Huddle Agenda

How Does It Work?
Simple! Each conference delegate participates in six huddles (discussions) – three on day one and three on day two of the conference.

Each huddle lasts for 90 minutes. There are over 50 huddles to pick from, split into six time slots (round #1 to #6).

No time to pick your huddles now? Not a problem.

You can still register then select your huddles at a later stage. But don't leave it too late as places are limited and some huddles could get booked early.

Welcome Keynote and Analytics Panel, Day 1 - October 3

October 3
8:45am - 9:00am
Welcome Keynote by Michael Feiner and Matthias Bettag


Analytics Panel October 3
9:00am - 9:45am

Data Analytics has evolved from Descriptive (what has happened) to Diagnostic (why did it happen) to Predictive (what could happen) to Prescriptive (what action should be taken).

We are now on the path towards Cognitive Analytics, a discipline exploiting the great advancement in computing by combining traditional analytics models with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning techniques.

In this opening panel discussion, moderated by Daniel Shields, Director at Decision Data, we will explore the opinions and experiences of leading practitioners in our field including:

  • Ashish Braganza – Head of BI, Lenovo
  • June Dershwitz - Head of Data Governance & Analytics, Twitch
  • Gary Angel – CEO, Digital Mortar
  • Jim Sterne – Board Chair, Digital Analytics Association
  • Matt Gershoff – CEO, Conductrics

We will look to define what Cognitive Analytics means, explore use cases for incorporating Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence into our current analytics practices and contemplate concepts such as Assisted Intelligence and Intelligent Agents.

Our panel members were selected to provide a breath of experience and a diversity of opinions so you can come away with an informed outlook on our industry’s hottest topic.


Platinum Vendors Use Cases
October 3
9:45am - 10:20am

Huddles Day 1 - October 3, 2017

Round #1
October 3
10:30am - 12:00pm
Gary Angel
Digital Mortar

Achieving 360o customer view is still a big challenge. In fact, the challenge seems to grow rather than diminish as we look to integrate a growing number of diverse data sources into a single ecosystem.

Gary Angel has been facing this challenge for many years both at Semphonic and EY but increasingly so at Digital Mortar. In this huddle Gary will discuss strategies for bridging digital and physical behaviors including tactics for mobile integration, wifi opt-in, 3rd party networks, facial recognition, point-of-sale, and loyalty programs.

We will consider the benefits and drawbacks of each, examine strategies for driving opt-in, and discuss the analytics that best take-advantage of the resulting data.

You will come away from this huddle with practical advice on how to achieve or improve your 360o customer view.

Digital impacts all parts of the customer journeys. To quantify the value of digital you need to take a holistic approach – combining digital and customer data with financial and data captured from projects. But do we really know how much incremental value our activities are driving?

In this huddle, led by Alex Destino, Strategic Consultant, Digital Analytics & Insights at healthcare company Humana, we will discuss measuring ROI and how to overcome the challenges in doing so successfully. Questions we will aim to answer include:

  • What opportunities exist to enhance our understanding of the value of digital?
  • What does "Return" in your ROI equation actually mean?
  • How do you measure it? What challenges do you face doing so?
  • How do you gain organizational alignment?
  • How can you scale the solution across your organization?

Join Alex for what will be an innovative discussion about quantifying the value of digital through analytics.

Until recently many organizations were hampered by antiquated database architecture that prevented easy access to their data. Some still are. New technology has made it easier than ever for businesses to build customized solutions for analytics. If you collect and store high-volume customer behavior data, how can you open access to it in a simple, lightweight way? Is that even possible?

June Dershewitz is the Head of Data Governance & Analytics at Twitch, the world’s leading video platform and community for gamers (an Amazon subsidiary). Among her responsibilities, she oversees the definition, collection, management and use of business-critical digital analytics data in a custom data warehouse.

June’s team is piloting the use of lightweight data exploration tools that are sourced from the company’s own data pipeline. In this session she will share her story and facilitate a group discussion on topics such as:

  • What challenges are you trying to solve with data exploration?
  • There is no magic bullet solution for data exploration, but how close can you get?
  • Can a basic reporting solution be extended to meet other needs?
  • Considering a build and buy strategy rather than build versus buy

Join this thought-provoking huddle if your analytics tools are not keeping pace with your organization’s insight needs or you are looking for new faster ways to explore your data.

Key Performance Indicators measure an organization’s progress against specific business outcomes and are often linked to revenue goals. For mission-based organizations, simple economic indicators don’t measure the real success of an organization in achieving its mission. How do you set meaningful KPIs when the outcomes are inherently difficult to measure?

In this huddle, Amy Sample from PBS will lead a discussion exploring the processes organizations take to set KPIs. We will explore the differences between for-profit businesses and mission-based organizations. What can we learn from each other about how to set actionable metrics that connect to strategy? How do we build organizational buy-in for the metrics we recommend?

We will also explore the challenges inherent with measuring mission-based outcomes like literacy improvement, civic engagement, or curing disease. Join us for a stimulating conversation about measuring success.

