We receive questions from time to time about how to acquire digital analytics experience, sometimes in a very specific sector. Here’s an example of a question from Peter:
I work in financial industry and looking to learn analytics related to my financial industry.
What kind of courses available, etc.?
To Peter and others who are looking to learn analytics, please start by thinking about the following:
- What area of digital analytics are you interested in? Marketing/campaign optimization analytics? Predictive analytics?
- If you’re not sure, what types of business situations are you hoping to improve or increase ROI?
- What’s unique about your specific industry? Where does customer value come from?
- For example, for financial services, loyalty and retention to grow customer share of wallet are perhaps more important than acquisitions of new customers.
Courses are a good investment to develop a strong foundation to build upon. They teach you standard tactics and techniques for analytics. Some workshops and programs are:
- University of British Columbia Digital Analytics
- McMaster University Web Analytics
- Digital Analytics Association BaseCamps
- There may be relevant courses on Coursera.org
However, deep analytics expertise cannot be gained through courses alone. You have to do the hands-on work to build and strengthen you analytics neurones. Practice the ‘thinking’ of analytics. Expand your analytics experience by absorbing the learnings of numerous case studies, and then trying them out yourself.
To acquire knowledge specifically to benefit the financial industry, read blogs, develop your list of favourite social sources of information and scour the agendas of conferences and networking events. Analysts need to apply knowledge to deliver value. So don’t just attend financial industry sessions. Learn from other industries. Discuss and ask “why?” to understand why the presenter got the results they did. Some conferences & groups that may be useful are:
- eMetrics Conference
- Predictive Analytics World Conference
- Network at a local DAA chapter. Perhaps attend a DAA Symposium, held in various cities across the USA, recently expanded to Germany. Join the Digital Analytics Association.
- Examine the agendas of marketing conferences, such as the Canadian Marketing Association’s national convention June 4-5, 2013. On June 4, there are 10 tracks devoted to Insights and Analytics, including 6 case studies. Although not yet published live, one case study is from the financial industry.
Look for local networking opportunities where you can find out about even more opportunities. For example, in Toronto, one that may be of interest is the Toronto Data Science Meetup group.
To become a proficient analyst valuable to your company, being able to apply learning is more important than knowledge itself. Without applied learning, you will not be able to scale the analytics pyramid, and deliver ROI and value to your company.
We hope this helps! Please comment and let us know.