Analytics Advice from 27 Industry Leaders in 2017

November 22, 2017

The increasing amount of data in the world has some companies thriving and others suffocating. The difference between the two is found in the organization’s ability to build mature digital intelligence programs that delight customers whose first language is digital. 

At the 2017 Analytics Summit, 27 industry experts presented forward-looking strategies for success, touching on top-of-the-mind, tip-of-the-tongue topics like data analysis beyond the clickstream; machine learning and artificial intelligence; actionable data visualization and storytelling; strategic implementation architecture; and more. 

Read below to discover the key insights from ObservePoint’s 2017 Analytics Summit

Digital Intelligence: The Strategy For Engagement Success With Data, Analytics & Tech 

James McCormick Principal Analyst, Forrester

“We’re in an age where the customer is more empowered than ever before to engage with us. And it’s them, not us, who are dictating that narrative. It reminds us that one of the key things we need to master in this age of the customer—to entice them and to get them to do the right things for both themselves and for us—is to deliver the right experience and the best experience...As such, companies need an overarching strategy that leverages every customer interaction, evolving their understanding of their customers so the companies can adjust the treatment or experience they are providing their customer. Then it’s rinse and repeat.” 

The Strategy For Engagement Success With Data, Analytics & Tech

John Pestana Co-founder of ObservePoint and Omniture Digital Intelligence

“Technology has evolved significantly over the last 20 years. Data is everywhere. With all the added complexity, many companies experience failure in their data management and governance practices. We find leaders across enterprises are uncertain how to mature their digital intelligence programs, and things are getting more and more complex as we move forward. This challenge sparked ObservePoint. We’re trying to empower people to govern and trust the data that they’re working with.”

They Came, Now What? Translating Emotion to Targeted Activity

Matt Gellis Founder and CEO, Keystone Solutions

“True customer experience optimization requires continual discovery and exploration. Emotional connections are beneficial to a brand only as long as the brand is able to translate those connections into revenue. If companies aren’t able to cash in on customer loyalty, then the investment in building brand awareness and loyalty will slip like sand through their fingers. To make their technology implementation worth it, companies need to take consumers from feeling to doing.” 

Ten Tips for Presenting Data

Michele Kiss Senior Partner, Analytics Demystified

“When we work with what we know about human perception, we can make the complex world of data more accessible—and, more importantly, actionable. No matter how comprehensive your data, how thorough your analysis, or how important the findings, it is all for nought if people don’t understand it. Data visualisation isn’t just about making things look ‘pretty’—rather, it’s critically important to communicating data, and make your work understood.” 

Data Governance Automation in 2018 — Think Global, Act Local

Eric Dumain VP of Product, ObservePoint

“While the digital industry is real-time based, it has never been so complex to get actionable data and insights. Digital analytics technologies are constantly emerging and pushing further speed and volume of data, yet it is impossible to compensate for heavy process and human resource shortcomings. Hence today, too many organizations are still struggling with their data-driven decisions. Well-structured business processes and well-chosen technologies, alongside data governance automation, will be the game changers, allowing digital analysts to re-focus on data strategy, to build consistent and solid longer-term projects, and to think global and to act local.” 

Data Ops: A Complete Solution to Everything [Data-Driven]

Chris Meares Vice President of Analytics and Partner, MaassMedia

“Businesses that use data intelligently are shown to outperform their competitors. To become a data driven organization, you need to start out by ensuring that your data is completely dependable. When building and using big data repositories that include digital, customer, product, financial, demographic, first-party and third-party data, it becomes harder and harder to manage and govern the integrity of these data sets. Data operations provides organizations with a set of processes, standards, and rules that enable analytics and IT teams to create a stable data foundation.” 

10 Organizational Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Data

Peter Symuleski Manager, Data and Analytics Strategy, NBC Universal

“Getting the most from your analytics can sometimes be a convoluted process, but it’s extremely important that you understand exactly what your tools are for, why you need them, and how you can get the most out of them. Learning to work with product owners, developers and marketing teams can sometimes help in solving some of your business’s toughest problems. Creating a working environment that optimizes output across implementation and analysis is a starting point for achieving more ‘wins’ and getting your implementations out of backlog hell.” 

Fundamentals of A/B & Multivariate Testing

Daryl Acumen Manager, Journey Strategy & Adoption, Adobe

“If you can’t measure it, then it doesn’t exist! In today’s results-oriented analytic environment, it is important for digital professionals to be able to show constant improvement in their KPIs. Testing is the key to such improvement and understanding how to test, what to test, and how to interpret the results have become must-have skills for marketing and analytic professionals everywhere.”

