#183: 2021 Year in Review with Josh Crowhurst

We did it! Another year in the books, and 2021 was a bit of a ride. As we do every year, on this episode we reflect a little bit on the podcast and then a lot on the industry: what the major themes of 2021 were, and what we think might be coming in 2022. Google Analytics 4, 3rd party cookies, remote work and Zoom meetings, and even the metaverse! Plus, of course, this is our annual excuse to get our executive producer, Josh Crowhurst, on a mic!

Podcast Episodes and Beefs Mentioned in the Show

Episode Transcript


0:00:05.9 Announcer: Welcome to the Analytics Power Hour. Analytics topics covered conversationally and sometimes with explicit language. Here are your hosts, Moe, Michael and Tim.


0:00:22.1 Michael Helbling: Hey everyone. This is episode 183 of the Analytics Power Hour. See, still switching it up all the way to the end of the year. Alright. What a year it’s been. Wow. And you probably felt that too, like there was a lot of cool stuff that happened on the show, but it was a crazy year in the world, and we re-branded the podcast, we built a new website, we’re taking some big chances to try to get some big amazing guests, and that’s all in a day’s work here at the Analytics Power Hour and [chuckle] obviously one episode a year, we try to sit back and reflect, and that’s what makes us great is sort of a little retrospective time of looking back and trying to figure out, “Hey, how did this whole thing work?” But let me introduce you to our panel and our co-hosts. Obviously, you know Moe Kiss, she is the lead of marketing analytics at Canva. Tim Wilson, he is the Senior Director of Analytics at Search Discovery. I’m Michael Helbling, I’m the managing partner at Stacked Analytics, and I am very excited to re-welcome Josh Crowhurst, Senior Digital Analyst in Customer Experience and Digital Marketing at AIA, and also the executive producer of the Analytics Power Hour Podcast, welcome back, Josh.

0:01:46.7 Josh Crowhurst: Happy holidays.

0:01:47.0 Tim Wilson: Were you working the budget to cover the salary with that promotion?

0:01:52.2 MH: Yeah, the battlefield…

0:01:53.9 JC: Yeah…

0:01:54.4 TW: That’s like a 25% pay boost.

0:01:56.0 MH: Battlefield promotion.


0:02:00.8 JC: Yeah. Pulling it off, thanks to the sponsors, I guess.

0:02:02.8 MH: There you go, that’s right. We’re very thankful to our sponsors. Okay, let’s do a Year in Review, there’s no real strong format to this, but I think if we look back, one thing that was obviously very different about this year was that for a good chunk of this year, we were re-broadcasting previous episodes on account of a special little person. I don’t know who wants to talk about that.

0:02:26.2 TW: Any… Who had new little people.

0:02:27.9 Moe Kiss: Yeah. There is a new little person and he’s still a delight, but I guess the thing that I have taken away from this year, coming back from maternity leave, I didn’t know how I would feel about it. I knew I wanted to go back to work pretty quickly, which also surprised me, but the thing that I probably most struggled with is like, I kind of just expected everything to slot back into place and it’s… It doesn’t, it’s like your life is totally fucking different, and work is totally different…

0:03:01.5 TW: Except the podcast, the podcast went right back on like a trusty old glove, right?

0:03:06.6 JC: That’s right, like an old shoe.

0:03:08.7 MK: Except for those weird episodes where I was breastfeeding a child [chuckle] or I had a kid screaming or. [chuckle] There were some changes along the way.

0:03:20.1 TW: Wow. So are you back in? Are you slotted back in now? You’re still kind of in a little bit of transition.

0:03:25.8 MK: Yeah, it’s still just weird, because the thing is, even if someone does your job while you’re away, like different people pick up different things and different people have different strengths, so the person who replaces you or looks after stuff while you’re on mat leave, often doesn’t do the exact same stuff as you, they make it their own, so then it’s like… Normally when you leave a job, you leave and it’s that person’s forever. This is like a very weird situation where then you come back and you have to kinda try and slot in. And I think I expected it to be easier than it was.

0:03:54.9 TW: So you came back and you’re like, “Okay, so let’s talk about… Let me apply my emotional intelligence,” and they were like, “Oh my God, while you were gone, all we had to do was just do our job and send in a status report.” [chuckle] No?

0:04:09.9 MK: Oh, what a smart ass. What a smart ass.


0:04:15.0 MH: Anyway, but Harry gave us the opportunity to also go through a whole rebranding and redesign process that went amazing. And…


0:04:28.2 JC: So soon.

0:04:30.9 MH: Hey, I can…

0:04:32.3 JC: There was no swearing.

0:04:33.3 MH: As far as any of… There was no swearing, there was definitely no yelling between the [laughter] co-hosts of podcast.

0:04:38.2 TW: There was…

0:04:39.7 MH: And I was gonna point to Tim. There was not a situation where Tim was forced to log in from vacation to fix website updates. None of those things happened, and that’s what really sets the podcast apart is the well oiled machine, that all of you listeners have come to love.

0:04:57.2 TW: I think in my professional career, keeping the streak alive that never in my career have I gone through a site redesign that didn’t wind up being the last two weeks of being kind of an unholy hell, no matter how well it was planned and run, and you know what? Even when you’re not getting paid for it, [laughter] the maxim holds.

0:05:18.2 MH: I was bound to determine that we wouldn’t let you down this time, Tim, so, yeah. I mean, we had some great help along the way, we had some great partners join us to help with the site, and those kinds of things, and so we’re really thankful for that. Yeah, it was definitely all the work we could handle and then some… To go through that, but we got through the end and we still have a long ways to go and there’s always stuff we wanna improve and we wanna hear from you, the listeners as well, like what are some things now that we’ve re-branded.

0:05:46.0 MK: But can we talk about the important thing, which is Josh’s amazing intro song.


0:05:53.3 MH: Yes. Thank you.

0:05:55.2 MK: Which I can remember the first time I heard it, and Josh is like, “I made this.” And I’m like, “I’m sorry, you what?” Like someone in the group has a better musical intuitions than I do.

0:06:06.7 TW: Yeah. Everyone’s… ’cause when the three of us… Others of us have collaborated on music, everybody’s heard that and they can just compare and contrast with the intro music, and… Yeah.

0:06:14.8 JC: Oh, that was a highlight, that was a highlight this year, for sure, the American pie.

0:06:20.0 MH: I believe…


0:06:21.9 MH: I believe this is what I said about the intro music. That change and syncopation is super hot fire and will make everyone who hears it smile. So that’s what I said back on May 28th when I first heard it, ’cause it was and is amazing.

0:06:39.7 JC: I think you said it slaps.

0:06:42.0 MH: Yeah. I probably said that too.

0:06:43.5 JC: I was like, I didn’t know you knew that expression, but…

0:06:48.3 MH: Yeah. No, it’s… No cap, it’s lit, fam, like totally.

0:06:51.6 JC: Yeah. [chuckle] Yeah, exactly. Well, I appreciate that. And I think actually, initially, I had the idea for that song, I was working on it and kinda just tinkering around on a plane. I remember I was definitely on an airplane. I think it might have even been either on the way to or coming back from Super Week. I had that initial melody, and it just sat on my hard drive for a year. So I’m glad it got used. It seems appropriate that I came up with that on the way to Super Week, and it ended up actually being used on this show. It’s kinda cool.

0:07:19.0 MH: Do you hear that, Zoely? Another Super Week miracle.

0:07:22.3 JC: That’s right.

0:07:22.8 MH: That’s right.

0:07:24.0 TW: Well, and on the horrible music side, just to go into more pop knowledge from me, which always surprises Michael. So we did the little American Pie riff, which, again, was terrible, but up until this year, up until very recently, that was the longest song to ever hit the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100. And that was just displaced late, late this year…

0:07:52.9 JC: Taylor Swift?

0:07:53.3 TW: By, anyone? By Taylor Swift’s, All Too Well.

