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What skills are needed to work in marketing analytics? They might be a little different than what you think. Marketing professionals need analytical skills, such as data visualization and statistical analysis, but they also need more creative skills like storytelling, copywriting, and content strategy. In this post, we’ll tell you which key skills will help you get an analytics job!
Hands-on data tracking deployment
When I first got interested in web analytics, it was about 2005 when blogs were becoming popular, and Google Analytics became available for the public. Getting the tracking up and running is one thing, but getting actionable data from Google Analytics takes much work.
You need to make sure you have the right tracking on all your pages (and that this is done correctly), and then you also need to think about how you use that data in a practical sense.
When I started with web analytics, I couldn’t find many resources about using Google Analytics data. So my best advice is: get your hands dirty and start tracking!
My first few years of experience working in the agency world built my marketing foundation. First, I was reading and studying as much as possible about tracking and data integration. Then, most importantly, applying that knowledge in real-world business.
The hands-on deployment was probably the most important part of the job to build the experience and track record working with large enterprises’ websites. Eventually, those skills helped me get a better job on the client-side.
As you can imagine, the analytics world has changed a lot in the last decade. It’s no longer just about tracking visitor behavior and web traffic.
Enterprise-grade and fast growth business exposure
Most organizations need more than one person looking at the marketing analytics data, which means it’s important to work with others in a team environment.
As a marketer, you need to understand how the business works and what decisions are made at different levels of an organization. You can’t work in marketing analytics by yourself, so communicating with other teams is important!
Following the exposure to enterprise-grade web analytics tools, was getting the experience working with a large e-commerce site. Having that exposure to a business that grew tremendously was an important part of building the foundation for data-driven marketing. In addition, that experience to tie data back to business growth and to deploy marketing strategies with large marketing spend was valuable.
In addition to the above skills specifically related to marketing analytics (data visualization/statistical analysis), you also need broader business-related skills, such as project management, teamwork, interpersonal communication, and budgeting.
For example, you need to prioritize your team’s projects and meet deadlines for various stakeholders. It would help if you also understood how budgets work to know whether or not a proposed initiative is feasible within constraints like time and money.
Business Intelligence Experience
Having the ability to tell stories with data is essential for marketers who want to work in marketing analytics. We are all familiar with seeing pretty graphs or fancy infographics, but you must tell compelling stories about what your audience wants.
One phase in my analytics career that built a firm foundation is adopting BI tools like Tableau, which many companies and marketers use today to find insights from their data.
Learning Tableau and applying it in practice was a game-changer. It allowed me to be free from excel and, most importantly, do more with analytics and insights discovery.
Any analyst needs to be able to communicate your data and insights. Marketing analytics professionals have several ways of expressing their findings, including both verbal and visual presentations. You should know how to use visuals and statistics effectively to tell a compelling story that persuades the audience at hand.
In Business Intelligence, knowing how the data is collected, presented, and reported is important. Creating a data dictionary of metrics that you use regularly can help ensure everyone in your organization understands what certain terms mean. In addition, having the data dictionary or data definitions can be helpful when working with other departments or people outside of marketing.
Knowing about how ETL processes work is also important for marketers in current days in age. Once you have a certain metric, it’s often useful to break it into different segments (e.g., by product category or geographic area). You can’t do this if you don’t know how the data gets extracted, ingested, and transformed from its initial form into something more manageable and relevant for your analysis.
Data wrangling skills
First, you need to be able to understand the data. Marketing analytics is one of those professions that require knowledge in both Big Data and traditional marketing skills. You should know how to access your data, clean it up (i.e., remove duplicates), analyze it for insights, and report on what you’ve found with a clear explanation.
Data wrangling means being able to extract the data you need from your various sources, as well as being able to clean and organize it. You can use Excel, Google Sheets, Tableau, or other tools for this process.
Data wrangling is one of the most important skills for working with data. Unfortunately, it’s also one of those tasks that might be considered more tedious and frustrating than it sounds, so you need to make sure that you enjoy this part before committing to your career!
Suppose you’re a marketer and not able to work with SQL or just tired of data wrangling in Excel. In that case, there are tools like Tableau Prep or Google Trifecta that allow anyone to transform data into usable data to analyze.
Any analytics professional will tell you; data preparation is a big part of their day-to-day operation. I’ve read some articles that could take up 70% of analysts’ time for data prep related tasks. It shows how much data wrangling is an important skill set to have.
Client facing experience
Lastly, you need to know how to tell a story. Although data is important in marketing analytics professions, there are times when it doesn’t give us all of the answers we need or want. This is where storytelling can help fill in those gaps – providing context for how we got to where we are now and what might happen next.
Marketing professionals need communication skills, both verbal and visual/aesthetic. You should be able to tell a story with your data or visuals as well as with words. Client-facing experience is important because you’ll be presenting your findings to people regularly.
Marketing analyst’s clients aren’t necessarily limited to external clients. Internal stakeholders within the company could also be your client. So, it’s important to communicate your findings in a way that is easy to understand, knowing that anyone you face or present with data is your client.
If you are looking to get a job in marketing analytics, I covered these five skills that will help you be successful.
- Hands-on data tracking deployment
- Enterprise-grade and fast growth business exposure
- Business Intelligence Experience
- Data wrangling skills
- Client facing experience
In the end, what matters most when applying for jobs is that you have the right combination of experience and relevant skillset. We hope this article helps narrow down some possibilities so that you can use them with confidence! Happy hunting!
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