Happy New Year! Sure. The ball has dropped in Times Square, and a new year means an opportunity to look forward. But, we wanted to take a quick look back first — on the industry, on the podcast, and on the world in general. From GDPR to Bayesian statistics to machine learning and AI to… podcast (and #mattgershoffed) stickers, 2018 was, clearly, the Year of the Analyst. So keep analyzing!
00:04 Announcer: Welcome to the Digital Analytics Power Hour, Tim, Michael, Moe and the occasional guest discussing digital analytics issues of the day. Find them on Facebook at facebook.com/analyticshour and their website, analyticshour.io. And now, the Digital Analytics Power Hour.
00:27 Michael Helbling: Hi, everyone. Welcome to the Digital Analytics Power Hour. This is Episode 105. You know, you often hear in analytics, you need to take your data and go from descriptive to diagnostic to predictive and then, to prescriptive. [laughter] This episode is all about what has already happened in 2018. That’s right, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam. It’s our year in review show so, everything here will be descriptive and if we’ve done our 2019 planning already, which we’ll get to soon enough, we might be able to do some diagnostic stuff but we’ll skip straight to the exciting predictions and prescriptive announcements coming up for the podcast. It’s gonna be a great show, Tim. You and I, we got a lot of issues to work out.
01:26 Tim Wilson: Oh, no comment.
01:28 MH: No comment. And, Moe, as always, our other co-host is amazing and not hard to get along with at all. Hi, Moe.
01:37 Moe Kiss: Hi, I’m not sure if that was a backhanded compliment or not but I’m gonna suspect yes.
01:44 MH: You’re not. I’m talking about me, Moe. I’m hard to get along with, just ask Tim.
01:49 MK: Okay.
01:50 MH: Alright. So far, every year, we do this show. We’re pretty sure no one actually listens to it but it’s 25 for you, one for us, kind of the model we use here at the power hour.
02:02 TW: We could at least say Happy New Year.
02:03 MH: Happy New Year. Yeah, thanks, Tim. See? This is the problem, Tim, I have, something you could have brought up in the show prep, Tim. Thank you.
02:12 TW: I don’t prep.
02:12 MH: Just wing it.
02:19 MH: I’m sorry. The laughter is because Tim is always the most prepared of all of us.
02:24 TW: No, it makes the show hilarious when we explain the jokes.
02:27 MH: Yeah, thanks a lot. I didn’t want the audience… I told you we got a lot to work out.
02:34 MK: To feel lifted.
02:35 MH: I feel like, for everything I say on this show, Tim will probably have a snarky comment. And that’s what I mean like there’s stuff to work on.
02:43 TW: You said it was like when you get snippy. I wanna deliver on the brand promise of this episode.
02:48 MH: Yeah, that’s right, that’s right. Anyway, it’s been a crazy year in analytics. Moe, this is your first full year on the podcast and look what it’s led to.
03:01 MK: Yeah, it’s been a pretty crazy year. I think, for sure, I underestimated how much hard work this podcast is for Tim.
03:09 TW: That’s right.
03:15 TW: This is not going as this episode should.
03:19 MH: The best jokes, Tim, are the ones that have an element of truth to them, element of truth. Alright. So, let’s talk about our industry for a few minutes, over the last year what was big on your radar from an industry perspective? Anybody can go, I don’t care.
03:37 MK: Well, I do have to say GDPR rolled out and the world didn’t end. I feel like we spent all of the first half of the year and the tail end of 2017 freaking out. And so, it’s kind of nice to see things are just tracking along. And yeah, I think I expected more drama, more lawsuits or something.
04:00 TW: Isn’t it kind of depressing though, a little bit that the vicious cycle of… In order to move… I mean, I think a lot of companies made a lot of really positive changes because of GDPR but there was still an enormous lack of planning and there was still a lot of noise of people freaking out to actually get there and the work is not done and if Jody Daniels or anyone is listening, but it’s one of those where I don’t know that it could have happened if it had been like, “Oh, we just… You know what? You have a couple of years heads up. You need to make these changes within the next couple of years.” Wouldn’t it be nice if corporate life would actually just plan for that and moved diligently towards it, instead of waiting too late and then, freaking out and figuring out what level of how can we shortcut this? I mean I agree. The world didn’t end. My take is that it’s from when I first heard of GDPR until now, I do feel like it is… Well, one, better thought out than stuff that’s coming up in the US, and fundamentally trying to do stuff that should be happening, but we’re still in that mode of a lot of wringing of hands of “Oh, we’re getting screwed by GDPR,” as opposed to, “Well, wait a minute, how about we treat consumers with a ton of respect and give them more power?”
05:28 MK: But I do… I think there’s been lots of conversations I’ve had this year with people which I’ve really enjoyed, where it’s been talk… People are talking more about kind of… Not the trade-off, but the value-add, like if I want this data, how can I add value to my consumers, my customers, so that they have a better experience and they’re, therefore, willing to make that trade? Rather than just, “Hey, we’re gonna get this because we deserve to get it, and the hell with whether or not it actually makes the customer’s life better.” And that those conversations… I remember being in the US for CXL and yeah, sitting around dinner at night talking about that really got me so excited about actually putting your customers first, and how you can make their lives better, and then also make that trade-off.
06:13 MH: No, I think that’s very interesting. I don’t know that I’ve seen that many conversations, although that was what I was hoping for, but, yeah, the GDPR did remind me more like Y2K than it did… I don’t know, some big event that had some big impact, I don’t know.
06:28 TW: Well, Sarbanes-Oxley in the US was the one that I had gotten myself…
06:31 MH: Well, that’s fair.