0:07:56.9 MH: Oh, wow.

0:07:58.5 TW: So that means, now I have to figure out All Too Well, and maybe some time in 2022, we can do a shitty parody of that.

0:08:08.0 JC: Oh, definitely.

0:08:09.0 MH: I don’t even know what that song sounds like, so I’ve definitely gotta get back up to speed on all my Taylor Swift tunes.

0:08:15.7 JC: Yeah. There’s a great documentary on Netflix…

0:08:19.2 MH: Thank you, Josh.

0:08:19.4 JC: On Taylor Swift and her life. Yeah.

0:08:22.7 MH: Thank you for keeping us anchored to the real stuff that’s going on. Alright. So let’s get back to talking a little bit about analytics. So, obviously, we covered not as much topical area ’cause we didn’t have as many shows in 2021 as we typically deal with some of the re-broadcasts. But we did cover a fair amount. Who’s got a single favorite episode they wanna chat about briefly? We’ll try to get a couple in here. But we can’t get every favorite episode probably, Moe. I pick on you every year because you’re usually one with more than…

0:08:55.4 MK: I know. Well, this year, I feel, Oh, God. And now I’m like, Oh. Look, if you had just asked me straight out favorite episode, I’m obviously gonna say it’s the episode with Cassie.

0:09:08.2 MH: Yeah. I like that one a lot.

0:09:09.4 MK: It took a long time to get her on the show, and I feel like Tim and I had both been consumed by the content that she puts out, so…

0:09:19.5 TW: And then she was so mean to me, because Moe armed her on. She came on, it’s like, Okay, you’re coming on. Let me arm you with a whole pages of content to rip Tim with.

0:09:31.0 MK: I think she was smart enough to figure that shit out herself, which is, I think, why I like her even more. But then also was like… Hillary Parker was also phenomenal. And then Will Reynolds is just the most exceptional human ever. I’m like, Tim Harford. I just… Every year, every year. Anyway. And then James talking about working with the people. Oh, okay.

0:09:58.9 MH: So way to narrow it down, Moe. There’s only about four more episodes you could name, they would cover our whole…

0:10:06.1 TW: Yes. So now you’ve pretty much just dissed three guests.

0:10:10.2 MH: No, come on.

0:10:10.3 TW: And all of our topics without a guest. ’cause I had to go back through to figure out what was this year, and I think the Tim Hwang, Is Digital Advertising a Bubble Ready to Burst, just because the number of people I have recommended his book to. So just the cycle of where I was aware of him because of a long time ago guest, that was… I kinda came across him due to Walt Hickey from years ago. And then the fact that we got… It was. I was a little star-struck that we’re getting somebody who’d read a book that I thought was so relevant and good. But then to me, much of that discussion has been at the forefront of my mind all year long. So I think it just all stuck with me heavily. And I also second everything Moe said.

0:11:06.6 MH: Yeah. I’m actually… One of the shows I’m actually really proud of this year is one of the ones we snuck in at the beginning of the year, along with the Tim Hwang episode, which was the one with Barr Moses from Monte Carlo Data. It seems like after we did that show, I have not stopped seeing her and that company everywhere. I was like, “Did we just literally interview the next Bill Gates kind of of our industry?” It seems like they are blowing up. And I was super excited, and I’m proud of us ’cause I was like, “Hey, we still have a trend that made a lot of sense, and we got on that trend early.” I don’t know if we could pull a CEO of a company that size now. Sort of we were lucky. Anyway. So I really enjoyed that. I also just really enjoyed what she had to say, but I was like, “Wow, that was pretty cool.” On a personal level, I think the show we did with Captain Lanzilotta from the aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford. Just growing up being such a huge fan of the Blue Angels and naval aviation, and sort of a history buff a little bit as well, that was just sort of a really special chance. And I think sort of maybe the ways I thought of military leadership have so dramatically changed, and sort of see how… I don’t know the right way to say it.

0:12:32.6 MK: But like Simon Sinek has been talking about military leadership for years like with Leaders Eat Last, and that kind of idea of really putting the team first.

0:12:42.8 MH: Yeah, well, and I think it’s sort of cool because it’s sort of like I wasn’t sure like other leadership principles that you can still really take away from the military, that was sort of like an old concept. And it’s like, “Well, no, actually, it sounds like the leaders of today are really dealing with leadership in modern ways,” so that was pretty neat, anyway, and I just… That was awesome. And then I think maybe one of my favorites that we did, that was just us, it was probably the one on who sits where with the data, we talked about organizational structure a little bit, and it’s just a passion of mine and sort of like how do we connect analytics people together, and I really enjoyed that, and it seemed like we resonated with some people in our audience with that episode as well.

0:13:28.9 TW: Was I on that one? I’m trying to remember.

0:13:31.3 MH: Yes, you were on that one.


0:13:34.6 MH: And unsurprisingly, you had a lot to say as well.


0:13:37.6 TW: Not useful, but… What about you, Josh?

0:13:40.8 JC: I think so for me, I think number 180 on Media Mix Modeling more because I think it’s kinda just my pet topic, especially over the last couple of years doing some work in that area, and… Yeah, I really think it’s an area where analytics is just… It’s a clear way where if you pair that with actually running media experiments, you can just drive a ton of clear value, and so I think based on my experience, more companies, should be doing it than they are. So any time we cover that topic or adjacent topics on the show, I’m like, “Yes, this is… More people need to hear about this. More people need to be doing this kind of work.” So I was really stoked on that episode and then…

0:14:21.1 MK: I was really resistant to that one, I was like, “Oh, I don’t feel like there’s a ton of value we can add here, it’s something that everyone already talks about so much, and we’ve been around this merry go round 1000 million times.” The funny thing is like it actually… It didn’t shift my perspective, I guess, but it gave me more clarity and I think it’s funny, I’ve had so many conversations about this topic now with people in the weeks leading up to the show and after, and I actually feel like we… I don’t know, maybe we’re able to add a little bit of thought to it, like the… I don’t know, it actually did help me a lot in my own thinking about measurement, that wasn’t just kind of re-hashing.

0:15:04.6 TW: And to me that one, and we definitely got it into it, ’cause Moe you were very much of the like… “Yeah, but how do you actually make this happen?” This is hard and requires skills, and they are not data collection skills, they are skills on the other stuff.” And there were some comments, I can’t remember where I was seeing some commenters. Kind of after the episode came out that were kind of echoing that, but I feel like my hobby horse of… Yeah, data collection matters, getting it collected, but boy, we have this tendency to think that once we’ve collected all the data, then everything else is easy and that episode like putting these together and recognizing that there’s different skills, there’s places for analysts to move into or augmenting a team with people who have different sets of skills than what five years ago, we were saying, digital analysts who needed to understand web metrics and web behavior, it’s a lot deeper. So…

0:16:12.2 JC: I feel that.

0:16:13.0 MH: Yeah, what’s funny to me is I’ve spent so long being against attribution. Well, not just all attribution, but sort of the way our industry is, sort of conceptualize it as sort of the cure-all that when it came to looking at Media Mix Modeling, I was sort of like, “Oh, am I gonna hate this?” And I was like, “Oh no, actually, this makes me wanna dive in and re-engage with this topic, which I actually think is really important.”


0:16:39.5 MH: No, I’m saying, for me, Moe, not…

0:16:40.1 MK: Yeah, I know, I know, but…

0:16:43.2 MH: But you’re like, “Hmm, no.”

0:16:44.5 MK: You’re like, “Oh, I always feel like I spend every day talking about this, and sometimes I’m like, do I have the energy for this anymore?”

0:16:49.9 MH: Yeah, I’ve positioned my life in a lot of ways to avoid having to do too much work around this topic. And so I’ve made a lot of strategic decisions to stay away from having to engage on it so much, but I see it as a way back in to that conversation that I could actually be interested in. Anyway, so that’s a great, great call out, Josh.

