#078: 2017 – The Year in Review

December 19, 2017

2017 was a big year for both the digital analytics industry and for the Digital Analytics Power Hour. Join us, won’t you, as we (figuratively!) gaze upon our navels? From the traction the #womeninanalytics movement gained on multiple fronts, to the looming promise of machine learning and AI getting a real foothold in the field, to the podcast finally adding a co-host who is universally admired, we had a lot to talk about! We had a LOT to talk about. Trust us, we edited this episode down heavily!

Links to Things Referenced in the Show

Show Transcript


00:04 Announcer: Welcome to the Digital Analytics Power Hour. Tim, Michael, Moe and the occasional guest discussing digital analytics issues of the day. Find them on Facebook at facebook.com/analyticshour and their website, analyticshour.io. And now, the Digital Analytics Power Hour.

00:27 Tim Wilson: Hi everyone. Welcome to the Digital Analytics Hour.

00:30 Michael Helbling: Okay. Wait a second.

00:32 TW: Oh, wait. Oh, hey. [chuckle] Hey, Michael. Welcome back. I guess… Hold on just a second. Let me… Hold on. I wasn’t… No, that’s fine. You’re good. Go ahead.

00:43 MH: All right. Excuse me. Oh, just get around you. Okay, yeah. Hi everyone. Welcome to the Digital Analytics Power Hour. This is Episode 78. Analytics is first and foremost about people and also data. Maybe first and foremost about data and the people who love it, but this year, we met some really great people from our awesome super week experience, to our first two-time guests, to adding a new co-host; all that with some great analytics conversations along the way. It was a big growth year for us at the Digital Analytics Power Hour and pay no attention to that fuzzy lint, we are navel-gazing because it is our year in review episode. Moe, this is your first year in review episode, are you excited or just dreading this?

01:37 Moe Kiss: Well, I’ve only got a half a year to review, so the pressure’s really on you two.


01:40 MH: Fair enough. And Tim, we’ve done all of these together and I’m sure, like me, you’re loving every minute of it. So, let’s get started. Welcome to the year in review. Well, let’s start with this. Who has a memory from… Wow. I can’t believe we’re looking back at 2017. First off, that just troubles me on an existential level. [chuckle] But yeah, looking back on 2017, who’s gonna highlight something they saw maybe in the industry this year that they liked?

02:14 MK: I’d be really interested in starting off talking about women in analytics. I think this year has just been… It’s just made me so incredibly proud to see how it’s become really a tangible movement between the Slack channel, we had our eMetrics where the majority of speakers were women. We’ve had the DAA’s Women in Analytics pilot, I just… It’s been incredible actually like going to Web Analytics Wednesday in MeasureCamp, and having women run sessions on Women in Analytics has been incredibly cool. We even, here on the show, had our first ever podcast with more women than men on it, and it’s just… It’s been really amazing to be part of that community this year.

02:55 TW: We just had to run off one of the men to make that happen. So… [chuckle]

03:00 MH: I’m happy to take a break anytime.

03:02 TW: It seems like it’s a little… To me, I absolutely agree and I think it’s been kind of awesome. It’s this interesting intersection of our professional world of analytics with larger societal cultural things. ‘Cause I think women in tech has… Certainly, there’s more scale in women in tech and there’s been sort of little bits and pieces along the way, and then of course, we get to the back half of the year and all the other fucking shit show of disaster train wreck in US entertainment and politics and elsewhere, but I think that’s all kind of together and not to go to that negative front, but I think they do sort of… I think it’s kind of… I hope it’s kind of symbiotic and that that’s partly because there’s getting some real footing for the women in tech and women in analytics movement is probably driving some other stuff out of the dark recesses of horrible behavior.

04:07 MH: Well, and it’s been pretty awesome to see the Digital Analytics Association pick this up and they’re doing stuff with it. There’s so much more work to be done here, but I wonder could our industry be an example of how we try to do this right? I don’t know, it just… Yeah, I like some of the things have happened this year in analytics as an industry, especially around women in analytics, is sort of gaining steam and that’s really awesome.