06:32 TW: Equating to, “Gee, we should have responsible corporate governance.” And there was a lot of, “Oh, this… We don’t really know how this is gonna be interpreted. Let’s all freak out.”
06:42 MH: But looking forward, we’ve got a data protection initiative, or an act coming from California. There’s now draft legislation in multiple countries. It’s patterned on GDPR, like India and Brazil, and other places, and in the United States. Now there is draft legislation around data protection in the United States. I forgot… It’s a senator’s website. I think it was Senator Wyden.
07:09 TW: It was your last call, like two episodes ago…
07:10 MH: Oh. Yeah. Well, there you go.
07:12 TW: Yeah.
07:12 MH: I couldn’t remember which senator. I was reading this massive PDF, so it was like you forget who’s… Where you downloaded it from.
07:18 TW: Is there… But in… So you’re a… Obviously GDPR, other countries… What is the… I don’t remember if we’ve asked you that, Moe. Is the discussion in Australia what’s the impact of GDPR for Australian businesses, or is there Australian…
07:34 MK: Australia does have… We have our own privacy act, and we also have ministerial privacy rules, which apply to certain government departments. But I don’t know, I still stand by the fact that Australians just seem less concerned about privacy than other countries. And we have talked about that on the show previously. It doesn’t seem to have made the conversation happen more, which I probably anticipated that GDPR would be a bit of a kick up the butt. And I feel like Australians are still like, “No.” Although we were having a chat about this the other day, but in fairness, it was all with people that work in this space that are really interested in it, and kind of not the wider population.
08:14 TW: So I think another shift I feel like I’ve seen was… And it relates to the customer data, interestingly, is CDPs, the Customer Data Platforms which we just had Todd on, Todd Belcher on, for the second time, but I feel like I am now… Almost every discussion with a client when they’re grappling with kind of their overall management of data, there is this sense that they need to go to something that approximates a Customer Data Platform. And some of that is actually, I think, driven by GDPR and privacy, is they’re saying, “We’ve got to govern this data better. We have to know where it’s coming from and be able to track it and delete it.” But then there’s… Hand in hand with that is the pressure to provide more relevant, more personalized experiences and recognizing that is all of these separate systems are kinda growing up and maturing, there is the potential for the connectivity between them. So although CDPs have been around for a few years, to me, it felt like 2018 was the year where there’s a lot more kind of awareness about them and a little bit… It’s kind of on the hype cycle, it’s up at the peak of inflated expectations, I think. But…
09:33 MH: Yeah, for the next couple of years…
09:35 MK: Yeah. I don’t know, I disagree with that. I think the CDP obsession or buzz at the moment, is everyone wants a single customer view. Everyone wants to merge people across devices… Across multiple accounts, and make sure that they really understand who their customer are, and like you said, and then drive those personalization initiatives, which you can only do if you do have that single view of your customers. So I don’t know I…
10:05 TW: So where’s the disagreement?
10:07 MK: Oh, I just… Every time I bring up cross-device, I get an eye roll, so…
10:11 TW: You’re like preemptively disagreeing with me?
10:13 MK: Yeah, pretty much. [chuckle]
10:15 TW: I am a big proponent of cross-device in cases where… Which I think for your old… For The Iconic, your former employer, I think, it absolutely made a lot of sense, I just think, “Yeah, we don’t need to rehash that, I can [chuckle] that debate…
10:29 MK: Well, I’m just gonna insert eye roll, from now on.
10:33 TW: But it’s funny, ’cause single view of the customer… I mean, I worked at an insurance company a number of years ago that had a whole single view of the customer initiative. It was SVOC. So there’s been that discussion.
10:46 MH: Forever.
10:46 TW: It feels like now the technology… And there were even Customer Data Integration. CDI is a subset of master data management, where CDP specifically are being the… Like “We’re the technology on a… A white knight on a white steed.” I don’t know what the saying… Technology is the solution, which we’re gonna find out that the technology is not the answer. You’re still gonna have to do a lot of painful, ugly cleanup of cleaning house.
11:12 MH: But I also think in all of this, there’s been this emergence of sort of a… I’ve seen it called different things, like customer journey orchestration, so there’s tools or experienced management tools. And so, Qualtrics who just got bought by SAP for like $8 billion… They call themselves an experience management company. And what’s interesting is, it’s sort of like a cross-take on the way that the rest of us have been doing analytics for a long time. They’re kind of starting from a different angle, and then cutting through the same datasets and same data collection concepts in a way. And it’s kind of interesting. I don’t know, I don’t have any big conclusions about it, because it’s sort of like newer this year, but I think that’s… Your point, Moe, about the single customer view, is what’s driving all of that.
12:12 MK: But then, yeah… In tandem, there is also this “We wanna do it ourselves” kind of trend that’s going on. And I don’t know if this is as prevalent in the US, but in Australia, it’s very much like, “We wanna move away from buying tools. We wanna use open source. We wanna build our own, I guess, dataset to use for that view of customers.”
14:05 TW: But we’re continuing to chase the shortcuts. Maybe that’s the… My glass half empty…
14:10 MH: Well…
14:11 TW: Is that… And there are people standing there saying, “I got a pitcher of cold water.” And there’s people saying, “I don’t have these linked together.” And I think the same goes for acquisitions that happen, right? That you get the… ‘Cause on the whiteboard, joining, it’s the classic… I remember years ago, Cognos… There was a question saying, “Hey, can your… ” Whatever they were calling their main BI tool was, “Hey, can you actually take our web analytics data?” And they’re like, “Sure, it’s just a dataset.” Well…
14:40 MH: Sure. Just a dataset.