0:17:14.7 JC: My other one was on analytics on the high seas, just ’cause it was like… Just I would just describe it as a super neat episode, like it was just fun to hear about a world that I just totally have no exposure to, but still see a lot of parallels to marketing analytics land, where I live every day.


0:17:34.1 MH: Yeah. Same, the same, definitely the same. That’s why I wanted you to say it so I get a double vote, so I talk about it and you talk about it.

0:17:44.0 JC: So Helbs wins. That’s what started the naming competition.


0:17:48.3 MH: No. Honestly, Tim wins, ’cause you were in the same fraternity with Captain Lancelot in college, right? That’s how that connection was made?

0:18:00.2 TW: Yes, yes, indeed it was.

0:18:02.3 MH: There you go. So…

0:18:03.8 TW: We steered clear of those stories to protect both of us.


0:18:11.6 MH: Yeah.

0:18:11.7 TW: I certainly didn’t want the episode not getting approved for release.

0:18:15.1 MH: Yeah, that’s right.

0:18:15.3 TW: By the USS Gerald R. Ford media relations department.

0:18:20.2 MK: One of the things I am pretty proud of is we have, I guess… Well, in previous years, we’ve had a hard target, whereas now I think it’s something that we’re all super aware of and we try and… We do try and have diversity on the show in terms of our speakers, I think there is always room for improvement, but pretty much consistently since we started chatting about…

0:18:43.0 MK: It’s definitely more on the gender than the cultural diversity, but we’re obviously super aware of both. But, yeah, I feel like we do pretty good in terms of making sure that we’re as inclusive as we can be. And so, yeah, we had 66% male guests and 34 female, which, like I said, I always feel like we can do better, but I feel like we’ve been pretty consistent in the last few years, and I’m pretty proud of that.

0:19:08.7 TW: Because, man, middle-aged white dudes are born with a microphone tied around their neck, apparently.

0:19:15.2 MK: Maybe we also need to include some kind of KPI about how much we talk about our soft skills and emotional intelligence and all those soft, fluffy topics too…

0:19:26.6 TW: I gotta go. Happy New Year, everyone.

0:19:29.9 MH: 30% of episodes should definitely cover that. Right?

0:19:35.0 TW: It felt like every fucking episode…

0:19:35.7 MH: I know, it’s surprising.

0:19:39.1 TW: We’re getting a military guy and he talks about walking around to the lunch line and paying attention to their feelings, I’m like son of a bitch, come on.

0:19:51.1 MH: I think the one that surprised me the most where that creeped in was when we were talking about that, with Ben Lindbergh about “The Only Rule Is It Has To Work,” that was such a great book and it turned into kind of a book about how to handle all the organization and the structure of things, and was less about the hard data and the data work that they did there to help that team. It was sort of really cool, and of course, if anybody out there is like a Ted Lasso fan, they’d probably make some comparisons there.

0:20:20.8 MK: I love Ted Lasso.

0:20:24.0 MH: I mean, I just throw it out there, maybe you’re not… Doesn’t know anything about that. I know Ben Gaines likes Ted Lasso because I see him tweet about it.

0:20:28.8 TW: Ben Gaines, congratulations on the half marathon he ran in November. Successfully.

0:20:33.5 MH: Yeah. Crazy good. Alright, so that’s actually something that happened in our industry this year, but actually there’s lots of things that had happened in our industry this year. Let’s pivot the conversation. Oh yeah.

0:20:47.0 JC: Great transition.

0:20:49.7 MH: Really do a great job. This is why I get paid the big bucks, Josh. These sweet, sweet transitions.

0:21:00.0 JC: Makes my life easier.

0:21:00.9 MH: Talk about some big things that happened in the analytics industry this year, because there was a lot… That always seems like a lot of things going on, sort of a constant drum beat of data privacy, I think, and data regulation, I don’t even know how to exactly encapsulize that into a little tidbit we can talk about, but Tim, you’re about to say something.

0:21:24.1 TW: Well, I think on that, I mean, because once 2020 was or 2021 was the year that COVID was fully in the review mirror, everything was back to normal, so I guess that didn’t quite happen, but no, I think… I feel like there was an uptick on the… We have marketers who can say third party cookies are going away, like the GDPR build-up, rumbling, hand wringing, and then we had a year where it was… Everybody was just kind of full on about GDPR, the regulatory, and then it was like, oh, wait a minute, now ITP like… ITP 2.0 was kind of the first like, oh, forget the reg…

0:22:08.2 TW: Don’t forget the regulatory stuff, but the kind of explosion… And this was even, I remember, Semo talking about all the browser changes at the last in-person Super Week at the beginning of 2020, so it’s clearly been building, but I feel like this was the year where if you go to your average Digital Marketer, they’d be like, we’re getting the death of third-party cookies, we gotta go first party, and I think that was driven almost more by the advertising and the re-marketing and the ad tech industrial complex caught on and the dollar bill started showing up in the eyes of all these vendors, CDP vendors, anybody who could say, We do first party data stuff. Just the conversation felt like it amped way up this year, unfortunately, it amped up around the, how do we work around the death of third party cookies? Which to me is not really the best way to frame that conversation, but… Yeah, it is what it is.

0:23:10.4 MK: I don’t know, I just feel like we’re still harping on about the same stuff, but it’s like…

0:23:17.9 TW: But we’re harping on about it with a let’s find a work around as opposed to harping on…

0:23:22.9 MH: Let’s find the future.

0:23:24.9 TW: Let’s find a future.

0:23:27.2 MK: Totally. Except I think that the bit that’s challenging is… I guess our awareness and understanding of this topic is ahead of the marketer, and so sometimes I feel like the marketers are kind of catching up in a way… Which I totally get, but it’s one of those things where you’re like, Oh cool, I’m still about this thing three years later, and now they’re like, What are we gonna do about it? I don’t know.

0:23:50.6 TW: I don’t know. I remember when GDPR first started making the rounds, becoming well known probably about 2018 in the US as an American, my perspective on this is pretty distinct, but at the time I remember thinking somewhere along these lines, which is, that’s interesting, but that doesn’t seem workable. That’s gotta change. And now, as we’re starting to progress here in the United States towards something… I’m like, why can’t we have something like GDPR? Because we’re just doing this haphazard sort of ad hoc approach state-by state, which is going to become completely incomprehensible in a very short period of time and make life miserable for data and analytics because there’ll be no clarity on how to do this depending on what state you live in.

0:24:43.0 TW: And so all that to say, and please don’t give me a hard time about this, people from the EU… Okay, this is one for you, just like… Now, I see GDPR is sort of like, Hey, at least it’s a starting point with clarity for everyone, or it’s not clear for everybody, but at least it’s common, and I’m sort of like, Well, we can really use something like that here in the US, honestly, and I know there’s been legislation sponsored by a couple of senators here in the United States, but it’s, I don’t know, I don’t see us doing well over here with that.

0:25:14.7 MH: I feel like there has been from a GDPR and from just say European kind of privacy in general, like 2018 GDPR rolled out, it was like, what kind of teeth is this gonna have… Are they gonna enforce… To me, it does seem like they’re… 2021 has had more stories about…

0:25:34.2 MH: Privacy-related fines being levied, and different groups and agencies saying, No Google, no Facebook, that doesn’t work, or, No… Even the IEB, I think something came out where they’re like, We’ve solved this. And they’re like, Yeah, that’s not gonna fly. So I feel like it’s taken a couple of years, but the rubber’s starting to hit the road. And it’s kind of as expected. They’re looking at the really big organizations that have pretty broad sets of data, it seems like, to say, We’re gonna focus on you and say that works or that doesn’t work. But I still… I can’t get past the fact that all this… Let’s work around that. Let’s do… Oh my God. The daily, Somebody else has figured out, Here’s our new identity solution. And it’s like it’s… You’re using technology to not recognize the underlying sort of fairness and consumers’ realistic expectations.

