Exclusive with Dominika Hannath
The Xcede Interview on Data Analysis.
Hi my name is Dominika; I am a senior insight analyst currently on a contract with Dunnhumby.
What does the role of a Senior Insight Analyst involve?
On a day-to-day basis I analyse data, and I try to make sense of it to figure out how clients can make more money and better decisions using the data they already have.
What trends have you noticed in your market recently?
The world is getting smaller and smaller and everything is going online, and I think we are going to see that trend going forward even more. So, people currently still go to their little shops, but maybe in a few years’ time everyone will be doing everything on their tablets, Ipads, or through their phones. I read an article recently, talking about how you can do your shop online and then arrange to pick it up from your chosen place, so therefore you are not even reliant on anyone dropping it off, and you having to be at home. So, I think we are going to see more and more of that. But at the same time I think people will go back to what it used to be like, because it is nice to go back to your local shop and I think we will see more loyalty towards little stores in your local communities, or local area rather than big supermarkets and big brands.
What was your path into your industry?
I went to University in Philadelphia but I am originally from Poland. I went o business school and I got my marketing and finance degree there. I was never into finance, but I always wanted to do the research, something statistics related because I always had a very intuitive understanding of numbers. I was trying to stay longer in the US and find a job there, but to them marketing is sales and it was very hard to find a company to sponsor me. So I interviewed for a company to sponsor me in London, so that is how I ended up in London. I worked for a company called Harris interactive for a couple of years. I really enjoyed doing market research and analysing data, at first it was just survey data and then I got into bigger data, and obviously now I work with retail data. So I have gone form analysing a thousand to five thousand surveys to analysing millions of records.
What challenges might someone face when heading into insight analytics?
I think that the main challenge will be finding your first job. That was the hardest thing for me, for someone who is just coming out of University you might not have any experience and although you might have a good degree, so it is just down to someone to give you a chance. Once you have got your foot in the door, you should just do your best and from that point onwards I do not really see any challenges. I just think the important thing is to make sure you do what you like doing and review it, if you wake up every morning and you don’t like going into work then you probably don’t have the right job.
What techniques are companies missing when using Insight analytics?
I wouldn’t say missing, but I would say with that move towards online and towards the complete integration of data I think companies will soon be able to analyse what ad you see on TV and how that has affected your behaviour. So what is missing at the moment is the linkage between the data, and I think a few years down the line it will be possible. Then I feel it will be a little bit like big brother, but I think we will get used to it. This is assuming that I can get something from it, for example if someone wanted to come in and see what ad I am looking at, and what I am buying, I would be fine with it if I could get a little cut of what they get out of it. I think that would be a fair world, to actually reward people for the data you collect on them. This is something at the moment that nobody does. Google collects all this information on us, analyses it and then sells it, but actually the little people don’t benefit from it. I think once we develop a model to make this possible, then people will be more likely to share and then companies will have more access to data and will be able to make the world a much more efficient place. We will be able to figure out what we waste and then utilize this and plan better.
Where do you see Insight Analytics in five years?
I’m not sure in about five years I think it will go to those models I was just talking about in ten years. I do think that we will have this model where people are benefiting financially, as well as spiritually and emotionally. I believe everything will be integrated from your computer, phone, tablet, what you are doing and what you see. With everything being integrated, companies will have access to it but you will then be paid for it. I do definitely think it is heading in that direction but maybe not in five years.
What tips would you give to someone aspiring to get where you are?
Know what you want, and act as if failure didn’t exist. That’s it, just figure what you want, what job you want to do and review it constantly to make sure you are spending your life on the planet how you should be.