04:40 MK: There’s actually just been some really great things like that that we’ve seen in the industry, but it’s even just… There’s this avenue now for women to have some of those conversations that… We probably had anyway in a peer to peer level, but I was even just talking with my mentor last week about building trust, which… It does from the Women in Analytics Slack Channel does seem to be something that women do struggle with a little bit and how as an analyst you build trust. I got to have a really frank conversation with him about it and those are some conversations, those sorts of things, it feels like something we can talk about a little bit more easily now, and yeah, it’s amazing to have this community of champions, like what Jim did with eMetrics and that almost all women line up was just incredible and made me so proud because it’s true, we do have so many amazing women in this industry that are able to speak. So, yeah, that was a pretty special highlight from this year.

05:41 TW: Which is… Not to say that we’re there because I think it is not solved in 2017 by any stretch of the imagination.

05:49 MH: No, we’re not done.

05:50 TW: But good to see that we’ve got progress is good. We gotta keep making progress.

05:55 MK: Yeah. Yeah, I agree. And it’s also just been so awesome to see so many guys joining that channel and having those conservations and sharing articles. There was that really cool podcast which we can put in the show notes and you’ll have to forgive me ’cause I can’t remember who shared it but it was about whether you can raise children gender neutral which was just fascinating. There’s been some really cool discussions. So yeah, I could spend the next hour talking about this but I’ll put a fork in it.

06:23 TW: So to shift a little bit, I think another thing that the industry and we represented it a bit on the show as well is the Machine Learning and AI, Jim’s book came out. There’s been more conferences, more focus. I think some of it is, again, it’s actually a little bit of industry convergence.

06:45 MH: Yeah.

06:46 TW: That is analysts are figuring out how to talk about and use Python and R and digital data to do this stuff or starting to figure it out. All of a sudden there’s this whole world that I think was a few years ahead and they’re starting to be… I think I’m seeing some bridging of different areas of content expertise although… It definitely feels hype cycle-y. I saw a product that I went and looked at it and they’re like, “This amazing product. We do machine learning.” And their whole video was anomaly detection. I don’t think… Maybe they’re using machine learning to do that somehow, but everything you’re showing to me sounds like you just… Some growth hacker in your organization said, “We should call this machine learning and it will drive more leads.” But I obviously believe that’s real and yet still in its nascency.

07:41 MK: It’s funny though, I agree with you on it really has been a thing this year but I remember… The three of us have talked about this before where in a lot of ways Australia feels a little bit ahead of the US.

07:54 MH: Yeah, you’re like at least a day ahead aren’t you?


07:58 TW: I was thinking the same thing. I’m glad you went there.

08:01 MK: Jeez.

08:01 MH: Right out in the front.


08:04 MH: Sorry. I’m sorry. It was too easy. It was just hanging.


08:08 MH: It was hanging right out over the plate. Sorry, keep going, Moe.


08:15 MK: What I was gonna say though is do you feel like this year… Tim, you’ve done some presentations on R, we have that episode on R and Python, do you feel like the American community is really moving ahead now?

08:28 TW: Well, I think actually the largest companies that have established pockets that are web analytics are ones that maybe are struggling the most. But I know that I look at Superweek, which is obviously not in the US, that’s in Europe, and looking at the list of topics on that and thinking, “Yep, the Americans who make it over there, everyone of them is gonna have their eyes opened.” So I think there are definitely people asking and trying to dabble and trying to figure out. I know just from people, listeners of the show, a lot of them I think, reaching out and asking questions, is an indication, but I still would think that we’re behind where Europe and Australia are as a rule.

09:16 MH: I think we’re making progress. Certainly there’s a ton of interest in it. I’ve stayed away from it mostly, but even me, I got inspired by Simo when he was on the show, and he made me wanna be a more technical man.


09:34 TW: But I do think there’s still… With a lot of the data… The data collection side of things as the major platforms, are all trying to… Is all the tag managers trying to pivot? Is Adobe and Google are broadening data collection, data integration? And to me, that’s a very… Also very real but very different progression and that we really are getting deeper into whether it’s cross-deviced, like we talked about a few episodes back, whether it’s trying to get a better view of the user, whether it’s getting more advanced with the data that we’re collecting. I think now, every year it probably happens that there’s greater distance between the super technical data collection and data integration people and the super technical analytics doing stuff with the data after it’s captured. Whereas if you go back five, six years, that was often kind of one and the same person and they both have gotten way more complicated and sophisticated.

