#047: Assessing Analytics Job Descriptions

Have you ever read an analytics job description? Have you found yourself wondering, “Is it just me, or is there something fishy going on here?” Who better to verbally cogitate this question writ large than a couple of guys who haven’t actually applied for a job in a few years? Join Michael and Tim as they dive into the world of analytics job descriptions and chat about the red flags they find…and the various tangential thoughts that the exercise itself sparks.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode


Episode Transcript

The following is a straight-up machine translation. It has not been human-reviewed or human-corrected. We apologize on behalf of the machines for any text that winds up being incorrect, nonsensical, or offensive. We have asked the machine to do better, but it simply responds with, “I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

[00:00:23] Hi everyone. Welcome to the digital analytics power hour.

[00:00:27] This is episode 47.

[00:00:30] Do you ever get contacted by recruiters. If not give it six months for most of us in the digital analytics space getting access to new job opportunities that just sort of thing you know. But how to decide what is best. Understanding how to read between the lines in a job description can help you sometimes avoid making a poor career choice and that’s what we’re going to talk about on this show. How do you evaluate and assess a job description. Tim and I are going to pool our collective but slightly outdated wisdom since both of us have been with the same companies for about four years now most but in any case. Welcome Tim. My cohost to this show.

[00:01:16] Yeah hold on. So you said it’s where I think it. OK good ok can do what I’ve been doing storytelling and marketing McMonagle. You know I’m recording this podcast right now. Can I can I get it back here.

[00:01:30] Do you mean. Yeah I’m out. Oh I’ll return your call. Yes. Yeah. Hey hey Michael. What’s going on. Hey that was good.

[00:01:43] That was the first ever digital analytics power our attempt at a comedy sketch. The amount of planning that went into that started right away through your intro. Hey no it’s perfect.

[00:01:56] And that’s the thing is one of the challenges of the modern day analysts is evaluating career opportunities because there are so many of them and even you know as you and I were preparing for this show I think we were both just struck again by the number of opportunities that exist out there in all different shapes and sizes that we get.

[00:02:21] Like I got to go dig up what I got to see if I can find a couple of open postings on one of these job sites that did not take long.

[00:02:28] Yeah. And it’s you know we understand right that there is a lot of demand in our industry but it seems like it’s as strong as it ever was. And while that’s really great news for anybody practicing analytics it can also be it can also give you tough choices and in terms in terms of what’s the right thing. So let’s dig into it. Tim what is it about a job description that first could capture your interest. Oh my interest.

[00:03:01] Probably if it’s got a couple of hooks on something that I’m looking to grow at in my career I like some level of specificity.

[00:03:09] It’s funny to say what grabs me as that should read more.

[00:03:15] I’d like to read more it tends to be more you know by Bullet number two I’m like you’re you’re killing me.

[00:03:22] You know this is this is ridiculous. So the absence of utter blather is kind of what grabs me I guess.

[00:03:29] Yeah. And I think for me one of the things that’s so key is the description of the company and the description of what they’re trying to do with this role.

[00:03:40] So often a company usually kind of boilerplate. And a lot of times it is but sometimes that humor really capture you know I mean think about like Zappos for instance right. So I think they described your company and their culture really well. I actually don’t have an example of a Zappos job description but I’m just saying like that’s an example of one that sort of has a really can catch your eye with kind of what they’re thinking about in terms of what their company or their culture is.

[00:04:08] So that is really important though because venture matters are back to literally skip those paragraphs. They’re usually at the bottom. Well that’s interesting so I don’t know. But that’s a good comparison because I read those.

[00:04:23] But you did not. Or not usually or you come back to them if there’s things in the like position requirements or essential skills that like are interesting to you.

[00:04:33] Yeah.

[00:04:33] But to be fair I have not I have not read a job description that I was applying for the job in probably 6 years. So how I actually read it. So I feel like I’m I tend to be reading job descriptions on behalf you know from the poster side right.

[00:04:50] Or for someone else like hey is this a good what do you think of this. Yeah or do you know somebody who could fit this role or something like that.

[00:04:58] Yeah I guess that’s the when somebody says can you what do you think of this job. You know I still don’t tend to read that I tend to go look and say do I know anybody at that company. And then it’s one. What do you think of that person into to another person well enough to you know probe them a little bit for the for some intel. Yeah. But yeah I’ve had ones where it’s like hey we’re looking for this. Can you read it. And I’ve had that. OK. Time to put on your tactful writing hat to say oh my God you know you’re you know really do they need experience in core metrics and web trends and Adobe analytics when you only run one of those.

[00:05:38] So at this point would you consider the need for experience in core metrics. A red flag if you are doing a job search.

[00:05:46] No I don’t think so. I I know they’re easy to bash but I know it seems like there are areas actually.

[00:05:54] Last week I was somewhere where a large very large local retailer that’s running it I understand metrics is that a lot of companies that are using it and using it well are using it as a data capture mechanism. They basically have said tags a tag. There’s a lot about the sort of multi tag stuff and core metrics that if we’re able to take in the raw feed and we want to splice it with other data anyway we don’t need the entire you know front end we just need that raw feed of hits and we know how to parse it and it works fine.