Effective Strategies for Building a Data-Driven Culture

Brent Dykes Director, Data Strategy, Domo

“Today, most companies have more data than they know what to do with. However, success won’t be defined by how much data is collected, but what organizations are able to do with it. Building a data driven culture will be what separates leaders from followers in the data economy.” 

7 Strategies for Mobile App Analytics Testing in 2018

Sun Sneed Director of Product Management, ObservePoint

“Building an engaging mobile app isn’t a matter of bloating your app with a large amount of features, or even creatively marketing it. It is about refining experiences and paying attention to the details you uncover from app analytics analysis—to do this well, you must have complete confidence that your data is sound. Mobile app analysis is equally important to mobile app development. Through quality app analytics data you can identify your application’s strengths and weaknesses, anticipate user behavior, and deliver a better experience.” 

Marketing Analytics in the Age of Machine Learning

David Booth Founding & Senior Partner, Cardinal Path

“We’re in the midst of a digital revolution that has fundamentally changed the customer journey and broken traditional measurement. Despite the challenges, opportunities abound to tap into rapid technology growth to push your boundaries. Today, artificial intelligence and machine learning are enabling smarter marketing at scale. With continued advancements, it won’t be long before it’s table stakes, and those that are preparing now will reap the rewards.” 

How GDPR Is a Prime Opportunity for Data Professionals

Adam Corey Chief Marketing Officer, Tealium

“We’re speeding towards to the fourth industrial revolution like a bullet—from Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality to the Internet of Things—many companies are embracing digital innovation and reaping the rewards. But there’s a vital consideration that has been trailing behind—data protection. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)—a new law that will affect all companies dealing with the data of EU citizens—is due to come into force in May 2018 and it will give individuals unprecedented rights over their personal data. But beyond the confusion, there’s a great opportunity with GDPR for data professionals to leverage GDPR and the prep work required to help establish data as a priority in your organization, improve data quality standards and ownership, and build greater trust with your users.” 

In Stitches: Assembling a Complete Visitor Data Profile

Danielle Ackles Director of Analytics, Merkle

“Most businesses do a good job of offering their users multiple ways to interact with their brand, where they fall short is connecting the multiple entry points back to the same user. A sound data connectivity strategy would go a long way in providing a 360° view of your customers.” 

In Stitches: Assembling a Complete Visitor Data Profile

Scott Cannon Lead Analytics Architect, Merkle

“Setting the foundation. Merging online and offline data. Cross-device tracking. Visitor authentication. Data validation. In order to support a holistic view into user behavior, it’s imperative that you capture as many touchpoints as possible.”

Agility and Component-ability in Analytics in 2018

Mike Harmanos Marketing Analyst, Yamaha Corporation of America 

“In 2017, analytics reached new and dazzling heights, starting to mature as an industry and gaining C-level attention—positively and negatively. Here’s a fearless prediction: in 2018, analytics will focus on the speed and adaptability of building out those insights. The machines are getting smarter. The tools are getting more sophisticated. But they don’t have the human ingenuity that makes the big impact. Humans will always outperform machines in improvising. That’s where some of the value from analytics could be in 2018: Component-ability—breaking analytics tasks, processes, and relationships with humans into manageable components, and maximizing your abilities to reach goals.” 

Inspired Insights: The PICA Protocol for Actionable Data Viz

Lea Pica Data Visualization + Storytelling Director, Search Discovery

“Are your data visualizations inspiring action or obscuring your valuable insights? Data visualization methodology and learning how to present analytical insights in a clear, compelling, and impactful way is the difference between becoming indispensable or fading into the woodwork. Get your data story heard and acted upon.” 

Zen and the Art of Sustainable Implementations

Jason Thompson Co-founder, 33 Sticks

“Companies and analysts alike need to get out of their comfort zone of building analytics implementations. At some point in time, you actually need to start making informed business decisions from the data you collect. Digital analytics holds the promise of providing deep insights into consumer behavior, yet so many companies are bogged down in a never-ending cycle of teardown and rebuild of their analytics infrastructure. Being caught in this cycle means companies rarely are able to fully benefit from the value that an investment in digital analytics can return. Focusing on building sustainable analytics implementations not only lowers costs in the long run, it enables companies to focus their investment dollars on driving insights from data.”

Standardizing Reporting in a Growing Media Landscape

Oren Kessler, Manager, Data Strategy at Nickelodeon, Viacom

“Data is like horticulture; there is some science to it, some art to it and it takes a while to get it just right. New platforms pop up all the time. Figuring out how to keep your reporting current (and changing with the times) while also maintaining standards can be a difficult challenge, but standardization is the key to sustaining your implementations.”

