eMetrics San Francisco 2014: The pulse of the industry


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San Francisco 2014 - SweetspotAnother eMetrics is over, and it was a fun ride. Besides all the expected things (meeting up with the same old faces, welcoming the new ones, admiring Jim Sterne’s skills at running the show with impressive musical talents…), there is always something new that shows the signs of the times, the direction the Digital Analytics industry is headed in.

And I was very happy to perceive how analytics is now clearly steering away from solely focusing on the challenges of the analyst as an individual player to finally put the accent on governance, insight delivery and analytics management frameworks. In other words, we finally care about spreading the benefits of data throughout the organization.

Not only did we enjoy a keynote (Avinash’s) highly focused on delivery and governance, but we also had eight different sessions on related topics. I was particularly happy to attend Jennifer Veesenmeyer‘s talk on dashboard design and take note of a few statements that I agree entirely with:

  • A dashboard has to be focused on KPIs: what’s the point of a dashboard if you have no clear goals?
  • A really effective dashboard provides clarity and context for KPIs
  • An automated dashboard is better than a perfect one
  • There is no KPI if the objective is not known, if “nobody gets into trouble when it goes down”
  • It is better to build a new metric to show the relationship between two metrics instead of reporting both of them separately
  • KPIs should provide context by making comparisons (target, trend, rank, correlation, composition, distribution)
  • Dashboards should include insights as commentaries, not a narration translating the same information already shown.

(we coincidentally released our new Red Book of Dashboard Design during the event, so much of this resonated).

My conclusion, as laid out on stage (*that* slide is available upon request :)): we have finally reached the point of maturity where analysts are not looking at themselves in isolation, adopting methodologies and tools for their own solitary benefit. They (and their business stakeholders) are finally waking up to the reality around them and understanding that they are only as good as the reach they can obtain with their insights and reports.

All in all, another enriching experience. All of us at Sweetspot Intelligence are proud to have been Gold Sponsors of this event.

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Sergio Maldonado

Founder & Chairman at Sweetspot. Author, speaker on analytics, marketing technology, privacy compliance. JD, LLM (Internet law). Once a dually-admitted lawyer. Father of three. I love surfing and cooking.

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