In anticipation of his keynote presentation at eMetrics Summit in Chicago, June 20-23, 2016, we asked Gary Angel, Partner at Ernst & Young, a few questions Gary Angel imageabout digital marketing analytics. Check out Gary’s interview in relation to his eMetrics Summit keynote presentation entitled, Preparing Your Data for Machine Consumption.

Q: Where does digital analytics sit in your organization and how does it interface with your business units?

Gary Angel: We’re a consulting organization so our organization isn’t really interesting (at least to enterprise folks). However, where analytics sits and how it needs to be integrated happens to be a pretty big part of my presentation. I’m convinced that nearly all of our client’s get this wrong – for reasons that are quite understandable since large organizations have a certain way of building capabilities that happens not to work very well when it comes to digital.

Q: What’s the most important goal/trend for digital analysts to keep in mind for 2016?

Gary Angel: I could dip back into my 2010 bag of tricks and say segmentation, since segmentation will likely never go out of style and is critically important (more than ever!) in digital analytics. But I’ll ride my own presentation band-wagon and say that integrating analytics into decision-making – especially strategic decisioning – is the most important thing to focus on in 2016. We need to make a difference with analytics.

Q: What’s the latest analytics method/process/tool set that you have implemented and what advice would you give others?

Gary Angel: Take a look at the SPEED methodology I’ve described. I think it’s the closest anyone’s come to building a repeatable, fully-realized digital analytics method:

http://measuringthedigitalworld.com/2015/11/29/speed-a-process-for-continuous-improvement-in-digital/

On the tool front, we’ve been working with TensorFlow to experiment with deep-learning techniques in digital analytics. That’s not been a trivial endeavor. Finding the right problem with enough training data hasn’t been easy – and even getting started with the analysis can be challenging.

We’ve also been exploring analytics around in-store digital experiences. This stuff is fascinating and largely ignored.

Q: What do you wish you could tell your five-years-ago self about this industry?

Gary Angel: Forget analytics. Buy San Francisco real-estate. Buy! Buy! Buy!

Okay, I guess that’s not very helpful. How about this: be bold. People want analytics to make a difference. That means being willing to challenge the way companies work and the things they spend money on. I don’t I (and most of us in this space) are nearly as aggressive as we should be in challenging the orthodoxies that enterprise’s live by.

Q: Sneak preview: Please tell us a take-away that you will provide during your talk at the eMetrics Summit.

Gary Angel: There are huge gaps in the application of analytics to digital – particularly around strategic decisioning, creative development, and marketing history. If you want easy wins in driving real returns on analytics, these are the three places to look.

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Don’t miss Gary’s keynote presentation, Preparing Your Data for Machine Consumption, at eMetrics Summit in Chicago this June 20-23, 2016.  Click here to register for attendance.

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