Dennis Bradley
Charles Schwab

As the Lumascape charts continue to show, the market for programmatic media execution is fragmented with many competing vendors claiming to know who your ideal customers are.

Let us put some order into this whirlwind mess and exchange ideas about what worked and, equally important, what did not work for you. In this huddle we will discuss:

  • How should your AdTech/MarTech Stack look like? What combinations of DMPs, DSPs and onboarders are you leveraging?
  • How best to execute your programmatic - in-house or agency led? Maybe a combo?
  • How are you measuring success - Attribution, MMO, Cross-Device, etc.?
  • How to package and sell Programmatic internally to key marketing leaders?

Dennis Bradley heads Charles Schwab’s digital analytics team which includes management of MarTech tools including: DMP, TMS, Analytics and On-line testing and Optimization.

In this huddle, Dennis will introduce and discuss techniques for managing your programmatic advertising program.

Expect an animated discussion with varied views and experiences, good and bad.

Rusty Rahmer

Are you solving the need for analyst resources, talent, and tools but finding your organization is still struggling to achieve its full analytic potential? Has the greater opportunity shifted from the analytics team, to the non-analyst, marketers, leaders, and internal partners that surround them?

Rusty Rahmer, Head of Enterprise Web Analytics & Digital Intelligence at Vanguard, has experienced this shift in recent years. In this huddle, he will lead a rich discussion on how our focus as internal consultants is shifting from developing the analyst to non-analysts community; what tools and techniques we use with our internal partners to provide education, guidance, and direction on analytics principles and application in order to drive the continued transformation to data driven decision making cultures within our organizations.

The days of pure play digital analytics seem to be coming to an end. Today’s analyst is required to have the skills and experience to handle more than just Adobe or Google Analytics data. As organizations work to integrate their data for a 360o degree view of the customer the need to understand data collection methodologies, data treatment, interpretation and usage becomes increasingly important.

Lynn Lanphier of US Bank will be looking to explore the demands on analysts in greater depth. We will be asking:

  • What are the essential skills required of a modern-day analyst?
  • How does an analyst differ from a data scientist?
  • Should analysts look to retrain as data scientists?
  • In a world where organizational lines are blurring as more data is integrated, can/should one team manage all disciplines? Or should they be kept as distinct disciplines?

This discussion is intended for both analysts and managers challenged with bridging the gap between analytics disciplines both from a personal and team perspective.

Round #2
October 3
1:00pm - 2:30pm
Tom Betts
Financial Times

Tom Betts, Chief Data Officer of the Financial Times, ran this huddle in last year’s DA Hub. It turned out to be one of the most energizing huddles in the conference. A year on the appetite for building in-house data and analytics stacks goes on unabated. Changes to customer behaviour and advancements in technology necessitate and empower a move towards bespoke and customised solutions. How far are you willing to leap from the comforts of the standard to the benefits and pains of the bespoke? Is it worth it? Tom has been grappling with this question for the past few years. Three years ago, in X Change 2014 he was a lone voice in a big data tech huddle interested in building a self-service digital analytics solution from scratch. Last year at the DA Hub, several delegates already completed the roll out of in-house tools, while many others were in the process. That is only going to increase this year.

The FT now successfully runs their own bespoke analytics solutions. In this discussion Tom will share insight for that project and his reflections a year on. Nevertheless, he understands that building your own isn’t for everyone. In this huddle we will look to answer questions such as:

  • What are the business and financial use cases for building an in-house stack?
  • Do you have the in-house technical capacity to handle such a project?
  • How do you obtain management buy-in?
  • How far can we go with off-the-shelf products?
  • What are the potential pitfalls you must consider before embarking on this journey?
  • How do you continue to grow your solution to address changing conditions?

Whether you at the consideration stage, already building your own solution or in post roll out, this discussion will help shape your thoughts around your next steps.

Akilah Ellis
Delta Air Lines

Our landscape is largely owned by product managers both for online pure players and the digital teams within a mixed business. These managers know their product inside out, often own the roadmap and know exactly what the goals are for a successful digital project. So it is the perfect match for digital analysts to work with these managers, right? Or is it?

In this huddle, run by Akilah Ellis of Delta Air Lines, we will consider where does analytics fit in the product development cycle. We will examine how best to get organizational buy-in to having analytics and research influence the development process.

We will ask whether analysts should align with product teams; should analysis be conducted in line with the people responsible for delivering change? Finally, we will debate whether this setup benefit the product team, your analysts, both or neither?

This will be a valuable and exciting session for those looking to discuss new perspectives on using digital analytics.

Jennifer Yacenda
Starwood Hotels & Resorts

It is increasingly critical for digital analysts to convey their data analysis as stories. Sending spreadsheets as attachments without commentary puts the responsibility on our stakeholders. Rather, when answering digital questions, there are three key questions to focus on: the What (what data is included), the So What (what is the data telling us) and the Why (why is this important). Traditional sources of quantitative data help answer – the What and the So What – while answering the Why is more challenging and is best answered with qualitative data sources, where tapping the Voice of the Customer (VOC) enables tangible results.

