There are many different directions you could take a career in digital analytics, spanning across many different business layers: from technology implementation, to analysis, all the way up to strategy and governance.

For those of you who are more technologically focused, the good news is that you don’t need to know code for every platform. It is simply impossible to keep up with the evolution of technology, just take a look at how many vendors there are! Many of those listed are built or are supported by multiple core technologies, so being proficient in just three or four, will actually take you a long way. It also reduces the learning curve when new ones are released into the market.

For those of you who are more focused on the business side of things, the questions have remained consistent over time.

  • How are your digital properties performing, are they generating revenue, are they communicating your brand personality in the right way?
  • What should the Key Performance Indicators be, and how do they support the strategy?
  • Which marketing channels should we be investing in, which ones are delivering the best conversion, and what are the “messages” we should be delivering?
  • Which tools will capture the data needed to aggregate, analyze, and support data driven decision making?

For the analysts, the critical skill lies beyond just reporting. A good analyst will always interpret the data and provide the business with options…to direct them to an informed decision, backed by data. They will be able to tell a story with the data, import raw data, massage it, and address the key question of “what to do next?”

For those of you who are new to the industry or just wishing to take your career to that next level, I have listed some helpful tips below.

  • Get involved, since data impacts just about every business unit, ask around and find out where you can help. It doesn’t really matter where you start, if you can begin to define a path to where you want to end up, that is the first step.
  • Start running or creating report
  • Learn the fundamentals of a reporting platform: Adobe, Google, IBM, SAP, Oracle, Tableau, etc…(big bonus: if you can get formal training)
  • Attend local free analytics events: either sign up for one in your area, or organize one yourself!
  • Write blog posts or become active on social media
  • Explore the variety of job descriptions available and start building out your skillset with that in mind
  • Check out one of my previous blog posts on this with a skills-matrix (to open, click on the table):http://www.cardinalpath.com/digital-data-analytics-talent-how-to-hire-for-your-analytics-program/
  • Find a mentor: this could be a blogger, someone who you respect in the industry…reach out, they probably don’t bite!
  • Read/research books and blogs. Here are some of my favorites:
  • Follow the companies that interest you on LinkedIn
  • Find a good recruiter

Lastly, don’t forget the soft skills. The ability to communicate, write, present, manage, and mentor go a long way if you plan on moving into more strategic roles. To build a bit of confidence, I highly recommend attending a few Toastmasters sessions.

So please, embrace those resources, take action, and move your career to the next level! For current opportunities with Cardinal Path, please visit our careers page.