10:43 MH: So going all the way back to almost the beginning of the year, Tim, you and I got the chance to go to Superweek, what do you remember from that?

10:52 TW: I remember waking up multiple times, feeling like I’d been up really late, ended in just a lot of brown liquid. No. I remember that… The same community that I feel like we’ve always had in the community, but a lot of it’s been… By necessity been digital, the community of talking to some hysterical, brilliant, engaged, excited about the industry people, it was… We came up with for the episode, a couple of days in, we said let’s just bring up some of the people we’ve had interesting conservations with and ask them questions. And that was… We could have gone for three hours that night. What about you?

11:41 MH: It reminded me of what… When we first started this podcast, what we were trying to capture was that off the cuff amazing conversation at the lobby bar. And it’s like Superweek was like four days of that. It really was so relaxed, I don’t know how to describe that. I think DA Hub that I went to this fall was a little bit similar in that regard, it was just a lot of really amazing conversations. Anyways, and for 2018 we’re going back. Oh yeah!

12:16 TW: I was gonna say, I felt like there was something that I realized in hindsight, there was something or someone who was missing from…

12:23 MH: The 2017?

12:24 TW: Yes! But Moe’s gonna make it there in 2018.

12:29 MK: I am. I’m so excited actually. There’s quite a few Australians that are planning to come over. I feel like Superweek, yeah, I’ve just heard so many incredible things about it. So, it’s gonna be super freaking cold, ’cause I’ll be leaving our summer to go, but I’m pretty excited.

12:46 MH: Take it from the guy who forgot his coat last year, it was not that bad. I survived.


12:53 TW: It’s a large bonfire.

12:54 MH: I got to the airport and I was like, “I forgot my coat.” It was not good.


13:03 TW: Superweek was coming into its own already. We can’t really define it as coming into its own when the first time we get to experience. [chuckle] But the last eMetrics in the US, so that’s kind of gone through a little bit of a pivot that they’re going to one. And then I think MeasureCamp had its… And, again… But this maybe goes to more evidence of where is the US relative to Australia. But the first MeasureCamps in the US happened in 2017, one in Cincinnati and one in San Francisco, which I think were both, everybody who went thought they were great. But I think it’s not the… You have Rolling Stones tickets, trying to, you have 30 seconds to hit refresh and try to get tickets to pack it like London is. Yeah, but it’s here, it’s kind of like it crossed the pond, so it’s made it to the US.

13:56 MK: I think that’s such an amazing thing for the American community because we had our second MeasureCamp here in Australia in Sydney in October, and we’ve got another one coming up early next year in Melbourne. And it’s just like people keep asking me about conferences in Australia, and we don’t actually really have a lot, particularly that are focused on the analytics space. But there’s something that I just love about MeasureCamp where it’s so… I don’t know, it’s just so practical and tactical and peer to peer level that just, it literally is one of my favorite days of the year which probably makes me like a huge analytics nerd. But they’re just so much fun.

14:38 TW: That’s after the 26 days where you’re recording the Digital Analytics Power Hour.

14:43 MH: Yeah, it was…

14:44 TW: So it starts like at 27 [laughter] in 2018 when you have a full year.

14:48 MH: Okay.

14:49 TW: I just wanted that clarification in case anybody wasn’t…

14:51 MH: Yeah.

14:52 MK: But the one thing that I will say about MeasureCamp that I really noticed coming out this year that this is kind of representative almost of the industry, is that we had a lot of kind of newer people that were kind of fresh-faced that wanted a lot of intro level talks. And then we had a lot of people that wanted really technical talks and it’s probably something that we need to learn to cater better for, is that we are growing a little bit wider in the industry in terms of experience.

15:21 MH: Yeah.

15:22 TW: So we did our Web Analytics Wednesday planning for Columbus for 2018 a couple of weeks ago and we actually had that discussion of well maybe we need to not necessarily announce it, but that’s gonna be one topic, once a month and among not only did we rip some stuff off from Sydney’s Web Analytics Wednesday but we actually said, maybe we should be trying to go through sort of a cycle of technical data collection, data integration. Then try to do one that is general business oriented then do one that is maybe more technical analytics. Not super formally, but it was almost that exact same recognition. The breadth and the depth are increasing and that does become a challenge to say, “We’re in analytics.”

16:10 MH: Yeah.

