How to Manage Your Analytics “Heavy Lifting”

Digital analytics teams on the client and agency side have grown tremendously over the past few years.  Groups that started with 1-2 have routinely grown ten fold.

There are a lot of organizational structures out there, lots of different combinations of data sources and lots of different tools.  One thing that is consistent among all of them is that there is a lot of grunt work to be done.

This becomes a frustration to the team, since they are often bogged down in reporting, tool jockeying, superficial analysis, tagging, QA,… the heavy lifting.  Frankly, it is the reason that most analysts WANT to leave their jobs – because they are stuck doing this stuff all day and they are not having much of an impact on the business.

So what do you do with your “heavy lifting”?  You can automate as much as possible, come up with great workflow improvements, but it doesn’t go away and it keeps growing.

Two years ago I had never heard of eClerx.  In our recent interview with Scott McCartney, he tells us that they have over 150 full time web analysts working in Mumbai supporting US clients.  Companies like Dell and Comscast have dozens of eClerx employees offshore doing the heavy lifting.

eClerx clients seem happy, so that is clearly one way to go… but we see another option taking shape.

This Indeed chart shows the frequency that the phrase “digital analytics internship” is used in a job description.  Hockey stick growth.  The analytics intern market is on fire.

We decided to test the market with a series of blog posts and email campaigns featuring the profiles of recent Analysis Exchange graduates.

I don’t think we have ever had a better response to a campaign.   Companies on the client side and the agency side are trying to solve this heavy lifting problem by hiring interns and junior analysts.

We currently have a survey circulating on best practices for hiring and managing Interns & junior analysts.  The results of that survey will be published shortly, but there is no denying the momentum of this trend.

Our company has gone from placing onesies and twosies to designing and developing customized junior analyst programs for clients.

The great thing about these programs is the payoff at the end… After the junior analyst has done your heavy lifting for a year you have the option to hire them. They are essentially your farm team.  You can call them up to the big show when/if they are ready and you have an opening.

Whether or not you hire the analyst at the end of the year, everyone kicks a goal.  The junior analyst gets a year of incredibly valuable experience and should have no trouble finding a job.

That is why we are such big supporters of the Analysis Exchange and big fans of UBC, MarketMotive and companies like Cardinal Path that conduct training and credentialing programs in digital analytics.  That is also one of the reasons why we are hosting a Digital Analytics Career Boot Camp in NY in November, 2012.  My team needs pipelines into this junior analyst community.

How does your team manage the heavy lifting?  Please send me a note at [email protected] if you would like to discuss… or you can just participate in our survey.


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