[00:06:26] Yeah I would agree it’s not necessarily a deal breaker it’s just one of those things where you’re like Okay. So I wonder if in the interview process that will be on the table or not which curiosity lands in core metrics or are they Adobe the whole time when I was there we were on Adobe analytics. Okay. They had transitioned from quarter metrics in the past.

[00:06:46] So the campaign IDs still supported the classy CMN underscore.

[00:06:52] Oh yeah I’ve got guys that trended two years ago and they’re still yeah they don’t even have a set up to pick it up. I mean for me that would be a red flag because it’s not it’s a tool that I am in on occasion and bumble my way through and just don’t know it well enough. But if hey if you’re an analyst who’s been doing you know core metrics like crazy shit moved Wisconsin you can have your pick of companies there or for that matter Columbus. I mean there and I’m sure there are others I know there’s plenty of them.

[00:07:20] And that’s what it is. I honestly you know I think and I probably agree with this in terms of evaluating someone for a position I’ll let you know if I agree with it or not be presumptive. I’m pretty sure you agree with this that the tools I’m sure if you agree at all. But let’s just play out this scenario where you agree with me the tools themselves matter a lot less to what an analyst does so in other words if I was hiring an analyst and I had core metrics as my tool and the person coming in had no experience on core metrics I’d be less worried about that than if they had no ability to like show me that their critical thinking or storytelling or data analysis skill.

[00:08:05] I partially agree. So one I’m pragmatic enough to know that it’s a big plus. You’re just looking for a reason to disagree just as well. I no.

[00:08:13] If I’m hiring for core metrics and if somebody comes in doesn’t have core metrics but they do have adobe or GA or web trends or.

[00:08:22] Well yeah obviously comparable in a different tool.

[00:08:25] Yeah. But I also have gone through now enough times that it’s just it’s exhausting to have somebody come in who used to X and they’re like Yay I can learn whatever. And then for years everything they’re doing and all why I have to start every conversation with them telling me that well yeah I know.

[00:08:49] But how did this thing go in Adobe this is I would just do this this way I’m like Yeah but you’ve been doing this for a year and a half and it’s time to stop playing the if I was doing an Adobe card.

[00:08:59] So I mean I think there’s in a job description. If they list the tool I would like to see it listed as a you know this is what we use although hopefully you’re going to go check that out anyway. You know we’ll take other comparable skills. I just I don’t I know that we like to say yeah you just the critical thinking and the curiosity and these sort of competencies and attributes but the fact is you need to build a rapid damn head around how the tool works and how the data is coming in.

[00:09:31] No absolutely. I do agree with that statement. I think if that person is group me but I don’t agree with you that’s no negative. I was going to say that if for a year the person is carping on the tool and how I would think a better if they could switch to this other tool that was a defect that you should have discovered in a different part of the interview process.

[00:09:53] Well well played. Oh hey boom.

[00:09:58] All right we are talking about job descriptions not about hiring people. And as you know Tim refuses to hire me no matter how much I beg him.

[00:10:13] So here we go.

[00:10:15] Let’s talk about the scope and what to look for in terms of what the job description is. So what are the things that sort of laid out both good or bad.

[00:10:26] When you look at a job description I mean it’s almost cliche to say at this point but the unicorn job description where it looks like somebody in H.R. has gone to monster indeed. And they have searched for whatever the job title is and then they have very proudly gone and copied the descriptions from seven different other postings and then they’ve kind of doute them and then put them together and then put that in front of the hiring manager and says Is this what you would like. And they say yes. And then you look at this job description and it’s you’re going to be specking you know managing the implementation and best in class data collection and you’re going to be managing you know garnering actionable insights from the data and you’re going to be a master of storytelling and visualization and you’re going to be able to do marketing mix Mark and market mix modeling and attributes and management. And it’s just so clearly a Frankenstein together list of every buzzword trying to hit every keyword search. To me that’s like you know what the hiring manager either was not sufficiently involved in the job description or the hiring manager doesn’t really know what they really need. And that’s a big big red flag for me.

[00:11:43] Yeah I mean there’s a lot there’s a lot of civ type stuff where they’re trying to capture like every little thing and it does. I mean it is a warning sign to me when one role is performing too many functions because today’s Analytics has to exist in any decent sized organization. Obviously there are small businesses medium size businesses where this doesn’t apply but you can’t just have one analyst doing everything now.

[00:12:15] And that’s the thing. I think if you’re a small business and you’re going to hire something you’re calling an analyst and you list the sun and the moon. That’s still a problem. You know if you’re right and you can afford one person then you need to be able to scope your job description to what that one person can realistically do.

[00:12:32] Right. I mean there’s a big difference in like hey let’s get some new tags on the Web site. The analyst jumps and they’re telling management tool and publishes up to the site versus hey let’s put some new tags on this Web site and you start planning all your steering committee meetings for eight months down the road when this finally goes into production and those two things exist in the real world right. Right. So that’s what I mean by that. The other thing though is that I’ve actually found through personal experience sometimes it’s not necessarily a total showstopper if somebody is throwing a lot of spaghetti at the wall.

