How to Build A Data Analytics Team: 3 Key Job Titles

June 14, 2024  

Often, the question for companies getting started in professionalizing their data analytics culture is where to start in building our their data analytics team. Should their first hire be someone technical who can really get the data working, or do they hire someone as an analyst who understands the business? What data analytic job titles should they look for?

As discussed in our 4 Stages of Data Maturity article, we mentioned that in Step 2, the company usually looks to hire or promote someone to be the jack-of-all-trades data unicorn. It's a tough job!

A typical data analytics team

Data Analytics Team Roles And Responsibilities

From our view as data engineering systems integrators, we see three distinct and key roles when building a data analytics team. Let's discuss and define these job titles and their roles before we prioritize hiring:

Role 1: Data Engineer

This person or team gets the data moving. They are setting up data warehouses and automated pipelines as well as monitoring the myriad of tools and systems needed to make the data reliable.

The data analyst and every other business person requires the engineer to setup data pipelines that are trustworthy and reliable. 

Role 2: Data Analyst

This person or team understands the business and can apply the data to different functions or departments. They understand metrics, can use many of the reporting or metrics tooling, and are influential in setting the data maturity roadmap.

The data analysts turns business questions into actionable inquiries or automated processes to help inform their data audiences. 

Role 3: Data Designer (?)

This person may or may not be an analyst! They spend time with the BI (business intelligence) tool creating new and exciting reports that people can understand.

They understand that data is not information, so they focus on creating insights like "37% of our customers churn every month" instead of just sending around a spreadsheet of customer payments with 10,000 rows.

Who to hire first on the data analytics team

How do you know which data analytics role to hire first?

Don't go unicorn hunting — no one person has all these skills. Knowing that you might need multiple roles might suggest to you that you need a data analytics consulting company to do a project.

However, data is NOT a project. It's a capability that companies are trying to grow, which makes hiring a one-off project consultant difficult because they hand it back to you, but that's just V1 of your data journey (sources, metrics, dashboard).

Related Article: How Much Do Data Analytics Services Cost?

So instead of trying to find the PERFECT unicorn data candidate, let's instead focus on leveling up existing staff and/or hiring some to be a hybrid analyst/designer.

The engineering side is your biggest headache due to the fractured landscape of tools, fees, and unpredictable costs. It's why we started Datateer... and we'd love to help you get started!

What Datateer Data Analytics Platform Customers Say

"We created 100 different metrics very relevant to our customers. We have seen significant growth in our key accounts."

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Chief Strategy Officer @ Motion Recruitment

"Datateer understood our data and consolidated all that information in a way that dramatically improved the speed and quality of client conversations."

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Adam Roderick

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About the Author

Adam's tech career spans startups to global firms, touching finance, tourism, e-commerce, and consulting. Spotting a way to give small- and medium-sized companies an advantage with data, he founded Datateer to democratize analytics. He values relentless progress, simplifying complexity, and putting people first.

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