As one of the Philadelphia DAA chapter leaders, I have noticed the lack of diversity within the field of digital analytics. In Philadelphia, the majority of the participants at events don’t reflect the markets that we serve. I believe that two parts of the challenge are 1) a lack of education for professionals at the collegiate level and 2) a lack of awareness of career opportunities. We’ve often discussed the challenges of identifying talent. I believe that additional education, awareness of careers, and a diversity or inclusion initiative are necessary.
Educate Future Digital Analytics Practitioners & Universities
Based on the feedback from my staff, there is a lack of awareness of digital analytics in many of the universities which limits our future practitioners because they are unaware of the profession. It is important to get digital analytics into the curriculum because businesses are increasing their dependencies on measurement as part of the decision-making process. I believe that we need to develop standard communication with universities and colleges. Additionally, let’s promote career opportunities such as Data Scientist, Digital Analyst, etc. through career services departments, job fairs, and proactively seeking speaking engagements.
Improve Accessibility to Digital Analytics Platforms
The lack of awareness about digital analytics contributes to limited access to digital analytics platforms; however, hands-on experience is hard to come by unless you’re with an organization with a specific tool or platform. The Adobe Analytics Challenge offers students an opportunity to access real data. But, I would assume that the universities involved have digital analytics programs or are already exploring ways to create programs. Most of the job postings require certifications, knowledge of SAS, R, SQL, etc. So, let’s provide candidates with the tools. By helping them understand the fundamentals and obtain certifications, we’ll help increase the talent pool and fill some of the job openings.
Engage and Include Diverse Practitioners
I’m not just talking about minorities and women but also people who took a unique career path into digital analytics. I have spoken with people across the country in digital analytics with backgrounds in everything from marketing, to math, to psychology. It’s important to share information, experiences, and career paths with each other and future practitioners. A clear opportunity to expand career possibilities is a mentorship program. As of now, the Women in Analytics is a step in a positive direction.
The mission of the DAA is to advance the use of data to understand and improve the digital world. Through professional development and community involvement, we at the DAA need to be at the forefront of driving diversity and inclusion within the field of digital analytics. It can improve the analysis of data and provide different perspectives to create hypotheses for testing.
“Don’t tell me that there are no black people who are good at math. There are black people who expert at quantitative analysis. I worry that it becomes a way to exclude.” - Michael Wilbon (ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption)
Please comment with your feedback or recommendations on how we change perceptions and diversify our community! #Diversity