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8 Facts About Marketing Data Analysts

You just completed your online grocery order.

Everything went smoothly and you managed to pick up a few deals. However, at some point during the purchase, you had trouble deciding between two brands of cookies. You put both in the cart but ultimately decided on the mango-flavoured ones because you’ve never tried them before.

Behind the scenes during your purchase, there was data being collected. Specifically, you decided to remove an item from your cart. This data becomes a powerful tool for market data analysts when they are trying to understand consumer behaviour.

It’s all about the numbers and their interpretation when it comes to being a market data analyst. Find out more about this analytical profession in the article below!

1. Marketing Data Analysts analyze data

Marketing data analyst are responsible for:

collecting, analyzing and interpreting data to help businesses with decision making processes. They work with business teams to devise hypotheses and objectives and determine what data would be required to answer these questions. With the data collected they apply a wide range of statistical and quantitative analysis methods which they then interpret into actionable plans.

These professionals work collaboratively with marketing staff by helping them to validate their marketing, digital and product team plans. Different methods can be used to create these plans however a common way is to develop statistical/mathematical models. These models for example can predict likely consumer behaviours such as their customer’s lifetime value. This takes into account age, demographic information and spending habits.

At it’s core the job of a market data analyst is to collect, interpret and present data. They will collect data that helps to answer a research question and uncover insights that lead to solutions. This could involve setting metrics that track how many products are sold in a particular month. Nonetheless a key component for their role is how they present their findings. They have to take dense numerical data and turn into something digestible for other staff members. These data transformations come in the form of dashboards, metrics, presentations and reports.

Overall, using their insights market data analysts develop solutions and strategies to business opportunities and challenges.

2. Market Data Analysts collect data

Before a data analyst even analyzes any data they need to identify a question that they would like to answer. Questions could include:

  • How many sales were completed during this quarter?
  • How often does a customer complete a purchase after they go through this many steps on the website?
  • Are mango flavoured cookies a viable product flavour for this market segment?

After they know the question they want to be answered they can get to work. The first step is to explore if their company is already tracking data which could answer these questions. Sources of data include web traffic data, email lists or grocery sales purchasing records. If this isn’t the case than they will explore and find ways to acquire it.

Marketing data analysts have to consider the cost of tracking data because it isn’t always cheap. Gathering data such in the case of surveys and product samples can take a lot of time and money. Some data can be collected from outside research firms or is made freely available such as the case with Google Trends and Analytics.

Considering all these factors is a necessity!

3. Market Data Analysts translate data

After the market data analyst has collected their data then move onto to the translation stage. While keeping in mind their research question they will comb through the data. Commonly marketing data analysts will track metrics such as:

  • Number of sign-ups
  • Number of purchases
  • The number of units sold for a variety of a product

However, marketers make sure that they are not fixated on “vanity” metrics such as the number of views on a website or the number of followers. Instead, they think about their end goals such customer loyalty and how many actually make a purchase. Translating data effectively can lead to uncovering what is and what is not working for an organization.

4. Market Data Analysts have degrees in the field of computer science

As a key member of the marketing team, a marketing data analyst needs to have a strong aptitude for data science/analysis. Therefore, it’s common for these professionals to have degrees in business, statistics, mathematics, computer science, finance, business administration.

However, some companies depending on their size may require a master’s or even post-doctorate degree in a relevant field. In contrast, others may only require a college diploma in business administration, sales or another related field. It is key that the newly hired market data analyst can show evidence that they have proficiency in data analysis with an ability to manipulate large datasets and distill them into thoughtful conclusions. They also need to have strong proficiency in data analysis tools such as Adobe or Google Analytics. Expertise in at least one programming language such as Python and R are a necessity.

Students are encouraged to go on LinkedIn and look at some of your favourite product brands. Look at the individuals that work there and see their career path. This can provide valuable insights to the companies hiring style.

5. Marketing Data Analysts know different types of programming

As marketing becomes more data driven more tasks require a bit of coding. Instead of manually performing some tasks marketing data analysts choose to automate repetitive ones through the use of programming languages.

Four common programming languages for marketers are SQL, Javascript, Python and Bash. Each programming language has it’s strength’s so it’s up to the marketer to decide what is best for the them. Programming helps marketers because it opens a new set of skills they can use to market. For example, when shopping online many times you will notice that you are recommended certain products based on what is in your cart. This is was a result of a coding where are a program was built to create product recommendation.

Knowing how to code will provide you a distinct advantage over the competition. Additional data tools such as SPSS Statistics and SPSS Modeller is common for market researchers.

No one can predict the future however marketing data analysts try to do it anyways. These professionals try to follow trends and predict what will be popular in the future. This field of analytics is known as a predictive modelling. Predictive modelling may involve involve artificial intelligence (AI) where it can be used for example to predict what the next popular beverage. If you are familiar with fashion microtrends many stores use AI to determine trends and consumer demand patterns. The use of AI is becoming more prominent in the fields of data science because of it’s ability to mine large amounts of data and reduce time.

7. Marketing Data Analysts work in teams

Marketing Data Analysts play a critical role on project teams because they provide quantitative findings that support their team members ideas. Data helps to connect the dots and helps to get the right messages and right offers to customers.

Co-workers in the department for example may want to explore if their idea for dragonfruit flavoured cookies is viable. Marketing data analysts will dig into the data to see if this is the case. They will then translate this data to their team members in the form of presentations, reports and figures.

It’s common for them to also set up dashboard for team members to track their progress so the data flow is automated. A simple metric they might track is how many times are two flavours of cookies purchased at the same time. The dashboard could work like a gauge turning from red to green once they hit their goals.

Additionally, marketing analysts will be in the thick of meetings when it comes to planning their company’s next move. They can provide insights to other staff members as to what campaigns are doing well and provide direction in the planning of the next one.

They will enable teams with key information to understand the current marketing & customer landscape, inform and motivate customer behaviour and shape strategy.

8. Marketing Data Analysts are curious, team players and creative

Being a Marketing Data Analyst requires a wide range of skills. However, there are a few which are more essential than others. Important market data analyst skills include:

  • Creative– Although market data analysts have strong technical skills they also need to be creative in how they extract and use data. It takes creativity to define business questions and develop original hypotheses. As well, creativity is needed to promote data visualization such as the use of colours, texts, tables and figures to understand what the data is saying.
  • Curious – Marketing Data Analysis are like investigators constantly asking questions and stretching boundaries to determine the answers to big questions. They are always wondering questions like “what would happen to X if we did Y?” Curiosity encourages innovation and drives passion on projects.
  • Team Players- Not everyone is able to effectively interpret raw data like a marketing data analysts do. Therefore, the need to translate this information in a way that is best for the team. Market Data Analysis help teams out with their ideas by finding evidence to support the continuation of their ideas.

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