[00:13:09] I was in an interview once and I kind of brought that question up I said hey listen there’s a number of skills in this job description. You know here’s how I match up to those and I want to tell you about the ones that I don’t have. And I want you to know that now because I don’t want you to proceed in the interview process if you feel like that won’t be a fit and the interviewer was like it’s actually OK we actually took a lot of different things because we wanted to cast a wide net. And I was like you know just so you know that might not that might get you less candidates than more. Yeah but you know it didn’t inhibit the conversation at that point but it was sort of like I just don’t care. I’m not going to pretend that I know stuff so I’ll just tell you hey if you need me to be this kind of expert I’m not. I’ll tell you what I think it takes to become that and whether I could do that for you or not.

[00:14:05] That doesn’t that is just vaguely rings of the I’m sorry I didn’t have time to write a short e-mail or the. I’m going to make your tagging job really easy to just tag everything.

[00:14:16] Yeah I mean it’s not ideal right. It’s just sometimes it’s not necessarily completely deal breaker and it’s hard sometimes because a lot of times the people writing these job descriptions have less idea about what it is that these people do or what we do. And that’s certainly been true historically.

[00:14:35] Well and that’s actually I think a great point that if it is a entry level to junior middle level you’re getting hired into an organizations and analytics organization.

[00:14:47] I think there’s no excuse for that kind of job description because that should have a hiring manager who knows what they’re getting. If you’re getting hired into a more senior level and there there’s a bullet in there about building the takes organization or building the analytics practice or building the analytics team and I’ve certainly walked in to those and those are companies that I think really really struggle when they’re like we finally recognize we need to build this we maybe have one really junior person who has no one mentoring them and they don’t even know what right looks like if they’ve got the line item that says hey we need somebody like build this organization. Then I feel like that’s kind of the opening to go in and say okay if you want to build this organization you’ve got two points in this job description that I think are 80 percent of this job you’ve got five things on here that we’ll talk about in five years.

[00:15:36] Realistically whether you hire me or not and then so I add that I think falls into your category. So I’d say the super broad and this is a forty thousand dollar a year job run for the hills. If it’s a more seasoned job then yeah you hear the San Francisco.

[00:15:55] There are people out there making forty thousand dollars a year.

[00:16:03] Sorry. So I feel like we’ve gotten this far in and we have not actually brought up one.

[00:16:10] What I think is actually a good resource and I had given it a little bit of a look I mean the DA’s job descriptions which you know the good and the bad if you’re not a member of the DA not a corporate member then you don’t really have access to it.

[00:16:22] But we’re not going to send you the job description but there are some things I think we can draw from it. And one of them being that just the sheer number of roles that they’ve got to. I mean I think overall it’s a pretty good document. So is it worth chatting a little bit about sort of what I think they did right.

[00:16:41] Absolutely. Are we allowed to say negative things about it or is that something I think there’s some negative things as well. No. I mean I don’t want to be overly critical because I love the resource that it is that it is and what it’s attempting to provide to people and thinking through both their own careers as well as a people going out to do hiring in this space. So overall big fan but I think there’s also some room for improvement too. But anyways let’s yeah go for it. What are you seeing that you think is a good thing. Well

[00:17:15] I mean anything that it’s inherently a product by a committee. So ride a horse. Yeah it is mooses is a horse designed by committee.

[00:17:23] Well and so like here’s one example of you know where I think in our industry today we have an actual problem which is and it’s actually across digital I think in terms of agencies and things like that. The director level title right. The director title is one that I think gets passed out way too soon.

[00:17:44] Well I think in some ways the senior analyst gets passed out.

[00:17:51] Yeah and that’s that’s the challenge I think you know people who you know in certain agency settings have been around for you know four or five years suddenly have a director level titles which doesn’t make a lot of sense. In other contexts. Well but I mean they mean to be fair the financial industry kind of led the trend. OK right right. Everybody’s an AVP.

[00:18:14] But I think separately from that if you just look I mean what you should be doing with a document because it’s basically for anybody who hasn’t seen it and have access is a big grid yet multiple tabs and you’ve got four levels of people ignore what the titles are it’s more junior the most senior within those you’ve got you know two to four roles. So if you look at it you’ve got I don’t know 10 or 12 different descriptions and then you’ve got way too many rows of competencies that you’re ever going to want to put on a job description because the DA’s innocence they try to cover everybody’s needs. But if I was writing a job description I would go through that and say I want to find one column that fits what I think I’m looking for and they don’t want to read through what they’ve got listed is the competencies and start pulling out because it’s got stuff that is you know should you be mentoring junior analysts to identify interest areas and outline path to become an expert. Is that important for this role or not. Should you be training and incorporating benchmark data internal or external into reports and analysis for comparison purposes. What level what degree should you be doing that. So I think I mean to me the title thing aside although I do feel like companies set themselves up for some challenges because they like basically wind up reading something that’s director level from the DA. We look at it and say really that’s a director that seems a little high. They look at it and say oh my god that should be entry level.

