Two decades back, buzz word in the industry was to collect and store data to ensure valuable information is not undermined. However, today industry is seeing a paradigm shift of generating valuable insights from the stored data.
The word “Analytics” is gaining prominence worldwide and experts are working hard to provide precise definition to this brand name. It is the process of breaking a problem into simpler parts, using the available data to solve these problems and finally acting on the insights generated to make business decisions. It is not a tool or a technology; is a way of thinking and acting.
Every industry needs analytics right from collecting information, rationalizing the storage of valuable information, tracking and reporting the trends and use the historical information to predict futuristic trends. Depending on the priorities of a company, ability to digest analytical insights, growth plans and gaining edge over the competition, one should invest in analytical talent.
Roles within Analytics
Business Analyst – This is an entry level role. Graduates in any discipline with an affinity to handle data report numbers is the basic criteria. Companies look for the following skill sets for this level:
- Knowledge of MS-Excel and key data mining functionalities within Excel
- Ability to frame simple hypotheses
- Use inferential statistics to dig deeper and find answers to these hypotheses
- Present the report in a concise power point presentation with charts and graphs
- Working knowledge of SAS, SPSS, R or SQL will be an added advantage
Statistician – This is a specialist role. Post graduates or Ph.D. in statistics, econometrics or relevant discipline with a strong foundation of data analysis concepts is the basic criteria. Companies look for the following skill sets for this level:
- Ability to recommend technically robust solutions to drive strategic business decision making
- Train and mentor business analysts to set up the framework
- Ability to translate complex statistical concepts in a client interpretable form
- Strong understanding of pros and cons of different statistical techniques used in analytics packages; SAS, SPSS and R
- Ability to defend the recommended solution against industry benchmarks
Software Developer – Graduates with very strong quantitative aptitude and experience in developing products is the basic criteria. Companies look for the following skill sets for this level:
- Ability to grasp the analytical need from a technology requirements perspective
- Ability to propose ways to handle data integrity
- Strong knowledge of best in class and cost effective technology
- Ability to streamline, support and maintain the process
- Ability to create a visualization layer for analytical outputs; be it big or small data
- Working knowledge of SAS, R, SQL, Java and Hadoop will be a strong advantage
Domain Expert – All of the above mentioned roles within analytics may not be effective without a domain expert. DE needs to have a complete understanding of the client business. Companies look for the following skill sets for this level:
- Architect smaller to enterprise level analytical solutions for business stakeholders
- Develop the analytical framework in line with industry benchmarks
- Translate requirements to the execution team
- Collaborate with clients to drive the implementation
- Monitor the impact on business decisions to enhance the solution capabilities
For e.g. a retail domain expert, among other functions of retail domain should have a complete understanding of the shopper marketing framework, be able to design solutions required to get a full view of retail shoppers, provide benchmarks on techniques used, set up the right team required for development and collaborate and drive actionable insights with the client to enhance end customer experience.