0:26:40.9 MK: But that’s what I mean about the marketers. I feel like I’m still having these discussions about why attribution is no longer gonna be the best solution, not even close. And I… It’s still…

0:26:53.2 TW: No longer? Wait a minute.

0:26:54.7 MK: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I knew you were gonna do that.

0:26:56.5 TW: Okay. [chuckle]

0:27:00.8 MK: But it’s still so much education on our part, which I get, but I’m like, I’ve been talking about this for years. And it… Yeah. I feel like there’s progress, but I just… Yeah.

0:27:17.8 TW: Yeah. [chuckle]

0:27:19.9 MK: Can you tell that I work in marketing analytics? [chuckle]

0:27:24.7 MH: Let’s step aside from a brief word about our sponsor Observe Point. And, Josh, I’ve actually got you on the mic this time. Kind of a reunion. What do you know about ObservePoint?

0:27:35.1 JC: Well Helbs, I know that for listeners who are already using ObservePoint, well, their year was full of high-quality data, but for the rest of them, it’s something to think about for 2022. Having ObservePoint to automatically audit their data collection for errors across the whole website.

0:27:50.5 MK: And not just generic checking for tags, although it does do that, ObservePoint allows you to test your most important pages and user paths for functionality, and it will alert you immediately if something goes wrong.

0:28:02.9 TW: That’s right. And it just chugs along and it keeps track of all of the other results over time. Plus, ObservePoints’ privacy compliance can perform automated audits to identify all the tech collecting data on your site, ensuring compliance to digital standards and government regulations for customer data.

0:28:17.9 MH: That’s something I know you’re gonna wanna learn more about, so head on over to observepoint.com/analyticspowerhour to get a demonstration of all of ObservePoints’ data governance capabilities. Alright. Let’s get back to the show.

0:28:37.9 MH: When I… I’ve found myself, and this has only been in the last few months, and it was one very specific client ask, and now I feel like I’m saying it again and again and again is, look, as a marketer, if you’re trying to use data, let’s get out of this like, You’re gonna tweak and tune these little things to get the optimal mix of branded versus unbranded keywords. Take a bigger swing. Don’t think that you’re just gonna make a million tiny little adjustments, and that’s going to… That’s gonna provide a payoff. I fundamentally don’t believe that that is gonna be the… Give you a positive ROI. It’s expensive to go and tweak and tune a million little things, whereas… And so often, I feel like… This is in my experiences, marketers aren’t saying, Let’s take a page out of Mad Men, and have some big ideas.

0:29:41.9 MH: If I have a big idea and we’re willing to take a big swing, and say, every big swing… Let’s take more of a venture capital model to this. Take 10 big swings, and if one of ’em really hits, we’re in great shape. Instead, we’re fussing around with short-term versus a long-term treasury bonds. And it’s like, What are you… You’re building all this infrastructure just to shift these little things at the margin, which by the way, it’s… Often, it’s just noise. You’re seeing it go up or down, but there are so many systemic issues that make that unreliable. So, I don’t know, I think that that’s maybe a big challenge ’cause… And marketers are often saying, I had this today, they want the data to provide the perfect answer to perfectly model marketing. And it’s like you’re not gonna get there. Why don’t you have some really creative and hard ideas, and let’s talk about how we might be able to see whether they work?

0:30:43.6 MK: I like this.

0:30:45.4 TW: There’s Tim’s 2021 soap box number 14.

0:30:48.9 MK: Yeah. But I’m into this. I feel like… Yeah I’m excited for the first time in a little while.

0:31:00.7 MH: Speaking of excitement, GA-4 came out of beta this year. But did it really though?

0:31:07.4 MK: Who the fuck cares?

0:31:10.4 MH: Oh. Well, it’s big for a lot of companies and a lot of people, ’cause a lot of people use GA.

0:31:14.9 MK: I just…

0:31:17.3 MH: People are struggling with it, as far as I can tell. It’s hard for people to wrap their heads around what Google wants from them in terms of using that as a product.

0:31:26.4 MK: Crazy notion, but shouldn’t it not be about what Google wants from them and what the users want from Google when you’re developing a product?

0:31:34.8 MH: Maybe. But that’s just not how Google does things, so…

0:31:38.8 TW: Well, but Google is challenged with the having such a broad and diverse customer base. And they’re trying to find the product. The people… My web analytics Wednesday group, which a lot of people who are working with small, medium-sized businesses, and they’re saying, I don’t… This is a completely different paradigm, and…

0:32:01.1 TW: You’re killing me, whereas then you look at competitive analysis and you’ve got Heap, and Amplitude, and Mixpanel, and all these kind of Snowplow, going back years saying, “Yeah, we need to go to more of an event-driven schema.” And I’m like, “I don’t… Should you really have? Maybe it’s two platforms?”

0:32:21.2 MK: Sorry. Can you elaborate on that? What do you mean by maybe it’s two platforms? Or are you skeptical about event based schemas?

0:32:28.0 TW: Well, there’s still millions of websites that are, case in point Analyticshour.io is a website that has pages, and we’ve got some custom events that we can track but, it’s just a website with pages that the base Universal Analytics Tag is fine. We don’t have a need to think about the site like an app. Like a product. I will say this about GA4, in a couple of years when all of us are using Explore heavily and really liking it, let’s all just remember to think Jen Lasser and Ben Gaines for coming up with that product or go be first. [laughter] But I guess that’s the other thing is Google with GA4 they’re so… And Simo has kind of said… I think it’s a fair… They’re kind of saying, “Let’s put the big query stuff first.”

0:33:23.9 MH: Yeah, that’s right.

0:33:25.6 TW: And built Explore, right? They’ve built better interfaces but really, at the end of the day, they’re saying, “Let’s get that raw hit-level data into that.” Then you say, “Yeah, but what about, from a raw volume of the users of your platform? 95% of them are never gonna do anything in BigQuery.”

0:33:43.3 MK: Yeah but, I also love that. One of the things that I feel has kind of stepped forward this year, I know we’ve talked about it in previous years too, is this concept of the analytics engineer. And I remember sitting at Super Week with people who are like, “I don’t need to learn SQL. Why would I ever need to know SQL?” And I advocated for it back then and I advocate for it now. You wouldn’t even get a job at Canva as an analyst if you didn’t know SQL. But there are still people that think that their career never needs it. My sister is a point in case. She said the same thing, “I probably don’t need SQL.” And her career has completely changed because of it. And I actually love that the products are leaning into that. I think that’s amazing.

0:34:28.1 TW: No, I think they should. But I also think if you’re a plumber or if you’re running… If the depth of what you need to do is hosting a podcast site that gets some nominal amount of traffic like, “Yeah. Sure you could. We can use SQL.” But that’s exactly to my two platforms. Like if they want to tout it as being self-served but to be fair, Adobe Analytics might have been the same podcast I was listening to. Like I have said for years that Analysis Workspace is not a tool for the marketer. It’s freaking hard. There’s a learning curve and there’s some really bizarre little design choices in that interface. It doesn’t mean there’s not a… If analysts fall in love with it, great. They fall in love with it because it’s a lot that can be done with it. That’s really cool. But, Adobe still hasn’t done jack shit with their data feed. More and more companies have figured out how to get their data feed into a database so they can start. But that’s putting on clients to have to jump through a bunch of hoops to get to where Google, frankly, already with Universal Analytics, was already there. And with GA4, they’re doubling down on being there. Moe, you’re at Canva. It’s enterprise scale and enterprise data, analytics team. And those are mostly the types of clients I’m working with, but that’s where I’m saying the other…

0:35:57.9 MK: Look, I know what you’re saying, right? If you’re a plumber that has their own website, you don’t need SQL. I would agree with that 100%, you need something very basic that you can self-serve. I’m totally on point with that, but basically, if you have any kind of analytics capability, you should be going down that path of SQL.