Show Me the Money: How Page Speed Impacts Your Bottom Line

Roopa Carpenter Director of Optimization, Blast Analytics & Marketing

“Real action can only come from solid insights. To evolve, we must continue to search for ways to obtain those insights, and that’s what we’re doing. A critical aspect that’s missing from site performance analysis is how page speed directly impacts your businesses KPIs. We have developed a page speed script that will provide your team with this critical information. After learning how to implement and run this test, your team will have a better understanding of how page speed directly affects your site, and your revenue.” 

Actionable Uses of Google Analytics

Charles Farina Director of Growth & Development, Analytics Pros 

“Data never lies. Data is going to tell the truth, and if you’re going to follow the data correctly, you can have some amazing results. How you combine multiple data sources to tell a compelling, insight-rich story is easier than you may think. Once you do, you may find great optimization opportunities that can generate millions of dollars in incremental revenue.”

Combining Multiple Data Sources to Tell the Whole Story

Daniel Herdean CEO & Cofounder, Cognetik 

“Your digital analytics implementation is only as good as the actions you’ve taken from it. Too often the material around digital analytics focuses on the volume of data that you could be tracking about your users. Focus on actionable uses of your analytics to combine qualitative and quantitative data, improve campaigns, and improve your websites and experiences. It’s all about actionable analytics!” 

How to Build a Testing Optimization Center of Excellence

David Rogers Testing, Optimization & Analytics Strategy, Slalom Consulting

“Sometimes small changes have a huge impact, but identifying those changes can be difficult without a proven process. Often, organizations measure their testing success by how many tests are live at any given time but leaders are underwhelmed by the results. We need to build a testing process that allows for best ideas to surface, operationalize executing against ideas, and then focus on insights and learnings. Without a testing program across the organization, for all departments to tap into, we lose the opportunity to develop better experiences.” 

Digital in Context: Integrating Business Data in 2018

Colin Temple Director of Analytics Solutions, Napkyn Analytics

“Digital analysts and marketers have become very skilled at measuring just about everything that falls under their domain, but few have much visibility beyond the digital channel. Without the proper context, even the most accurate digital data can lead to poor business decisions. Instead, this data must be joined with information from across the business, from CRM to merchandising, in order to yield the most fruitful results. A part of any competent strategy going into 2018 should involve aggregating these sources of data together to better understand the digital channel, and make better enterprise decisions from it. By marrying digital data with enterprise context, their insights into the bottom line, and their contributions to it, improve dramatically.” 

Looking Forward to 2018 and Beyond: Where the Data Is Taking Us

Krista Seiden Analytics Advocate and Product Manager, Google Analytics for Firebase

“We have an explosion of data and information, our data is very complex and varied, and visualizing data across systems is tough. But, we’ve found ways now, through products that we are working on at Google, to solve some of these or to make some of these pain points easier for you.”

Customer Intelligence Rockstar Tips and Tricks

Ben Gaines Group Product Manager, Adobe

“Truly impacting the customer experience with data can seem daunting, but whatever tools you’ve got today will allow you to get started and drive real change in your org. The push to turn your customer data into real action can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, tools and capabilities both new and old make it easier than it may seem to get started. Even 100-year-old brands are successfully using new marketing technologies to bring their customer experience toward the promise and vision of analytics.” 

Driving True Value: Moving Your Data Stream Beyond the Click

Eric Myers Senior Analytics Implementation & Management Consultant, Keystone Solutions 

“Delivering clickstream data alone will no longer set your team apart. Today’s measurement strategy requires you and your team to help drive your organization’s bottom line, and can even help to enhance it through credible inventive analysis. Your team has to integrate more sources of data and build additional predictive values to drive the business. While you and your team first focused on clicks and prescriptive analysis, now with more data streams and perspectives available for your interpretation, you can drive immensely more value through your analysis.” 

How MarTech Management Closes the Data Governance Loop

Ken Holladay Product Manager, ObservePoint

“Companies have been widely adopting MarTech solutions to support their evolving digital marketing strategies, but many are still failing to deliver the quality data needed to drive real results. Vendor solutions often conflict, impact, overlap, duplicate and don’t really deliver on their value propositions. This year, and continuing on into 2018, there is a growing recognition for the need to govern the data collected by marketing teams, to ensure it is accurate and complete. But the best way to drive governing your data is to begin by governing your MarTech stack. Marketing technologists should target their efforts to create a convergence of clean, enriched data, innovative strategy and a stack with technology solutions that make sense.” 

Watch the Virtual Analytics Summit on Demand Today

The Analytics Summit is a free, one-day conference that brings together digital marketing and analytics professionals from around the world to discuss strategies, explore new solutions and network with one another in a dynamic virtual environment. The 2017 summit sessions are now on-demand.


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