“I keep saying that the sexy job in the next 10 years will be statisticians. And I’m not kidding,” is what Val Harian, Chief Economist at Google, recently declared in a New York Times article. This is not the first time that Val Harian talks about this, as in another article from two months ago in the Wired Magazine he talks about Googlenomics = Economics + Statistics + Google.
“What’s ubiquitous and cheap? Data. And what is scarce? The analytic ability to utilize that data,” said Harian, who believes that the new power users of the dawning digital future are the statisticians, or what he calls “the datarati.” In the US, the digital statisticians are already earning $125,000 a year at top companies, freshly graduated from a master or doctoral program, a salary that doesn’t look at all bad for youngsters starting their careers.
Just think about the ideal world in which you know almost everything about your customer’s needs and desires, his behavior and mood, allowing you to be a pleasant and forever resourceful partner, while selling your wares and making a handsome profit. Alas, the real world is far from this beautiful picture.
Just think about the times you needed to make a decision and you did not have the necessary information to help you do it (i.e. a client needs to reach customers in city A and B who are interested in topic X, but you don’t really collect this type of data or if you do, no one is actually looking at it to help you with it – a very basic example that is a real problem for a lot of online publishing sites, at least in Romania).
Wouldn’t you wish to be able to sell very targeted products or services that would make your business profitable and your customers happy so that they keep coming to you and thus increase your profitability on the long run? If you do, you should start thinking about how you can put your data to its best use.
To give you a hand with this, Conversion Rate Experts have put up a short list of things your should be thinking of and act upon in order to come closer to that ideal reality:
- Start making decisions based on data, not on opinion.
- Get analytics set up well, so you really know which pages, products, acquisition sources, etc, your money is coming from. Knowledge really is power (and profit).
- Start carrying out split tests (A/B tests or multivariate tests) on different aspects of your business.
- Create a culture in which people are rewarded for carrying out tests, and not punished for making mistakes.