Academy Xi Blog

How to embrace data in 6 ‘non tech’ roles

By Academy Xi

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Data skills might not feature on your current job description – but to think they aren’t an important part of the future of your work could be a costly oversight that could stifle your career progress, or the success of an organisation.

Now more than ever, essential data skills should be leveraged across all industries, teams and job roles – not just within the confines of IT departments. Data is literally everywhere and chances are you’re already collecting and using it in some form, perhaps without even realising it. The power is in learning how to identify and use it meaningfully.

So how can we embrace data in what might be perceived as ‘non-data’ roles? We’ve rounded up six jobs where data can and should be embraced. Let’s dive in to find out how.


#1 – The account manager
#2 – The creative
#3 – The marketer
#4 – The HR manager
#5 – The strategist
#6 – The leader

The account manager

Truly knowing the target customer of your client is the magical power every account manager needs to be successful. If you can speak to your clients with the solid knowledge and insight provided to you by customer data, they will be more inclined to trust your guidance.

Ultimately, your clients are looking to you to offer strategic advice on how they should manage their brand. If you are armed with data analysis and data presentation skills, you will be able to clearly and quickly articulate to clients which aspects of their business need to be prioritised and show them how you can add value to campaigns and outcomes.  

Gaining data analysis skills will put you ahead of the curve professionally and bolster your offering to clients.

I hear a lot of our clients say that Data is King! A key responsibility in my role as a CSM is to analyse data across our clients and deliver regular reports and status updates. I am always keen to use data to ensure our customers are aware of the value that is being delivered.

Amanda Sims, Customer Success Manager, Academy Xi

The creative

Data-inspired creativity is catching on, with new ways of approaching challenges emerging by combining data within the creative process. Any creative within an organisation will have stories of senior management not being convinced that a particular creative approach is the answer, or should be pursued at all. When combined with data that supports the approach, an element of ‘proof’ or backing becomes apparent, and can validate a creative idea that otherwise might not have been approved.

Data can be used to direct and fuel your creative work.

Creativity will always be our superpower. But data is our compass. Compelling narratives and storytelling will remain paramount. But rather than limit ourselves to a single universal thought, data used well enables us to unlock the full potential of an idea…

Kimberlee Wells, CEO TBWA/Melbourne

The marketer

Marketing and communications teams are often sitting on a gold mine of data. If they are well versed in how to collect and analyse it, they can experience greater rates of reach to their target audiences, which could then result in higher sales and brand awareness, amongst other benefits depending on your business marketing goals. 

Standing out in highly competitive and often saturated markets is a real challenge for all marketing functions today. Yes, there are more platforms and channels on offer, but there’s a lot of noise out there and to get noticed requires solid strategy. 

Using data effectively needs to be at the foundation of that approach. Three areas of data that can benefit any marketer: 

  • Customer data (the behavioural kind – where they are online, what times etc)

  • Financial data (sales and marketing budgets, costs for campaigns)

  • Operational data (where can improvements be made to satisfy customers more?)

The HR manager

Strategic insights can be gained with effective use of recruitment and employee data. The key is learning how to integrate it. By combining HR data with other aspects of the business you can identify behavioural trends, performance outcomes linked with specific departments, retention rates across the business and where additional measures need to be made to attract and retain key personnel, for example.

Performance trends and employee engagement can also be identified by using data. Collating responses to internal surveys completed by managers and staff, reported personnel issues, rates of absence, all of these sources of information are data. Used effectively they can help to pinpoint where you need to focus more energy into learning and development, or other support measures for management and everyone across your business.

The strategist

Data is deemed to be one of the most important assets to any business. With this in mind, it is imperative that any strategy developed is driven by data to ensure that the approaches proposed are built on a solid foundation. 

Embracing data can help to clearly define priorities within an organisation, which can then inform a strategic approach. 

Strategy not driven by data is likely to be inefficient, not targeted effectively and ultimately can waste resources.

Better still, as a strategist, why not develop a data strategy? This strategy will underpin how you want to use data as an organisation and define the approach you should take to make it effective.

The leader

Evidence based decision-making is the top benefit of embracing data as a leader. You’re not relying on opinions or trends, but the facts as delivered via data. This results in faster decision making and notably more accurate or impactful decision making at that.

Tracking business growth is another perk, along with gaining powerful insight into employee performance and management. This information can inform approaches you take to staff development, which is particularly important in the current times where retaining talent can be challenging.

When it comes to target markets, customer data can enable you to make powerful changes to your product or service to offer target markets something that is truly responding to their needs, which will in turn boost profits.

The wrap up

Used correctly, data can have an incredible impact on the bottom line of any organisation, ultimately because it can drive faster and better decision making. By getting your teams trained in basic data skills, they will know how to identify, gather and present the relevant data that they come into contact with daily in their jobs to support the function of their department and make it more productive and effective. For any organisation wanting to ensure they remain relevant in their industry, arming their people with data skills is a sound learning and development move to make.

Empower your people with data skills

Academy Xi offers highly practical, mentor-led training to equip you and your people with the tools and techniques needed to harness the power of data. Packed with industry approved content, the Data Analytics: Elevate course has been designed for professionals who want to be more data driven and is taught by practising industry experts. 

Contact the Enterprise team today to discuss how we can train your teams in house or online.

Make better business decisions, backed by data today.

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