The changing role of a digital analyst

A recent issue of Marketing Week listed Martin Sorrell’s (CEO WPP) Ten trends for the future at the IAA conference. Taking fourth position was “The changing relationship between consumers and retailers” and at number five, “the importance of data and its role in communications”.

These trends travel further than just the IAA with a recent report revealing nearly half of all business in the UK are looking at expanding their e-commerce departments – this is good news for the sector and candidates looking for roles. Being a recruiter in the Digital Analytics space, there is one trend we’ve seen a significant increase in and that’s being briefed on a role where the candidate must not only have first class analytics or statistical tech and tools experience, but they must be an excellent communicator.

In days gone by, analysts or data professionals took care of churning out the information and insight, but the marketing team was relied upon to communicate this to various audiences and stakeholders. The tides have turned and the role of an analyst is to not only understand what the data means but explain it across the business in an engaging and persuasive manner to ensure that the results can improve ROI and the bottom line.

From a recruitment perspective this means we’re moving from a candidate short market to a very candidate short market – on a search to find the analytical atoms in the haystack. In order to find these atoms – it is crucial to stay specialised; building trust in the market so you can become the go to specialist for recommendations. Meeting every candidate you work with is very important as we are building a candidate community that is based on professional, well paced and honest relationships.

In an industry plagued by buzz words – data and big data are the new black. The need for these analytical atoms has increased, web analytics and digital data have gone mainstream and is now a core function to most businesses. It’s no longer enough to think of the next big idea, everything needs to be quantified and backed by solid data & insight. Organisations are acting on the data revolution and hiring specialists to own this important part of the business. Those adopting this methodology are achieving more than other companies that talk about data but haven’t implemented change to reflect this.

It’s no longer enough that the Digital Marketing Executive or Manager, who has some degree of experience with Google analytics or testing software to be the combined analyst and marketer.

Just like any commodities market, rare products are more expensive. However this isn’t always immediately reciprocated by businesses who are still offering the same salaries as two or three years ago. These very same candidates are being very well looked after by their current companies, their value is recognised and the loss of this resource is seen as detrimental. Their work is often ongoing and tied to the e-commerce or commercial trading teams rather than project delivery.

So what’s in store for the future of Digital Analytics?  From campaigns to operations insights and data is key to a greater understanding of the business and engaging and communicating with stakeholders and this is opening up a new more specialised market for more analytics tools on the playing field. There are of course the usual suspects when it comes to tools Adobe suite, Webtrends, Comscore and of course Google being very common, but we are seeing some more unknown names from the start-up community offering specialised analytics tools by industry sector start to get some traction in the market with job opportunities to follow.

Overall there is a shortage of Web Analysts who can fit the bill when it comes to skills required for the roles in the UK. As a recruiter who has always worked in a candidate short market with less job movement; it’s something that is genuinely rewarding when you find not only a great role for your candidate and simultaneously provide a solution the business.

Greg Goorwitch is a specialist recruiter at Nakama London and looks after e-Commerce and Digital Analytics.

If you’re looking for a role or contact Greg on 0203 586 8168