14:40 TW: At the time, I was like “That’s bullshit. Actually, you have no idea what is required for time series, data and sessionization. You can’t.” And I feel like that is continuing to happen, that especially for the companies that are old, and established, and huge and complicated and have bought other companies, and they’re saying, “We’re way… We’re getting our cocks cleaned by these upstart online younger companies that have got more modern infrastructure. We’re gonna buy… We’ll buy this CDP platform.
15:15 MH: Right.
15:16 TW: And they kind of buy into the slideware that says, “Sure, you can just hook all this stuff together,” and there aren’t enough people internally saying, “Timeout. This is not…
15:28 MH: Well. Yeah.
15:29 TW: If we have a hot mess… If we have a bunch of technical debt from the way that we’ve built up these systems, a tool adding another layer of technology is not going to have a net reduction in the mess that we’re making.
15:41 MH: Yeah. We gotta remember, the old-line vendors are the ones who invented this game, right?
15:47 TW: Yeah.
15:48 MH: They started this whole thing back in the old days where you could… “Look, we’re the only tool that allows you to see the path analysis…
15:58 TW: We call this a Sankey chart that will give you glorious… Which is the other thing with CDP, a single view of the customer is that I do feel like there are people saying, “If we just have the magical single view of the customer… ” Personalization, realms, insights…
16:13 MH: All of this will just pour forth.
16:15 TW: Which is also harkening… Yeah harkening back to, “Oh, if I could just see the most common paths through the website,” right? Like the… Let’s put a generic umbrella of data collection or data consolidation out there without actually having said, “These are the three use cases that are really critical and let’s march towards those and we’ve got more specificity.” There’s been no change in 2018 at all.
16:40 MH: Wow.
16:40 TW: When it comes to business’ ability to frame their business units.
16:44 MH: In Australia…
16:46 MK: I think one tension that is going on, in Australia, yes, tools increasingly are like, “You give me all these different data sources and we will stitch it together, we’ll manage it and you just get this shiny box at the other side.” I feel like there’s a lot to push back from the industry that’s starting to be like, “Actually I don’t want push all my data to you, I wanna take data from you and then merge it with other stuff that I have.” And that ownership of not just pushing it into a tool of actually earning your data I think is becoming more prevalent.
17:15 MH: So like on-premise DMPs?
17:18 MK: Well, I think it’s more just about different databases and data warehouses where you store stuff. And then, of course, we are actually seeing, well, I’m seeing a lot of that transition to data lakes. We’re not even gonna clean it, we’re not gonna ETL it, we’re just gonna dump data from 20 different sources in here and analyst and data scientists are gonna figure it out.
17:37 MH: Oh, sure, if you could just align your attribution and your customer view, your data lake will automatically just fill up with insights.
17:49 MK: I don’t know, I just see that tension getting stronger.
17:53 MH: I’d like to mortgage the future of our marketing department on trying to figure out the dollar spend of advertising on people who use the least common paths on our website.
18:04 TW: I mean, I think… I mean… Just today Moe, we were having a discussion about Adobe for a client and we were saying, “We got their offline sales data, we’ve got their Adobe data feed data and we brought it together into BigQuery of all places, to do some stuff with it.” We’re like, “Okay, well, How do we make this a longer-lived thing?” And we had a whole discussion around. Well, Do we push that offline sales data into Adobe, so into the provider’s world or do we say, “No, Let’s do a better job of cleaning up the hot mess, that is the Adobe data feed and bring it in and leave it in BigQuery or in some of other database?” And it was… I would say it was a very kind of balanced, like there are pros and cons to both. And then the concern is, we may say, “Well, shit we need to do both because the people who are in the… There’s value of having that data in the Adobe ecosystem. There’s value in being able to do a more direct mining of the raw data, stitched together in BigQuery.”
19:05 TW: I think, but a lot of it goes to understanding what in-house chaps need to be available.
19:06 MK: I could go with that.
19:12 MH: I think we could go on and on and on. And it sounds like actually, this needs to be a topic for a whole show. Maybe vendor poll versus Martin Smarts.
19:23 MK: I feel like we just covered it then.
19:24 MH: Maybe that’s not the right way to set it up.
19:27 MH: Oh okay, good. We’re good.
19:29 MH: Mini episode. Alright, next topic. How about the fact that it seemed like, to me, we had a ton of new analytics podcasts pop up this year, which is super amazing. Which ones did we see this year? I’m trying to remember. Gary Angel started the Measure Minute.
19:52 TW: 33 Tangents or 33 sticks started 33 Tangents.
19:57 MH: Oh, right, yep.
19:57 TW: Actually, I think Bill Bruno’s the Analytics Neat.
20:01 MH: Oh yeah. Bill Bruno who I believe is now no longer with Ubiquiti from what I… So he’s starting something new. He might have already announced it and I just didn’t see it. But yeah, still doing Analytics Neat. Ambition Data, Allison Hartsoe’s company, they started the Customer Equity Accelerator podcast. I think that started this year.
20:23 MK: There’s also been… There’s been video too. Jeff Sauer has kinda moved his podcast to video and Christa and someone else on the Google team are doing videos.
20:34 MH: Oh, right, yeah.
20:36 TW: I guess we should also… The Digital Measure Show, that Brian Poe.
20:41 MH: Oh right, I wasn’t gonna talk… They’re our fiercest competitor.
20:46 TW: We had to have to Todd Belcher back on ours, I think he was on theirs once. So we’re like, “Well, we’ll have him more.”
