Even though I focus mostly on recruiting and placing senior digital and multichannel marketers, I have a special place in my heart for analysts. Maybe that’s because I took tons of math and statistics in college, or perhaps it’s because I began my recruiting career recruiting circulation analysts for catalog clients back in the late 80’s and placed a ton of marketing statisticians in the 90’s (I actually placed a CRM analyst just a few months ago). Not only do I enjoy talking their language and appreciate their digital analytics skills, I enjoy educating employers on what to look for when hiring this type of highly specialized talent because many are about as familiar with the intricacies of web analytics as they are with Mesopotamian banking. Welcome to my world as a web analytics recruiter!
So, for those looking for a web analytics hiring primer, this post is for you.
The Web Analyst often occupies a thought leadership role in the measurement and analysis of digital marketing campaigns. Their job is to perform all marketing campaign and ROI analysis for online marketing advertising and web-related activities. This includes user response, website conversions, attrition rates, customer segmentation, lifetime value analysis, brand research and site utilization. They also produce marketing campaign reports and participate is delivering and explaining results to internal marketing decision makers or external clients.
What to Look for:
Mathematical and Statistical Expertise
You’re looking for a math whiz, folks. Someone who loves to analyze numerical data, organize it, interpret it and apply it. You want them to have a degree in a highly quantitative discipline such as mathematics, statistics, engineering, computer science, psychology, sociology or the like. Sometimes you’ll find candidates with other majors, such as liberal arts, who have a very strong quantitative aptitude, but that is usually the exception. If they don’t have a quantitative-related degree, consider administering a test to measure their numerical and digital analytics skills.
You want your web analyst to not only be a numbers geek, you want them ideally to be able to explain this stuff to people with math-a-phobia. Many marketers, including key business decision makers, simply don’t have the time or aptitude to interpret data analyses. Find someone with strong analytic chops who can cross the left brain right brain divide, and you’re golden. This is easy to qualify in a face-to-face interview situation. Ask the candidate to describe some sample projects and how they translated their findings into business-speak. If you’re looking only for a heads down, green-shade data cruncher and nothing more, then of course focus on the technical requirements listed below.
Marketers don’t particularly get excited when they see tables of numbers, but give them something they can visualize like a colorful pie chart or bar graph, and they get warm and tingly. So, it’s important that your web analyst candidate knows Excel and other reporting and visualization tools to lay out their findings in a way that non-quants will quickly and easily pick up.
Variety of Data
Web analysts have data coming at them from every direction, so make sure their digital analytics skills includes experience with different kinds of numbers including each of the following: Behavioral data, competitive data, financial data, ad performance data and social media metrics.
“Must Have” tactical digital analytics skills.
Make sure the candidate has experience with at least two of the tools in each of these areas:
– Analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, also IBM Unica Netinsight is nice to have
– Tag management
– Conversion Tracking
– Statistical tools such as SAS or SPSS
– Data visualization tools such as Many Eyes, Google Fusion Tables and/or Tableau