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Master these three skills to grow your data and analytics career


Will Walker


November 11, 2022

Master these three skills to grow your data and analytics career

I was recently asked by someone considering a move into Analytics - ‘What advice would you give to someone looking to join the team?’ It made me reflect on what I’d learned throughout my career, both as a Zipster and prior.

Embrace your creative side

Wrangling data can be complex, particularly when you’re tackling a challenging problem inviting many possible approaches. The best data professionals learn to thrive in this environment. Experiment with different approaches, innovate, ask your peers for advice, challenge your own results. Do they pass the pub test?

You have to love the detail! The more experience you can get navigating your way through complex problem-solving exercises the broader your analytics arsenal will become and the more versatile an analyst you’ll become.

Tip: Unsure if your detailed calculations are correct? Step back and go top down. Try a ‘back-of-the-envelope’ approach and see if you can directionally validate the result.

The importance of influence and data story-telling

Beyond the technical side, a critical skill for any data analyst is the ability to influence and to express ideas with structure and clarity. If you can simplify complex analytical concepts and communicate them effectively it will improve your ability to make an impact. The key to this is practice and exposure. Get in front of your stakeholders as often as you can. Test what content landed and what didn’t.

Lean towards having an opinion. Round out any piece of analysis with some actionable recommendations.

Tip: In the Analytics team at Zip, as a way of keeping ourselves focused on impact, we maintain a log of all recommendations we’ve provided the business and track the outcomes.

Know when to pause. Bring your stakeholders on the journey

There’s no point doing analysis forever, because businesses move on and whatever you’ve been working on is quickly out of date. We have to be commercially minded. Sometimes the most important thing is knowing when to pause and deliver what you have. You know it’s not perfect, but you've reached a point where your assumptions stand up and the results are directional.

The ability to call it at that point, get in front of the business and present some timely insights will increase the visibility and relevance of your work.

Regular feedback on projects from your stakeholders and peers is immensely valuable in helping to shape the next phase. Bring them on the journey.

*Tip: Before starting any piece of work (whether a modelling exercise, dashboard build or analytical deep-dive), meet with your stakeholders to fully capture the business questions and key requirements. It will save you time, give you a clearer ‘definition of done’ and align expectations across the board. *

Ready to take the next step of your data analytics career?

Zip has been a fantastic place to build my career in data analytics. And if you feel as though you bring these three core skills in everything you do, it could be for you too.

As part of the broader Zip Data & Analytics Office, you’ll have access to a wealth of centralised knowledge and a diverse group of data professionals. You’ll also build relationships and become a subject matter expert within one of our marketing, product or commercial teams.

If you’d like to be a part of a team that’s supported by a world-class data platform that is continually evolving, and have a seat at the table in solving some of the most exciting strategic challenges the company is facing into right now, then a move to Zip might be the right one for you.

For example, you might be focused on accelerating our path to profitability by exploring opportunities to improve arrears performance and engagement for Zip customers and merchants. Or you could be influencing the future of our CRM strategy and how we service millions of customers by unearthing insights from marketing campaign and call-centre data.

Check out our latest ANZ Data and Analytics roles here >

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