HOW WEB ANALYTICS CAN LEAD TO A CAREER IN DATA SCIENCE

Harriet Coleman our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 9/5/2019 2:19 PM
The Web Analytics world is evolving. What used to require an understanding of Google Analytics, some tag management and visualisation for presentation purposes has grown into something much more. Whereas Web Analysts may have once been lone players in a Marketing team, they’re now expected to sit as part of, and feed into, an enterprise’s Insight team. 

This exposure to more comprehensive forms of Data Analysis has led many Web Analysts to explore what the next step in their career could be. Namely, should they move into a Data Science position? For those who are looking to make this move, here are some considerations:

Technicalities and Technologies 


Digital Analytics are not excluded from the debate over what it means to be a Data Scientist, especially given that some with a Data Scientist job title may in fact be Web Analysts, and vice versa. Many Web Analysts are now working with a number of Data Science tools, including SQL, Python, and R. By using these alongside Google or Adobe Analytics, they are able to form a comprehensive view of the customer, using different types of Data, in different forms, from different sources. However, there remains a gap between the use of these tools and actually working within Data Science. 

The most logical leap for a Web Analyst to make is to a Customer Insight or Digital Insight role. This type of role would still involve the analysis of online Data, but would likely be paired with building models, Predictive Analysis, reviewing customer LTV and creating a picture of customer online, offline and post-purchase behaviour to enable better targeting and retargeting. However, the knowledge gap between Web Analytics and Data Science may be more significant than one would anticipate. 

Your Current Position 


As a Web Analyst, you may well sit within a larger Data, Digital or Customer/Marketing Analytics department. Your exposure to these experts is one of the best assets you have available. Use the environment you are in to learn, upskill and gain hands-on experience. Knowledge of the necessary tools and languages is unlikely to be enough to lead to a move into Data Science and by getting hands-on commercial experience, you drastically increase your chances of success. 

If you are able to expand on the tech that you have already used, take advantage of this. Even if this is just in a consulting capacity, your ability to demonstrate a real-world application of your knowledge makes you significantly more appealing as a candidate. Plus, your knowledge of, and approach to, Web Analytics may actually work to your advantage when it comes to assessing Data quality. Consultancies and agencies often provide the best training opportunities and are more likely to allow you the opportunities to hone new skills. If you are fortunate enough to work in an environment like this, make the most of it.

Attitude Is Everything


It may sound like a cliché, but Hiring Managers are on the lookout for people that they know will benefit their business and attitude plays a huge part in this. Do not underestimate the importance that is placed on cultural fit during an interview process. 

Whether you are looking to make a move internally or externally, you should demonstrate your intrigue and willingness to learn. If you already have a strong record of progression within your current career, this will benefit you moving forward. When it comes to preparing, take time to dive into the world of Data Science, attend events and meet-ups, and continue to widen your remit. If you don’t have exposure to Data Science at work then you will also need to be learning SQL, Python and R at home to ensure you have a firm understanding of all the relevant technologies. 

Whatever role you are looking for, the worst thing you can do is not apply. One of the most common mistakes we see is analysts not applying to an opportunity because they would need to develop in some areas once in the role. If you are able to demonstrate the above attributes many enterprises, particularly agencies and consultancies, may still be willing to take you on. And, if you’re not looking to make a move, don’t panic; Web Analytics skillsets remain highly sought-after and valuable.

Whether you’re looking for a new career in Data Science or your next role in Web Analytics, we may have a job for you.

Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more.  

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With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.

Visit our Blogs & News portal or check out the related posts below.

How Web Analytics Can Help Grow Your Business

Six months ago, many businesses had big plans for the new year, and the new decade. Little did we know the year had big plans of its own. So, how can businesses put their best foot forward now? Web Analytics. Understanding your Web Analytics helps you understand your customers. And, as everything stays online for the foreseeable future, you’ll be better placed to understand what demographics and desires drove the customer to your site, how you and your business can improve, and you can ultimately grow your business. So, how can Web Analytics help you? Understand Where Your Customers Come From Enhance Their Experience. Consider how your visitors come to your site – phone, tablet, laptop – and how you can optimise your site to best suit these devices. When you understand their demographic – age, gender, interest, location – you can use this information to enhance their experience through your customer-driven business decisions.  Know What Your Best Content Is and How it Draws Visitors to Your Site Visitors, views, page actions, and more all tell your business how your site is performing and what people like see and read. For example, if you have a ‘best day’ or ‘most read’ tag, find out what it was people identified with, and do more of it. Keep things fresh. Curate Your Content with SEO in Mind When you know your visitors, you can use search engine optimisation (SEO) to gain better visibility, rank higher on search engines, create content focused on what customers want to know based on their demographics and interests. Track and Analyse Your Metrics Align Analytics with Your Business Strategy  By aligning your data, analytics, and business strategies, you’ll have a clear view of your mission, your business objectives and goals, and data-driven solutions to inform your business strategies. Trust Your Team to Make Informed Decisions from the Frontlines Standardise Processes and Tools Explain Clearly to Eliminate Roadblocks to Change  As businesses return to a new normal and begin to rebuild, leaders will want to reassess business models. Though ways of doing business are new for everyone, many consumers say they’ll continue to use digital channels into the future. Make AI and Web Analytics Resources a Priority Look For and Hire Talent from Unexpected Places This has been a time to reassess change in not only business practices, but careers. Distance and remote learning have provided opportunities for those interested in pursuing new paths to upskill themselves for future jobs. Or if you see a professional in your business with potential, this is also an ideal time to reskill those workers ready for a change. Offer training, classes, and more to help drive interest. Build Your Data Strategy More Aggressively Identify risk through an audit of your existing models at the operational, risk, and financial areas and keep a close eye using model-validation. Having this information can help your business to better inform your decisions and reassess your business practices from just a few years ago. Don’t get caught up in one form or another of Data. Be sure to include both external and internal Data in your audit. Having this information can help you decide which Data should be cleansed, what information should inform improvements, and how standardisation can help ensure your Web Analytics metrics keep your business running for the future. From stakeholders to business leaders to employees on the frontlines, everyone is learning at a rapid rate. Ensuring everyone is on the same page with an eye to processes and standardisation can help to position your business for scalability.  Much has changed from January to June, but if you’re ready for the new normal, we may have a role for you. If you’re interested in Big Data & Analytics or other Data professional opportunities, take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more.  