16:10 TW: That can mean a whole lot of things.

16:12 MH: Yeah, Kelly Wortham who leads that monthly conference call for the testing community is doing something very similar. She was a guest on our show a little bit over a year ago. But is needing that same thing as there’s a lot of introductory content that people want but there’s also deeper topics people wanna get into and how do you serve both communities. And it’s gonna be a challenge I think for all of us. How do we balance that? How do we give people the right content? And then some people are just never gonna be happy too.


16:51 MK: But yeah, Tim, we’ve talked about doing the same thing with our Web Analytics Wednesday where we have more of an intro level session as the first and then a more technical one second up, so that we can kind of cater for both groups. ‘Cause yeah, it’s been pretty interesting. Even one of our most popular sessions this year was we did a debate on Google Analytics versus Snowplow versus Adobe Analytics, which was honestly so much fun. And that was the biggest crowd I think we’ve ever seen and you’d think that would be something that’s like 1,000 blogs on and I don’t know.

17:25 TW: Well, except it’s really tough for people to legitimately… I’ve seen that done, not with Snowplow, but I’ve seen it, versions of that done, where it’s terrible and I actually do think a Web Analytics Wednesday or a MeasureCamp would be the way to do it really, really well. Did it veer into the nuts and bolts of the weeds of them, or did it stay at a philosophical, or did it kind of cover both?

17:50 MK: It was very nuts and bolts but that’s also because we had a gun moderator, Sam, who just kept everyone on topic and on time and really had… We’d prepped all the questions before, so it was really well planned out to hit on the points of each platform that we wanted to discuss. So, yeah, hats off to Sam. You did an amazing job.

18:10 MH: That’s one of my 2018 goals is try to make it to a MeasureCamp. I know you guys are talking about Web Analytics Wednesdays right now.

18:18 MK: Hey, you should come out to Australia. I hear we’re gonna have one in Sydney around September, 2018.

18:23 MH: Pencil me in.

18:25 TW: And I was thinking my 2018 goal was to get Snowplow running on analyticshour.io.

18:29 MH: Well, that’s a good goal too, if we’re talking goals. I will say something else that happened this year, maybe it’s just a personal journey, but I think might be larger than that, is I’m starting to get hopeful… I don’t know if that’s the right word… I’m starting to be excited about the Digital Analytics Association again. And I’ve had sort of my up and downs, like I was one of the first members when they first started it, but it was something that I kinda lost faith in for a while, and not because of any of the people, it really across the board, really amazing people, but just not really serving the industry, and I really feel like it’s taken on new life. And I gotta give a lot of credit to the current board and the executive director, Marilee Yorchak, ’cause I feel like for me this year, I started seeing the DAA as something worth investing in and spending time on again, and that’s really exciting to me. So I don’t know, we’ll see what happens in the 2018, but Atlanta is doing a DAA symposium in 2018.

19:29 TW: Oh yeah, I plugged it, let’s go! [chuckle] Well, you guys sponsored the Philly one, right? Didn’t you?

19:38 MH: We did. We were lucky enough to be a sponsor of the Philadelphia DAA symposium a month or so ago, and yeah, it was great, it was a great time.

19:49 TW: So Michael what was your… If you just had… What was your favorite episode? You’re stranded on a desert island and you’re gonna have to listen to the same episode every day for a year, what would it be?

20:00 MH: Man, I actually am struggling with this a little bit because there’s a couple where I really enjoyed the episode, so the Customer Centricity episode with Dr. Peter Fader almost feels like if you didn’t listen to any other show we ever did, that one may be the most important one for you to consider. I don’t know that everybody agrees with him that he’s right, but there is a level of thinking that you have to be able to do, and I really like that show for that reason. But I enjoyed the ones we did where we were just talking about insights, we talked about bias, we talked about… Those were the ones I really liked this year, I think. Yeah, it’s hard to pick just one. But let me turn the question back around on you Tim.


20:49 MH: If you had to pick just one.

20:51 TW: I probably would default to some of them who were just people who were so enthusiastic and passionate about the industry and what they’re doing, so certainly Dr. Fader falls under that, but you already listed him, so I would probably be tearing myself up between Gary Angel, which was interesting ’cause he was, you mentioned in the intro, our first two-time guest, and so he came back and was talking about more of the in-store analytics, but just his sheer enthusiasm and the fact that he’s trying to map all of his past knowledge in digital into in-store was just kind of fascinating. Like when he talked about inventing terminology and how much of that felt like it was… We’ve been there before.

