Analytics = Most Desirable Skill (And Largest Talent Gap) For 2014

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I’ve  previously written how we need more people with serious data chops. In that story I pointed to several recent reference points (qualitative and quantitative) of the increasing demand, yet limited supply of Analytics-savvy professionals.

So it was great to see recent research from OMI echoing this (shown above, and more here). A quick quote from the story shows the importance of Analytics both on the brand and agency side:

The report surveyed 747 executives from amongst the Fortune 500 companies, on the state of play with regard to digital marketing skills and training.

…Large brands seem to prefer analytics and mobile marketing as they most coveted digital marketing skills. As mobile technologies are set to be very important to the advertising will in 2014, it is no surprise that 50% of those surveyed, identified mobile as an important skill, but only 29% believed their talent is better a stronger than competing teams. Digital agencies on the other hand identified their most coveted digital marketing skills as mobile, analytics, and marketing automation.

And this is no surprise. Analytics is a meta-layer for marketing, PR product development and really any digital profession. I personally do not see how anyone can most effectively do their job without solid analysis skills.

But the talent gap is still obviously real. Besides personally keeping a monthly Analytics column and speaking at events globally, our wider Analytics team at Google is helping scale education with the launch of our Analytics MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). What’s especially cool is 145,000+ students signed-up for the first in what will be a series of courses there.

As someone who is truly excited about data, this is why I’m passionate: it’s an area for learning / growth for all of us and the opportunity is now. And more than that, Analytics is a lot of fun: it lets us focus our efforts, share results, optimize what’s working and stop doing what isn’t. Ultimately it gets you closer to your users and improves your business. If you don’t love that, you’re in the wrong field.

Hat tip Jessica Smith for sharing this one with us.