0:36:23.3 MH: And with that transition though, sort of timely that our good friend and former multiple guest, Simo Ahava, came out with his own educational stuff and a podcast, which I guess is coming out the same day.

0:36:37.8 TW: Which, I think… I feel like a podcast that releases every other week on a Tuesday, they’re choices for when that can release, you can release… How would…

0:36:45.9 MH: Almost any other freaking day, Simo! Come on. [laughter]

0:36:49.1 TW: No. It could be Tuesday, just shift it by one fucking week. We were here first.

0:36:54.2 MH: Oh, there you go, that’s true.

0:36:57.8 TW: You literally could get people once a week and, we won’t mention…

0:37:00.8 MH: That’s right. 2022, the year of beef between the Technical Marketing Handbook Podcast and The Analytics Power Hour.

0:37:09.0 TW: He’s got the a European head start.

0:37:10.8 MH: I don’t think we’re gonna win… I don’t think we’re gonna win by a lot on that. ‘Cause even we would be like, “Well, I’ll listen to Simo’s podcast. Sure.” I think the thing that I’m constantly believe about the analytics podcasting space, and it’s weird because now we’re experienced at it or something… I don’t know. It doesn’t feel legit to say that, but we’ve been doing it for a long time.

0:37:37.2 TW: Seven years.

0:37:37.8 MH: Is when we first started doing a podcast there wasn’t really a lot of analytics podcasting available at all. And that’s starting to change. And I think the thing I would say to encourage people is that there is a lot of space for topics and categories of podcasting and analytics that don’t get released on a Tuesday. So there’s a lot of wide open space for other podcast voices. So if you’ve sort of been like, “I would like to start a podcast.” Yeah, go do it because I think you could probably bring something…

0:38:11.3 TW: Just, Come on. Give us our every other Tuesday.

0:38:13.4 MH: But yeah, Simo, that was a direct…

0:38:16.7 TW: Salvo across the bow. He was like, “Oh, you get an aircraft carrier Captain? Take this for a warning shot.”

0:38:24.2 MH: In the words of Michael Jordan, “And I took that personally.”


0:38:31.5 TW: It is interesting… Simo, who is… He’s one of those where I cannot… He has been so prolific and he is such a clear communicator and has a broad and diverse set of things to think about, but if you look at where. With the courses that he set up with Simmer and with a lot of the focus around the newsletter, it is getting more complicated just to do the data collection, which I think goes back to that kind of GA4. But honestly, Simo would probably say, not to I put words in his mouth. I wonder how many things that he had figured out ways to come up with hacky solutions that he then published step-by-step instructions for doing with Universal Analytics that he was like, yes, this goes away as a challenge when I’ve got this more event-oriented schema, so…

0:39:31.0 MH: But I would say if somebody said, hey Michael, how do I transition to becoming a more traditional web analyst into becoming someone who could get hired, say at Canva, I would probably… One of the places I’d point them is, the material that team Simmer is putting out in their courses. It’s probably some of the best out there and some of the best people, so if you’re looking to be cutting edge going forward, I’d say that’s probably a good place to start. And I believe they do have a big query course that they have, so there is some sequel in there, yeah. So anyway…

0:40:05.4 TW: Yep.

0:40:05.6 MH: But yeah, that was… Yeah, with Simo, we’re not cool right now and Josh is working on a cool beat, so we can make a diss track, so just FYI… No, that’s not true. But let us know if you’d like to hear a Simo diss track. Although, how do you… You can’t… What? Oh, you’re bald and you wear flannel shirts, come on. What do we got? We got nothing. We got nothing.

0:40:39.5 MH: Well, yeah, that’s what I mean. Alright, so obviously we spend a lot of time looking at what has happened. But this year end review stuff would be complete without a little bit of prognostication, like oh yeah, we could definitely see that… Podcast to choose to go head-to-head with the Analytics Power Hour would go down in flames and… No, I’m just kidding. That’s not one of the predictions. Mostly ’cause we’re recommending you probably listen to that podcast too, but there are things that are happening in industry, one of the big shifts… One of the things we didn’t really talk about is sort of how many people changed jobs this year, some of them multiple times. The pandemic now stretching over the course of more than one year, it’s affected all of us in lots of different ways, but 2021 was pretty crazy. Pretty crazy year for a lot of people.

0:41:36.6 TW: We all stayed with our same jobs? No wait, Josh when did you…

0:41:41.2 JC: Yeah, I started a new role in April, so…

0:41:46.4 TW: April, okay.

0:41:47.8 MH: Yeah. So good. You helped us with the whole great resignation. We have that now.

0:41:51.1 JC: Yeah, we handled that.

0:41:51.8 MH: I guess technically, I started stacked analytics in 2020, but we officially sort of formed as a company in 2021, so I don’t know. I somehow fit within that. But I met people through the pandemic that have now… They’re on their third job since the pandemic, like it’s… People are getting recruited heavily and the demand for talent is so strong. It’s so strong. Alright, it’s that time of the show for that quizzical query that Stumper from… Doesn’t work for Mac Gershoff. What rhymes with Gershoff? Anyways, the conductors quiz where Tim and Moe go toe to toe on behalf of our guests. And excitedly enough, we pulled Josh into this one as well, since we’re doing the year end review, so let’s get to it. Okay, Tim, you ready to find out who you are competing for?

0:42:47.6 TW: I am.

0:42:47.7 MH: Alright. Name is Nicholas Switzer, so that is your contestant. And Josh and Moe, we’ve teamed you up. This has worked well for Moe in the past. Having a teammate. No pressure, Josh. It was Hillary Parker last time, but we expect great things nonetheless. You are representing Josh Fitzhugh, who I actually know. So that’s pretty cool. Alright, so let’s talk really briefly about the sponsor for this quiz, and that is Conductrics, they’re a sponsor of the Analytics Power Hour and the Conductrics quiz. They built industry leading experimentation software for AB testing, adaptive optimization and predictive targeting. Check them out at Conductrics.com. Alright, here we go. Let’s get into the quiz. So surprisingly, I am not panicked or running into the room as you are sipping wine or whatever the case may be. This is a straight down the middle question, so should be real easy.

0:43:50.4 MH: Building statistical models that perform well in practice require finding the right degree of expressivity or complexity in a model so that it performs well, not just on the daily use for training, but also on future unseen events. For example, when the model is used in the real world, when a model performs well on training data but poorly on non-training data, this is known as over-fitting. This is where the model has essentially learned the noise within the training data. Simple models are less likely to over-fit, but they are at risk of not being expressive enough to learn more complex relationships. A complex model has enough capacity to learn more complex relationships, but it is also more likely to over-fit. One approach to try to find the right balance is to include a penalty or cost for complexity into the model building procedure. This complexity penalized approach is called regularization. Which of the following is not a name for a type of regularization? Is it, A, Tobit. B, Lasso. C, Tickenov or Tikhonov. Not sure how to pronounce that. D, Early stopping. Or E, Ridge.

0:45:14.1 TW: Oh boy.

0:45:17.2 MH: I think Josh knows the answer. No, I’m just kidding. I don’t know if you know the answer or not.

0:45:20.9 JC: Okay, so…

0:45:24.4 JC: [chuckle] I think my perspective… I’ve seen Lasso and I’ve seen Ridge in the context of variable selection and regression, which I think could be related to this. So, you’re trying to kick out the variables that don’t matter as much, and so they’re probably doing that by introducing some sort of a penalty. So, that was where my head immediately went… Was what was that B and E? Probably aren’t…

0:45:58.5 MH: B and E… Also known as breaking and entering.

0:46:03.7 TW: Wow, look at that. Going with two.

0:46:05.2 MK: I’m like, Josh is welcome any time.

0:46:09.6 MH: I was like, I’m very impressed. I’m like…

0:46:11.1 TW: We do stuff when we do Lasso, and then we follow it by Ridge, and Lasso is definitely the feature reduction step.

