I’m Ryan and I’m a Data Analyst

Ryan-Beadles-blogBy Ryan Beadles, Data Analyst

Hi, I’m Ryan and I’m a data analyst. To which people usually reply, “so what do you actually do?”
A data analyst can be many different things depending on what kind of data they are analyzing. One thing all data analysts have in common is that we make data easier to understand for the average human brain. For example, I have seen spreadsheets that exceeded 10,000 rows—not easy to understand and certainly not easy to translate into actionable facts.

Most of the data I receive is related to media buying, and I’m looking for things like spend, CPM, clicks, CTR, impressions, engagements, etc. Each month, I get a big chunk of data for analysis. First, I create pivot tables that help me reduce the amount of information I’m seeing.

After creating pivot tables, the spreadsheet still can have thousands and thousands of rows of data. To solve this problem, I like to export the data I have into a visualization tool. This tool has graphs, aggregated tables and charts. Once that’s done, I’m finally at the stage where I can look at the data and understand what it is trying to say; which means it’s now understandable for the average human brain. Now we see how much money is being spent per campaign or social media platform and break out the data however the client would like to see it.

Data analysts can take this:


And turn it into this:


So, why is this important to the marketer? For a company that is investing in ad creation and placement, you want to see what’s working. For an agency, you want to show your client, in an easy-to-understand way, how their advertising investment is achieving the desired results.

Personally, we would never be okay with spending hundreds of dollars on a product on Amazon and not really knowing what we are getting back in the mail. So why are marketers okay with spending a lot of money and not knowing what they are getting back in return? Furthermore, why are ad agencies okay with creating ads, placing ads, and doing social posts, and not being able to show the results of their work? That’s like saying, “Hey, I can create this beautiful cake for you, but I can’t show you what it looks like after I make it.”

A data analyst can gather information, determine exactly where dollars have been spent and determine where you’re getting the biggest bang for the buck. Without data analysts, companies could be spending thousands of dollars on social media and hundreds of thousands of dollars on traditional media, and have better results on social media without realizing it. That’s why it’s so important to be able to see the data in an understandable way.

According to Business Insider, data analysts are critical in helping companies spend ad budgets with maximum effect and identify important (and often mission-critical) trends.

So, don’t just stare at the big spreadsheet in front of you. Have a data analyst decipher the meaning behind the data and get a real leg up on the competition!