What’s an Analyst?

I figured that since I scribe this blog, I should let you know what I do at CDG Solutions. I have a very interesting role at CDG, and one that is slowly starting to pop up in more and more interactive shops. It’s a multi-disciplinary role that requires the ability to use the same basic skill set across a variety of tasks — and learn the details of each unique way of using these skills.

In a nutshell, an Interactive Analyst, looks for connections between ideas and then figures out the best to use the connections to acheive the goals of the client — or to show how well we acheived those goals. Most of the time, this role is specifically an Interactive Marketing Analyst, but that is a silly and arbitrary limitation. At CDG the Interactive Analyst, is involved in many elements of a project, all of which are related to helping a client reach their goals — but not always considered marketing territory.

For example, at CDG the Interactive Analyst works on the information architecture of a website. This may seem odd, but think about how many marketing decisions are made when you decide what the navigation structure or what goes on the home page of a site. You can’t expect someone who has no understanding of information architecture to develop the site structure, but think of the benefits if the person who does do this also is involved in content development, search optimization, and interactive marketing strategy. All of these elements get considered and more importantly connected — because the analyst is involved in so many different places.

It’s not an easy job, sometimes. Staying up-to-date on what Google and the other search engines are doing and what the most effective search engine marketing techniques can be a full time job on its own — so is website activity analysis, marketing strategy, and most other elements of this position. That’s why we’re expanding the Analytics department here at CDG. I hope we never pigeon-hole someone into just focusing on search, email, website activity analysis, marketing strategy or IA work — because I think that defeats the purpose.

Analysts need to be well-rounded people who can see the big picture and the details. I think a good analyst, not only sees the forest, but also sees the trees and the animals that live in the forest and how the weather effects it all. A good analyst can see the whole and how each piece contributes to the success of that whole.

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