In this huddle, Jennifer Yacenda of Starwood Hotels will focus on how quantitative analysis can be enhanced by incorporating qualitative data to help tell data stories that improve your customer experience.

Topics we will cover include:

  • Best practices to integrate VOC data with quantitative to drive deeper understanding
  • How to map data collected from VOC to align with customer journey insights
  • Discuss offensive and defensive use cases leveraging qualitative data sources
  • Strategies to build a cross-functional team in absence of a dedicated function

We will also discuss the challenges around organizational structure and determine where budget and resources sit within organizations.

One of the biggest challenges hampering digital analytics programs from being successful is insufficient staffing. For analytics teams in smaller companies or those supporting a small number of business units in larger corporation the reality is that insufficient staffing is often a permanent fact of life.

Tawny Abaniel is facing the latter (small team in a big corporation supporting one of many brands). She will lead this huddle where we will explore the challenge of optimizing your head count and processes to deliver great analytics support to the business.

We will discuss:

  • What are the core skills and positions required for a small team to be successful?
  • How does the analytics request intake and prioritization process look like?
  • Should some type of work be outsourced or contracted?
  • Keeping team members engaged and happy rather than overwhelmed
  • Optimizing workflows with other stakeholders in the business
  • Managing team members career progress with limited scope

This huddle is ideal for those already managing a small team or those aspiring to do so.

Cognitive analytics is often described as the junction of traditional customer analytics, natural language processing and machine learning. The next evolutionary step from predictive and prescriptive analytics. It is a point of singularity where learning about the customer, understanding the customer and building the knowledge of the customer converge for smarter decision making.

Ashish Braganza, leads a large team of data scientists and engineers, business and digital analysts at Lenovo. His team is delivering Lenovo’s Assisted Intelligence – a practice the leverages machine learning and other technologies to generate deeper customer insights faster.

In this huddle, Ashish will discuss the challenges we face today in advanced analytics particularly around the adoption of machine learning and the development of cognitive analytics practices.

This is a chance to share knowledge and exchange experiences relating to:
  • The different components of cognitive analytics
  • What should cognitive analytics deliver for your organization
  • What are the necessary conditions for starting such a program
  • How should your analytics team look like to deliver cognitive analytics
  • What is assisted intelligence and how will it transform your organization

This huddle will help guide those starting out with cognitive analytics and give experienced practitioners further ideas of what this technology could do for them. Don’t miss it!

Jennifer Jung
National Football League

As the popular saying goes, content is king, and companies continue to invest heavily producing content. However, it is not unusual for content analysis to be nothing more than a meaningless data dump made to look pretty.

From images to videos, banners to blogs, they all play a key part in a customer’s journey and we should be measuring and valuing them appropriately. But how? You will find out in this huddle led by Jenn Jung, Director of Media Intelligence at the NFL.

In her role supporting the editorial team, Jenn’s team is always looking for ways to optimize content to increase consumption and engagement in an effective manner.

We will discuss appropriate methods for measuring content impact, with Jenn sharing her experiences of both the good and bad. We will also consider the following points:

  • How and what are we currently measuring?
  • Should we have one or many KPIs across content types (e.g., written, photos, videos)? What would it/they be?
  • Which tools should we use and what are their limitations (e.g., true real-time analytics, homepage optimizers, SEO strategy, social distribution)?
  • How effective are we tracking content KPIs?
  • What are the different ways to optimize content and how can we integrate them into our content creator workflows?

If content tracking is a part of your analytics responsibility then this huddle will generate fresh practical ideas you can use once back at the office.

As brands realize the retail market shifting dramatically to digital, they wrestle with having to not only change the way they “tell stories”, but also how they go-to market with their products. Many brands still focus on branding rather than direct sales as their go-to market strategy.

This is a challenge Chip Steiff previously faced at Nike and now faces at Adidas, a Brand vs. Commerce clash. In this huddle Chip will encourage delegates to share the challenges they face supporting their brands’ go-to market strategy.

We will look to answer the following questions:

  • What levers have people used in relation to their KPIs and digital data?
  • Should their KPIs be engagement/awareness or sales?
  • Is there a happy medium? Can they both coexist?

This promises to be a valuable discussion for anyone working in a brand-led environment.

Standards and best practices for measuring the performance of marketing campaigns is critical to ensuring an effective test & learn culture is adopted across a mature marketing organization. Many people are surprised that so many marketers do not approach campaigns with the right measurement considerations in mind, and often fail to setup the right success criteria that allows for intra-campaign tactical changes and/or effective post-campaign analysis.

In this huddle, led by Duane Hart, Senior Director, Digital & Marketing Analytics at Hilton, we are going to discuss successful approaches to developing the right promotional analysis framework. We will ask:

  • What are the fundamental phases of a campaign analysis framework?
  • What is the best approach for establishing engagement around success criteria and an overall measurement plan during the campaign’s ideation phase?
  • What types of campaigns should require automated reporting versus more manual, insight-driven analysis?
  • What are some key measurement factors to consider when setting up a framework?
  • How do we encourage the consumption of the framework’s deliverables, ensuring the organization is constantly evolving its marketing practices?