[00:19:39] We want to pay this really low salary for it but if he can’t find me generally looking down and saying these are pretty well crafted you know assisting and troubleshooting implementation issues using tools and methods suitable to the technical environment. Is that something this role is going to do or not. If I’m an analyst at I want to know am I going to be the one when somebody calls and says there’s no data for this. What’s going on and I’ve got to go to the site. Go through the action look at the tagged bugger track down what’s messed up in the data layer the tag manager’s system or not.

[00:20:13] And that’s kind of rare to see that sort of you know what level of granularity to the description.

[00:20:22] And that is very helpful and I do think but I think association things just are are inherently skewed towards being a bit ambitious and these the job descriptions came out of the whatever the competency skills assessment exercise and I sort of had the same thought from that is that yes it’s hard to disagree with any one thing.

[00:20:44] Are you sort of know that the reviews were going on. Somebody said Ah but I’ve got somebody modernization or this is critical that they do this and as soon as somebody who’s contributing says this is critical in their organization it’s got to go on the list even if the other 80 percent of the people say yeah we don’t really need that would be awesome if we had it. But it’s not really critical. So I think these the nature of them as they tend to get a little too broad and deep simultaneously to be 100 percent realistic.

[00:21:12] Yeah that’s fair. And I just remember like one of the key aspects of the DA if you complain about something you’re automatically on the committee to fix it so I retract my earlier complaint about it.

[00:21:23] That’s awesome. You get it. You get to get the money and sign up to GA.

[00:21:28] I think I’ve done my time in 2016 with my D.A commitment. I support them wholeheartedly but I have a finite amount of time to go.

[00:21:37] All right. So no I like that and I like the way they categorize it as well in terms of both technically focused roles as well as sort of business focused roles which I just read across the entry level.

[00:21:51] They’ve got a customer experience that will analyze the marketing optimization digital analyst and implementation specialist a statistical analyst and a social media analyst and they even provide sort of some alternate titles. Those aren’t necessarily the titles you want. I think that’s one of those challenges of ours. Industry is the analyst is too broad. I guess that’s what it is. I’m an analyst because my organization has this classification of analysts but I’m a analyst for digital analytics or web analytics or social analytics and it just offends my sensibilities a little bit. When you have the same root word and your job title twice.

[00:22:27] Yeah I I’m not a big at this point don’t really care about job title that much but it’s I sort of agree with you except that if it’s helping people understand what it is you do then it’s probably not a bad thing.

[00:22:39] Right. Well and that’s that’s the level to remind me of it for the day. There’s one of the roles a senior analyst analytical and then that’s really to distinguish because you’ve got a senior analyst technical a senior statistical analyst and a manager of analytics. And that just winds up inherently saying well now we’ve got this one that’s extremely clunky.

[00:22:57] So yeah it happens. So another thing about job titles that I look at and kind of try to evaluate is sort of that title itself mashed up with the core key responsibilities and where I see those responsibilities kind of falling. So as an example let’s say here’s a job description and it’s for a director level role.

[00:23:20] But inside of that job description there is no mention of a team or a group of people that you would be managing in that role. So I kind of feel like it’s difficult to be a director without actually managing people.

[00:23:35] Maybe they just have realistic salary expectations. So if you get out I don’t know. And the other thing is like OK big high level title you’ll be responsible for assembling weekly reports and in excel and making sure you know those kinds of things. When you compared them. That’s a red flag. It means that they really need is probably more like a senior analyst. And they just have they haven’t figured out how to shape the job correctly or they think they have to make it have this title so that someone of quality will pay attention to it at the same time. You’re not going to fool people through the whole interview process. So just be straight up about what it is.

[00:24:13] So this is funny actually my nine months of misery at a insurance company I got hired in as a director and then I want to say it was one of those things where H.R. a massive company goes through and does all real leveling and resetting and so my manager like a month or two. Couple it out of the two three months and was like you don’t have any direct reports which I knew going in. I think I had one direct report and HRN thing was like No you have to have at least three to have this whatever. So it’s like. So you’re actually going to have to move you to a senior consultant. There’s no change on the salary or the career path. And of course I was I was I could I could give a shit. This place sucks anyway but it was interesting they went through a I think there were some people who were very torc.

[00:24:57] That was also an organization that had a think levels of vice presidents. So the world’s large companies were build up to that at Sir discovery.

[00:25:05] So or for levels. Yeah.

[00:25:07] Now Vice President of espresso making and that would be my job.

[00:25:14] So I do every morning. No. OK. So what else in a job description do you look for.

[00:25:21] I mean I’m just skimming through some of these that we looked at as we were sort of prepping for this just weird stuff like the job description one of the first ones that came across said synchronized storytelling in storytelling was two words capitalized and in quotes synchronous storytelling using data translation to drive actionable insight across the digital organization that had a much longer the primary focus.

[00:25:48] So I think there’s a primary you know you’re in trouble will be on clearly and concisely. Visualizing digital marketing assets that’s driving more efficiency and effectiveness across all stages of the consumer lifecycle. MIKE Well that’s kind of.

[00:26:00] Hey some structure whether some strategic consultant cap paid good money to rate that job description bet.

