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The most common path to become an analytics manager is through promotion from a business intelligence position. Analytics is a term used to describe both the actual process of analyzing data and the software used to complete this type of task. A very common use of analytics is the analysis of sales data for a particular product. The product manager and sales team will review reports that summarize actual activity over a period of time. The details, charts, graphs, and related tools used to isolate areas of strength and weakness are normally provided through an analytics software product.
In order to become an analytics manager, a candidate is expected to have a university degree in statistics, advanced math, or computer science. This is not a position that you can qualify for based on skills learned on the job. Additional training with at least one of the various tools available on the market is often required when applying for this type of position. Experience in business intelligence application, creation of data warehouses, cubes, and ad hoc queries are all essential and form the majority of the tasks completed in this position.
Analyzing huge volumes of data and creating reports for senior management form a large part of the services provided in an analytics department. Most managers have a strong background in the data management industry, and are able to define the best business practices and processes to create the reports required. The quality of the data and the relationship between the decision under review and the information presented plays a critical role in the quality of the final decision.
The type of people who experience the greatest success once they become an analytics manager are detail-oriented, enjoy working with technology, and are very good with numbers and data management. The primary role of the analytics manager is to provide direction to staff, evaluate the different technologies available to manage the company's business analysis requirements, work with business users to understand their needs, and manage projects. A firm understanding of the business needs and excellent communication skills are very valuable for anyone who wants to become an analytics manager. In most cases, business users know what they want to see, but are unaware of the steps required to make that a reality. He or she may assume the data selection rules are obvious, based on the request. It is the responsibility of the analytics manager to get more information and provide the proper framework for the request.