Data is everywhere. It gives us a world of insights into why certain tactics work and others don’t. It enables our teams to make strategic decisions that can significantly improve our campaigns, allow us to replicate these successes, and learn from the mistakes we’ve made.
I love working with data, but I wasn’t always so sure it was something I wanted to pursue—until I interviewed with 2X Marketing.
During my interview, I was honest with Managing Director, Yong Siew Mee, and Director of Digital Innovation, Sean Wong. Yes, I’ve dipped my toes into data, but I was far from well versed. Despite my apprehension, they encouraged me to apply as a data analyst and assured me, “If you want to pivot in the future, you can decide on another role within 2X.”
It turned out to be the best of both worlds—I was now in the marketing industry, working with data. I quickly found that this was just the beginning of many firsts. Soon enough, what started out as a passion for data had turned into a full-blown career.
In just three years, I went from a fresh data analyst to a senior manager. Roles aside, here’s how I was able to master data analytics so quickly, and how working with 2X has enabled my rapid career progression in B2B marketing:
Step 1: Expose Yourself to Different Skills and Data Aspects
From day one, you’ll be encouraged to build upon your technical skills—from Excel, to SQL, to Python, and beyond. 2X enrolled me in Data Science 360, a comprehensive four-week data boot camp to start. It covered every aspect of data science, from programming to big data analysis. We’re also given access to DataCamp, an interactive learning portal that helps us build upon our data skills.
However, what you learn in theory will only take you so far.
You have to know how to use those tools and knowledge to facilitate your work, see the bigger picture, and understand the role data plays in marketing. Being able to unlock actionable insights, tie everything together, and tell a compelling story are skills that only come with real-world experience.
I’ve learned that one of the key differences between a good analyst and one that stands out from the rest of the pack, is the ability to clearly explain your findings. Data visualization is one thing, but being able to tell your story with data in a compelling way is another. Why does campaign A have a higher conversion rate than campaign B? How do you spot a pattern, unlock insights, use that data to support your conclusion, and make your case clearly and concisely?
It takes a lot of practice to make your work stand out, and you’ll have ample opportunity to do that with a multitude of international clients across various industries at 2X. Here are some rules I live by:
1. “Garbage in, garbage out” is a basic, but powerful one.
The quality of your data will determine the quality of your result, so if you have garbage data from the get-go, there’s no point doing anything with it until you clean it up.
2. Be organized, stay up to date.
I can’t stress this one enough. A comprehensive understanding of your data sources, keeping your data up to date, and knowing every table to a T is going to help tremendously when you need to tie everything together and deliver real-time, data-driven marketing engagements.
3. Find a compelling story and frame it according to your audience.
You’ll learn that it’s equally as important to be able to convey your findings as it is to uncover them. It’s all too common for analysts to assume their audience knows what the graphs and charts mean, only to get lost in the statistics when presenting. Your visualization should be framed around the level of knowledge your audience has on the topic at hand.
Step 2: Take Opportunities That Get You Out of Your Comfort Zone
Working at 2X means having the opportunity to do everything from the ground up—from gathering, transforming, and analyzing data to simple machine learning. How does this set us apart?
Elsewhere, these data functions are typically broken down and you’d likely be assigned to one specific task (at the risk of getting bored with the limitations of a singular data function).
At 2X, you can expect to come across all of these tasks at some point or another. By exposing you to a variety of data aspects, and working on projects from scratch, you’ll be able to master the A to Z of data analytics in no time.
Step 3: Make the Most of a Strong Support System
Bear in mind, I started at the deep end with basic knowledge about data. I was one of two data analysts at the time. At first, it was a struggle. I was afraid to ask questions. I didn’t want my new bosses to think I didn’t know what I was doing. Instead, I spent countless hours Googling things on the side, trying to figure things out on my own. As I settled in and got more comfortable in my role and with the company, I realized how open and willing my colleagues and the management were to help—and how much stress and time I could have saved if I had just asked.
If you’re facing a problem, someone else at 2X has very likely struggled with (and solved) the same issue. Your managers and peers possess a wealth of expertise, experience, and best practices to back you. Tap into those lessons learned across all teams so that you can spend your time on higher-priority tasks.
I remember having to work on an analysis once, but I had no idea where to start. I reached out for help, and one of our senior analysts spent a few hours after work patiently guiding me on how I could approach it. This is the kind of nurturing culture at 2X that has helped me learn quickly, be more productive, and stay motivated. The best part is, the support is genuine.
My journey from data analyst to senior manager hasn’t been without its challenges, but sometimes you’re lucky enough to find a company that encourages learning, fosters growth, and enables you to succeed in unexpected ways.
Want to work in a company that lets you explore career options and enables rapid career progression? Get in touch with us today.