I am pleased to report that the talent level and the talent supply in the space have come a long way in the past six years.
I have been really impressed with the breadth and depth of knowledge that 2-3 year analysts have lately. We are working with a crop of talent at the moment that you could never have dreamed of finding back in 2006.
The candidates that we are now representing have experience in at least two channels of digital data: site, social, mobile, search, display, digital research, testing, etc.
Many are combining digital data with offline data sources to inform and refine their analysis. At the 2-3 year level!
The bar has definitely been raised.
In 2006, if you posted an ad for a web analyst you would get back financial analysts, programmers and digital producers. Today you will get some web analysts. They will be what we call “the usual suspects,” but they will have a lot of the right words on their resumes.
If we had our current crop of candidates back in 2006 we could have taken over the world. These folks have amazing combinations of digital analytics and BI, CRM, SAS, SQL, etc. At the 2-3 year level they are pulling data from all of these different sources, generating reports and making presentations with recommendations to stakeholders. You would have a hard time finding a director of analytics that could do this type of work six years ago.
So good news on two fronts:
- There are more 2-3 year analysts in existence.
- 2-3 year analysts today are much better than they were in 2006
The bad news is that our clients’ requirements and expectations have also evolved. Their environments are much more complex. The expectations for their analytics teams are high. Their budgets are constrained. Their needs are increasingly specific.
More and more, they need people that can understand their business. They need people that can function effectively across technical, business and quantitative issues and stakeholders.
As if that wasn’t enough, they need people that fit their culture. They need candidates that are properly motivated and won’t abandon them for 10% more money in 6-months. They need this person to work in a certain location. They need him to be able to grow in a particular direction. There are a lot more moving parts in a 2012 digital analytics search.
One thing that has stayed the same is the motivation of our candidates. Today, when we ask candidates about their motivation we get the exact same answer that got in 2006: They want to make an impact on the business. They don’t want to be tool jockeys. New tools, same story. Déjà vu all over again.