Who's Working Harder, You or Your Data? - Alex Sandrey, Tealium

There are so many definitions of 'Success' in today's ever-changing digital landscape, a popular view would be the 3 main pillars: technology, people, and process. Yet how do you ensure these pillars are successfully working together?

Join our session to learn how Tealium and ObservePoint customers can benefit when people and processes from two technologies work closer together with an 'under the hood' look at some of the integrations at a technology level, as well as how these technologies work together to provide people with a process in which to learn more about their data chain.


Alex Sandrey

Director, Customer Solutions & Delivery


Alex Sandrey is the Implementation Director, EMEA at Tealium. He has over 15 years of experience across a large range of the digital landscape, with his current role dedicated to building, running, and improving on an already amazing Customer Success Delivery team in EMEA that focuses on the collection, processing, understanding, and actioning of digital data. His team consists of Project Management, Digital Strategy, and Implementation Engineering and helps new (and existing) customers in implementing Tealium within their organisation.

Hello and welcome. My name is Alex Sandrey, I'm the Director for Customer Solutions and Delivery at Tealium. I'm going to talk to you for a brief stint around Who's Working Harder, You or your Data? Looking at ways you can use some of the tools, some of the technologies that you already have and make them work harder to get value. If you have any questions through this, please do put them down in the chat function and we can try and get to those at the end of this session. So I've been at Tealium for three years now, before that I was a customer manager. So I can see some of the challenges and at the times I knew I was falling into that trap of trying to do everything myself and not really relying on the data or the tools and the way that they're working together. Because of that, I've always wanted the companies tools to work closely together because I could see the benefits. So that's going to be the focus for what I want to talk about today. There'll be some stuff on here that's related to Tealium customers, and all of the things we talk about today will be relevant for ObservePoint customers. So there should be something, some bits you already know, but there's hopefully a few bits that he might find interesting or useful.

Before I dive into that I wanted to share a little bit of content that we've got on our website. As Tealium broadens its offering and we've got some elements of machine learning now. Well, we've not rediscovered, I think we perhaps reignited the conversation around the data quality to a much greater degree. When focusing machine learning or machine learning readiness, which is what the content is talking about. But I think the topic still resonates to the broader data ecosystem when we're looking at the wider capabilities and the wider usage of data. I wanted to quickly run through these five points here, and I'm hoping you'll be able to understand and follow with me how these apply in a wider context.

So starting with a data strategy, obviously if you're in the analytics space, this is obviously very clear and it's no doubt a mantra that you apply. But it gets watered down sometimes when you're looking for the wider context of data, not just analytics and how there should be a strategy behind all the data. Once you have that strategy that allows you to view and validate the completeness of the data, you drill from the strategy into the actual. An example being if you've got a strategy looking at purchase data, then are you looking at things like sales tax, or are you looking at number of items? Are those things you need, are those things that are available? So is the data complete to achieve your strategy.

And then from that, we move into I guess the integrity and the governance. First, if you know, what you want to collect is that being collected consistently across all of your endpoints. So is it the same data point in your mobile app as it is in your website? Is it the same set of values in those two solutions as well? And then second to that is obviously the consent. So it's ever increasingly important and I'm sure lots of people will mention consent and GDPR and all of that fun and games. And at the strategic layer, that's often very well understood and very well documented. I think sometimes it can get a little bit lost when you're going to the lower levels when you're looking at individual data points and how those are collected and what it means if people give a full or a partial or no consent, what it means in terms of collecting. And again, that comes back to the strategy. Different companies have different approaches to this. They have different ways of looking at it. We have different legal interpretations. And so it's very much on you and your business.

And the last item on that is accessibility. I don't mean accessibility in terms of, is your content accessible to the users, but I mean, this is, is your data accessible internally within your business for all of the different people and all of the different tools in order to be able to see what they can use. And so leading on from that accessibility it comes into the idea of data silos. And in the context I'm looking at it, I'm not really talking about data silos, I'm more talking about teams silos. So in some instances we have different teams using different systems with different KPIs, but they may actually be using the same underlying data; sometimes in awareness of this, sometimes not in awareness of this. Not necessarily knowing where that data is coming from and who owns it. And so that understanding of not necessarily a data silo, but in that instance it's a team silo and that's really important distinction and something to be aware of.

