In the tech industry, one of the hottest topics right now is cyber security with the all-important question: how do we protect our data? Yet, on the other end of the spectrum is the data itself. What data are we talking about, and what’s so important about it that people want to try and steal it?
Let’s start with the most basic question of what data is. The list is not finite, however, here’s a few to get us started:
This is just a snapshot of what is constituted data in businesses.
Data isn’t just about numbers or percentages. It can be classified as anything knowledge-related, whether that be textual data, graphic elements such as logos or machine data. Simply put, anything on your computer or server could be considered data in some way.
A data analyst is someone who collects and analyses data, which they then translate into meaningful business information. Or, for those of us who are cringing right now, scratching our heads – data analysts translate numbers and data into English.
They not only need to be able to translate this data into something regular people can understand, but they also need to be able to explain the differences between different data.
Some of their main roles within an organisation include:
You’re probably sitting there thinking, that’s all well and good, but why is it so important to analyse data in your organisation. There are five main reasons you should be employing data analysts within your business.
By utilising your in-house data analyst specialists, you can find out how well you’re reaching your customers. Is your advertising bringing people in to buy your products? And what aspects of your advertising are having the biggest impact? These are some of the questions that can be answered.
This one is a little multifaceted. By collating all your customer data, you can start predicting client behaviour, conversion rates and identify their demographics. For any kind of business, this kind of information is what can push you into bigger and better things.
Although you (hopefully) already have a cyber security specialist in-house, data analysts can also help with the protection of your data. If you’ve had a data breach, they can diagnose the causes of these by processing and visualising relevant data. This can then help to determine the course and origins of the attack, allowing you to patch the system and prevent future vulnerabilities.
How many times have you wished for a crystal ball to see into the future? Well, having a data analyst on staff is the closest you’re going to get. With your client statistics, they can analyse their behaviour to predict future trends, gaps, and needs. This will give you an edge over your competitors, while keeping your company and outlook fresh.
Overall, making sure you’re analysing your data properly means that you have something to base your business plan and strategy on. This in turn will filter into all aspects of your business. You will save money on inefficient advertising and marketing, improve customer returns, find better ways to protect your data and save time.
So now we’ve agreed that having an in-house data analyst is an advantage for your business, how do you find the right person for the job? The answer: they probably already work for you! Often people have so many hidden talents, but just never had the right opportunity to find them or utilise them.
The advantage of finding someone already within your company is threefold: they’ve gone through the vetting process, so you know they’re trustworthy, you don’t have the expense of hiring someone new and they already know how the business works. It’s also a great opportunity for your employees to upskill or reskill and move forward in their career.
Perhaps the best bit of all, is that the Australian Government currently has funding opportunities for businesses who want to upskill or reskill existing employees. CTIA has a Data Analyst program that is perfect for those already working and only takes six months to complete! So rather than saying, “I’ll look into that later”, do it now! There really are no drawbacks.