Join this huddle to find out how other businesses help marketers setup effective campaign measurement plans that ensure performance is fully understood, and learnings are identified and applied to future promotional activities.

Gold Vendors Use Cases
October 3
2:45pm - 3:15pm
DAA Presentation
October 3
3:15pm - 3:20pm
Round #3
October 3
3:30pm - 5:00pm

There is a certain irony that there has never been more data in the world before, and yet understanding cross platform media consumption is still so difficult. With many research and analytics companies looking to solve these problems, why is this still so hard?

Tom Cattapan, VP, Consumer Insights, Research & Analytics at Turner will explore some of the challenges and opportunities that exist in the world of media measurement across platforms:

  • What do participants think of progress being made by the more traditional syndicated measurement providers (comScore, Nielsen, etc.) in this cross platform space?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges of companies creating their own independent data sets or “currencies” to define the success of content and advertising in reaching intended audiences? For example, Google, Facebook and others often use their own data for advertisers and content providers
  • What is holding back the adoption of all cross platform data services to improve measurement of these devices and also making ads more relevant to their audiences?

While mainly a media, advertising, and marketing vertical challenge, other delegates are welcomed and will find interesting, practical and relevant take aways.

Building and maintaining trust in digital analytics data has always been critically important. The challenge is becoming more complex in an evolving technology landscape with an increasing number of data sources.

Does your team have a strategy for data governance? This session, moderated by Amber Zaharchuk of ESPN, will focus on how to improve data integrity and stakeholder trust including:

  • How we are using implementation solution design documentation
  • Who has the final say when it comes to the data you collect
  • The expansion of technology, platforms and number of elements tracked
  • Maintaining consistency across products and business units
  • The role, benefit and cost of data curation, data dictionaries and variable maps
  • Applying monitoring, alerting and anomaly detection to prevent data loss/corruption

If you strive to build trust in an elaborate data environment – this session is for you.

Personalization from an enterprise level marketing perspective has become common terminology when developing campaigns and digital strategies. But how is this effectively done at scale and what team should own this?

The truth is, there is never a single owner of personalization as every consumer, user or patient has multiple inputs from marketing, social communities, physicians and endless others driving their behavior. Personalization is an orchestration based on a system of integration in its ‘unicorn’ future state, but currently we have siloed systems and at best a ‘system of integrations’ spread across our organization.

Developing and activating a personalization program requires senior management buy-in as well as a significant effort by various analytics, marketing and IT teams.

In this huddle, facilitated by Matthew Wolf, Director of Analytics at Dignity Health, we will discuss the orchestration and necessary data architecture to inform and power personalization. That said, we are calling this a huddle because we have yet to find the unicorn our consumers expect us to have, so let us learn from each other where the pitfalls, low hanging fruit and best practices are to create an intensely, positive, personalized digital experience for our consumers.

Johnson & Johnson

Building and maintaining trust in digital analytics data has always been critical. The challenge is becoming increasingly more complex when looking to integrate this data with large scale marketing and customer analytics data such as CRM and DMPs.

The diverse array of data types places new emphasis on the importance of governance and quality controls as well as having the human skills and bandwidth to handle ETL, QA and analysis.

In his role as Global BI Manager at pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, Dmitri Pankov is tasks with making digital data work in the context of the company’s marketing and customer analytics platforms.

In this huddle, Dmitri will lead a discussion about:

  • The ingestion and integration of various data sources into data lake
  • The necessary technology and architecture stack to make data accessible and valuable
  • The modelling solutions and visualization stories for guided discovery
  • The construction of multichannel customer journeys

If merging digital analytics into other data sets is something you already do or want to do better then this huddle is for you.

Search Discovery Inc.

Showing the concrete incremental value of a feature or design change can be addictive to the business. As we prove the value of A/B and multivariant testing, the demand for more insight and more tests grows. How can we scale our testing programs while still maintaining the science we need to make smart decisions? How can we get fast and smart enough to transform our once basic AB testing into large-scale scientific personalization programs?

In this huddle, led by Julie Albers of Urban Outfitters, we will discuss the steps necessary to create a testing program that can grow to meet the demands of the business and the customers. We will talk about the intake process and test ideation, prioritization of test ideas and the merits of traditional A/B tests versus newer testing methods like multi-armed bandits. We will also discuss measuring tests against segments of traffic to influence current and future personalization decisions.

eBay Classifieds Group

Stitching together customer journeys is the biggest challenge for marketing analytics. Users connect via multiple devices and channels before converting. Attributing conversions accurately is crucial for marketing investment allocation and optimization.

However, there is no simple way to develop the perfect attribution model. Some would even argue it is impossible. Yet we cannot just put our hands up.

Attribution is a challenge Fatih Koca is tasked to solve at eBay Classifieds. In this huddle, Fatih will share and discuss how to build the least worse multi-channel attribution models. We will cover:

  • Existing methodologies used for multi-channel attribution
  • Best practices to track cross-device users
  • How to integrate offline and online marketing attribution?
  • What would the perfect multi-channel attribution model look like?
  • Testing and measuring the efficiency of different attribution models

Expect different views and approaches to one of the most fundamental analytics challenges for marketing analysts.

