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If you ask a digital analyst on how he would like to develop their career he might respond that he would like to get into data modelling or data science. Sometimes a digital analyst might mention he wants to improve his skills on data visualization (using PowerBI or other tool), storytelling with data, stakeholders management, improve tag management skills (using a tool like GTM) or learn a new analytics tool. (like Adobe Analytics)
Based on my exploration, I noticed there is an overlap on some of the actions a digital analyst and a data scientist do.
A proficient digital analyst is more focused on detecting causality and test for statistical significance while data scientists are doing advanced statistical analysis, machine learning or build predictive models.
In the picture below, the actions in column 1 and 2 below can be done by a good analyst and a good data scientist can usually do actions in the columns 2 and 3.
(You can also click on picture below if you want to load it in a new tab on a small screen.)
With an array of tools at the disposal of digital analysts and an even more varied range of skills digital analysts can learn, which ones are worth investing in for 2020?
When it comes to data modelling, research shows some clear top choices: Python, R and SQL.
I have created on twitter in February a short poll to see the level of interest for each and to see also other responses. From 531 votes, Python was the top choice (47.1%) followed by SQL (21.8%) and R (19.4%).
In the “Other” last option the responses in the comments included:
GCP and Azure – 2 mentions
Java, React, Julia, Adobe Analytics and PowerBI – 1 mention
I was happy to see “people skills” mentioned even it was only once but to be fair it wasn’t included in the list of options:
A study made by the McKinsey company shows that not only technological skills but also social and emotional skills will become more important as intelligent machines take over more some of the basic/repetitive tasks.
Regarding the Python top choice it seems that also another study shows similar results for top choice as a modelling coding language
For example, according to the latest trend search on Indeed, Python is said to be the top skill for a data scientist by the percent of jobs.
This is further strengthened by the fact Python is generally considered easier to learn, beats both R and SQL in terms of being a primary modelling coding language.
Python also shows at the top when it comes to one of the most regularly used data science tool.
Google Trends shows a higher interest on “python data science” vs. “r data science”:
What can you do with Python ?
- Data scraping
- Data analysis and mining
- Data visualization
- Natural language processing (NLP)
Links to Python resources and examples:
Python & Search Console – The goal of this exercise is to see if the content of your site is optimised for the search queries that have converted in the past.
Python and Google Sheets/Excel:
Python + Facebook: In 2017, Facebook made itsProphet open source. The forecasting tool is accessible through Python and R and is optimized for businesses to forecast trends, whether they’re hourly, daily, weekly, or seasonal.
Resources on R for digital analytics
Mark Edmondson (doing valuable work for R and analytics)
Check his links in the “Tutorial” footer on the page above.
BigQuery and SQL Resources
Keep in mind that first you or a consultant will need to do the setup with the GA export in BigQuery. Steps here
You could start learning SQL first if you don’t already know it:
After learning SQL you could try some query examples or recipes:
There is also a Google Analytics data sample set for BigQuery available.
If you are at the start of your journey on using SQL try to listen to this Digital Analytics podcast episode 106 dedicated to SQL.
I have posted the poll also on Linkedin and I have received in the comments section also mentions about:
Storytelling with data – 3 mentions
GTM – 2 mentions
Data Science – 1 mention
PowerBI – 1 mention
Adding below also some resources on storytelling with data:
https://community.storytellingwithdata.com/ – I suggest to also check the blog and podcast section
leapica.com (blog and podcast sections)
Tim Wilson also shared the online presentation on data visualization tips from the SuperWeek 2020 event:
My slides from my #superweek presentation on neuroscience, (Gestalt) psychology, and tactical data visualization tips: https://t.co/ffDyhhnxvg @supervveek #spwk . Bizarre intro that included me skipping in a circle locked in arms with @AnalyticsNinja not included.— Tim Wilson (@tgwilson) January 28, 2020