Death Of The Data Analyst: Intelligence For All

Historically, data analysts were very much like prophets within the organization. They could look at all the data an organization had and offer insights to help teams make smart decisions.

The only problem was, the insights weren't exactly timely. In fact, it could take months to analyze data and then put it into a format that was consumable to the average employee.

In today's world, data analysis is a skill set that everyone within the organization needs--to some degree. "The ability to extract value from data by processing it, visualizing it, and communicating it is going to be an essential skill in the next decade," said Hal Varian, chief economist at Google.

A new report by Adobe, CMO.com's parent company, explores the notion of data democratization, or the act of breaking down informational silos within an organization, to allow everyone in the organization to make data-driven decisions related to their jobs.

Brands are already getting behind the idea of making everyone within the organization a data-driven storyteller. POPSUGAR, as an example, restructured its marketing organization, bringing analysts and content strategists into one group to help fuel data-driven content strategies.

Royal Bank of Scotland, also featured in the report, has worked hard toward democratizing data within the organization:

The challenge is, there's no one-size-fits-all approach to data democratization; the path will be different for every company. But the need is certainly there. According to the report, two-thirds of respondents (67%) to an Adobe survey reported being highly dependent on analysts to answer even basic questions.

Additionally, only 13% felt empowered to run with the data entirely on their own. Not surprisingly, a lack of training seemed to be an important factor. Seventy-two percent of the high dependency group were offered no analytics training whatsoever, compared with 36% of all respondents.

The report encourages companies to build a foundation for democratizing analytics and outlines a road map on how to figure out what’s right for your organization.

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