[00:26:09] So I think when Buzz Wordie stuff gets dropped in and it’s kind of weirdly out of context like I think it’d be awesome if companies were saying look we have got a gap in our organization and we need we know there’s we’re finding good stuff in the data but we’ve got to find somebody who’s really strong in actual storytelling and visualization and we’re going to make that something key. I think that’s great when it’s I found this from some other job description you know or I’m going to lump that in with a bunch of other stuff. You know if you’ve got storytelling and mix modeling in the same boat point you know what the hell are you talking about.

[00:26:50] Well the thing about certification in hitbox is when someone is like you’ll need to be certified in sight Catalyst hitbox or the other one corporate core metrics et cetera et cetera. And I was like that. So it’s an interesting one. When I read site Catalyst’s because I feel like yeah I’m willing to let that one slide right. Well there is a certain level that I think there it’s funny little side on a job search.

[00:27:21] I they get Kudo’s if they include both of them like you’re looking for a keyword thing it will be great if you’re showing that you recognize that’s not the real product name but you’re also trying to get this you’re doing keyword searches that should cover across that.

[00:27:35] Right exactly.

[00:27:36] But the thing is a psychoanalyst frankly if I was talking to somebody interviewing a candidate and we were talking about Adobe and I was trying to get her to say discover or ad hoc analysis or report builder and she she couldn’t. So it’s another one where if you’re going into a company that is relying on reports and analytics or Sikat or whatever you want to call it maybe that’s a big opportunity but that shows that they don’t even know the power of the tools that they have.

[00:28:05] So yeah I mean and it’s certainly can be a red flag if the only tools they mention are kind of the ones that are not the right name for them are er er er SBX just doesn’t exist but we need websites story but in that particular job description Tim because I think we’re both looking at the same one earlier. The other thing that was really kind of stand out to me is kind of like a warning bell was the fact that it both nuance certifications and those products. But in addition to that 15 or more years of experience on top of it and while that certainly possible today there are very few people who after 15 years in the industry maintain certifications as specific products because it’s just not necessary to do unless it’s a specific requirement of like of a job or something. But it’s not a thing that people maintain certifications for. Maybe I’m wrong with that. What I’ve learned was that it wasn’t an agency position. Do you remember I don’t remember that they probably. I’m not going to try to give anybody any clues about how to find any of these. I don’t want anyone to be like you were talking about a better job description. I really would. It’s not as if your job description sucks. Yeah because if you if we have a listener who is listening and they work for a company where this is one of their job descriptions I don’t want them to feel like they’re no less than just because their company did a bad job of job descriptions.

[00:29:37] Now there’s a reason for them to hop into the measure slack and just rip us up.

[00:29:42] Well that too.

[00:29:43] Obviously we’d welcome that cause I welcome I welcome the direct messages on Twitter for or SCIAF. Every morning an episode goes live when he tells me what the questions we should have asked.

[00:29:54] Honestly I’m going over I’m a little jealous that I don’t get him. He obviously sees you as smarter of us to be fair depending on how much coffee each of us has had.

[00:30:09] Well yeah. So that’s one I think there was another one I was looking at where it was basic it was the title was reporting analyst. So I mean you’re talking about like let’s really try to like you know dress this up as something super sexy for an analyst because nothing gets somebody out of bed like hey I’m going to be pumping out reports today.

[00:30:30] So that’s the title. And then at the very bottom like usual things you get to do and you need five years of experience for this. And this is like hey according to the DA I’m a director now so why would I have another.

[00:30:48] Another funny anecdote from Tim’s career is that when I switch to being full time in analytics it was a role that was the reporting manager. And I think ahead to people who were reporting to me which was kind of funny that I was a reporting manager with reports so I had some other redundancy going on there that was a case where very quickly we were like This is not the right dividing a B.I organization between the reporting group and the analysis group is probably not correct. But yeah but a reporting analyst you are going to be responsible unless you know what your reporting analyst.

[00:31:19] We have a rich set of data and we have very data savvy users and we need to build we need to have reports built where you’re actually building stuff that is automated interactive and WOWO line and helping people figure out what their K.P. eyes are like. I could see that role. It’s not helping them from a keyword search you’re like okay you just took two Spayd for the dirt before you read the first bullet on the description.

[00:31:44] That’s not going to draw people in but I could see that being defined in a way that was interesting.

[00:31:50] Yeah. It just blows my mind. And also maybe you know there are people out here who totally fit this and I’m way off base too. So I’m hoping that actually this episode might garner a ton of people telling us how wrong we are given our general lack of like actually seeking new job experience damn consultants running the firm will be back on the on a permanent host.

[00:32:14] I would say didn’t hit on because we found one of these. The use of the key K.P. eyes for me personally that would probably make me take the call just to request that they correct the redundancy in their job description. Where do you go where do you fall on knowing that a lot of times javascript is good. They’re just like the resumes where they get it might be there’s this beautiful polish version but then it gets shoved into 75 systems which is one thing formatting. I’ll forgive where you fall on the typos in the job description knowing that was probably a junior person in 8R who screwed up and might not be an indication of the company or the organization. Where do you fall on those.

[00:32:54] Yeah. I’ll be honest. I’ve never considered it a deal breaker. I think you can’t but introduce it.

