound business decision-making is bridged by business analysts, who dig deep into Google’s data to provide sound insights.

Based on the assigned team, the roles of a business analyst at Google may include:

  • Google Cloud: This team helps Google customers, such as schools, government agencies, companies, etc., transform and evolve their businesses through the use of Google’s global data centre and software assets to make them more productive, mobile, and collaborative. Business analysts in this team partner with senior sales leadership to provide actionable insights, sharpen decision making, and drive a deep understanding of Google's fast-growing business with a data-driven approach.
  • YouTube Trust & Safety: This team is dedicated to making YouTube a safe place for users, viewers, and content creators around the world to create and express themselves. Business analysts in this role leverage advanced data analytics and predictive models to identify key influencers for empowering operational efficiency and collaborate cross-functionally with various interest teams to implement scalable solutions that further optimize operational metrics.
  • YouTube Insights, Impact & Tools: This team supports the YouTube business and operations team, as well as other internal partners, with data infrastructure, tools, and analytical support for rigorous data insights, building solutions and services that transform how YouTube business teams work. Analysts also partner with business stakeholders to understand their business areas and build business requirements, connecting with data infrastructure to build pipelines, datasets, and workflows required to satisfy these requirements.
  • Business Systems Integration: This team identifies time-consuming internal processes within Google's internal partners and then builds reliable solutions that are scalable enough to work with the size and scope of the company. They also design and develop innovative recommendation systems from the ground up to increase business growth, apply science to Sales, and enable productivity for the Sales team.
  • gTech’s Users and Products (gUP): The gUP team builds innovative solutions that take Google's user experience and engagement to a whole new level, supporting users across products, countries, cultures, incomes, and identities. guP helps users get the most out of Google through data modelling, metric development, data prototyping, and insight generation using statistical techniques on Google's users complex data.
  • Sales and Sales Operations: This team leverages advanced data analytics and consistently manages reviews of key data metrics to guide decision making and enhance scalability and efficiencies. Analysts collaborate cross-functionally with Sales, Marketing, Finance, Legal and Operations teams to actively deliver standard processes, facilitating and supporting models for sales and streamline services.
  • Google Pay: This team develops and implements safe and easy payment systems for Google users by working and interfacing with various facets of the banking/payment ecosystem, including networks, issuers, gateways, and FinTechs. Other duties include driving growth across all of Google's monetizing products through initiating projects to gather and analyse end-to-end process flows for developing comprehensive, data-backed assessments of strategic questions.

The Interview Process

Google Plex Office from Pixabay

The Google business analyst interview is just like every other Google interview process. It starts with an online phone interview with a recruiter, and then you proceed to the technical screen interview with a manager. After the technical, the recruiter will then schedule an onsite interview, which comprises three to four one-on-one interview rounds with a lunch break in between.

To become more familiar with the interview process at Google, read "The Google Data Scientist Interview" on Interview Query!

Initial Screen

This is the first interview step with a recruiter or HR, and it is mainly exploratory. In this 45 minute long interview, the recruiter will ask questions about your relevant past experiences and projects, especially those that involve SQL. The recruiter will also provide insights into the company, job roles, and the company’s work culture.

Note: In this interview, you should answer every question with a story or an experience that demonstrates your fit for the role using real-life examples and data.

Sample Questions:

  • Describe a data project you've done.
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Describe one project that you're proud of that involved the practice of statistics.

Technical Screen

Google’s business analyst technical screen follows almost the same protocol as most Google technical interviews. Standard case-based SQL questions are asked, and candidates are required to write SQL queries on a shared Google Doc.

Questions are standardized, so solving SQL questions from Interview Query can better prepare you for this interview.

To learn more about the types of SQL questions asked in a similar role, check out the "Product Analyst Interview Questions and Answers" article on Interview Query!

Onsite Interview

The business analyst onsite interview is comprised of three interview rounds with a manager, a product specialist, and a business analyst all lasting between 30 and 45 minutes.

Google interview candidates are assessed on four general attributes: “general cognitive ability, leadership, role-related knowledge, and Googleyness”. Every interview question is wrapped around those four basic attributes and candidates are expected to shape their answers accordingly.

The schedule for a Google business analyst onsite interview looks like this:

1. Technical interview

This is an interview with a manager and questions are standard case-based SQL questions.

2. Product Sense Interview

3. Leadership/Behavioral Interview

4. Googleyness Interview

Notes and Tips

Google's business analyst interview assesses candidates’ ability to leverage data analytics to identify key business insights, provide solutions, and help make sound, strategic business decisions. Interview questions cover mainly conceptual level data science knowledge, predictive modelling, metrics and strategy definition, and the ability to communicate insights to stakeholders. Brush up on your knowledge of descriptive analytics, statistics and probability, time-series, regression, and predictive modelling.

Google Business Analyst Interview Questions:

  • How would you advise management in terms of improving current product offerings? On what basis?
  • How do you measure the value of a user?
  • If you are the owner of a flower shop, how would you target your customers online? (Who? When? Where? How?)
  • What type of SQL joins are you familiar with?
  • What's your ETL and OLAP experience?
  • What DB and visualization tools have you used?
  • List a few SQL Analytical functions.
  • Give me an example of a project you’ve led. What was the result? Which difficulties did you meet?
  • If you’re setting up a new e-commerce business, what are the things you would look at?
  • How would you build a patent system?
  • Name a google product you use and what would you change about it? How would you improve it?
  • Describe AdWords in three sentences to a child.