Why Your Business Does(n’t) Need a Data Analyst
Chances are that you’ve heard all about how data analysts can help companies all over the world grow market share, reduce costs, and increase revenue—all at the same time. It’s only natural that you might be wondering whether you should bring a data analyst or two to your company. Are they really worth the hype?
This article will help you decide. We’ll go into what data analysts actually do as well as what kinds of problems they solve and when they can help your own company.
What Does a Data Analyst Do?
A data analyst collects, processes, models, and interprets data in order to solve a specific problem or answer a specific question for the company. Here’s a quick description of each task:
- Data collection: Data can come from many sources, including private company records, publicly available information, and data that the company purchases from a third party. A crucial job of the data analyst is to select data sources that can best solve the problem for the least cost.
- Data processing: Data is rarely “ready to go.” Depending on what the data analyst wants to do with the data, the information may need adjusting and reorganizing so it is in the best format to provide answers. The data also needs to be checked for accuracy and completeness. Data analysts actually spend most of their time processing data before actually running any sort of analysis.
- Data modeling: The data analyst uses the cleaned-up data to generate a model that might help gain insights about the existing data, predict future outcomes from past data, or both. A good data analyst understands the strengths and limitations of different modeling techniques to get the most meaningful results for the company.
- Data interpretation: This is arguably the most important step from the company’s perspective. Even the most sophisticated data models are useless if they don’t help improve the company in some way. It’s up to the data analyst to turn results into meaningful recommendations and actions for the company.
Where Can You Find Data Analysts?
Data analysts are in demand in almost every industry and market segment and in almost every type of team. Here are the most common ones:
- Marketing: Data analysts and marketing teams go hand in hand, especially during call marketing campaigns. A data analyst can help you make sense of your campaign data and can come up with meaningful recommendations, both for current and future campaigns.
- Sales: There’s no question that call intelligence can help drive sales and boost productivity for your sales team. On top of all that, a data analyst can use your call intelligence data to help categorize your customers and focus on those who are most likely to buy.
- Business strategy: Data analysts don’t just focus on the details. Many companies hire data analysts to help make sense of the bigger picture to help guide long-term strategy, goals, and budgeting.
When to Hire a Data Analyst
Now that you know how valuable a data analyst can be, you’re probably wondering why you haven’t hired one already. Nevertheless, before you start writing up that job ad, you want to make sure a data analyst will be valuable for your company. Here are some things to keep in mind.
You Have a Specific Problem to Solve
Data analysts can do wonders to help businesses save money, increase sales, or otherwise improve. However, success happens only when both you and the data analyst understand the problem to be solved. Ideally, the problem or question can’t be solved with some simple calculations or spreadsheets. Here are some examples:
- How can we improve our sales forecasting model?
- How can we categorize our social media followers so that we can better target communications?
- How similar are our products and services to the competition in terms of features, price point, and so on?
- How can we use an 800 vanity number with call tracking to predict whether a customer is more likely to place an order?
If your company finds itself asking these sorts of questions, then consider bringing on a data analyst.
You Have Access to Data
It might seem obvious: data analysts need data to do their jobs. Still, you would be surprised at the number of companies that bring on a new data analyst and are unable—or unwilling—to provide access to the right data. That might include call logs, call tracking information, marketing campaign KPIs, and so on. You should also be willing to invest in third-party datasets, especially if you’re looking to compare yourself to competitors.
Hiring a data analyst with no data to work with is like hiring a call center rep and not providing a phone. Without the right tools, there’s no chance for success.
Make Your Data Work for You With a Data Analyst
If you’re like most companies, you’re simply drowning in data, from digital marketing campaign metrics to data logs from your call tracking service. With a little investment in developing the right questions and providing the right data, a data analyst can be invaluable.
If you’re wondering how to start gathering the right data, we recommend collecting meaningful data for your business with an 800 vanity number with call tracking. All it takes is a few minutes to get started.