20:52 MH: Oh, was he? I don’t know.
20:54 TW: Yeah.
20:55 MH: And I’m also super pleased. It’s not an analytics podcast but actually in a conversation on a road trip one time I had this long conversation with one of our colleagues from Search Discovery, Noah Levin, and as a result of that conversation, he actually started his own podcast called Digital Marketing Life, which is pretty phenomenal. So anyways, it’s just sort of one for the Power Hour. [chuckle] I don’t know. I try to attribute… Attribution is tricky…
21:21 TW: But it was because Jeff actually, Jeff Sauer’s, the Jumpstart podcast, he actually kinda hit 100 and I saw him… I saw, maybe it was at Super Week, that he was cranking out all these videos and challenges. I was like, “Dude, when are you sleeping? Video is harder than podcasts.” But he did actually in May basically said, “Okay, I hit 100 episodes,” which again, we had to get past 100. So…
21:46 MH: Yeah, I made two videos for the podcast this year. It didn’t take that long. [chuckle]
21:49 MK: Oh jeez!
21:50 MH: They weren’t that good though. [laughter] I only managed to make two of them, so we’re gonna have to do better next year.
21:56 MK: Oh, we did introduce… We introduced bonus content this year. That was actually… That’s been really fun. We haven’t done a heap of it.
22:02 MH: Oh yeah!
22:02 MK: But like some of the conversations, the one with Chad, that’s one of my highlights from the year.
22:07 TW: Chad Sanderson?
22:09 MK: Chad Sanderson. Legend, love that dude.
22:12 TW: Chad “The Frequentist” Sanderson?
22:14 MH: He’s a…
22:14 MK: Yes.
22:16 MH: He’s okay.
22:16 MK: He’s awesome.
22:17 MH: He’s alright.
22:18 MK: Anyway.
22:19 MH: No, I loved his mini episode.
22:21 TW: We’re gonna do a mini episode with an infrequentist next. We just have to find one of those.
22:26 MH: Doing a talent call for…
22:27 TW: We’ve got your Bayesians, your frequentists and your infrequentists.
22:31 MH: I also would like to point out this year was the first time ever the Power Hour has had any kind of merch as they say in the industry. It’s pretty powerful stuff. I don’t know why or how we came up with that but it’s amazing. And apparently, Tim has cooked up some kind of form, so just ask him on the Measure Slack.
22:52 MK: Four stickers, four stickers, the t-shirts. T-shirts, were a limited release.
22:58 TW: This is where we’re herding the… Happy New Year everyone. By the time this rolls out, we will have had our planning show and we may have other announcements.
23:06 MH: That’s right.
23:07 TW: Watch the Twitter. I, actually, the fact that I like that we have… Not only do we have the Power Hour sticker, but that just kind of simultaneous with it the “I’ve been Matt Gershoffed. #MattGershoff” sticker came out.
23:19 MH: Yes, hashtag. I get a lot of questions about that sticker when it’s on my laptop, and it thrills me every time to explain, “Well, there’s this guy in our industry who’s really smart.” [chuckle]
23:33 TW: Try being a 13-year-old girl and doing that at your school. So my daughter, she’s like, “Yeah, I’ve had to explain who Matt Gershoff is a few times.”
23:41 MK: Oh wow!
23:42 MH: That’s funny.
23:43 MK: Yeah, I still haven’t gotten any of those stickers, Tim. I feel like that’s a thing we need to sort out.
23:48 TW: Well, there’s a form I can point you to to fill out.
23:51 MK: Yeah. I did fill it out.
23:52 MH: No! Bam!
23:52 MK: So I think you thought I was testing it.
23:54 TW: I did. I labeled it as a test. I guess I didn’t sent it to you.
24:00 TW: Well, the funny thing is just as… Because somebody had said I got credited… Somebody was like, “Oh, Tim came up with that.” I’m like, “No, I have a very clear memory. It was a Super Week and Moe, you had lunch with Matt, you got Matt Gershoff. I literally don’t have a memory of who actually came. I know I was the first one to put it in the presentation.”
24:18 MK: I did!
24:18 TW: Yeah, so you did it. You… Okay.
24:20 MK: Yeah!
24:21 TW: I was like, “You said it. I had a presentation.”
24:24 MK: And then he was really upset, I think I even tweeted it and he was not super impressed. And then he decided to take it to the next level by then putting it in your presentation.
24:34 TW: Yeah, so… So that’s when the podcast can take credit for generating the hashtag and people are, every time they get to experience it, they’re like, “Yes, I now know what that is.”
24:46 MH: I’m telling you we’re taste makers.
24:47 TW: That’s right.
24:51 MH: That’s why the quintessential analyst is gonna catch on Tim.
24:54 TW: Ah, good Lord!
24:55 MH: See, that’s what I’m talking about.
24:57 MK: Actually, and that also happened this year was a lot of focus on Tim’s luscious locks.
25:01 MH: Oh yeah!
25:02 MK: There was a whole…
25:05 MH: Like maybe even unhealthy focus.
25:05 MK: Yeah, there was months and months of focus on Tim’s hair.
25:08 MH: Yeah.
25:08 TW: What else do we have to talk about?
25:10 MK: Which was entertaining.
25:11 MH: Well, actually, the rest of the show is wide open, so we can stay on Tim’s hair for a little while [laughter] until I have… Well, no, we should probably talk about episodes that we thought were particularly impactful or we really liked. Maybe not too many because we don’t have a ton of time but if you had to tell someone who’d never listened to the show before, what one episode from 2018 should I… What one, two, and three episodes, because none of us are gonna be able to keep it to one.
