One of Hanson’s core values is “stay curious,” an attitude of continuous learning that characterizes our employees and reflects the ever-evolving nature of our industry. To celebrate this value, we’ve been talking to various Hansonites about career lessons learned, starting first with Ben Eddings, video production specialist, and then Sue Woten-Schultz, account director. Today we’re talking to connection strategist Chris Kujawski.

Mindy: Chris, you hold an individual certification in Google Analytics, and are a key contributor to the agency’s standing as a Google Analytics Certified Partner. How close is this work to what you originally set out to do?

Chris: I graduated with a degree in Electronic Media & Film, and spent a year after college working in video production for Comcast and then the Cleveland Browns. I didn’t anticipate working directly with Google.

If you were to ask my friends and family, though, they would agree that I was always meant to do something with numbers. When I was young I wanted to be not a doctor or a police officer but a sports statistician. During college I developed a passion for web metrics and analytics, and took a course on Google Analytics and Google Adwords. So finding myself in this career and role isn’t as surprising as my formal degree may lead one to believe.

Mindy: Given the breadth of your background, then, was there anything in particular that surprised you when you first started working in data analysis and strategy?

Chris: The first thing that stood out to me was the amount of available data that programs like Google Analytics and SiteCatalyst made readily available to businesses out of the box. It’s funny to look back at that now, though, since the out of the box offerings have grown ten-fold since then.

Another surprising thing (which still surprises me today) is that there really isn’t a degree program at any major university that specializes in this industry. The growth rate has been large for the past five-plus years and will continue to grow, yet there is no formal education.

Mindy: I know you have guest lectured on the topic in the college classroom. Do you think the educational tide is changing?

Chris: Yes. We’re going to start to see more degree programs focus in metrics, paid media, and digital marketing in the coming years.

Mindy: What’s something you wish you had known when you first started?

Chris: Javascript. I have always been interested in how metrics can drive marketing decisions, but I didn’t realize javascript would be such a big part of that. It helps you to craft what you are going to track and how to get there. We have great engineers and programmers with this knowledge, but over the years I’ve learned what I’ve needed to do my job well, and understanding it myself has made a positive impact on the quality of work I have been able to deliver. For anyone planning to specialize in analytics implementation, this is a valuable programming language to learn.

Mindy: Great advice. Thanks, Chris!