Finding qualified resources in the data and analytics space is tough... and getting tougher. The shift has been growing quickly to needing those who are skilled in working in big data environments where traditional analyst skills and tools do not apply. How do you find qualified candidates in this new evolving space where supply is limited and competition for resources is fierce?

Crystal Martinez, Director, Enterprise Data and Analytics at USAA, as many of you, faces this continuous challenge. In this huddle, she will seek to expose strategies we should deploy to attract, engage and retain big data and data science professionals. Questions we will ask include:

  • What are these professionals looking for in their careers?
  • What are the best tools and techniques to ensure you can attract them and at the same time stay competitive?
  • Should you develop an internal training programs to skill up traditional analysts?
  • Would an intern program payoff?
  • The merits of talented graduates vs mature talent? Do we really have a choice?

Come learn how some of the top companies manage this critical success factor.

Huddles Day 2 - October 4, 2017

Round #4
October 4
9:45am - 11:15am

While analysts once operated in isolation as part of a marketing or product team, in progressive environments they are now working more closely with data scientists and data engineers who have entered the scene along with large and diverse data sets. Undoubtedly, a welcomed development for analysts but it also presents some challenges.

How does this shift change the way that analysts frame their skills and deliverables? How do different data specialists collaborate? What are the career pathways from one type of role to another?

June Dershewitz is the Head of Data Governance & Analytics at Twitch, the world’s leading video platform and community for gamers (an Amazon subsidiary). Among her responsibilities, she is building a team of analysts who are working alongside data scientists and data engineers to deliver a well-rounded set of analytical products and services to business partners throughout the company.

Attend this session if you see your role as analyst changing and are looking to understand what this change means to you.

Technology is enabling greater access to data but it does not, on its own, enable stakeholders to self-serve. Technology must be partnered with a reporting and visualization strategy that makes it easy for the user to consume and be reinforced with ongoing education.

In this huddle, Lynn Lanphier of US Bank, will invite delegates to share experiences and opinions on their data democratization efforts. We will ask:

  • Who in the organization should have access to our data?
  • What is the balance between access to data and overwhelming with data?
  • What makes a successful self-service analytics program?
  • Is having a KPI framework for essential (allowing stakeholders to better understand the data and which KPIs they should be focused on so they can align their work with defined business goals)?
  • How do we control misuse of data (e.g. for internal political usage)?
  • What makes a good literacy program, helping stakeholders consume data and be reinforced with ongoing education?
  • How should your reporting and visualization strategy look like?

You will come away with fresh perspectives on how to improve data share and utilization in your organization.

Dignity Health

When you order your favorite latte at Starbucks you probably do not consider that your coffee could be over a year old. It takes a substantial amount of time to grow the plant, process and roast the beans and then finally brew the coffee. If the barista messes up the final three minutes of preparation your coffee experience might be ruined and you may think ‘that coffee was terrible’. In actuality, the coffee was amazing, but the preparation and delivery of your latte was flawed, which Starbucks commonly refers to as ’the last 10 feet’.

Like your coffee journey, your analytics team could spend months on building out an analysis, modelling or a prediction. However, if you minimize the importance of communicating those results, the value from those insights may never be passed along to the business. Worse still, the business might develop a negative perception of your analytics team.

In analytics, it can be a ‘one strike and you are out’ with your stakeholders. Therefore, investing a similar amount of effort in the delivery of your results is essential.

In this huddle, led by Matthew Wolf of Dignity Health, we will discuss best practices in communicating analytics results through aligning with your audiences’ goals, navigating their political motivations, showing the right amount of data visualizations, giving actionable recommendations that are plausible and contextual to the business question. The ultimate aim is to ensure your stakeholders walk away with a great experience and valuable insights.

Johnson & Johnson

The scope of digital data is constantly expanding. If a decade ago we were only concerned with web data, we now have to contend with other digital data sets such as mobile apps and social media data. IoT data is next to follow and threatens to increase data capture exponentially.

Within this sea of data, how do we prioritize our limited resources and how do we define our digital analytics journey.

In this huddle, Dmitri Pankov, Global BI Manager at Johnson & Johnson will look at defining ROI-driven business cases for all digital data types, including Social Analytics and Text Mining. We will be reviewing the Buy vs. Build vs. Mix models. We will to at the role of technology and architecture stack in defining your path. And we consider data requirements and front-end visualizations.

You will come away from this huddle with a set of insights and ideas for how to define your digital analytics ROI.

Tracking and measurement are essential aspects of any marketing campaign activity. However, in most cases the marketers are tracking and reporting on marketing performance using a separate system.

This situation leaves the door open to recurring measurement issues due to different reporting tools. So how can marketer and analyst work together to ensure both get what they want?

In this huddle, run by Tawny Abaniel of Viacom, we will examine the processes from conception through planning to execution of successful campaign tracking. We will ask whether our attribution models accurately reflect our marketing effectiveness. Finally, we will discuss possible approaches for creating a smooth, reliable and repeatable marketing tracking process end-to-end.

