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This post is contributed by Lauren Auge, Burtch Works’ web and digital analytics recruiting specialist.

 

Like most other areas of analytics, digital analytics has been evolving quickly in recent years. And, employer needs are evolving as well, as they work to keep pace with the fact that digital has become integrated in nearly every aspect of business.

If you’re comfortable in your current job, it might be tempting to relax and not keep up with these changes, but the last thing you want is to find yourself job-searching in a year or two, only to realize that you don’t have the skills employers are looking for. Continuous learning is the key to longevity in any analytics career, and it’s something we often talk about here at Burtch Works!

On that note, here are three areas where I’m seeing a real uptick in requests from employers:

  1. In-depth SQL

While SQL itself is nothing new, up until now SQL requirements in the digital space were often handled by IT or development teams. However, many companies are now looking for people who can query their own information and then combine it with data from multiple sources, rather than someone who has to pass on requests to get the data they need.

Employers are looking for digital analytics professionals who can be more self-sufficient, which cuts down on the lead time and necessary steps to get the data in the hands of the person who will be analyzing it. You will still be operating in Google Analytics, Adobe, and other marketing channels, but if you’re able to start pulling in data points from other areas of the business – especially as eCommerce becomes more prominent – being able to query your own data using SQL will allow you to be more advanced in your analysis.

To put it another way, “once you can write SQL there are literally no questions you cannot ask of your data”. While Excel is still a data tool, it’s just not enough for the amount of data that is amassing online. Luckily, if you’re interested in learning more there are tons of free courses online where you can start getting exposure to the syntax.

  1. Tag management tools

Another side effect of everything moving towards eCommerce has been the rising need for individuals who have experience with tag management tools. As with SQL, tag management isn’t new, but it is now being passed on to the analysts to be able to do more of the day-to-day management. This includes tools like Google Tag Manager, Tealium, Adobe’s Dynamic Tag Management (DTM), Ensighten, HTML, JavaScript, etc.

Employers are looking for people with light coding experience in HTML or JavaScript who can understand enough to be able to recognize when something is not operating properly. Basically, you need to be dangerous enough to see the code and be able to make small changes and adjustments, but not necessarily enough to develop an entire website.

Being able to design how and where you want tags to operate will help you dictate your reporting and the data you want to look at, and companies want you to be able to make that decision yourself. They are trusting analysts to make the important decisions about what they should be tracking.

  1. Heavy A/B or multivariate testing

Again, this is part of the trend where companies are looking for professionals who can be more self-sufficient about the data they’re using, what they’re tracking, and, through A/B or multivariate testing, to test opposing campaigns to see which performs better. With the move towards eCommerce and everything digital, these skills will become even more necessary, and already some firms have entire teams dedicated solely to multivariate testing. This includes tools like Optimizely or Monetate.

 

 

One of the benefits to working in digital is that there is a lot of solid, free training available to you if you want to learn more about any of these areas. Resources like Google Academy, Microsoft, Lynda.com, Udemy, and plenty of others offer plenty of learning material depending on your starting point and how much you want to learn.

Web analytics and digital interactions tend to be, by nature, a bit more reactive or real-time. However, as the digital world evolves, analysis is starting to move from descriptive analytics to being a bit more predictive. Companies want to be able to figure out how their sites and marketing campaigns may operate over the long term so that they can define strategy around what will be coming, and not what has already happened.

With web analytics becoming more advanced, digital analytics professionals will need the ability to manipulate data beyond simply requesting a report from an automated platform. If you’re not already familiar with these areas, it’s better to spend the time learning now, while companies are still catching up, and not wait until these skills become a hard requirement and you’ve fallen behind!

 

Curious to see whether I have any roles that fit your experience, or looking to hire web and/or digital analytics experts for your team? Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn

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