Learn to use data to make smarter business decisions
In marketing and business development sectors, there are people dedicated to dealing exclusively with data. They call themselves data analysts, growth hackers, data-driven marketers, strategists or, like Hyper Island alumni Carl Lager, growth managers. Carl works at Stockholm insurance startup Hedvig, helping build business strategies, marketing plans and influencing service and product development. As Carl puts it, he’s an information hunter, finding answers to important questions, so the company can grow in the right direction.
Carl understands the importance of what he does, but is also pretty humble about his role as part of a greater team, working together to find solutions. He also values a combination of data analysis and intuition in good decision-making.
“You can never come up with a great message or product just from data alone, you should always use your gut to a degree,” he says. “This comes from experience and working with people who are great at their jobs. But, within the team, it’s about being the person who finds solutions for a more thoughtful and targeted approach to a problem.”
“Every company claimed to be ‘data-driven’, it was a buzzword, a marketing thing.”
This thoughtful targeted approach is what makes data analysis one of the most highly valued career choices out there. A few years ago, the analysis of data was still in its infancy: “Every company claimed to be ‘data-driven’, it was a buzzword, a marketing thing.” But luckily this has been changing as more tools become available to better understand it’s true value.
What industry or sector does Carl see as having the biggest potential for change? Surprisingly, it’s within the creative industry. “More and more, agencies are taking data more seriously – as a valuable tool in the creative process,” he says. “They’re realizing that data can be used to help find the right message for the brand. By testing out a few concepts on millions of people in a single day and for a low cost instead of putting a finished campaign out there and hoping for the best.”
“It’s more personal than people think. You sit down with people and they say one thing and then you give them the product and they do something completely different. At the same time you dive into the data and it tells a completely different story. The data doesn’t lie when it comes to behaviour. It’s fascinating.”
There’s no doubting the value of data analysis. But what makes it so interesting? Well, It’s clear from chatting to Carl that he loves what he does. He gets a kick out of solving problems and seeing how his work creates real change, but he also enjoys the human aspect of it. At the heart of data analysis is people. Why do we behave in certain ways? What makes us tick? “It’s more personal than people think. You sit down with people and they say one thing and then you give them the product and they do something completely different. At the same time you dive into the data and it tells a completely different story. The data doesn’t lie when it comes to behaviour. It’s fascinating.”
Carl is by no means the type of person you think of when the image of a Data Analyst pops into your head. By his own words, he’s not “some geeky sort sitting in the corner crunching numbers” that most people imagine. For one thing, he doesn’t think maths is fun! “Classically all analysts have been this kind of mathematical genius, but I think moving forward, with the tools and services available now, you really don’t need to be like that. You just need to be curious enough to want to find answers. And open-minded enough to realise that there’s not one answer to your question.”
You’ll be surprised to learn data analysis really wasn’t his first choice. He started at Hyper Island as more of a creative. “I was really into design and illustration. But over a busy three years, I got to try so many new things, especially compared to a regular university. It was an internship at Spotify where they had too many designers and put me to work as a design researcher to figure out which design concept worked best from a business perspective that made me discover my interest in data, the value of data, and how it could be applied to creative work.” And the rest as they say is history! We’re pretty glad that Carl was “too stubborn and eager to do stuff” and so is he.
It’s this personal approach to learning that Hyper Island is all about. So why learn about data analysis with us? “Sure you can go to a regular university and become an analyst,” he says, “but you’ll be doing the same thing as 90% of others out there. With Hyper Island, the focus is on you as an individual making your own way. You learn a basic knowledge about what data is and how you use it of course, but then you’re free to do whatever you want with it.”
If you’re curious and open-minded, and looking for an exciting new career with much sought-after skills? Our new Data Analyst program is a way for you to learn how to gather, analyse and draw relevant conclusions from data to support decision-makers in making better, smarter businesses.