Analysts are actors and advocates
Kelly: I cared about so many talks that were very different, including Ibrahim Elawadi’s talk about how to measure the value of analytics and how to get value out of analytics. Spoiler alert: Achieving value requires change, and change requires people taking intentional action.
Matt Gershoff’s talk about using data to advocate for the customer also stands out. My favorite quote from the conference was from Gershoff: “The solution lives in the problem.” That’s why we collect and test the data—to get to our true objective of serving the customer. Analysts have a direct line to advocate to senior executives about what needs to change for customers.
Zero-party data enrichment, minimizing bias, nixing imposter syndrome
Jeremy: Zero-party data enrichment via sources like CRM, CDP, product warehouses, etc. will become increasingly more important and impactful, as privacy policies continue to become more prominent and strict. Being able to utilize your data and enhance what you do collect will allow businesses to continue to thrive in this ever-changing, consent-driven frontier.
Like Kelly, I took away the importance of truly understanding and measuring the value of analytics. When considering the value of what we do in accordance with business decisions and impact, we need to be sure we understand and embrace uncertainties and minimize biases. Regarding uncertainty, it is important to understand the probability of different outcomes and incorporate that information into the decision-making process. Regarding biases, recognizing and mitigating biased decisions will allow you to understand the true value of your analytics infrastructure.
It is important to understand that in our industry, there are truly no wrong questions to ask, just better ways to ask your questions. It is important that we all understand that we have something to bring to the table and should never try to worry about things like, “what if I am not expert enough?” or, “what If I ask the wrong question or answer the question wrong?” or even, “what if I misunderstood the question and look like a fool?”
If you are in a position to help, do it! As a community, we are the sum of our constituents, and we should strive to be the best we can be and work together to build toward a better future.
Surprisingly lagging cloud adoption
Ken: Leaders from many of the leading Analytics consultancies agreed that clients are still very slow to deploy solutions that rely on cloud computing (propensity modeling, value-centric measurement, media mix, etc.), despite a resounding consensus that these solutions can have a dramatic impact on business outcomes. I suspect we will see greater adoption over the coming years as marketers become more familiar with these capabilities and how to deploy them effectively.
Kelly: There is less of an overlap (more of a silo) between analytics teams and experimentation teams than there should be. Less awareness/communication and understanding of folks in the analytics industry in the optimization world. Less interchange. As we talked, I knew what they did, and they were surprised to learn about some of the stuff that experimentation teams did. Yet, we’re all analysts. I identified that there’s an opportunity for us to learn and work together more. We could learn from each other, and in doing so, we could have a greater impact on our respective programs.
Jeremy: In this ever-changing, ever-expanding world of privacy and consent, people still find amazing ways to achieve and exceed business expectations. Although I was not surprised at the challenges people continue to face, I was very impressed at how many amazing solutions have been developed in the face of these challenges.
Ken: There was a very interesting presentation from John Lovett on what it means to treat your data and the assets that data analysts create as products. This includes thinking through a product lifecycle and the user experience of those who interact with our product.
Google Optimize sunset creates experimentation opportunities
Kelly: We have the sunset of Google Optimize on the horizon, and they’re not replacing it. They’re going to integrate with other platforms. That means that everyone who’s currently using Google Optimize is going to have to choose a different platform.
Optimize was problematic b/c it was session-based and several other issues, BUT it was free, so it got many companies experimenting and helped started cultures of experimentation that otherwise wouldn’t exist. I’m excited that those companies who got started are hopefully still excited about using data to drive decision-making and change, and they’ll continue doing so with better optimization platforms or through other methods, like through structured ideation techniques.
Bot detection/human detection
Jeremy: The idea of bot detection is not a new idea and has been in motion for a while now, but how this detection process works is what needs to be overhauled. With the continual move towards a privacy/consent-driven world, assuring that the data you ARE collecting is truly human data will force the industry to look at enhanced solutions to address a problem that has been a digital media problem for many years (which many professionals may not even realize).
More bot detection
Ken: A lot of interesting work is being done to detect bots and identify ad fraud. Most marketers today are not aware of how rampant this problem is, but a lot of smart people are working on solutions that may create dramatic improvements for advertisers to optimize the return on investment they are seeing from digital media channels.
We love our community!
Jeremy: It is easy to forget that this industry consists of like-minded individuals who, at the end of the day, are just people. These people are all trying to solve unique and common problems, just like the rest of us.
Superweek is a unique place where these like-minded individuals, solving unique problems, get to collaborate and connect with each other in a single location and discuss so many things, from work topics to family topics to simply sitting on a couch watching multiple people play their guitars and singing classic rock songs.
Our industry is in a pretty amazing position that allows us to be able to ask a lot of questions and have the support of these individuals who are happy to help when they can. We should use these relationships to become better ourselves.
Ken: The best part about Superweek is the time you get to spend sitting in the hotel lobby chatting with other people in the industry for hours. We are all working and thinking about the same challenges (ex., privacy, fraud, incrementality testing, etc.), and we have a unique opportunity to share ideas and learn from one another.
Kelly: The importance of coming together with others from all over the world, to learn, to share, to challenge one another… In the end, we all are better for the time we spent together talking, laughing, learning. Truly a superweek.