21:36 TW: I think Dr. Liraz Margalit from Clicktale was another one that probably top on the list of something that I’ve generally struggled to find whether the value’s worth the investment when it comes to heat maps and scroll maps and Qlik maps, and her way of framing it. I’ve actually sort of quoted her when she said, “Hey, we have a 3% conversion rate,” and people are like, “Oh, is that good or is that bad?” And she’s like, “That implicitly says the 97% of people who didn’t convert were a failure.” And that little riff that she had, which I think I’ve since read some other stuff that… She’s railed on that before, but it was a really, really good point that just because somebody doesn’t convert doesn’t mean that you failed, that the website failed.

22:23 TW: And so, like Dr. Fader, fundamentally trying to shift the way that we think about what we’re doing and not taking the historical, “This is the metric; we’re focusing on conversions.” It’s like, “Well, you could also focus on the people who didn’t convert and not be obsessing about what could I have done differently to make them covert,” ’cause that’s probably too narrow and simplistic of a view, so I’m gonna pick two.

22:50 MH: That basically destroys the construct under which we’re asking the question, but Moe, can you save this segment for us Moe?

23:00 MK: Okay. So there’s a couple that I was so sad when we were talking about me joining the show, and I was like, “Why am I not already on the show? I want to talk to this guest so bad.” And the episode on, “Are you considering Python?” and the Simo Ahava episodes, I was just like on the edge of my seat; I couldn’t wait to come onboard because I thought both of those were terrific. But the one that I just completely nerded out, I talked way more than Tim, which we didn’t know was possible, it was the Peter Fader episode. It was just awesome. I personally got so much out of that for my work as well which was really incredible. And then, the other episode, yeah, I can’t pick one that I just… Yeah, I’ve gone back and listened to it a couple times, was the episode with Mark Edmondson on Google Cloud.

23:47 MK: And yeah, I put out a blog post a couple weeks ago on why I nearly didn’t join the Digital Analytics Power Hour, and the episode with Mark kind of summarizes what I was a little bit worried about, which was that I might feel a little out of my depth, some of the topics are super technical and I wouldn’t know… But I guess, the take away for me is the really cool thing about episodes like that one with Mark is that I did feel out of my depth and it was a topic I wasn’t super comfortable with. But such a big part of the show that I’ve quickly coming to realize is, it’s helping me learn so much. I get to talk to some amazing guests that I wouldn’t get to speak to otherwise. So, the Mark Edmondson one has just yeah, it really kinda pushed me as well when I got back to my desk to do some more technical things and have a play around that I might not have otherwise tried.

24:38 MH: Yeah.

24:39 TW: To be clear, I’m insisting that I’m just gonna take Mark with me to the island. So, I kinda just removed that from the criteria.


24:50 MH: Oh, that’s good if you could only take one guest with you to the desert island.

24:55 MK: Oh.

24:55 TW: I’m pretty sure Mark would be the one who would figure out how to… We’d be living in a split level, amazing… He would be able to figure everything out and it would…

25:05 MH: I think Simo is able to survive in the wilderness.


25:09 TW: That’s good to know.

25:09 MH: So I would pick Simo, I think. He strikes me as someone who has good survival skills.


25:15 MH: Plus he could teach me programming while we’re waiting to be rescued.


25:22 MK: With all that power that you have on your deserted island.

25:25 MH: We’ll figure it out. We’ll figure it out. You know what? The other thing just constantly amazes me about the show is that people actually listen to it.


25:39 MH: I don’t know, that sounds really dumb when you say it. But, I had this experience and I think you guys might have had it various times too where someone walks up to you and they’re like, “Oh, you sound really familiar. Are you from the Digital Analytics Power Hour?” And you’re just like, “Oh, my goodness.” It’s just crazy. So, that’s just amazing. We’ve had so many amazing interactions with people who were listeners, both ideas for the show have come from a lot of listeners this year. Just lots of amazing interactions on Facebook and people just asking us questions, frankly, it’s humbling. It’s really humbling. But, it’s still cool. I will sign autographs. Just ask.


