The world of tech is ever-evolving and there is a lot of cross-team collaboration required for many digital projects. Whether a team is working on an e-commerce website, an app, or a new piece of software, there will generally be a lot of information exchange required between different roles.
Depending on the type of website or software that a developer is working on, they will need insights and information in order to build and maintain it. And that's where a data analyst comes in. Whether it's measuring the search volume of keywords, analyzing the number of website visits in a given month, or examining reasons behind the bounce rate, the ways in which web developers work with data analysts varies from project to project.
As such valuable team members, data analysts work with various different teams and provide information relating to different aspects of the business, creating and working with programs and tools to pull data and produce reports. Then, they share their insights with relevant teams all across the business and for a web developer, factors such as website traffic and user behavior while on-site are important. These are the types of things about which they will consult an analyst.
What Does a Web Developer Do?
Web developers use code to build websites and usually specialize either in front-end or back-end development, working alongside other team members such as UX designers or data analysts, depending on the type of project. When talking about how web developers and data analysts work together, we can say the following:
Developers generally work with data analysts in relation to website maintenance when analysts need information such as the number of sessions or site visits in a given time frame, the bounce rate, time on site, and, in the case of e-commerce sites, the number of sales or additions to carts.
Other popular code includes Python, Ruby, Java, and PHP and developers work with tools such as GitHub, GitLab, and Jira in their day-to-day work. They collaborate closely with analysts when it comes to planning, as well as understanding the overall performance of a website, app, or piece of software.
What Does a Data Analyst Do?
Data analysts collect and process data relating to various aspects of website performance, then turning it into meaningful information that allows other team members to make smart decisions. It is important for a web developer to understand metrics such as traffic volume, page speed, and where visits are coming from and data analysts can pull this information and present it in an understandable way.
Factors such as time frame and progress compared with the previous year may also be important for an analyst to consider. They might need to clean a dataset and remove duplicate visits, for example, before drawing insights and presenting them to a developer. Using tools to pull data is one part of their role; finding the story or pattern behind it is another.
Data patterns and trends
Data analysts also assist web developers by identifying trends in data, working with tools such as Tableau, SAS, Microsoft Excel, Google Analytics, and Apache Spark to do this. An analyst will need to know which tools are best suited to which types of data and work by condensing large pieces of information into small, bitesize chunks that let stakeholders digest it quickly. It is important for analysts to be able to identify patterns and trends and to enjoy working with numbers and statistics.
Collaboration Between Web Developers and Data Analysts
Let's say a team is working on a recipe and wellness app. The developer is responsible for building it, but in order to build it effectively, they need to understand which sections of the app get the most traffic:
Which pages or areas have a high bounce rate?
Are there any features in the app that could be optimized?
How many returning visitors does the app receive each month?
How many new signups does it get?
A data analyst can help with these kinds of questions and will create reports to present the information to a developer in a concise way. The developer can then use the information to build the app further.
Goals & targets
Data analysts also help developers to understand when their goals are being met. This is a crucial factor where these teammates collaborate. If a business has a target to increase traffic by 20% quarter over quarter, it’s the analyst's job to report on the figures. This information can then be used by a developer (perhaps in collaboration with other team members such as a UX designer or business manager) to know whether or not they are on track or reached this target. Understanding the overall performance of any website or app is essential to its growth.
It is very common for teams in the digital space to work towards quarterly goals. Data analysts are responsible for keeping everyone informed in relation to their progress towards these goals; data is also often used to plan around future performance and is key in defining growth objectives for a business. It is also important in helping web developers to make decisions about how the website should be built and maintained. Analysts study the current performance and present insights to developers.
Your interest may lie with web development or data analytics; both are fantastic choices and ones that will help you create a successful tech career. At Ironhack, we offer bootcamps in both web development and data analytics, preparing you to enter the workforce immediately after graduation.
Ready? See you in class!