The Journey from Academic Librarian to Digital Analytics Consultant

The Journey from Academic Librarian to Digital Analytics Consultant
Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Switching careers is hard. When you’re also moving to a new industry in a role that is totally different from anything you’ve ever done, it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed. Seven months after making the leap, I feel it’s time to share what I have been through and why joining InfoTrust is one of the best decisions I have made at this stage of my life. 

The Start of My Data Journey

I was an academic librarian in higher education for 12 years. I was always in a user-facing role, from teaching and reference to marketing. Wearing the research hat, I was able to turn my curiosity about other subjects into my own portfolio in the field of instruction assessment and intercultural communication. Though not a lot of technical knowledge was required, I did develop my soft skills for working with users from aerospace engineering to gender studies. 

When the library was going through a website redesign, I had the opportunity to learn Google Analytics for the first time. Before that, I did focus groups, interviews, and surveys to capture users’ feedback regarding the website effectiveness. When I realized there is a free tool to capture users’ behavior, it blew my mind. I started to analyze the data and helped my organization to make insightful recommendations rather than relying on intuition. I realized a new world had opened its door for me. I wished I had found the world of digital analytics earlier. I was so impressed with the possibilities this new world offered that I began to think about focusing on digital analytics as a new career path.

One Step at a Time

Does analytics require a lot of technical skills like coding? Does it require a marketing background? Is consulting at an agency stressful? Will I have a work-life balance? I had so many questions but I was eager to find out the answers.

So I did the following:

  1. Started an analytics volunteer job for a local theater for their campaign tracking and general traffic analysis using Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager
  2. Joined the Digital Analytics Association and found my star mentor, who I became colleagues with later
  3. Learned as much as I could from Google Analytics Academy, LinkedIn Learning, analytics Youtubers and vloggers, and passed the GAIQ qualification test
  4. Took data analysis and visualization courses while I was working at the university
  5. Researched companies with a healthy culture 

Finding My Unicorn

Five months in, I was determined I wanted to work for InfoTrust. I had heard of the company years ago and had a very positive impression after browsing the website and reading reviews. I felt it would be a great match based on my top criteria: growing business, learning environment, and work-life balance. All boxes were checked, and there are many more bonus points I did not expect after joining the company.

During the first several months, I honestly felt like I knew nothing, and even doubted myself. Other colleagues seemed so smart and technically savvy. I had never even heard of some basic terms such as SOW and UAT. I wished I could have had an extra year to learn basic web development, javascript, web design, digital marketing, and so on. In fact, many new hires shared my concerns. I found this out thanks to a positive environment at InfoTrust where I can find people with similar questions. The stress eased as time passed and my confidence boosted thanks to my supportive colleagues. All the dots I was spending a lot of time on finally connected and things started to make sense to me. It was a rewarding experience. 

I wanted to write this article for people like me. If you’re thinking about switching to be an analyst and you do not have technical skills, there is still a good chance you can make it as you meet other requirements. InfoTrust has a robust onboarding process and training program, but they truly care if you show the right attitude to learn. In fact, I now see more people with diverse backgrounds joining the company. We believe everyone can bring their own unique strengths to the team and it will ultimately benefit clients and the organization. 

InfoTrust is hiring!

Want to join an award-winning team with amazing benefits? Consider applying to one of our open positions!


  • Hong Cheng

    Hong Cheng is currently a digital analytics consultant at InfoTrust. In this role, she helps D2C and retailer clients collect robust data across platforms and devices. She is committed to helping clients have a solid tag implementation, an essential first step for making data-driven decisions. She is a life-long analytics learner, digital marketing enthusiast, and she always wants to learn more about consumers and businesses.

Originally Published: January 13, 2023

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January 13, 2023

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