25:42 MH: Would you listen to… What do you think guys? What is… Moe, what do you think is…
25:47 MK: Okay. The episode with Elea Feit on Bayesian stats.
25:51 MH: Oh, nice. Yup, you just stole one of mine.
25:54 MK: I love her. She also totally schooled me which I thought was amazing, because I went away and was studying up on what she said. That has gotta be my number one for sure.
26:05 TW: See, I’ve been just like shamefully trying to write show cred, I’d probably point to the Simo episode, just a few back. We had Simo Ahava on the show. It’d like, “Ooh… “
26:16 MH: Yeah.
26:17 TW: No, but it was actually a really good discussion as well, so…
26:19 MK: And it was very funny, from all… Everyone just keeps telling me how funny it was. So I take no responsibility for that, but…
26:26 TW: I feel like we broke some… There was some investigative journalism of some sort, like we broke some news about his history…
26:32 MH: Well, he broke it on himself.
26:35 TW: Yeah, but that was because we just kind of teased it out. The environment, we put him in.
26:38 MH: As interviewers, we really pull it out of people. It’s sort of like Larry King and then us.
26:45 TW: I was thinking the Mark Maron.
26:47 MH: Oh, yeah Mark Maron, there you go, from a podcast perspective. Yeah, that’s exactly it, one too.
26:52 TW: What’s one for you, Michael?
26:54 MH: Well, the episodes… For whatever reason, I always love the ones where we cover topics that are sort of tangential to our space. Or maybe not even tangential, way over there from our space but still sort of have these analogues. And I was remembering the Walt Hickey episode…
27:12 TW: Oh man.
27:12 MH: We were talking about data journalism, and that was just phenomenal… And the fact that his newsletter is like a daily read and it’s hilarious. And he’s gotten… When he first started it, it was like that’s when we had him on the show, was when it first came out, and I think he was still getting going. Now, he’s hitting his stride and it’s just a great quick read every day. Such a worthwhile subscribe for your email. I’d really recommend it. The other one that we did just not too long ago was with Sherilyn Burris on data disasters and data around that, and I was just… That was just fascinating, because there’s so much that we don’t see on the other side of natural disasters at least here in the United States. So her experience with that was kind of neat. And actually the fact that we were able to pull out cross over kind of lessons, I thought was pretty interesting.
28:06 MK: Well, and I think, from Walt’s episode, the importance of telling the story behind the data, was actually something that really captivated me, and I gave a lot of thought to after the show. So if you haven’t listened to that one I recommend it, just based on…
28:21 MH: Nice.
28:22 TW: Yeah, I think… For somehow I left that off my list, and from a raw impact of changing the way that I operate… His last call was like, “Go, sign up for some email newsletters.” And I literally now from… I have a half dozen, which is funny that I do a good job managing my inbox, but his is certainly the little bit of delight with the coffee. But then I’d get the CDP Institutes daily, and that’s like a 15-second scan. But… I would say delightful people, which Walt absolutely was, and Ellie absolutely was, I’d throw Elle’s [28:57] ____ on that. The user research, a little bit of a tangential topic, but she also was…
29:03 MK: She [29:04] ____ smoked. Yeah.
29:05 TW: So enthusiastic about… She was just fun to talk to, as she was actually sort of pushing me, pushing us I guess, to sort of think about where pragmatically, where user research actually can and should fit in.
29:20 MK: She was my number two. She’s also an hysterical human being, but just so incredibly experienced in her field on user research which is something that I do a little bit of, definitely not enough. And yeah, for her to be able to share her experience with us was just awesome.
29:35 MH: Yeah.
29:35 MK: I actually… My thirds, I’ve got two equal thirds.
29:39 MH: Okay, go.
29:40 MK: Analyzing online learning with Lizzie Allen Cline from Google…
29:44 MH: Oh yeah, that was a lot of fun.
29:46 MK: And the scaling a culture of experimentation with Andrea Burback from Pinterest, those are two episodes where I just, I feel like I learned a shit ton, especially the experimentation episode, like really learning about how she started to get advocates in the business and actually take the program from her being like the one person doing everything to then training up all the developers and engineers and getting everyone to speak the same language, I thought it was really cool too.
30:12 TW: That one wound up being very different from I think, what I had expected going in, because they basically they’ve built everything, because they’re one of those sort of online companies. So it wasn’t like… You usually think of scaling, you’re like, “Oh.” And then we went to… Then we went in from Optimizely to Target or whatever, and that was like we were actually, there were convers… There were parts of that discussion where we realized we weren’t even kind of speaking the same language and that it was kind of… She was like, “Well, why would you… I wanna say there was like we were talking about needing front-end developers just because it was so ingrained in the product, so it was really interesting to say, “Oh wow, this is like experimentation integrated into product management, which is so, what I would say, not what we tend to see, which is experimentation may be requested or supported or informing product management and it was so baked in to their… So that was a very interesting view into kind of a… I assumed that if it was Etsy or Amazon or lots of those that are like pure play online innovators, it would be similar. So that was pretty interesting.
31:29 MH: Yeah. What’s another highlight podcast for you this year, Tim?
31:33 TW: I’ll throw in… This is a little bit sad, but I really enjoyed the Super Week. I don’t know that I would point somebody to it because it’s such a different one and we’re not all gonna be due to scheduling… I’ll be at Super Week for sure. We’ll see if…
31:49 MH: That’s right. Tim and Tim’s luscious golden locks will be at Super Week, everyone.