0:46:18.7 MH: Okay, so are we saying, Josh, that you wanna remove B and E from the list?

0:46:24.3 JC: Oh, now Tim’s got me second-guessing it, though… [chuckle] Definitely Lasso…

0:46:29.7 MH: Just go with your gut.

0:46:32.7 MK: So, wait… We are going in elimination, right? We’re trying to…

0:46:35.6 MH: Yeah, we’re trying to eliminate… What we’re trying to end on is the one that is not a name for a type of regularization.

0:46:43.3 MK: It’s a negative… It’s a negative ne… I, I… Yeah. Okay.

0:46:46.5 JC: Yeah.

0:46:47.3 MH: So, we should be eliminating real ones, so…

0:46:49.2 MK: Yes, got it.

0:46:51.5 MH: Alright.

0:46:51.5 TW: Basically, we told you you could eliminate this, too…

0:46:54.2 MH: So, basically, I’m telling you, Josh, wink wink, that if you eliminated B and E, that’d probably be alright.

0:47:00.0 JC: Let’s go for that. [chuckle]

0:47:02.8 MH: ‘Cause those are both methods for regularization as… Honestly, I had no idea, but I was very impressed that you pulled that out of your memory, so…

0:47:10.3 JC: [chuckle] I pulled it out of somewhere.

0:47:13.1 MH: That’s right. [chuckle] I said, I said memory. I said memory. Alright, so we’re left with A, Tobit, C Tikhonov, D, Early Stopping… And there will be no early stopping of the conductor’s quiz, so forget about it. Let’s keep going.

0:47:26.9 TW: Yeah, so Josh, definitely knows my technique of jumping first, ’cause then you’ll… The first mover advantage, ’cause now I am full boy stopping out…


0:47:38.6 MH: Well, you could just guess.

0:47:41.5 TW: Yeah, I’m gonna say that early stopping is not… I wanna eliminate… I wanna say early stopping is, so I want to eliminate, yeah… Early stopping feels like a way that you would be doing.

0:47:53.5 MH: Alright, wow, so let’s compute that. Boop, boop, boop, boop, boop… Our complex model regularized on early stopping. Yeah, we can eliminate that. So we’re down to two. This is how it always ends up. It’s crazy, it’s we can get down to two, it’s pretty impressive. So, we’ve gotta figure out which it is between A, Tobit and C, Tikhonov.

0:48:13.2 TW: But here’s the thing, Moe… Since you haven’t chimed in, I feel like you can either eliminate one or you can pick the one you think is right. You can do either one. I’m gonna make it easy, you can eliminate one…

0:48:24.1 MK: Fucker.


0:48:24.1 MH: I think from here, we need somebody to pick one…

0:48:26.2 MK: Well, okay… I’ve heard of A, I have not heard of C. But Josh, do you have any strong opinions that you would like me to direct?

0:48:42.2 JC: No, I’ve exhausted my statistical knowledge already right off the bat. [chuckle]

0:48:45.6 MK: Okay, so we’re gonna go with eliminating A.

0:48:53.1 MH: Eliminating A… Alright, well, let’s see. There is a sad, sad song that’s playing in my heart right now, Moe, because A is the answer… Tobit, which you recognized is a regression approach for when there is data censoring or thresholding, which is not the same thing. So you kinda got fooled, Matt through a little sneaky one past you there. But you know what? Bad news for one is good news for another, and that means Nicholas Switzer, you’re our winner… Tim Wilson, you triumphed through adversity or something… I don’t know…

0:49:31.5 TW: I guess that’s when I realized Josh eliminated two, so the first mover advantage was kind of… I only had to take one shot at it.

0:49:40.6 MH: So, I think that means Josh Fitz, you might get a little prize to at that point then, but Josh way to stand up and do a great job, you’re obviously… Welcome on the quiz any time. [chuckle] I think that speaks for that. Alright, well we also thank Conductrics for sponsoring The Analytics Power Hour and the Conductrics quiz. Please check them out over at Conductrics.com, and let’s get back to the show.

0:50:06.8 MK: But I just personally am struggling with… Like our workforce has changed during Covid, where before all about workforce was in Sydney and now we have had to start hiring remote workers, which I am super supportive of, but our office is now open… The thing that I’m personally struggling with a little bit, is like, I’m happy to work remote a few days a week, but I don’t wanna work remote five days a week. And like how as a team are we going to function? Because is this now, the rest of my career, where I am on Zoom every day for eight hours or 10 hours? Is this what the rest of my life looks like? And I also think about it from a kid’s perspective, because that’s how you make remote work, but then the lived experience is so different.

0:50:55.0 TW: Yeah, like I might come into the office once a quarter, if you [chuckle] insist I will, but… But I guess that’s the other… There’s a degree of how much of the work is in a… Is directly interacting with people, and I think they’re… Depending on the analytics role, from a deep work perspective, working remotely can be really, really helpful. I think for people who say, I look at my calendar and it’s back to back for eight hours all day and they are all… Meetings with other people. Yeah, that’s exhausting. Basically for webinar Wednesdays in Columbus, I basically tapped out on the virtual front. We had a July in-person, because Delta variant it turned out by the time it happened was just kicking up, but I was like, I can’t, I can’t do… I don’t wanna do virtual…

0:51:47.8 TW: Meet-ups, I did some virtual conferences which those are happening, after hours or on the weekend, but boy, going through a whole week of like if it’s all virtual all week and then say, “Oh okay, now, MeasureCamp North America is coming up, and I’m thrilled that that’s gonna be virtual,” opens it up to a lot of people, but man, if it’s another day looking at screens, I do kind of agree with you there.

0:52:17.0 MH: Yeah, the heaviness of Zoom definitely weighs, but at the same time it’s like… I think virtual is our future, so we gotta learn new paradigms.

0:52:30.4 TW: I will say I had a co-worker in it today who we are both always on camera when we’re on internal meetings, and we’ve got some meetings we do with some younger, newer, been with the company less than a year, and we have these various kind of like we have an analytics skilled where we, once a week, kind of have different topics, and there are some of the more junior people and they don’t turn their camera on and they don’t say anything, and we’re like, “This is brutal, this is relaxed, it’s informal, but we have a topic.” And like… I don’t know, my co-worker was saying…

0:53:07.3 MK: I get both perspectives.

0:53:09.5 TW: Don’t they realize that if they turn their screen on, they would be more engaged and then they would say something, and that actually would probably help their career.

0:53:21.0 MK: I get both perspectives, I really genuinely do. I now do for our team meeting, ’cause there’s now like 30 of us, I actually encourage the team, I’m like, “Look, it is gonna be a lot of me talking and giving you guys update. I would like you to dial in on your phone, go for a walk around the block and listen, turn your screen off and sit outside, get some sun, walk your dog at the same time, because looking at the screen is exhausting,” but like…

0:53:48.7 TW: This is specifically an interactive like…

0:53:50.2 MK: Yes, I know.

0:53:52.1 TW: This is supposed to be… We’re engaging, so my guess on…

0:53:53.9 MK: What I was gonna say is, we also do lunch and learn sessions or brown bags, whatever you wanna call it, and yeah, people will dial in, they have their screens off, and I totally get it, but the thing is, as soon as you turn your screen off, you’re gonna multitask. So then, you’re not actually gonna pay attention, it is also brutal for the person that is trying to present, because you don’t get any read on how this is being perceived, but I get both perspectives, I really, really do.