[00:33:01] What if it’s in the standard boilerplate that you scrutinize and place undue importance on every one of their descriptions. While it may be possible that I’ve even done that job descriptions so lets you know I don’t want to cast the first round.

[00:33:17] Of this that I hadn’t even thought about the genius of this that we haven’t had a job description publicly posted ever. Yeah I can throw all the rocks I want. I can throw all the stones.

[00:33:28] Yeah so I mean I would say it’s not a good look. You know anybody making a typo on the job description. It’s not something you should go figure seek out.

[00:33:38] So there might have been just an awkward little jump cut here because we had to step away for for a bleeding child because while he was gone I got to actually track down one more job description which is funny that it did not occur to me to do this before the episode but it’s about the shortest job description I saw on any of the research. It does actually refer to Adobe analytics parent radically Omniture and it’s actually damn short and damn intriguing and you know where that is. That would be the analyst opening it search discovery. Boy

[00:34:12] do the high number of qualified applicants.

[00:34:16] Well by the time as we’re recording this in May of 2015 by the time it goes live. But it’s interesting that there are a couple of things on this. It says you know some whether or not you actually have an opening or not. You know some technical parentheses web development skills including experience in JavaScript. J Querrey CSSA Stimela etc.. To me that’s kind of the hey you got to be interested and intrigued and getting your hands dirty but we’re not saying that you have to be coding javascript so we actually do think. I’m not really shocked that it’s good I was really hoping I could find something that you mentioned that was and it does lead with the company description so. Yeah. No surprise. I didn’t actually read that.

[00:34:59] Also no surprise given what we’ve already covered in the show. All right. I’m too embarrassed to talk about our own job description so let’s move off of this because yes I probably did write that so. And anyone else to see that you can look at it but I it’s too much of a sales gimmick to do that.

[00:35:21] If you get the day if you get the day job description and your head is spinning you’re like oh my god what I’ve written is seven pages I mean an anecdote antidote to that. You know go and steal from such discoveries.

[00:35:32] Well but to be fair the we’ve written might not work for a company looking for an analyst because there are you know we’re a consulting organization and so you know one person may fulfill a very specific set of requirements for a project whereas appose if you’re hiring and you get one the analyst for your organization you need a much broader set of skills potentially to be able to accomplish the things you need to accomplish as the company he gets.

[00:36:04] And that’s really what it means. It’s a Vyn diagram right. You’ve got what does the company truly need. And they’ve got a little bit of a hierarchy and they’ve got as an analyst what am I looking for and interested in. If I was looking right now I would be the candidate positions would be small relative to what the volume of positions that are digital analyst because I know where I want to grow my own skills and I know what my core foundation that I can knock out of the park is and what I’m looking for and a job description is is there enough stuff on here that I knock out of the park and some stuff on here that I’d have to stretch and I’d be comfortable going in and saying oh you want me to develop this and I’m going to have to develop.

[00:36:43] So I think it does come down to me as part of the challenge I have with this whole talking about this whole subject is that it is very personal very individual. You know if you say I want to do digital analytics then you’re going to see a shit ton of job descriptions and you’re going to be saying I can do half of everything on every one of these. So what resonates with the job description really comes down to what are the two or three things that I’m really looking for and that’s what I want to tell the recruiter I’m working with and that’s what I want to sniff out and phone screens and I want to find a couple of things that maybe the tenth bullet and if I take that phone screen and say you know the 10th bullet on your job description which says X because chances are the person screening me doesn’t even know or remember that is what I am super passionate and excited about. Now is that 10th because it was a throwaway thing and that’s not really core to this position. Or was it somebody sort of these alphabetically by the first letter and you’re now super excited because that’s what I’m excited about.

[00:37:43] Yeah. No I mean that’s certainly true and if you you know the other piece of this which is your own career application that’s right in there which is probably a whole other show but you know let’s go back to making fun of other people’s jobs.

[00:37:58] Further on paragraph 2 The to discover a job description.

[00:38:05] Well and again like these are some of the things like what are the gotchas or what are the things that are you know kind of would say OK I’m a little concerned about this or kind of like what I said before like either ask for like all these different things. Can I just say that in a lot of contexts job descriptions that heavily say things like data science or other buzzwords give me pause or concern. And what’s interesting is the company themselves are really important to whether or not I’d give any credence to that job description and the data science type words that they use being something I pay serious attention to.

[00:38:44] I think if I’m really serious about getting people that I want to be data scientists chances are I hope that I’m smart enough to not put data science in the job description because I’m desperately trying to get candidates I would want to be putting especially. I’ve done research on this kind of for various reasons like that’s a buzzword term that is 20 different things. So it’s actually not that if I said I want a data scientist that is not nearly as informative and descriptive as you might think it is so it is much more valuable to say hey I need a data engineer. And he said he is comfortable with data engineering or I need somebody who is comfortable programming with data using you know our python you know SPSS or SAS or similar. So yeah I think it gets I guess one person’s buzzword is another person’s you know fundamental terminology.

[00:39:40] But I think I yeah I agree buzz words well scary like this lead the development of big data analytics that can be delivered via API eyes or eyes.

[00:39:54] I’m not sure where to go with that.