31:54 TW: Yeah. And there, I’m sure there will be a set of shears there from Mr. Robert Petković since he doesn’t have to fly. He can drive over so he can bring scissors. But that’s, to me, kind of a larger amount with clients and prospects and going to conferences just being out and about and meeting people who actually enjoy the show and then enjoying talking to them, and that’s like… Super Week is like a week-long version of the podcast for me, so the episode is just kind of a little bit of a taste of what that is like. So I really enjoyed doing that one and it’s fun to listen to, but it’s really hard to say, “Well, what is this like to listen to? Not having been an attendee?” I don’t know.
32:41 MH: Yeah.
32:42 MK: I am so devastated that I’m not going to Super Week this year. Super Week was my… Last year was my first year going and it was the best. It was… I left summer to go to the middle of winter, but it was the best just in terms of conversations and doing… My first live podcast was just unreal. And I’m so gutted that I’ve got a stupid wedding that’s getting in the way. It’s Super Week.
33:05 TW: You should talk to the bride about her selection of that date.
33:08 MH: Yeah. Seriously. Yeah, the live shows generally really stand out for me. Super Week obviously stands alone, but we did another live show with the Marketing Evolution Experience and even that was really an awesome time. I think what… As I reflected on it, it’s not necessarily the quality of the show because I don’t think it’s necessarily like our best stuff but just being there with other people it brings a whole other dynamic to it and it’s also, as an introvert who finds it hard to meet people and be outgoing, can I just tell you how amazing it is to show up at an analyst conference and walk into a room and if you say, “Hi, everyone,” people turn around and recognize you? It’s like, “This is the best thing ever. I’ve got friends. People who know who I am.”
34:00 TW: “They like me.”
34:00 MH: Although there was someone at Super Week who goes, “I recognize you,” and I was like, “Oh my voice from the podcast.” They’re like, “No, from the Measure Slack, Drunk [34:08] ____ Hells.” So…
34:12 MK: That’s [34:13] ____ cold though.
34:13 MH: Hey, I’ll take whatever I could get. That’s right. Well, and even, from time to time we’ll get emails or Twitter notes, and those kinds of things that people, just saying like, “Hey, I used this information and it helped in a job interview or… ” I don’t know. Just we get random notes and it means the world. I think we make the podcast because we love doing it, but the fact that maybe somebody out there is actually taking something away that’s helpful. I mean, whenever Tim talks I’m sure everybody’s just jotting down notes.
34:48 TW: It was Adam Greco who says, “When Tim talks is when I kick it up to one and a half speed to get through it.”
34:51 MH: Yeah. Well, as the quintessential analyst, Tim, I mean, you’re like the EF Hutton of the podcast.
35:00 TW: Good Lord. And we’re out.
35:02 MH: Anyways… Sorry. I didn’t mean to ruin the moment. It is heart-warming that people do get something of value from it even if it’s a laugh and that seems to be sort of like what we provide maybe more than other things sometimes, but hey, that’s a good thing too. Data needs to have its own mirth.
35:22 MK: But I do wish sometimes our listeners would be a little bit more outspoken about what they wanna hear us chat about because I feel like we tend to go with the topics that we think that people want to hear.
35:33 MH: That’s true.
35:33 MK: And I have open doors. If you wanna come chat to me about topic suggestions, I’d love to hear about it.
35:39 TW: And obviously, when people do make a suggestion, we put it on the… Like, actually, our next episode is one that was made a couple of months ago. So sometimes we do have a…
35:48 MH: Yeah, it takes a little while.
35:49 TW: But we’re like, “Oh, that’s a good… ” On the flip side, we are now getting a more regular bit of pitches from people on behalf of, “Hey, we think this person would be great on your podcast.” I’m like, “Well, you’re pretty much spamming a lot of podcasts and saying… “
36:03 MH: We’ve gotta figure out how to utilize that because so far we’ve turned down all of those, I’m pretty sure.
36:11 MH: Just… If you’re a PR person, I’m sure if you’re a PR person, you’re not listening.
36:14 TW: No, the PR people aren’t making it, yeah, they’re not listening to this so we’re…
36:17 MH: It’s just that we get pitched more and more and we’re just like, “Oh, thanks so much, nope.”
36:23 MH: It’s almost like if you’re dying to be on this show, it’s a sure sign you’re probably not gonna get asked. It’s like, “What’s wrong with us?”
36:31 MK: That actually…
36:31 MH: Anyway…
36:32 MK: Oh man.
36:35 MH: Alright, well, that’s enough of that. Now to the prognostication portion of our show, which I think we’re going way over, but 2019 what does it mean? Moe, you wanna start?
36:49 TW: Well, you’ve got your new job, so we’ll just say the…
36:52 MK: I do, I do.
36:53 TW: 2019 will hold out whatever, whatever, that’s…
36:55 MK: Do you know actually… Do you know what that means for the show, is that since I have a new job, I’m probably gonna have all these new weird questions that I ask all of our guests and the two of you to try and figure out how to do my job better. So you’ll have to stay tuned and figure out what the heck that’s gonna look like.
37:13 MH: I love that someone has found a consistent way to extract value from the show.
37:17 MH: That’s great. Well done Moe.
37:20 TW: Well, I will say, somebody, today asked me, “What blogs do you read and how do you stay up on the industry stuff?” And I’m like, “Well, I hate to say that on an average of every two weeks having an in-depth discussion about something that is of interest and recording it is kind of an anchor for how I… “And that’s not necessarily something I can go and tell every junior analyst to do. I mean, I had other things as well…
37:47 TW: Yeah, but they could, they could get that same value out of asking someone in the industry to go for lunch every couple of weeks. And having different conversations or going to a meet up. You don’t have to record a podcast to have that same experience.