0:54:25.1 TW: I mean yeah, oh yeah. We have internal meetings where I’m just blah blah blah people. I’m like that’s… People know that I’m walking, ’cause one, I’ve got to not be near my keyboard, ’cause of the things I would likely say, [chuckle] so it’s like it’s best to have Tim, not on… So, and those are like known, and there are people who know that, yeah okay, but I’m just listening to somebody talk, but if it’s a… And you know what, even it’s a lunch and learn, like, “Hey, I’m shoving salad into my mouth.” Yeah, nobody needs to see that. So, I get it, there are people who I’m like, literally every week for six months, you’ve never turned your screen on, and I even get… I was talking to [0:55:02.7] ____, “Well, there’s a degree of kind of the privacy and if they’re space, but no, no, you turn on a Zoom,” Zoom backgrounds, that detection has gotten better over the course of the… You can have whatever mixed crap you want, I’ve got a co-worker who has lived in two different states, he has had the same background the entire time, he always has a virtual background on, so I’m like, “Yes, so that’s not an excuse like… And you are going to multitask,” that means you’re going to tune out, and I’m like, “That perspective, I don’t… ”

0:55:33.0 TW: And again, I get it, if it’s like, “Well, this is on a Friday, this is not client work, I just gotta get some other stuff done, I’ll try to keep one ear cocked,” but I’m like, “Every week,” I’m like, “No, you’ve decided your default is, I’m not going to engage, and that’s a problem.” And I’ll do that with clients where we’ll default to saying, “No, we’re gonna turn it on but if the client wants to leave it off, that’s fine.”

0:55:56.7 MK: Totally.

0:55:57.3 TW: But you know what? Sometimes the client says, “Oh, you’re gonna guilt me in to turning my screen on.” And then they turn it on, and then we have a much more engaging meeting and they’re fine. So, I understand some of the limitations.

0:56:09.3 MK: You can really tell the people that are multitasking and actually someone that I coached recently had feedback where one of their stakeholders was basically like, “You don’t pay attention in meetings,” and I’m like, “Well, that’s fair, you don’t, I can tell when you’re multitasking, I can tell that you’re not paying attention to the meeting,” and it’s like, if we were in a room together, I have another colleague who does it notoriously, even if we’re in a room together he’ll open his laptop and start working, and I’ll call him out and be like, “There are times that it’s okay to do that, but there are times where it’s like, hang on we’re talking about something important and you’re here for a reason, and you need… I guess… ” Yeah. “I guess you need to think about that.”

0:56:46.6 MH: Yeah. It’s a skill. Irrespective of the technology, that’s a skill…

0:56:50.7 MK: Totally.

0:56:51.8 MH: Around focus and around attention, and around commitment to whatever, and that the problem is, I’m like the worst sinner, I would have a terrible time, I would get distracted so easily. But I try to be mindful of it, but it’s tough, it’s really tough, and it’s way more visible, ’cause we’re all staring at each other as opposed to the meeting…

0:57:11.7 TW: Michael, we already said that exact same thing, if you had been paying attention, you should know that.


0:57:16.5 MH: Yeah. Exactly, exactly. That’s what I’m saying. I’ve just been in La La Land the last five minutes. Will Tim and Moe shut up for a minute?

0:57:25.0 TW: We haven’t.

0:57:26.1 MH: No, I know you haven’t, but…

0:57:27.3 TW: Yeah.

0:57:27.9 MH: It’s funny that you say that, because I was also second guessing myself and be like, “Oh, maybe they have and… ”

0:57:33.1 MK: Tim, I do wonder, I wonder, previously, we’ve had team rules around what are the standards or ways of working that we wanna have in place, and what do we agree and commit to together as a team? And I wonder if maybe that’s something that your team needs to go through of like, “These are the cadences,” where we are like, “Cool, it’s okay to not have your camera off and these are the ones where we actually think it’s really important and a sign of respect.” I don’t know.

0:57:58.2 TW: It is a corporate policy in the onboarding.

0:58:01.2 MK: Oh wow!

0:58:02.5 TW: For internal meetings, the default is that you have it on with a… If you need to turn it off, so that was the other I’m like, “Huh, interesting.”

0:58:10.9 MK: Wow!

0:58:11.6 TW: But also to your… Just to be… ‘Cause you went over… You have said this in the past, which is a great point that actually having your screen off, if it is being presented too, having your screen off and taking a walk, you’re going to listen more.

0:58:23.5 MK: Totally.

0:58:24.2 TW: There’s all of the kinetic learning… Not just the moving, but oh, you can’t multitask, so I’m like… And maybe that’s what I should start saying. If your screen is off, then I’m assuming that’s because you’re away from your computer and listening, because if you’re sitting at your computer, you are totally looking at… There’s no way you’re not gonna be multitasking, and it might not even be useful multitasking, you could be checking the social media. So I don’t know. I agree.

0:58:53.3 MH: Well, we’ve talked a lot about this very universal challenge. Do we think that that’s more important than some of the other things that are coming up in our industry?

0:59:03.8 TW: Well, interestingly, if the metaverse, which I don’t think is a 2022 thing, but I guess in theory, if we get to a Ready Player One type world of the metaverse, potentially all of these virtual meetings could be tough for the multitask, ’cause you’d be…

0:59:21.2 MH: I am gonna go and see if I can find a developer to build a little guy that lives in the metaverse just handing out cookies and asking people to accept them.


0:59:34.3 MH: It’s this cute little guy, he’s like, “Hey, can I remember you?” [chuckle] No, I won’t be doing that. But anyways, yeah, the metaverse, I don’t know that I’ve got my head wrapped around that yet, and it’s certainly not wrapped around my head in terms of like…

0:59:47.9 TW: Well, I know Teams tried to do their whole auditorium view, which is… I mean, it’s comical, it’s laughably so ham-handed that… I don’t know, I’ve not read enough of the sci-fi, and I did spend… I probably spent six hours in Second Life back in the day, I never could figure it out, all I figured out was flying around and not have interactions with other people, but I don’t know, I’m intrigued.

1:00:22.1 MH: It’s interesting technology, I don’t know yet if there’s big use cases for our lives as analytics people yet.

1:00:26.1 TW: Well, but I guess I’m saying if from a engaging, looking at a screen is brutal if the technology gets to the point that you can have a more simulated virtual reality experience, and there’s gonna be… There will be a shit ton of research once that happens, but oh, can I have… Can my brain function similarly to me being in an in-person meeting when I’m wearing a headset and engaging with people in a way that feels more three-dimensional? I would… And again, having a child who’s about to go work for Meta, I would very much prefer to not have Meta driving that.

1:01:05.0 MH: Given that in one of the interviews that Mark Zuckerberg gave about the Metaverse, he was demoing augmented reality glasses that will let you send text and take notes and do other things in a meeting, so you didn’t have to pay attention and no one would know.


1:01:20.2 MK: Oh, wow.

1:01:21.1 MH: So, it’s sort of like, “Facebook, you’re not helping solve the problem, you’re making it worse.”

1:01:27.6 TW: Oh, wait a minute. So, there might be a case where Facebook is not helping solve a problem.

1:01:30.5 MH: That is, it’s crazy…

1:01:33.6 JC: Shocking.

1:01:33.7 MH: Yeah, that’s right.

1:01:34.9 TW: You heard it here first. You found another problem to make worse, to exacerbate.

1:01:38.5 MH: That’s right. If there’s one thing we should… That’s tweetable about this episode, “Dog bites man.” Facebook. Anyway, alright, we do have to start to wrap up, there’s a lot happening in this world, we didn’t even touch on the growth of the modern data stack. We are all big fans of the Measure Slack, but did you know there’s a DBT Slack? And it’s even bigger than the Measure Slack? That kind of stuff is stuff I like for people to know about. But it is cool to sort of see what’s happening, because this is a rising tide and Moe, I think, you’ve been the person on the podcast I credit with being the one banging on the drum on the modern Data Stack for the longest time, but I’ve certainly become a believer and it’s sort of everywhere you turn now, it’s like, “Okay, how are we gonna group all of this together to create the first party data capabilities that we wanna create and then move forward into the analysis and research we wanna do?” So, I think that’s gonna keep being a big deal in 2022, in fact a really, really, really big deal, more bigger deal. Josh, any closing thoughts?