Join us for a comprehensive debate around campaign tracking and analysis.

The worlds of data science and digital analytics are moving closer in accelerating pace. However, the growing demand for mathematical and technological skilled professionals is putting pressure on digital organisations. Companies are divided between those who build more custom solutions for digital marketing optimisation, targeting and recommendations and those who have to rely on mainstream solutions in the market.

Ashish Braganza, Director of Global Business Intelligence at Lenovo, manages an integrated team which includes both data scientists and digital analysts. In this huddle, Ashish will navigate us through some of the potential benefits data science could offer in the fields of advanced optimisation for search, email, personalisation and inbound marketing. We will also discuss how machine learning is changing the analytics department landscape.

Join us for a serious conversation on the hottest topic in digital.

Whether we want to admit it or not, selecting the right vendor and onboarding their solution is often a key part of our own success or failure within analytics. When things go wrong, we often blame the vendor for selling us a dream which ended in a nightmare. While this can be true in some cases, it is wise for clients to also take a critical look at what they could have done differently to ensure the solution was a success. That type of retrospective starts with the vendor selection process.

Duane Hart, Senior Director, Digital & Marketing Analytics at Hilton, has experience facing the challenge of selecting the right vendor and then ensuring the implementation of their product or service is successful. In this huddle, he will seek to expose strategies we should deploy when initiating the selection process and selecting the right partner for our needs. We will look to answer these questions:

  • What problem are you trying to solve for with the vendor’s solution?
  • How should you best define a successful implementation?
  • What are the right questions to ask about their solution?
  • What should we look out for when negotiating the agreement’s deliverables?
  • What is required by your team and other internal stakeholders to ensure a successful operationalization of the solution?
  • Once the solution is up and running, how do you track and measure its evolution and ensure the investment continues to return value beyond the “honeymoon” period?

This will not be a whining session. We welcome both practitioners and vendors to conduct a healthy discussion with the aim of achieving a better result for everyone.

Round #5
October 4
11:30am - 1pm
Akilah Elis
Delta Air Lines

Developing a truly effective analytics programme requires a good balance between people, processes and tools (in this order!). Recruiting and retaining great analytics professionals in a constrained market place is one of the biggest challenges managers face.

How do we find those analytics superstars, attract them to our organizations and retain them long enough to make it all worthwhile?

In this huddle, delegates will be encouraged to share their views, experiences and some (not too many) frustrations regarding analytics human resource management. We will look at incentives, financial, educational and others, available to attract and retain talent. We will consider techniques for creating candidate pipelines and ask how to recruit for specialized skillsets in a corporation full of generalists. Finally, we will ask whether we are better off developing talent internally rather than seek superstars externally.

Join Akilah Ellis of Delta Air Lines as she explores matters of top analytics talent recruitment and retention.

Tom Betts
Financial Times

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect in Europe on May 25th 2018. Simultaneously, we expect the new ePrivacy regulation too. While these new set of data protection and customer privacy rules might not immediately apply to the US market, they will have a profound impact on how we conduct our digital analytics and marketing in coming years. And if you have European customers, you need to act now. The new regulations require obtaining more explicit customer consent for data collection as well as impose greater protection for consumer privacy and stronger restrictions on the storage, processing and use of customer data. The regulation gives European authorities the power to impose massive fines (up to 4% of global turnover) for any companies found to breach the new rules. In this huddle, run by Tom Betts, Chief Data Officer at the Financial Times, we will discuss the meaning of GDPR, ePrivacy and their potential impact on US businesses. We will ask:

  • How will these changes affect the digital measurement industry and how are you preparing for it?
  • Will our technology need to change - to allow for the right to erasure, and to facilitate customer data portability?
  • How transparent do we need to be, and how easily will our tools allow us to be transparent - in what data we hold, how we process it, and how we're using it to make automated decisions about our customers?
  • What opportunities does GDPR offer for the development of consensual marketing?

If there is one emerging topic to know more about, it is this. Join Tom for an essential discussion about data collection, processing and privacy. You should come away with a clearer understanding of the important yet often overlooked topic of customer privacy.

Customer interactions with products and services are increasingly more entwined across online and offline channels. Consequently, quantifying the effectiveness of you digital marketing initiatives must evolve to take these market changes into account.

Customer interactions with products and services are increasingly taking place across online and offline channels. Consequently, quantifying the effectiveness of your digital marketing initiatives must evolve to account for these changes.

In this huddle, led by Alex Destino of Humana, we will discuss how to identify new customer-centric metrics that ultimately lead to improved understanding of the broader customer journeys and even new business opportunities.

We will consider the following concepts:

  • The Customer Pain Index - techniques to identify customer pain points using omni-channel data
  • Call containment and channel of choice - measuring consumers’ channel preferences based on their behaviors and using this in decision-making
  • Customer health – in healthcare we measure our members’ health and use this to attribute success against the digital project portfolio. What KPI differentiates your company/industry?
  • Digital brand awareness, familiarity, and opinion/perception

This is a huddle for those looking to understand how different organizations are seeing customer-centricity and ways to measure it effectively.

