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4 Reasons to Make Analytics Education Your Top Priority in 2014

  |  March 17, 2014   |  Comments

A visualized list of ideas to persuade marketers to make education a top priority in their organization and suggestions for next steps to take to succeed in the new marketing landscape.

I have been bullish on data as long as I can remember, exemplified recently by posts such as "Data-Driven Leadership Is Your Organization's Future," "Data Is Everyone's Domain," and "We Need More People with Serious Data Chops." So, in celebration of the launch of our most recent course at the Analytics Academy, I wanted to share a useful list of ideas, visualized, to persuade all of you to make education a top priority in your organization.

1. Data-Savvy Professionals Are Rewarded - Professionally and Economically.
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I have personally seen that data-savvy marketers are leading or highly influential in decision-making and in strong regard at smart organizations. The above stats not only point to that, but also show that the average pay of those with a background in analytics shows they are rewarded appropriately.

2. Demand for Talented Data Professionals Continues to Increase.
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To lead your current organization as well as be prepared for future opportunities, the ability to understand and use data is a great way to make yourself indispensable. With a talent gap comes a greater demand for those who can fill it and the already finite supply will continue to get squeezed more in the future. The time is now to get ahead of that.

3. A Shortage of Skills Indicates Opportunity.
singer-image-3Simply put, we need more people with robust analysis skills. The last point supports this, but it is noteworthy that both Gartner and McKinsey research (and our own experiences) agree.

4. Interest in Analytics Education and Professionals Is Growing.
singer-image-4Just for fun, we looked at search trends for a few analytics education related phrases and see a clear trend: organic interest in analysts and education continues to increase. Brands are hungry for talent, and professionals are hungry for personal development.

What to Do Next?

Clearly, interest and opportunity is growing, data-savvy professionals are rewarded, and new leaders are emerging. Here are just a few ideas for you to succeed in this new landscape:

  • Get a Degree in Data: More than 23 top universities, including Berkeley, NYU, and Stanford, offer data science degrees. You can find out more at this site covering masters programs. It's never too late to go back to school if you can make the time.
  • Get Inspired From Other Practitioners: Read books like Avinash Kaushik's essential Web Analytics 2.0. Check out Daniel Waisberg's analytics community Online Behavior and Justin Cutroni's Analytics Talk. See a list of top analytics blogs at AllTop.
  • Take an Online Course: There are plenty of courses to explore, not just our own (listed above) but on MIT's Open Courseware and Coursera
  • Never Stop Learning: Create a sandbox for yourself (like your own site or app) where you use data to improve in your free time. Mentor a friend (this is one of the best ways to challenge yourself - their questions will push you!). Take the charge to up your team's game by exploring how to automate repetitive processes or start running experiments if you're not there yet. The point is to get out of your comfort zone and try something new.

I hope today's post served as a catalyst to start your journey in becoming a better marketer or analyst, or helped start a conversation in your organization with those who are still making "gut" decisions - not data-informed decisions. When you embrace analytics, your future becomes bright.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Adam Singer

Adam Singer is Analytics Advocate at Google, a marketing, media and PR industry speaker, startup adviser and blogger. He previously was digital director for a 300+ person global consulting team and over the course of his career has provided online marketing strategy for B2B & B2C brands in a variety of industries including marketing technology, healthcare, manufacturing, advertising/subscription-based web startups, and much in between. Singer and his campaigns have been cited by top media outlets such as TechCrunch, AdWeek, NY Times and more for creative use of digital marketing and PR. Singer blogs at The Future Buzz - an award-winning blog with more than 25K subscribers and frequently-referenced source of what's new in digital marketing.

Connect with Adam on Google+ or Twitter.

 

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