As a part of The Shortcut’s mission to equip talent with the skills they need for the current job market, we recently organised a Google Analytics Individual Qualification training session in collaboration with data analytics company Quru. This was our third collaboration with Quru, and as always, we were thrilled at the overwhelming attendance and positive feedback from people wanting to upskill themselves! Presenting here Mira Mäkiranta, CEO of Quru. She explains what Quru does and shares her tips for the digital analysts of tomorrow.
Tell us a bit about yourself — your professional and personal background.
I am the CEO, as well as one of the founding members of Quru. I have been working with data for quite a long time; when I had just started out after graduating, my first job was with surveys. Basically, I spent a few years making questionnaires and being a market researcher. Later, I wound up delving into web analytics, which felt like a natural next step into the world of data. For as long as Quru has existed — over ten years now! — I have been training people to use Google Analytics, as well as teaching analytics in the broader sense.
Could you introduce Quru to our readers?
Quru’s main mission is to make data useful; both in terms of marketing and within the digital world. Usually, one of the big challenges that data companies face is that they have a lot of data, but it is scattered and too broad — most of it ends up never getting used. What Quru aims to do is help companies make better use of their data; our approach is to systematically help the company to first sort through their data, and then to make the data useful. Then, of course, we also teach web analytics such as Google Analytics: I have also officially been a Google Regional Trainer for analytics since 2014. Apart from training in Google Analytics, we also help companies master and optimise their use of other Google tools as well as Adobe tools, and how their data can aid their advertising.
What do you think are the necessary skills required to become a Marketing Professional or a digital analyst?
For somebody who wants to become a digital analyst, the key is, of course, having an analytical way of thinking. Something that is equally valuable, however, is the ability to be creative with the data you are offered. Ultimately, though people sometimes assume that creativity is all about being visual, and many people assume that because analysts work with numbers they cannot be creative — but I don’t think that’s true. I’m a staunch believer in the notion that creativity is the ability to find new ways to solve problems, and being able to think outside of the box. These are both things that are crucial in becoming a digital analyst, even though crunching numbers is part of the job.
Not too long ago, you held a Google Analytics Individual Qualification training session in collaboration with The Shortcut; this was already the third time Quru collaborated with The Shortcut. How was the experience?
In my experience, it’s always been great to work with The Shortcut — the people coming to the workshops are highly skilled and always motivated to learn more. It’s great to be a part of The Shortcut’s initiative; Quru is a very international company where not everyone speaks Finnish and so for Quru, The Shortcut’s mission of creating diversity in the workplace is one that we can easily identify with and feel strongly about, as well.
How does Quru approach changes and new developments in the business?
When it comes to evolving our company, we essentially think of two different fields — on one hand, we are always looking to optimise our processes according to what already exists in the field. On the other hand, certain changes in the business demand complete innovation.
What are some of the principles you consider most important for a young organisation here in Finland? What does Quru do differently to stand out as an employer?
We are really skilled in web analytics and conversion-driven digital marketing, and we have people that have been working with web analytics for over ten years. That experience is what makes us a bit different from the majority of data analytics companies out there. However, we are looking for all kinds of people — we have juniors starting all the time. This way, we don’t only have junior employees that are eager to learn from our more experienced analysts, but our senior analysts also get the chance to learn, as analytics are changing constantly and at an ever faster pace. There will never be a tool that can solve it all, so we will always need people who are able to come up with new ideas and innovate the field.
We are honoured to share our platform with industry leaders like you and extend relevant knowledge to the potential workforce available here. What are your thoughts on the giving-back culture?
Giving-back culture is a true win-win concept. It’s a pathway for Quru to reach top-notch professionals, and the community learns something — some of them also find good career opportunities. Not to mention all the fun I have had personally when working with The Shortcut.
Do you think there’s enough scope and career opportunities for a marketing professional or analyst here in Finland?
Oh, I do! Digital professionals and analysts are in very high demand already. The more international Finnish businesses manage to be in the future, the more often they will have English as the official language, and the bigger advantage it is to know also other languages and cultures. Back in the day Nokia Mobile Phones taught everyone who worked there or for them to be truly international. I see a lot of that spirit still going on — and it’s growing.
What would be your advice for someone aiming to be hired by Quru or similar agencies?
It may sound corporate, but in the end it’s about wanting to constantly learn, being curious. I also firmly believe that in order to be a good marketer in the digital world, it’s not only about being tech savvy and knowing all the digital marketing tools, but also — and even primarily — about knowing the client’s business field. The broader the knowledge you have in both of these areas, the easier it will be to effectively navigate the world of digital marketing.
By Charlotte Van Hulle – March 10th, 2020