- Aileen Yu |
The world of fashion has changed tremendously in the last decade, paving the way for new jobs in fashion. FashionUnited takes a deeper look into the role of a fashion data analyst. The responsibility of a data analyst working in fashion is to utilize all digital information collected to help retail and fashion companies become more profitable by predicting trends and consumer behaviour. This position could be perfect for an individual who would like to dive into the realm of computer science, but not have to give up their love for fashion. On FashionUnited, leading brands such as Nike, Pandora, Under Armour and Sweaty Betty are on the lookout for talented data analysts to join their growing teams.
The role of a data analyst in fashion and retail
Similar to a trend forecaster, a fashion data analyst stays on top of the trends and consumer behaviour before they even happen.Data analysts do this by collecting, analyzing and defining all visitor data from the brands’ digital channels. In recent years, social media has disrupted the fashion industry as consumers and brands alike are liking, tweeting and editing endless fashion ideas in real time. From who is wearing what to the specific textile or source of the product-all data is carefully analyzed. In the video “How data analytics and BI are making waves in the retail sector,” Jedidiah Francis-owner of Jed.ai and formerly the Head of Data Science at Asos- states that in today’s volatile landscape of retail and fashion, a successful company should strive to find a happy medium between data-driven decisions and human intelligence.
Most of a fashion data analyst’s time will be spent analyzing and “cleaning data.” This means separating the positive data from the negative into information and presentations the company can understand. Then, using math skills and formulas, a data analyst will help create algorithms to optimize the brand’s performance, sales and engagement online. Most importantly, the data analyst will continue to monitor the algorithm to make sure it increases the company’s overall performance and efficiency.
Here are some key duties and required skills taken from current data analyst vacancies in fashion on FashionUnited:
- Translate complex data insights into clear stories and understandable presentations.
- Deliver cutting-edge marketing analytics projects in areas such as segmentation & personalization, reporting automation and data integration.
- Drive automation, for all KPI measurements as well as define and create an executive consumable KPI dashboard.
- Drive the implementation and use of data-driven decision processes.
- Experience with Agile, LEAN methodologies a plus. Ability to code in Python.
- Help the brand evolve by designing, building, testing, and maintaining tools and services that help internal customers easily provision and use cloud-based data environments.
- Provide solutions through forward-looking insights of engineering metric data.
- A solution-oriented attitude that focuses on continuous improvement.
What to study
Data analysts are usually STEM majors and pursue a more advanced degree in either math, engineering, programming, or predictive analytics. At New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, a certificate program in data analytics is available as part of a degree with a fashion major. In this program, FIT offers courses such as web analytics and e-commerce tracking. Combining these studies with fashion merchandising or history of art can further help you develop into a well-rounded candidate for a career as a fashion data analyst.
How to become a data analyst in fashion
Working in retail while studying is also a valuable experience since you’ll learn the ins and outs of how a brick and mortar store runs, what sells on the shop floor and the importance of customer service. Hands-on experience in retail will help a data analyst better use their knowledge to predict trends and gain consumer insight. There are also universities that offer internships in retail as part of a fashion merchandising analyst program. After graduating with a degree or specializing as a data analyst, you can start applying to fashion and retail companies.
According to international recruitment firm, Michael Page, in 2017 Asos overtook Marks and Spencer to become the UK’s most valuable retailer. This proves that data-driven insights and technologies are now necessary for brands to compete and thus the job of a data analyst is a position in the fashion industry that will only increase in demand. From Consumer Data Analyst to Human Resource Data Analyst, there is more than one area of focus for this role in fashion and retail. Find out which department you’d be interested to work in as a data analyst and also be sure to research the company culture when applying for jobs.
Photo by Roman Pohorecki from PexelsMultimedia: Heidi Law