Where are The Analytics Officers From?

In this big data era, many people, with or without analytics background, are trying to get on the analytics train. When planning the career to eventually become the analytics officer, we should first know the paths those analytics officers have gone through. In this post, I will discuss three typical tracks.

Paths to Chief Analytics Officer

The most straightforward path is to graduate from a relevant degree program, and start the career as an analyst, then move to a manager, director, and all the way up to CAO. (In a later post, I will discuss the degree programs that produce data scientists for the industry.) The career growth along this track indicates managing analysts and analytics managers, and increased responsibilities within and then beyond one business unit.

Another common path is to move from a mainstream business position to its analytics counterpart, and then move up along the analytics track. In a previous post, I elaborated the career path of a salesman at TSM. At any point of this progression, the salesman may redirect his sales career to analytics. For instance, at the regional sales manager position, Bob has excelled in the job and set a great example for the other regions by using analytics to extract insights from the past successful and failed deals, to set goals and incentives for the individual account managers, and to approve proper discounts during negotiations. When the country manager decides to push such best practices to the other regions throughout the country, Bob may very well lead the charge of establishing that analytics team. In this case, Bob becomes the analytics officer of the country.

A nontrivial path is to move from other business support functions to an analytics position, and then move up through the analytics track. For instance, a recruiter Amy has done a great job by using analytics to find out where to solicit job ads, to identify potential candidates, and to attract them to the company. When the CAO of TSM has an opening for analyst, Amy can take an internal transfer offer and apply her analytics skills to other divisions of the company.