Digital analytics tools can provide excellent insight into how customers move from one web page to another. However, they struggle with other aspects of customer behaviour such as in-page insights – which parts of the page customers focus on, do they scroll down and do they encounter any technical issues preventing them from completing forms. They also are not great in answering the “why customers do A, B or C”.

Enter Customer Experience Management (CEM) and Voice of Customer (VoC) tools. From ClickTale to Qualtrics, Tealeaf to Foresee, Decibel Insights to SurveyGizmo.

In this huddle, Chip Streiff of Adidas, will look at the most recent use cases of integrating CEM and VoC into your analytics stack. We will explore how these tools augment customer journey analysis and A/B testing helping create a far more comprehensive view of customer experience.

Join us to learn more about these tools and share use cases on how they help you drive greater ROI from your analytics program.


In recent years we have seen an explosion in video and audio consumption via online, mobile, and other connected device channels; from marketing videos through socially-shared video content to full streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Meanwhile, consumers have advanced to starting a video on one device and picking up where left off on another device in addition to creating and posting live videos on social media. While the shift in consumer behavior is clear, most organizations still struggle to measure streaming activity successfully and agree industry-wide measurement criteria. In this huddle, run by Dee Yarbrough, Director of Digital Analytics at Turner, we will examine some key challenges:

  • Whose industry standards do we follow?
  • Is it important that video streams have audio turned on to be counted?
  • Is the importance of a “complete” going away for long-form and live video? Has the context of viewability changed this for video ads?
  • Can current technology accurately measure customers starting a video on one platform and finishing on another? Are we able to measure it without duplicating the unique count?
  • Who owns the video in the instance of a user generated video? The content creator or the content distributor?
  • Auto-start vs. user-initiated start – advantages/disadvantages for UX?
  • Which is the best metric to use, video content start or video initiate?
  • Is custom state tracking important?

Expect a lively discussion about video tracking and analysis.

Jennifer Jung
National Football League

Syndicated data sources and competitive intelligence tools such as comScore, Nielsen and SimilarWeb provide essential insight into our performance compared to competitors. They also point out general trends in specific industries or periods of the year.

Although these tools are intended to be standardized, this discussion will look at the methodology and ways the data is leveraged in the industry. Led by Jenn Jung, responsible (among other things) for competitive analysis at the NFL, we will discuss:

  • Why do we need to tag for syndicated data sources?
  • How do we use the data for different stakeholders?
  • How truly “standardized” are the data sets? What are the limitations of the data?
  • Making more insightful decisions about online marketing based on competitive data
  • Innovative tactics to using competitive data

Competitive intelligence analysis is more than a nice to have. Find out new ways to using this data in this huddle.

Rusty Rahmer

Digital marketing solutions continue to grow at an unprecedented pace. Who does all of that technology belong to? What staffing and skills are needed to successfully support the practice? Each of these technologies brings new and unique challenges and implications to our analytics organizations.

Join Rusty Rahmer, Head of Enterprise Web Analytics & Digital Intelligence at Vanguard, for an exciting discussion on whether we are coping with these challenges, figuring out organizational design options, roles, skills, and operating models to support the new solutions and understanding the people, process, and org design components that are necessary to successfully support the new capabilities.

Together we will conquer this tidal wave and come away from this huddle more than just afloat.

Jennifer Yacenda
Starwood Hotels & Resorts

To no one’s surprise, we are living in a world with unprecedented data volume. The amount of data continues to stream in at faster rates across more and more devices. At the same time, companies struggle to staff analytics teams with an adequate number of analysts to support the growing demand. As companies focus on delivering digital experiences to drive better customer experiences, how do Digital Analytics teams look to keep up?

In this huddle, led by Jennifer Yacenda from Starwood Hotels, we will discuss this challenge and identify opportunities to analyze analytics to drive business cases for greater support.

We will look to answer the following questions:

  • How do we measure efforts of digital analytics teams and the needs we support today?
  • How do we identify gaps in our digital analytics practice?
  • Discuss strategies to keep track of requests fulfilled and hours spent per business unit
  • How to monitor what analytics questions drive bottom line?

This huddle is perfect for anyone looking to learn and willing to share experiences that 1) demonstrate the value of analytics within their organization and 2) highlight successful (or unsuccessful) attempts to secure more resources.

Round #6
October 4
2:00pm - 3:30pm
Gary Angel
Digital Mortar

Marketing clouds are common place these days. Adobe even has a few of them. The concept of a SaaS integrated solution is incredibly appealing to businesses. Cloud solutions offer greater flexibility and accessibility alongside better processing powers – data could be actioned faster and more efficiently. However, cloud solutions throw new challenges for analytics professionals.

In this huddle, led by Gary Angel, we will look at all the aspects of building an analytics system in the cloud – from selecting a cloud vendor (e.g. Amazon vs Azure) to discussion around appropriate configurations (e.g. memory vs. compute) to tools to maximize governance, data intake, ETL, and analytics.