I've had some examples where we had teams in different countries, I mean, different tools. And one of the things we wanted to, in that instance what we wanted to do is break down those barriers and facilitate that cross team awareness. Where we see real success is when you're pulling in individuals from all those different groups and all those different tool owners. So they're aware, and whilst it may not be necessarily in their KPIs to understand where that data is coming from, they're a downstream user of that information. So an awareness of what's happening with it, why it is, what the strategy is, maybe even putting some of their KPIs into those data strategies. Is it useful one to broaden that strategy? We said at the beginning wider than just the analytics, but looking at maybe your email marketing or looking at your search or your social and seeing how you can pull all those things together.

So things we've looked at doing between Tealium and ObservePoint to try and help with some of that team collaboration and helping making those tools work better, helping you get across your data more efficiently is the first one, actually I say, it's one we've done together. This one is, is out and out. Something from ObservePoint. This is probably most of you have seen it, probably most of you will have used it. This is the Remote File Mapping. This is very simple, very effective way of redirecting a particular JS or image or HTML request to a different file that allows you to serve in the same audit different content. From a Tealium context or from a tag management context, this allows you to switch out your production instance of your tag management system with perhaps your QA or your dev instance.

This is really useful if you have perhaps a setup where aligning with your dev ops schedules for different environments, where they stand up and bring down environments based on perhaps the sprints they're working on. Or they have multiple environments with different levels of content, which don't match live. Is it a really good way of allowing you to see live content with the live requirements and seeing how your dev or how your QA instance of the tags and the change that you made there will apply in that real world environment without having to worry about different environments and things behind the scenes. As I said, it's ObservePoint functionality, but it works really well with Tealium. I've put some links in here, so you can drill into more information. I think both of those go to some of the ObservePoint help documentation, but really useful function. 

When we have, which is very much a joint effort, is around the auto triggers. So we have a few of our customers already using this. This is a really great way of, we had on the very start, the keynotes that humans make mistakes and sometimes things aren't automated , you could miss things. This is a really good way of trying to put some of that automation back in. So when you make a change in your tag management, we're able to auto run ObservePoint audits off the back of that, be it one or many audits or journeys. We have a few customers using it. The focus on here is just on that time-saving. Again, we come back to the idea of potentially you have different teams using different tools. This is an easy way to ensure that both teams are aware of what's going on through the tools themselves, rather than relying on email or Slack messages or some other third party system. This allows the two tools to talk together and to work seamlessly. 

Another one we've been working on is the idea of this multi trigger. So having the automated, once you do a publish to trigger the audits is great, but what if you don't necessarily want to run all of your audits every time you make a change? What if actually, you want to make some changes in dev and you want to make a few of those changes. And once you're happy with that, and you've done your local testing, then you want to do your auditing. So the idea behind this one is using Tealium custom tools. You're able to within the Tealium interface, trigger off one or many audits. We've also got an element here that allows you to group those all it. So again, rather than trying to find the particular audience you want to run, you can have those grouped and ready so that once you've done your testing and you want to trigger those off, you can select a single group hit save. And that will not only save in Tealium, but also trigger off the audits in ObservePoint. So again, it's trying to reduce that error, reduce that human error or time working with different tools.

Switching gears slightly. So this one goes back to the data layer and ensuring that you have the same level of information and you can make that make that data work harder than you are. So within ObservePoint the ability to review and create rules and validate on the data layer on the web for assurance is that then has always been that. Whereas we've had a few customers who've struggled to achieve the same capabilities on the AppAssurance. So one of the tags we have in our tech marketplace simply allows you to provide that same level of visibility and parity between that web and app testing in ObservePoint by simply adding this tag in Tealium. So that gives you that capability to run those parallel that allows you to run tests, and it allows you to set rules up against individual data elements, or audit that piece rather than just on the tags. 