38:00 TW: No. It’s so weird ’cause I feel like I manage to stay up on the industry, but I don’t have a like, “Oh, here’s Tim’s formula for… “
38:06 MH: Yeah.
38:06 TW: “Doing it.”
38:08 MH: Back when there used to be a Google Reader.
38:09 MK: Yeah, that’s true.
38:11 TW: I still have Feedly. Adam Greco… I manage to see his, ’cause it winds up popping… It starts with an A. So whenever I do happen to see something in it, it tends to be Adam Greco’s latest post.
38:22 MH: Yep. I just use LinkedIn now and Twitter, so you just sort through all of those like Bro growth hacker. Get up at 4:00 AM and don’t watch Netflix posts and then…
38:34 MH: Every once in a while you find a decent business article.
38:36 TW: I should have said that, I should have said LinkedIn as well.
38:39 MH: LinkedIn is one for me.
38:39 TW: But I don’t how you… LinkedIn is so shitty on so many fronts that I don’t know how… Like my feed, I see all the chaff and then there’s like at least a couple of times a week I’m like, “Oh, that’s something worth reading,” but I don’t know how you go to somebody else and say, “I assume your LinkedIn feed is equally as useful.”
39:00 MK: Oh, I love LinkedIn. I spend too much time in there.
39:02 TW: Right, but your LinkedIn…
39:03 MK: It’s kinda fun.
39:03 TW: And my LinkedIn are different.
39:04 MH: Our feeds are personalized.
39:05 TW: This is somebody who’s trying to stay up on the industry I don’t have a… I guess I could tell him who to follow.
39:10 MK: Well then, the suggestion should be like, “Follow all the people that I follow, or whatever.”
39:14 MH: If only there was a long-standing podcast that was committed to re… Talking about topics relevant to the digital analyst.
39:25 MH: That would really be something.
39:27 TW: This just gave me another idea for our 2019 planning, which has already happened in the past, by the time you’re hearing this, but it’s happening in the future.
39:35 TW: From when you were recording this.
39:37 MH: Time. Time is a conundrum.
39:40 TW: We haven’t talked about machine learning and what 2019 holds for that world.
39:47 MH: Well, actually that’s where I’m starting to talk about prescriptives. So we hope that in 2019 we’re gonna take all of our past episodes, and feed them into a learning algorithm and have it write an episode for us.
40:00 MK: I kinda wish it goes the other way next year, that people actually do the full circle and realize sometimes an easier method, sometimes the most simple solution is the best. That would be like, “Let’s do a U-turn on this.” That’s great.
40:12 MH: Suddenly human nature is gonna reverse course? I don’t see it.
40:16 TW: This was… I was at a Test & Learn Community discussion. It was interesting ’cause Ellie [40:21] ____ was kind of the main guest and Matt Gershoff has pushed this so hard saying, “Proper formulation of the problem you’re trying to solve.” And I’m starting to hear more of the really sharp people saying, “I’ve had enough of this looking for the magic.” And so you’ve got people who totally know way more than I’m ever gonna know about doing the deep, deep stuff and they’re like. They’re getting to where they’re quiet, nice, polite people who are getting kind of fed up and they’re wanting to shout from the rooftops as well. Stop trying to jump to an ensemble model. And why don’t you stop and define what are you trying to do better. Make a better problem statement. So maybe there’s some hope that 2019 will see a little maturation of the problem formulation is maybe some of the excitement about Google Cloud platform and TensorFlow, and all of that stuff.
41:25 MH: There is hope because I do feel like people are taking a more pragmatic view of attribution today than they did five years ago. Like not everywhere, not across the board, but in chunks like our industry is slowly changing and I don’t know what is the year. 2019 is not the year that we escape the grasp of the vendor dominance of our marketplace but maybe we take small steps and to be a more successful analytics organization we do things around our culture of analytics and our people in analytics, and that kind of stuff. So I don’t know, obviously it’s… The problem with prognostication is that it’s a thing that happens over a long period of time, it’s not just one year that encapsulates all of that.
42:17 TW: Which, actually, that’s the people, the culture, and the people, we haven’t really touched on that, I think that’s gonna continue to be a challenge is the role of a traditional digital analyst. I believe even stronger than I did a year ago, which is stronger than I believe a year before that, that it is a wildly different set of skills is coming…
42:36 MH: I agree.
42:36 TW: Over the next two to five years and figuring out hows and… How to navigate that and it depends on who it is, what their background is, where they are, but that’s…
42:48 MH: Yeah.
42:49 TW: But uncertainty, super high demand… Still super high demand, not enough supply for good talent in a lot of different aspects of the industry.
43:00 MH: Yeah, I remember when people used to be getting into analytics, I’d always tell them like, “Go make your own website, tag it with Google Analytics and then use the data to figure… ” And now the advice would be, “Go build your website, tag it with Google Analytics, figure out how to get that into a big query instance and then figure out how to use Tableau.” Like that’s the new base level for an analyst today, almost. It’s just… It’s really fascinating, the skilled demand has only grown.
43:29 TW: But what hasn’t changed is the… But you have to be able to understand the business, understand the business question.
43:35 MH: Yeah.
43:35 TW: Communicate effectively, that which I feel like we learned a little bit the hard way, it still is hard to learn. Then there’s some degree for that, there’s no substitute for experience, and consciousness, and awareness that that needs to happen.
43:54 MH: What if we took a bunch of people who just got their MBAs?