[00:39:57] Outstanding and maybe that makes sense and I’m just not smart enough to know what that means because that’s totally possible. So if you’re a big data analyst out there and you understood them were like oh Michael Simple it’s you know so Mager SCIAF DMH.

[00:40:14] TIM WILSON Now that we know the thing.

[00:40:19] Drop me a line any time by the way that Michael was hurt. No I am not hurt. I’m also a bad communicator. It’s not like I was emailing or tweeting him either.

[00:40:31] Those two ways. No I think I mean big data in data science would be much better if you need somebody who is skilled with Hadoop or Coulomb based database systems or whatever the hell the right terminology is you want to drop some legitimate. This is a platform we have softened it a little bit you know exposure to or familiarity with. I don’t mind the familiarity with apparently I can’t pronounce it I don’t mind it when I can read it. I think that’s good because that’s somebody reads it and says Yeah I haven’t worked with that. I’ve been interested in it but I’ve been in the same company for seven years and we just don’t have it. So you know I’ve never worked with redshift but I know what it is I do reading on it and I’ve worked with this other thing that is a similar platform or I’ve been on core metrics for eight years and I really want to switch to Adobe because you know I’ve heard X Y and Z and it seems like they are doing a lot of neat stuff or I don’t want to be pigeonholed into one tool. But I think that I don’t mind the the word some in the word familiarity which are both kind of a with some specificity behind them as a you don’t have to be a black belt in this specific thing but we’re giving you a flavor of what we use like what our systems and platforms are. And you either know them or you want to learn them. And we’re showing in the job description that we’re not expecting you to come in necessarily as an expert.

[00:41:57] We’re going to go down the checklist and say you already know it or no you don’t know it but you’re interested in it. So I think those are totally totally valid.

[00:42:05] Yeah no makes sense. Oh and the other thing to look out for. One last thing and then we’ll wrap this up. One other thing look out for us in all of this thing. Look for things that tell you that they expect you to toe the party line a little bit. That’s always a little bit of a challenge because there sometimes when there’s like things like a Kandu client service attitude or you know able to think about the uses of the data in visionary ways or things like that which should maybe be people don’t realize sometimes that they’re sticking those in there but those can actually be a little bit of an issue.

[00:42:43] And because it’s setting a just a vague and unrealistic Bar because it’s all we’ve already gotten our minds kind of what sort of glorious thing you’ll deliver.

[00:42:51] Yeah why don’t you bring all of your really smart stuff in here and do exactly what we tell you to do right. Yeah and that’s not the ideal situation for someone who’s looking to kind of lead as opposed to take orders. And so depending on where you’re at in your career and what you’re doing that’s something to watch out for.

[00:43:09] How much is that job description versus getting into the interview.

[00:43:12] I think you have both. So sometimes you can see it in the job description sometimes you’re not sure and so you want to validate in the interview process and you try to learn as much as you can. I always tell myself or I always coach people like go through the interview process get. If you’re going to do it do it so that you are expressing all the interest in the world and you know get the job offer then decide whether you want it or not. Right personally if we went back and replayed all the interviews I’ve ever done I have not follow those rules. So tell a very bad job of that. And so I can express tons of interest when I’m interested but I’ve been a bad candidate in some cases too and I haven’t even followed like basic advice where I will literally you know express disinterest or disagree openly with people about this is not the right way to position this role and that’s probably you know surprisingly in those scenarios and offered also comment.

[00:44:15] It’s not enough but that’s fine because I I knew from the conversation I didn’t want it at the same time. It’s not that’s not smart. You need to do the whole burn the hand thing as opposed to I’ll tell you where you can put your steak. I’ve got a head marked up your job description Yeah that’s right.

[00:44:35] I’ve made some brief edits to what I think my role and responsibilities should be. Yeah and let’s get into salary requirements.

[00:44:43] And when do I start. So yeah. Anyways.

[00:44:47] All right well let’s quickly do some last calls and we’ll pull this train back into the station. It’s been a little up and down but hopefully there’s been a little nugget here there that you can latch on to and for your career. Yeah. What do you got for last call Tim.

[00:45:01] Well so this is going to be are related but I’m going to try to make it a little bit broader.

[00:45:06] So my last call Civica was kind of inspired done all FIPS I’ve got to learn how to pronounce his first name.

[00:45:13] Oh yeah. For Major slack that’s right now I’m.

[00:45:16] And I have a lot of interactions there but he had posted in the arts that his x channel a link to this page that is called tufty in are which is if you’re using R and if you’re big tufty fower it basically goes through like 10 or 12 different types of visualizations and how to generate you know what the code would be in are to generate a fully tufty certified visualization. Now two things. I think tufty is a little bit of a purist and I would not ever really want to generate something that is 100 percent tufty and there are many listeners of this that are not and are but it got me thinking about just the value and I have sort of learned this is I’ve been learning RTG Patu that you’ve got this concept of a theme but this idea of an Excel right you can save. You can create a chart customize everything and then save that as a chart template.

