Data Analytics is a Team Sport—What Position Do You Play?

Posted on by Kevin Troyanos

The Middle Linebacker: Digital Analyst

Typically found in marketing and advertising agencies or digital-first companies like Facebook and Google, digital analysts are responsible for gauging how consumers utilize and engage with digital platforms. Every company has their own definition of a “conversion”—a product purchase, a registration action, a white paper download—that represents a successful consumer interaction.

Digital analysts work closely with creative teams, UX designers and media buyers to transform clickstream data into a conversion-driving digital experience. Just like middle linebackers function as the “quarterback of the defense,” digital analysts respond to and interpret engagement activity in order to improve consumer-facing processes.

The Running Back: Data Scientist

Usually responsible for a team’s predictive and prescriptive analytics work, data scientists simulate an array of likely business outcomes using statistical modeling and artificial intelligence tools grounded in machine learning. Data scientists take a company’s historical data—and the ongoing insights offered by the company’s data analysts—and use them to predict future consumer engagement, both in concrete terms like tendency to purchase and in more abstract terms like consumer loyalty. Like a running back who takes handoffs, blocks for the quarterback, and catches passes out of the backfield, a data scientist must creatively combine insights about past behavior with other environmental data points to strategically—and successfully—anticipate what’s to come.

These key positions guide clients through significant and complex business decisions—decisions that demand a multifaceted and sophisticated approach to analytical problem solving. To that end, each team member plays an essential role in creating meaningful, long-lasting value for brands.
Kevin Troyanos is SVP, analytics at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness. He can be reached at

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