1:02:46.4 JC: So, one thing that kind of Tim mentioned earlier, and I guess connects a little bit to the modern Data Stack as well, is I sort of feel like where we are heading is having this one skill set of being really good with a specific digital analytics tool, which is where a lot of people I think started their career in this space and where I started. I really feel like that’s gotten almost to some extent commoditized, where these sort of skill sets… I’m great at tagging, I’m great at Adobe Analytics, I’m great at Google, whatever it is, it’s not really enough anymore, and people are really having to broaden out their horizons a little bit more, and there’s a few ways you can do that, right? You can go into the tooling, you can go into SQL, you can go into… I’m going to maybe become more of a general digital marketing person or more of a product person, or I can branch into statistics and marketing experiments and AB testing. And for me, it’s been sort of a really exciting journey to kind of come to that realization that like… Yeah, there’s such a broader world out there, and it’s… The expectations have become so high for digital data people that you’re sort of almost being forced into getting out of your comfort zone more and more. So, I think we’re gonna see even more of that in 2022, most definitely the direction that I’m heading. So, exciting times.

1:04:07.3 MH: I’m glad it excites you, ’cause it stresses me out, Josh.

1:04:10.2 JC: Yeah. I was gonna use that word too. [chuckle]

1:04:14.7 MH: Yeah, okay. [chuckle] No, but I think you’re 100% right. 100%. Alright, and you’ve probably been listening and thinking to yourself, but there’s these other things that have happened this year, we’d love to hear from you, because what should we be covering in 2022? What topics need our attention? What topics would you like to hear us get somebody on the show to talk about? Or we can just get on here and talk about it ourselves. But we’d love to hear from you. Obviously, the Measure Slack is probably the easiest and best way to do that, but also we’re somewhat active on Twitter where we like that venue, and our LinkedIn group is also a great place to connect. I think it probably wouldn’t be a Year in Review episode if I didn’t get a little sappy and talk about how special each of you are to me, Tim and Moe and Josh, it’s been crazy, ’cause usually we see each other at least once in a year, and because of the pandemic, it’s been a couple of years and I miss seeing your faces, I really do. But, I do enjoy our interactions and the chances we get to, it makes me better at what I do a little bit. It’s only when Tim gets involved where it makes me angry and bitter all the time. [laughter]

1:05:33.7 MH: No. But this is a good part of my life and I really enjoy it and I’m thankful for it. So thank you all.

1:05:41.1 TW: Just do your job.

1:05:42.9 MH: Yeah. It’s what I hoped you would say [chuckle] Keep saying that, you’re an inspiration Tim.

1:05:51.2 TW: Likewise.

1:05:52.0 MH: I’ll lose some dead air just in case anybody else wanted to say something.

1:05:53.6 MK: I was gonna say something soppy…

1:05:54.1 MH: Oh, good. [chuckle]

1:05:54.2 MK: And then I thought you would all eye-roll at me.

1:06:00.6 MH: No, I was trying to lead the way to open the door for people, Moe. I’m trying to let people express things if they would like.

1:06:07.1 MK: Well okay. So, someone recently messaged me ’cause I found out about the podcast and they’re like, “Oh, you know, nice work. It’s got great content”. And I’m like, “Cool”. And it actually caused me to reflect a bit and I don’t know, I guess I just still think back going, “Oh wow, I can’t believe I said yes to this”, but also just my immediate reaction when someone gave me nice feedback was to be like, “Yeah, but I’m so grateful for the podcast”. ‘Cause I feel like my own knowledge and learning… I feel like I’ve gotten to grow up a bit with the podcast as well, when it comes to my own career, and often, so many of the topics that we talk about are things that are burning a hole in my mind at that particular time. Whether it is MMM or emotional intelligence, or… There’s just so many parallels to the work experience I’m going through at the time, and yeah, I’m really grateful for it, and I just hope that it gives other people a little bit of something to help them with their careers too.

1:07:09.6 TW: I’ll just second all of that, ’cause I can’t give those [chuckle] Actually, I’m gonna throw in one. Well, now Josh is sweating there like, “Holy crap”. So, because with one of our favorite listeners, I got invited to do a… To talk about podcasting, which meant that I had to put together a little presentation. So it’s kind of fun to walk through the history of the podcast, and kind of reflect on why do we do it? And even part of it was like, “What’s involved in it?” And it’s like, yeah, people think that you just pick a topic, hit record, and then you publish. And there are podcasts that do that, and they have two to three episodes and then they die and they’re unlistenable. And the amount of… How we’ve organically built a process and a group that sticks with all of the moving parts. But then why I do it, I was like, “‘Cause this is not about me growing my personal brand or driving revenue for my company, it really is about the learning”, kinda to your point Moe. It’s like a forced way to think about… It has been amazing to connect with people literally around world, on every continent, who now I count as friends. Some of them I have still not met in person, and then hopefully, it is kind of contributing something back to an industry that has been very, very, very kind to me. So, maybe I can get mushy.

1:08:36.6 MK: You can. I’m proud of you Tim.

1:08:38.5 TW: Maybe I’m drunk.

1:08:41.3 MH: Yeah. [chuckle]

1:08:41.4 TW: Don’t make me do it again before next year.

1:08:44.2 MH: And we’re gonna use all of that strength of emotion to go total war against Simo Ahava’s, Marketing… Oh no, I’m just kidding. Take ’em out! [laughter]

1:08:52.9 TW: Back up.

1:08:53.4 MH: That’s right, it’s a beef. Okay, let’s wrap up this show. What an amazing year, what a great group of people. And I think I speak for all of my co-hosts, and our illustrious executive producer, Josh Crowhurst, when I say, no matter how many cookies are getting deleted out there, no matter how many new tools you gotta learn SQL for, no matter if GA4 is worse than Universal Analytics, no matter if you have your video off on Zoom. Just whatever you do, keep analysing.


1:09:30.6 Announcer: Thanks for listening. Let’s keep the conversation going with your comments, suggestions and questions on Twitter at, @AnalyticsHour, on the web at analyticshour.io, our LinkedIn group and the Measure Chat Slack group. Music for the podcast by Josh Crowhurst.

1:09:47.3 Charles Barkley: So, smart guys want to fit in. So they made it up a term called analytics, analytics don’t work.

1:09:54.0 Thom Hammerschmidt: Analytics. Oh my God. What the fuck does that even mean?

1:10:03.0 MH: Tim, you made a great list. I think that list and anything anybody else comes up with. And then looking ahead, that’s exactly how we always do this, so I love it. Basically, Tim get ready [laughter] No, ’cause usually you’re the most prepared in terms of notes you put in the doc, and then I…

1:10:22.8 MK: That’s every podcast. This is not an acceptable…

1:10:24.4 MH: Yeah, yeah, yeah. But when it comes to…

1:10:25.8 TW: I thought the Year in Review, there were others put stuff in, but…

1:10:29.8 MK: Well normally, yes.

1:10:30.1 MH: Sometimes… And I definitely intended to… What it is, is I feel bad because I’ll have similar topics, but you’ll have already put it in. And then I’ll feel like I’m stealing one of yours ’cause I’ll bring it up, but I’m mostly bringing it up so that we get a chance to talk about it so…

1:10:43.2 TW: So steal away.

1:10:46.0 MH: Definitely captain means a lotta…

1:10:47.8 TW: That was mine.

1:10:51.2 MH: No, Josh put that in as one of his favourites, but it’s definitely one of my favorites too.

1:10:55.5 MK: Really? And not just checking generic… Fuck.


1:11:08.0 JC: I am just gonna embrace the humiliation on this… That’s the approach.

1:11:17.4 MH: I’ve gotten messages from Matt saying, “Really, you didn’t get that one?” So…

1:11:26.2 TW: Rock, flag and Happy New Year.

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