The Full Stack Analyst
You might be wondering: What exactly is a Full Stack Analyst? It’s my catchall-phrase that I invented over the years to describe who I am and what I do. Let me explain by quickly telling my personal story. You can read the full story on my personal homepage.
My career started out as a developer while I was still in school. Following that, I started building desktop applications, websites, and apps as a freelancer. This is where I learned about project- and demand management, handling stakeholders and building maintainable systems. But then I went to university and became a psychologist with courses in statistics, coaching, and corporate development. Once I graduated, I started working full time in Digital Analytics, which has always been a part of what I offered when working as a developer anyway. Later on, all of this was accompanied by Data Science techniques I learned to use. In a following job I also handle BI topics and far more strategical areas as Analytics Lead and only Senior Analyst of the company.
So this was the short story of my life. It leaves me with a conundrum: How would I call someone with that background, experience, and responsibilities? Sure, I build dashboards in analytics tool, but I am also the person explaining the developers what they need to implement and even supply them the source code and review what they have written. I maintain all our tools like Adobe Analytics, Google Analytics, some tag managers, or Adobe Target. For Data Science applications, I build the pipelines and automatic systems and keep them running. It is also me who comes up with the corporate data strategy, integrates all the systems and manage their vendors. To round things off, I have managed a team and always enable stakeholders to be as self-serviced as possible.
I feel that titles like “Digital Analyst”, “Analytics Architect”, “Data Scientist” or “Data Analyst” would cut things a bit short. When I’m faced with a business challenge, I bring all things from above to the table to provide the best solution possible, being end-to-end responsible for both the outcome and the process. This is a situation commonly found in Start-up-companies with a small team, but also some small expert-departments in large companies. Whenever people are forced to take over new tasks on top of their area of expertise, there is a chance for a Full Stack Expert to be born.
The “Full Stack” term originates from system development, where front- and backend are traditionally separate from each other. People who work in both are often referred to as “Full Stack Developers”, since their skills and experience span across the whole tech stack. While I worked as one myself, I also find this term quite adequate for my current situation, where I cover all things Analytics. Therefore, this is how I call myself: Full Stack Analyst.
Full Stack Analytics is not only what I do, but also what this blog is about. It covers both front- and backend of Analytics and marketing technology, as well as everything around it.
Frequently asked questions
Much like a full stack developer, a full stack analyst can cover the whole chain of steps required to create value out of data. This covers data collection, processing, storage, querying, and visualization. There should also be a big emphasis on business understanding, which is required to build good solutions for the business.
Start with what you are doing in analytics today and try to broaden your skillset with adjacent skills. For example, if you are data visualization today, try to understand how that data is collected, processed, and stored. Then go into that field and experiment on your own until you feel confident enough to take on a more generalized role.