The last couple I've got on here is looking at a couple of areas where Tealium ourselves are users of ObservePoint. The main area for me and there in customer success, we're always obviously trying to find better ways to service our customers. And so the two things we're looking at at the moment is configuration testing using Live Connect. We're using this to enhance our automated and regression testing for our team deployments. So this is not looking at Tealium as a product. This is looking at how we configure and set up Tealium for our customers and how we can provide enhanced testing framework on both the client service side deployments. In the corner, this is ObservePoint's Live Connect. So that gives us the visibility of all those web interactions, the consent utilizations, so we can see whether it's a full or a partial, what that means, which tags should or shouldn't fire, and allow us to run assertions on that. As well as a client side tags and the data layer. So again, validating in our testing solution against the data that we're expecting. Does it meet the requirements with the Tealium configuration across all of the products sets that we have?

The second is an offering that we're putting forward for our Tealium customers. We're looking to make available as soon as Q1. Were working in partnership with ObservePoint where we're looking to review the configuration setup that our customers have within Tealium, as well as how they're using their data layer and how it forms to what was originally set up and how that has changed or moved over time. So again, using Web Assurance and using the professional services from Tealium and ObservePoint to try and provide awareness and align with the customer strategy and provide a roadmap for success over the coming months and years in terms of ensuring that we're consistent on that.

So those are the main integrations that we've been looking at and the main things we've been doing. I think for me, the main takeaway from all of this is rather than trying to achieve all of these things by yourself to try and connect, not just the technologies, but the teams behind them. And try and use both those technology team, plus your partner team, all the experts that you have around you to ensure that the data that you're collecting and the data that you're validating is done as seamlessly and as automated as possible to give you the best possible outcome with use of the data. 

And I wanted to just jump real quickly. See if there's any questions, a couple of questions we've got, "How agnostic is the Tealium platform in terms of integrating or tag based vendors?" Tealium, one of the core approaches to Tealium is in fact, is it's level of agnostic-ness. We've got about 1200 different integrations for different marketing technologies. The main focus for us is around the data framework and the data pipeline. So we don't execute in terms of, we don't have an email solution or a analytics solution or anything like that. Our focus is on ensuring you have the right data available to the right tools with the right level of compliance. So that is our entire set that we want to achieve rather than try and push you into an Adobe or a Google or, or any others. So the choice of technology is entirely up to you.

Another question is here, is advising on the timeframe and the people needed to use these tools. So are they marketing friendly? Yes. I would say both tools are very excited to see the new look and feel from the ObservePoint and all the additional stuff there. But I would say yes, definitely. Both tools are very user-friendly. There are definitely, when we're talking about tag management, there are elements where development resource will be useful, but all of the market place tags are set up in such a way that it's input based with lots of help. We have documentation around each one. So non-technical users should be able to use it and maintain that moving forward.

And the question here about the death of cookies, "Can these tools be used to help migrate with loss of data?" We are seeing, to help with that loss of signal, we're finding a lot of our customers are looking towards the service side. So they're less reliant on cookies and less relying on setting those cookies by unifying the data collection down to a single instance, and then providing that push out to your analytics or your retargeting, et cetera, service side. So that the idea of third party cookies becomes less and less of an issue. And we're seeing some of our customers are getting some real success there. We're also looking at things like first party data set up so that we can look to even moving away from the Tealium's own first party cookies and the thing to, to use the domains of the customers as well, to try and help with some of that, both death of cookies, but also cookie blockers and things like that.

I think that was all I have, any more questions currently? I think there were some things on screen, those will be available when this obviously presentation's shared out. Equally, we've got a Tealium booth available if anybody wants to see that, and can ask questions that either about this or other topics, and I can share the links again in that space if people want. And that was all I had for today. Short and sweet. I hope there was some useful stuff in there for you. Any questions, as I said, the ticket booth is available for the rest of the day. Please do pop along and come say hi.

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