“Analysts are boring”. “Analysts don’t do anything interesting”. “Analysts are detached from the real world”. These are just a selection of the comments which I’ve heard relating to the stereotype associated with the word “Analytics”. I’m sure most people assume that all we do is sit in front of computers in some dark corner of the office, creating overly complicated models no one can understand to try and look smart but actually not providing any new information or providing any benefit to the company.
Well, after 6 months on the Analytics Graduate Scheme travelling across the UK, meeting TV personalities astronauts and more, I don’t think that’s quite true.
It’s fair to say that the work of an analyst is a varied one, and in my current placement within Digital Analytics (integrated within the Digital Marketing team), it’s also quite fast paced too. There’s always something happening, be it a new campaign launch, testing the incremental benefits of different marketing channels or just a general query from another member of the team. The benefits of working so closely with another team is that analytics is included in most if not all decisions; that helps to remove the “detached from the real world” stigma.
Perhaps the most interesting days are those which take place out of the office with clients, at trade shows or elsewhere. It’s easy to get emails and to see names of partners and not think too much of it. Only when you travel to meet these people do you understand the sheer size and scope of the operations required to assist with a small part of one team in one department. There’s so much to learn and to do; these external meetings are undoubtedly the most interesting and useful parts of the job but perhaps it’s not something that people would associate with an analyst.
It feels like an eternity ago, but back in November I attended an event in London called the “Festival of Marketing”. This was a great opportunity to network with both senior directors within the business and external partners, in addition to learning more about the expansive world of digital marketing. There were plenty of other companies there, including the “Doctor Who” advertising team from the BBC, Astronaut Colonel Hatfield (if you’ve seen the ‘Space Oddity’ video on the International Space Station, you might be familiar with him) and also Lord Alan Sugar, of “The Apprentice” fame.
Quite simply there was something strange about meeting these people you’ve heard so much about and seen on TV, and realizing that they are just, well, normal people as well. Ofcourse they are that’s just commonsense but, is it? Only when you’re there standing next to them does it sink in and going back that night to watch the week’s episode of ‘The Apprentice’ after hearing some more… “Personal”…stories was quite a surreal experience and definitely not one which I’d have expected to get on a graduate scheme, let alone an analytical one! I’d say that’s pretty interesting, personally. Coming out with various goodies as well like a box full of trial chocolate bars was just a bonus.
So what was that stereotype about Analysts, again? That we’re a boring, detached and uninteresting group? Well, hopefully this should give you a little bit of insight as to what Analytics is all about. I’ll leave it to you to draw your own conclusion.