One month ago, I started the next chapter in my life. I picked up my belongings and moved out of New York for the first time in my life. My dream came true and I was offered the chance to work for a professional sports team.
Since I was young, I have yearned for the chance to work for a sports team, and it didn’t matter the league. In this case, the NFL and the Washington Redskins had the opening and I was able to secure the job. Also, after studying marketing and working with statistics in sports in college, I knew that I wanted to stats for a job, either on or off the field. In this case, it’s off the field.
My official title is “Digital Media Analyst.” Many people that I have told about this position have asked “What exactly do you do? Do you track the stats of players?” It’s understandable; titles like this and “data scientist” have blown up over the last couple years during the rise of the importance of big data.
So what exactly does a “digital analyst” do? Think of it as like “stat boy” but for off-field performance, not on-field. I’ll try and explain it in a few parts:
1. A Digital Analyst keeps track of a business’s digital footprint.
There are so many aspects to a brand’s “digital footprint.” There is the website, which is the landing page for where consumers want to learn more and complete a CTA. There is social media, where no network is the same and different strategies are needed for each. There is web content like blogs and news articles, whether they be on the brand’s own website or on other websites. There’s email and specifically targeting consumers. In other words, there is a lot that needs to be done online.
That’s where the Digital Analyst steps in. They analyze the performance of all of these different entities. They share what pages are the most popular on a website so writers/editors can replicate that content and sales representatives can give accurate estimates to people willing to buy ads on pages. They share information and discuss tips with social media coordinators. They see what their website is being found under so they can adjust SEO strategies. With an analyst in place, everyone else can focus on content & doing what they do best.
2. A Digital Analyst tries to spot positive and negative trends to grow on.
Groups of data and numbers, over time, show correlations and trends. They can show at any point what type of content works for a certain type of the year. It shows when social media posts are the most popular. Brands and businesses that can capitalize on these trends in a quick and effective manner typically set themselves up for success.
This is where the “analyst” part of the Digital Analyst comes into play. The analyst spots the trends early on. They use their analytics tools and software to track their data and read trends. They are there to spot if social traffic to a website is going down or a type of content series is doing very well online. They see which social networks or style of posts are gaining traction and then trying to find ways to implement them into a marketing strategy. Staying on top of the game and predicting what will happen before it happens can help lead to long-term benefits.
3. A Digital Analyst provides regular, accurate, and clear reports.
There is soooooooooo much data and information out there. It can become very overwhelming at times. Some companies will try to use ALL of this information to make EVERY decision. And if it is not reported clearly and regularly, this can become overwhelming and will slow down production big time.
A digital analyst steps up and does that reporting in a clear fashion. In an earlier blog post, I shared some tips for how to create better and more effective analytics reports. The analyst finds the data that is important to the specific party involved and clearly presents it in a way that everyone can understand.This way, everyone from news editors heavily involved in all social media to traditional executives can clearly understand what is relevant to them. If a Digital Analyst can do this well, their clout in a company will grow significantly.
4. A Digital Analyst has confidence and is not afraid to make definitive decisions.
So with the data gathered and trends discovered, decisions need to be made. These decisions are very important to the success of a brand and can have positive and/or negative effects. Advising a party to make these decisions takes a lot of confidence in the reported data, the trends spotted, and the decisions that will be made.
A Digital Analyst MUST have that confidence to step up and say “Let’s do this because X or Y.” They need to justify why a company hired them so making confident and data-supported decisions is a ticket to doing that. If right, you gain cred and can be trusted. If wrong, you need to acknowledge what went wrong and how to correct it. But confidence and decision-making skills is so pivotal to growing and gaining experience.
5. A Digital Analyst stays-up-to-date on all the latest software programs and social networks.
Is there a company calling and trying to pitch their new analytics software? Is there a new social network that people are talking all about and is shooting up the App Store downloads list? Some of these are worth a company’s time and money to invest. Some… are not. How can you tell the difference?
A Digital Analyst is typically in charge of reporting the numbers from these networks and using these software tools to generate reports. They need to do their research, get their hands dirty, meet with sales representatives, and gauge how comfortable each is to use. Then, they can see the monetary impact and make decisions on what to use in the future.
The title “Digital Analyst” might be a new one that gained steam thanks to the digital boom, but its importance is not going anywhere anytime soon. They have to juggle a number of responsibilities and be at the top of their game every day. Interested in becoming one? Be aware of these duties you will have to perform and you will find success.