Come prepared for a discussion that will cut through the marketing hype and touch upon the real challenges of a single vendor stack in the context of delivering superior analytics insights and driving ROI.

A year has passed since our last conversation about Women in Analytics. Since then, we have seen the formation of a movement with the introduction of Google’s Women in Analytics Twitter List, the launch of the DAA’s and the #measure Slack’s Women in Analytics groups, and many conference sessions on the topic. 50% of DA Hub leaders in 2017 will be women. But there is still more progress to be made.

The DAA’s recent compensation study revealed that women perceive a greater compensation gap than actually exists. Mentoring programs remain a common request from women. And women are still underrepresented in senior leadership positions.

Let’s continue our conversation. What success stories do you have to share with the group? What techniques have you applied in your organization to attract and retain more women analysts? How do we address the differences in equity perceptions among men and women? How do we achieve a better gender balance in senior leadership positions?

We welcome both women and men for what will be an exciting discussion about our profession.

eBay Classifieds Group

Knowing your finest customers is arguably the best method for increasing your profitability. Yet many businesses struggle with defining their best customers, being able to identify them and engage them affectively to maximize value.

In this huddle, led by Fatih Koca, Head of Global Growth Analytics at eBay Classifieds Group, we will discuss:

  • The different customer value definitions and the differences between them
  • Existing methodologies used to measure CLV
  • What should go into the “value” and “acquisition cost” calculation of a customer
  • How to apply CLV into user segmentation, marketing, product and competitive strategies
  • Testing and measuring the efficiency of different CLV calculations
  • How to move the business focus to long-term value, despite the pressure of short-term goals and deadlines /ul>

Join us for a fascinating discussion about measurement of customer value and find out how other leading business are tackling this challenge.

Creating a real-time analytics system that is both functional and visually-appealing is an art form. We want to be able to make changes to improve performance as quickly as possible while avoiding any needless high anxiety.

How can we fuel our nimble and reactive development and marketing teams without spreading panic through real time analytics?

In this huddle, led by Julie Albers of Urban Outfitters, we will exchange experiences and opinions about the key features and design elements necessary for an engaging and actionable real-time analytics dashboard.

We will discuss two arms of real-time analytics – one to inform and one to drive action. We will consider more advanced methods for using real-time analytics such as feeding our targeting and personalization program or generating automated alerts for when things go awry.

Dennis Bradley
Charles Schwab

Combining first and third-party data is promising to be a game changer in improving digital marketing ROI. We are at the point where technologies relating to first party data are robust enough to deliver tangible value. Digital Management Platforms (DMPs) are a good example of this trend. Now marketers can leverage such data to improve targeting accuracy and serve customers more relevant content at the right time.

There are challenges hindering the realization of these new targeting opportunities, from physical infrastructure to marketers’ ability to understand, manage and execute more complex marketing campaigns.

Dennis Bradley, heads Charles Schwab’s digital intelligence and optimization team. Leveraging first, third and now second party data is a daily challenge his team thrives on.

In this huddle, Dennis will introduce and discuss techniques for leveraging your data for programmatic advertising. We will ask (and answer):

  • How best to leverage onboarders (such as LiveRamp and Neustar), DMPs, DSPs and third party data partners (i.e. Acxiom, Datonics, Dun & Bradstreet) to find and target prospects via programmatic media?
  • How to use onboarders to bring in first party data for look-alike modeling, suppression and other use cases?
  • How to tackle challenges such as Match Rates, Cookie Deletion, Cross-Device linking, etc.?

You will walk away with practical advice on how to make the most of your first and third party data.

Data accuracy is a big issue. We are constantly challenged over data quality and accessibility. Conflicting data sources, code bugs, and frequent changes in requirements all cause stakeholders to be wary of data. What good is all our data if it cannot be used for making decisions?

In this huddle, Amber Zaharchuk of ESPN will ask how does great data governance look like and how can we ensure our organizations adhere to it, making relevant data available, accurate and accessible when we need it. We will also consider the following questions:

  • Why do so many us struggle to maintain useful and accurate data?
  • How to communicate internally over data bugs and gaps without losing credibility?
  • How to avoid and fix problems with data integrity?
  • How to ensure data governance is prioritised, when competing with other uses of resource which might appear to have more immediate customer benefit?

Amber will encourage the group to share examples of organizations that do it better and what are the key elements which support this?

Growing and developing analyst talent continues to be an important agenda item on every analytics leader’s business plan! There is a ton of training and resources for the tools themselves, but how do you turn an entry level or junior analyst into a rock star senior analyst?

In this huddle, led by Crystal Martinez, Director, Enterprise Data and Analytics at USAA, we are going to discuss successful approaches to developing the skills and savvy we need from our analysts. We will ask:

  • What are the key skills?
  • What techniques are being used to help them
  • Should we reframe business questions?
  • How do we encourage analysts to produce more meaningful and actionable insights, improve storytelling and data visualization, and develop soft skills such as persuasion, influence, professional presence?

Join this huddle to find out how other businesses help analysts hone their skills, increase their motivation and keep them motivated.