Also known as
Data scientist, business analyst, SEO specialist, insight executive
What does a data analyst in the creative industries do?
Data analysts gather information about how an organisation is performing, they make sense of it and then use that information to advise on how to do it better.
In a theatre, for example, a data analyst takes information about ticket sales, website hits, social media effectiveness and audience surveys. They extract the data, clean it up, and combine it with other sources of data to make it meaningful. They present it in a way that looks good and makes sense. Then they use that information to make business recommendations, like how much tickets should cost to generate the highest income, or how they can attract more diverse audiences.
This is a developing area of work that creative organisations are using to a greater or lesser extent. Cinemas, arts centres, museums and heritage organisations all need people who perform this kind of role. Data analysts are well established in the games and fashion industries but are less common in crafts.
This type of role is often found within the marketing department of creative organisations, where the emphasis is on using website, social media and key word analytics to inform the marketing strategy.
- A day in the life of a data analyst
- How to get a job as a data analyst
- Importance of data analytics in graphic design
What’s a data analyst in the creative industries good at?
- Maths: enjoy numbers and statistics, think clearly and systematically work through a problem
- Knowledge of data analysis tools: use Excel to an advanced level, quickly learn the analytics software used by particular organisations
- Creativity: find solutions, based on data, to the challenges that an organisation has
- Communication: present data in an understandable way, share it and explain it to the rest of the team
- Passion: love the sector you are in, want to make a difference to your creative industry
Where can being a data analyst take me?
This is a growing area, which means there are likely to be a lot of opportunities for development in the future. Skilled analysts will be in demand across all sectors, including the creative industries. With experience, you could travel the world working for international companies or become a freelance consultant charging considerable fees.
How do I become a data analyst in the creative industries?
There are a variety of routes into become a data analyst. One route is through developing expertise in maths and programming. Another is through learning about digital marketing. Go to the National Careers Service to find out about the different ways in:
- Go to National Careers Service: Data analyst-statistician to learn the maths-based route
- Go to National Careers Service: Market research data analyst to learn the marketing-based route
Whichever route you choose, keep up you interest in your creative industry, whether that’s fashion, games, fine art, craft, film or museums. You will then be in a strong position to apply for jobs in that sector.