44:01 TW: Am I the only one on this call who has an MBA? You wanna take some potshots.
44:02 MH: Do you really?
44:02 TW: You wanna take some potshots at an MBA.
44:07 MK: Oh really? You do?
44:08 TW: Yeah.
44:08 MK: I didn’t know that you had an MBA.
44:09 MH: You hide it well.
44:10 TW: Apparently. Yeah, we’ll cut this out.
44:11 MK: That’s interesting.
44:11 MH: No. I think you should keep it in…
44:14 TW: Quintessential [44:15] ____ my ass. I spent two years.
44:21 TW: Yeah.
44:22 MH: Why Tim?
44:22 MK: It kinda doesn’t surprise me though.
44:25 TW: I don’t know.
44:26 MH: Anyways. Well, one thing is for sure, we go into 2019 excited about the topics that are faced by all of you out there as analysts and because that’s who we are too at our hearts and so thank you for making the podcast a part of your life in the last year, we look forward to doing it again for another year. There’s still some announcements to come on some things we hope to be able to do. There are stickers out there in the world. If you wanna sticker for your laptop, we’ll figure out how to get it to you at some point in 2019. So hold on and we’ll get you those. And if you’ve got topics, Moe brought it up, and I think it’s well worth repeating, we’d love to hear about it. The Measure Slack is a vibrant community, it’s got a great group of people. If you’re not on there, get on there. If you’re not registered for Superweek or DA Hub, our two favorite conferences; Take care of business, get that stuff done. And I’m sure there’s a lot more in 2019, we’re not even be able to talk about it yet, but they’ll be coming up. So, Moe, Tim any final thoughts?
45:36 TW: I would say there’s a form on our site if people have topic suggestions…
45:38 MH: Oh, yeah.
45:39 TW: At analyticshour.io. Just try not to mask your requests just sounding like a PR person or…
45:45 MH: That’s right, yeah.
45:47 TW: We do respond to all requests. No, I’m excited about this show, I’m excited about the industry. But I’m excited to be a year from now and having seen lots more dynamic things change in the industry and the podcast growing professionally every year is pretty exciting.
46:06 MK: Yeah, this year has just flown. And I think in Australia it’s actually like the 2nd of Jan now, but I’m already, I’m still kind of looking back at last year and getting my head around all the things that have happened. And I feel like this next year is gonna be even more change and I’m super excited to see what guests we have and… Yeah, there’s gonna be a lot of learning in store for me as always. So, stay tuned.
46:31 MH: Well, I think it’s pretty exciting. And the more things change in our industry, the more one thing remains constant, is that, you, the listener and all of us in our space, we’re all needed, we all have a part to play. And the most important thing we can all keep doing in 2019 and beyond, and I think, I say this with the full support of my two co-hosts, Tim Wilson and Moe Kiss, this is Michael Helbling signing off in the year in review episode by just remembering, everybody, if you can’t get your new CDP, you can keep analyzing.
47:11 S?: Thanks for listening, and don’t forget to join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter or Measure Slack group. We welcome your comments and questions, visit us on the web at analyticshour.io, facebook.com/analyticshour or @analyticshour on Twitter.
47:30 S?: So smart guys want to fit in, so they’ve made up a term called analytics. Analytics don’t work.
47:38 S?: Analytics. Oh my God. What the fuck does that even mean?
47:47 MK: I know, but then you only get a few episodes.
47:49 TW: Oh, is it like the website should be designed a little bit differently? We should fix some bugs on the search results page.
47:54 MH: Not the venue for this, Tim. Thank you, though.
48:00 TW: You guys wanna drop off, and I’ll just do this by myself.
48:03 MH: Yeah. Tim is upset right now. [chuckle] And I did it to him, so I feel bad. Well, since we’re recording right now…
48:15 MH: None of this makes the show, Tim. I will do that, ’cause now I know you can’t be trusted.
48:23 MK: Okay, can I… Am I gonna fuck this up? But I’m gonna… And because… This does not go on the out thingies, ’cause this is stuff I just wanna learn, for my own learning.
48:31 TW: Oh, “Am I gonna fuck this up?” is absolutely gonna go on.
48:36 TW: I mean to me, the whole thing about a meme is that it’s…
48:39 MK: You’re tweeting?
48:40 MH: Yeah.
48:41 MK: Sorry Tim.
48:42 MH: You guys are having a conversation. I’m just taking care of social media.
48:47 TW: So I told her I wouldn’t tweet it, but it… I wanna share it with… This was from last, it should pop up in Slack.
48:53 MK: Aww cute.
48:54 MH: That is a cute picture.
48:55 MK: That fits her great. I did good on the sizing.
49:00 MH: Hey, your years at the Iconic have not been wasted. Hey, you know, we should do an episode on running an analytics event.
49:08 TW: Yeah, no. We should not.
49:11 MK: Well, I think it’d be really entertaining. Tim would have a meltdown, and I just…
49:15 MH: He would, totally. I wonder if he’s a millennial.
49:19 MK: Hey, I’m actually a mizennial, I’m that micro-generation between generation X and millennial.
49:25 MH: Oh my gosh, let’s get micro-generations going for every year.
49:31 MK: This is why we’re a micro-generation, because we’re between the two.
49:34 MH: Why are you… You’re not between the two. You’re just young Gen-Xers.
49:39 TW: Yeah.
49:41 MK: We totally hit our KPI thing. I’m like pretty pumped about that.
49:45 MH: We did, but in truth, they were not aggressive. I feel like maybe Tim, you’re your own worst enemy.
49:54 TW: Rock flag and happy new year.
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