Can you survive and achieve, just being an expert with one coding language, as a super-user with one product or tool these days? I’ve been having many discussions recently about the required skill sets and tools that the digital analyst needs to be a success in 2012. It’s been driven both by recruitment discussions but also by the challenges posed by clients. Challenges such as these:
- For the recent launch of an enterprise website in the U.K. we had to ensure that the right combination of data tools was implemented and delivering data to support PR and ad placement decisions.
- In a big dashboard project we needed to help a client manage, but more importantly prioritize, 30 data sources to help marketing managers make site optimization decisions.
- I’ve needed to expand my team and wanted to ensure that the candidates have the right mix of skill sets and hunger to learn more tools.
Well, gone are the days when you could make yourself a success in digital analytics and try and answer some of the challenges above just with a single tool or source of data. To be successful you’re going to need to be a ninja in a number of tools.
So how do you measure up? Why don’t we play a bit of data bingo to see which of these analytics areas you can lay claim to be an expert, a dabbler, or blagger. I’ve laid some areas of analytics with examples of the different types of tools in each group. Give yourself one point for each of these types of tools that you are an expert user in. Not a super-user? You get nothing. Bonus point for being able to use multiple tools in the same space.
- Web analytics. The daddy of digital analytics. Great at understanding on-site behavior with your tools like Adobe-Omniture, Webtrends, or Google Analytics? Brilliant at understanding tagging for more than one tool? Give yourself some points.
- Data management tools. Tools like iJento that free your data by giving you the power to process and merge across channels are becoming more and more important right now. Know how to merge your web analytics with search and ad data and build reports and data cubes on that? Have some points.
- Advanced analytics tools that do predictive modelling such as SPSS and SAS. One day digital analytics will catch up with direct marketing. Are you ready?
- Voice of customer. How about listening to what your audience is actually telling you? Market research, surveys, and panels – it’s just data you know. If you can analyze a page report you’re good enough to analyze a market research survey and get your customers to help you optimize.
- Session recording. Just using web analytics funnel conversion isn’t going to help you with the “why” question. Can you use tools such as SessionCam or Tealeaf so you can see what users actually do on your site and why they are dropping off?
- Testing and experimentation. Understand confidence intervals, A/B and MVT? Love testing new concepts and understand the user manual that goes with them?
- Market intelligence. You can’t live in a bubble. To understand the potential of your website you need help from tools that analyze the competitor market as well as your own performance. These will help you understand if you are stealing market share from your competitors and help you understand the journey up- and downstream from your site. Can you use a tool like comScore or Hitwise? Have a point.
- Site performance. Site speed tools such as Gomez will show you if pages or journeys are broken, and we all know that if a web page takes over two seconds to load then us kids of the 21st century will have wandered off to buy something else by second three.
I could go on but I’m going to stop at these “conversion” tools. If you’re an analyst in search, social, or ad serving, feel free to have a go at your own version.
So what was your score?
A score of one? I hope you either own the product you are a super-user in or at least you love it to death. The world still needs specialists of the highest order but you aren’t going to be solving conversion problems, you’re going to be solving implementation problems.
Got a score of two to five? Sounds like you’ve got a solid foundation but there are things to learn. Get on it!
Got a score of six to eight? You rock! You’re well-equipped to use all of those skills to help optimize your website and drive ROI. Send me your CV.
Got a score of nine or more? Really? If you were telling the truth then start your own consultancy and I’ll send you my CV. But more likely you can’t count and shouldn’t be working in the analytics industry.
But whatever your score, you should know by now that new channels and the tools to analyze them are appearing all the time in the digital space. If you love data then you’re going to need to keep learning more tools so that you don’t get left behind.
Bingo Cards image on home page via Shutterstock.