Analytics director: A day in the life

Ever wondered what it takes to succeed in a data analytics role? Read on for some real-world insight from WorkReduce director of analytics
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As director of analytics at WorkReduce, I wanted to share a glimpse at what a 'day in the life' looks like in my role. I hope you'll find some valuable tips along the way.

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Every day is different when you work for a global media agency

Each brand has a unique position with extremely detailed characteristics, experience, and culture. My job primarily comes down to telling insightful stories using data, whether that is for pitch decks, experience strategies, quick perspectives, or to gauge brand value.

Advice for succeeding in an analytics role

Any time you are working in analytics, knowing the platforms and tools isn’t enough. You must have a unique understanding of the stakeholders’ interests. Understand the story your stakeholders will react most positively to. Then try to prove your hypothesis, gather the facts, and present your case. Sometimes what you want to be true and what is true are not the same!

I would add that having a deep understanding of how any data are collected will give you a leg up in any scenario.

Acquire specific skills or talents

It’s not necessarily a skill, but being curious has helped me tremendously in my career. It pushes me to find the answers to obscure questions, even if it means a late night or early morning. Additionally, consider the following:

  • Understanding business objectives will always help you frame your inquiries more impactfully.
  • Learning how technology all fits together helps you use tools and not be used by tools.
  • Be careful when you listen, take notes, and clarify questions. This is very important, especially if you present something that attempts to answer a complex question.

Learn how to grow your career in analytics

Training and practice are great, but you can’t beat real-world experience. If you’re just starting, you may have to volunteer or intern with a company that needs analytics. You can also do a lot of analytics using free tools. Excel is a great place to start building charts and reports. If you are looking for real-world data, just Google “Free datasets” –there are thousands and thousands of huge datasets that anyone can use, many of which are funded by your taxpayer dollars!

Before applying for an analytics role, you should check your ego at the door. You will be wrong a lot. Telling a factual story with data is just as much art as science. 

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David Blane is an experienced analytics leader with a diverse background and deep knowledge of marketing data and technology. He utilizes insights from a broad range of sources to produce compelling stories about customers and their behavior, including purchase behavior, affinities, brand value, customer lifetime value, and other models.