So, What Do You Do for a Living?

When I’m out on the road and too tired to open even one more email, I love to look at examples of that great meme: “What my clients think I do, what my boss thinks I do, what I think I do, what I really do.” They’re funny. And they pretty much sum things up.

When asked, “What do you do?” about 10 years ago, those of us who called ourselves Web analysts would mumble something about measuring the success of a website. If pressed, we could wax rhapsodic about click-throughs and pageviews and optimization.

Unchecked, we might slippery-slope our way into tales of click-path optimization, multivariate testing, and semantic analytics. We would then find ourselves talking to glazed eyes and stifled yawns.

Rachelle Maisner gave us this wonderful little “what we really do” gem:

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But as our jobs got more complicated, the conversations got more difficult. Instead of being a “Web analyst” we became “digital analysts.” In 2008, the Web Analytics Association became the Digital Analytics Association and the “what we do” meme changed for the more sophisticated.

Tina Costanza gave us an updated self-awareness vision:

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Explaining the integration of social, mobile, and offline data in a crowd of civilians would find us talking to the tops of heads of those checking their phones for anything more interesting – like a meeting schedule change or a push notification from Candy Crush.

So, once again, it’s time to update the image we’re broadcasting to the world. It’s time to own the complexity, the sophistication, and the wide variety of what we do for a living and our love of doing it.

And so, as a service to my colleagues, I offer up this little ditty with apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan called, “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Data Analyst.” It pretty much sums things up:

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