[00:46:04] But the value of having in whatever platform and I assume Tablo has some sort of styles that you can say I’m almost 100 percent sure it does. So my last call is a little bit of a call for having really well crystallized standards for the visualization of objects visuals that you know for your charts and graphs and tables. I did this years ago in our organization we did an Excel went around everybody’s computer and we got all the everybody in the department got into their system and said this is we’re setting up all these things up and the tufty in our post which one is just kind of slick that somebody went through and put the time in to figure this out in a way that you could just copy and paste that code but kind of got me thinking a little more broadly about yeah makes sense it’s a little tougher when I’ve got multiple clients to say here’s the standard because I want to match what clients use palatalized but inside of organizations I’m a huge fan of spinning the time to set up those base templates that everyone in the in the group is using. So it’s consistent and best practices Mausam.

[00:47:12] All right. So my last call is going to get me in trouble at work but I’m going to talk about it anyways. So as you know search discovery would do a lot of work with tag management platforms. Not too long ago as you recall Google made some significant updates to Google tag monitor the updated added this workspaces concept. And I want to call out a couple of blog posts that I think are really great at highlighting those. Unfortunately there is not one that I can show at least not at this juncture. On the search discovery blog about it but I’m sure we’ll get right on this after this episode. Understand this goes live if there is one we’ll include. That’s great. But actually the one I was reading recently was by Luna metrics so they’re kind of update to what was changing and I thought it was a really good write up that Luta metrics blog had.

[00:48:01] What are metrics that a quality blog post. I’m so shocked by this. Yeah well you know they they’re good at a couple things but this is definitely one of them. I know it was crazy awesome are posts going on on the Web metrics blog too.

[00:48:15] So yeah. No I mean they just have some really great folks on the lunar metrics team.

[00:48:22] Frankly I’m like All right. Sorry I should not she not talk like that. But the other thing that I found really classy of them is at the end of their post they even directly winked over to or have us blog posts about the same topic to you know send traffic his way which I thought was you know was pretty awesome because you know they Simos another one that it’s good to know that he’s finally gotten a quality blog post out there.

[00:48:49] Yeah exactly. I mean after his years of mediocrity we just sort of just skimming and skimming looking for something we can see if there was enough detail that actually take what he’s talking about and just copy and paste and indirectly apply it so if and when we ever could get Siemer on here as a guest.

[00:49:11] Which you know let’s just sort of make an open call situation right now. I literally I always tell this person that I hired them because they knew about CMO Ahava because I sometimes ask people like how do you keep up on industry trends and what do you read. And so they were like oh we’ll I read Seymour Hybels blog and I was like You’re hired.

[00:49:32] Well the next the next 53 minutes of this interview. Anyway so I just. That was my last call.

[00:49:38] You know in the tag managers space you know certainly I like Adobe DTM quite a bit. We do a lot of work with the other tools and seitan and helium and of course Google tag manager. I love seeing Google tag manager keep raising their game. It makes tag management better for everyone when that happens so nice work and good on you Linna metrics for having a great write up about it. All right so that’s my last call as you’ve been listening. If you think you know what I’ve got this job description then I’m just not sure how to do it. Why. For the low low cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Well tonight I can join you for an exciting adventure. Rewriting your job description. Now just kidding. That someone could offer that as a service actually. I mean if you’re thinking up something cool to do with your career you can hang a shingle and I don’t know that a lot of people would hire you or not.

[00:50:30] But it’s definitely a skill. There’s a gap out there based on our on our survey. That’s sort of the world of poorly written what is job anyways.

[00:50:41] So if you’re listening Corey now I’m just kidding. This episode is going out with a whimper instead of a bang.

[00:50:51] No but if you’re listening you got comments or you’ve seen ones or your own observations about how you evaluated job descriptions. We’d love to hear from you on our Facebook page or on the measure slack. The newly popular resurgence a couple of months ago it just seemed like we had this amazing influx new people. And it’s really exciting it’s giving a whole new energy to the measure Slack’s. Definitely get into that community if you have not already. And what else can I say except we’d love to hear from you and online.

[00:51:26] Thanks for listening. And don’t forget to join the conversation on Facebook Twitter or measures like great. We welcome your comments and questions. Facebook dot com closed slash analytics. Our analytics or on Twitter.

[00:51:41] Chole smart guys want a pretty straight made up a term called analytic Linux don’t work. Surprise. Here. We hear.

[00:51:56] The iPad. Any keywords. Did you just hear my dog bark. Hold on let’s just pause for just a second. I’m going to deal with that. Just great super. Anywhere. It just keeps freezing again and again and. I. Think I’m maybe beating the same. The same horse that the horse dead or that’ll really help the horses in a little career out a lot. Great job Tom. I’m going to start with that again. That brazened not going to come across well. Hey I need a minute. I’ve got kids next door in Iraq so far. Good job Scrappy.

[00:52:55] OK. Tonight is the night. So not only. Ok so my memory is gone. She has a thing tonight. So not only are my kids making a ton of noise but one of them broke a glass in the bathroom and cuffed her head it. All right we’ve recorded. Jim Kane is the father I don’t remember. I’m just like you all bandaged up or you get to go. Yeah he is Pete day. His brother put a bandage on himself. Perfect mom gets home should probably want to wash that out. But like if he’s alive so I’ll get back to work. Rock flag and JavaScript’s.


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