The Evolution Of CRM Marketing – A Q&A With Catherine Allan

We recently spoke to Catherine Allan, an Associate Director of CRM at Babylon health, a Digital healthcare service with a mission to put accessible and affordable health service into the hands of everyone.  After starting her career in journalism, Allan moved into Marketing, a seemingly natural transition given her copywriting experience. Given the transformation in technology and the use of Data within Marketing, she has seen the significant impact that it has had within the space.  Reflecting on what attracted her into CRM Marketing in the first place, she explains, “It’s that ability to really get to know the audience, what they look like. You have a very defined group of people that you can look at exactly how they are responding – you can get to know their likes, dislikes and respond to them in ways that you can engage them more. You can keep them working with or using your product or organisation”.  Initially working for Ten Lifestyle Group, her clients varied from travel businesses to large financial brands. Like many at the time, they had their traditional methods but, as would soon become a trend within the industry, they started to change things up. Allan expands, “We started experimenting with CRM with the members of our concierge to see if we could. How much better would those people respond to tailored communication over those who received a newsletter of generic stuff?”. Enter the use of Data to tailor CRM offerings. Their first application was to their travel clients, “If we knew someone had a skiing holiday versus a holiday in September one year, we would follow up the following year. Isn’t it time to pick a holiday?”. It seems natural now, but it signified that shift from the mass-communication to segmented customer profiles.  As Marketing teams became more Data-driven, however, customers had to get used to that change of communication. Allan remembers the shift well, “When I first started in CRM, it wasn’t personalised at all but I started to see that people got more used to you knowing their Data and using it. It became less freaky to show that you knew something about them. At the beginning, we were having to be careful about how much we evidenced that we knew, you couldn’t really say I know you’ve had a Ski Holiday. But over the course of the years people have started to expect that, almost like it would be weird if marketeers didn’t know that. The culture towards that use of Data and personalisation has changed”.   However, she explains, there is a limit, “With what people are expecting from your CRM, there is a scaling to how you present stuff. You don’t want to be creepy, you don’t want to overstep it by knowing too much”.  Now, moving into the health-tech space at Babylon, her work revolves around the products that they have on the market. Everything from applications that allow you to log your mood and sync your wearable tech, through to a health check function where you’re given a digital twin of your body. The use of Data within these products is, of course, on another level. The products produce Data-driven recommendations that are very specific to each users. She explains, “obviously in the Marketing team we don’t have access to people’s health records or any health information which they input into the app. So it’s about finding the right cadence to actually engage people with the product, as well as personalising using the Data we can see, such as demographics. Men and women have different health concerns and they differ for younger and older age groups.” Moving into the health space has opened up a different way of engaging with customers. Allan and her team were able to use their Data and produce newsletters that actually engaged their audience on a wider basis. She expands, “We found great success in sending regular newsletters just about health in general, people love to know how they compare to other people and they also want to know to be empowered to manage their own health”.  Naturally, a company like Babylon feel the pressures of a global pandemic in what their customers expect from them to say and do. This is exactly what Allan’s team are now focused on. “When the pandemic came to the UK, as a healthcare company the first thought for the Marketing team was how can we support our members? What can we offer which is unique to Babylon which will add value. The answer we came to was offering information, guides and videos verified by doctors to counteract all those false stories out there about COVID-19”.  Despite the technology to innovate, with things like interactive emails and unique content, there was still a need to strip things back. As Allan explains, “people are anxious, they are worried, they just want the right information, you’ve already got their attention”.  Her team was responsible for launching this new product to members and developing lifestyle communications, whilst also keeping the members engaged and updated. Naturally, the communication during the pandemic shifted, “We upped our newsletter frequency from twice a month to twice a week for the first three weeks of lockdown, then down to once a week, a cadence which we are still maintaining with no drop off in interest” What were the results of these changes? “Our open rates went up, our click through rates went up and our unsubscribes reduced, although they were very low to start with) We reduced sends to once a week when we felt that there was less to say, which I think was better than continuing to send more and becoming boring. Our results over the last 6 weeks have been off the charts averaging a 34% open rate across the whole base of subscribers vs the 24% we were averaging before.”  It’s clear that regardless of industry, from lifestyle to healthcare, the world of CRM has progressed. The information that we gather on customers is evolving, as is the way that we can speak to those customers too. One thing is clear however, from Allan’s experience, especially in the current circumstances, nothing takes away from a clear message.  If you’re looking for your next CRM role or to build out your team, Harnham may be able to help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

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