26:25 MH: I’m totally happy to do that. No, I’m just kidding. [chuckle]

26:28 TW: The stress of the people who have reached out, I hope, luckily we’re not collecting data as to whether that actually advances their career or not.

26:35 MH: Right.

26:36 TW: The answer is the longitudinal study when they come back and they’re like, “Oh, these guys were actually worthless.”


26:44 MH: And let’s not talk about the list of people I’ve attempted to hire who’ve been guests on the show. But don’t worry about it.


26:53 MH: Alright. Well, what are we gonna do next year guys?

26:58 TW: We covered Superweek.

27:00 MH: Yes. We will be at Superweek. It’s gonna be the best Superweek ever. What else is coming up next year?

27:06 TW: So, there’s conference shifts. I think MeasureCamp’s… That’s definitely part of it. It’s the year… Superweek’s kinda being branded as the year of GDPR. So, given the last episode we had and, it seems like over the last four or five years, there have been ebbs and flows on the privacy and how in this world where there are not boundaries when it comes to digital. GDPR feeling like all of the stumbles and confusion, GDPR is the one that’s gonna make it real. And there’s probably gonna be some heart palpitations for some companies as we get to the back half of next year and see how that plays out.

27:50 MK: Yeah. That was such a fascinating episode on GDPR. And I mentioned what a privacy nerd I am ’cause I loved talking about it. But, I thought that our last episode with Jodi was just really terrific. And she’s so great at summarizing. I had to talk about GDPR with a bunch of people at work and I was pretty much like, “You can just listen to this podcast episode that I pre-arranged for you.”

28:13 MH: I think next year in addition to GDPR, in addition to the awesomeness that is Superweek and all, we’re gonna have fun. Definitely, there is so much more that’s gonna happen in data science, machine learning and AI. I think we’re just hitting the sort of big crest of this wave and it’s really exciting to see some of the cool things that will start populating in our industry as a result of more and more people taking notice and starting to get involved with it. And the tools are there, just regular people can start engaging with this technology, like in the Google cloud platform episode. Just amazing tools are available to do this.

28:57 TW: To be clear, anybody who’s jumping in, and who’s thinking… I don’t think this is the episode that’s gonna really motivate them to do that but, it’s…

29:06 MH: You never know if you will.

29:08 TW: You never know but…

29:09 MH: If you were trying to keep your powder dry until it was time, it’s time.


29:15 TW: Be prepared to die but I actually just spent yesterday was doing some stuff with the Google, the GEO code aspect of the maps API. I don’t even know if it’s part of the cloud platform or not. But I just took a bunch of Twitter locations which is just free form text and threw it at the GEO code API and you could do 2,500 requests a day for just free with no keys or anything. And it’s kinda cool that it comes back with… Just like if you’re searching for something in Google maps, it’s like, “Oh, I can have my code. Oh, I can pull all this Twitter users, I can actually plot on a map where they are.” But having said that, I also went around in a few circles where that API talks about if you’re not on the premium plan. I’m like, “Where’s the premium plan? How much is the… ” I never found out how much the premium plan costs. I think I got close enough to where I could contact a salesperson but I got sent in some big circles just trying to say, “How do I sign up for this fucking thing?” and failed. So it is still nascent from all of it hanging together but I think there are more people trying to put out content that says here’s how you can get started, and here’s kind of steps like a guide and here’s some stuff you can really do with it. So yes, I concur.

30:31 MH: Well, and Moe, you did try to start the planning meeting early but there are some changes potentially coming with the podcast next year too, so that might be exciting. More cussing, less…


30:47 MK: But we definitely do wanna hear from our listeners. If there are particular themes and topics that you wanna see us talk about next year, by all means get in contact because such a big part of this show is our listener base, which is growing every single day.

31:03 MH: Oh my.

31:03 MK: And we wanna hear from you guys about the types of topics that you want us to cover next year.

31:10 TW: Well, you can speak for the two of you, I don’t give a shit about the…


31:12 TW: I’m just here for me and the conversations I have.

31:15 MH: Luckily…

31:16 TW: I die a little bit every time. It’s like, “What our listeners would like to hear.” I’m like, “Yeah, to hell with the listeners. Am I interest… ” Oh, it turns out I wanna hear that too.

31:22 MH: Luckily, even the listeners are fairly aligned on your ever-present need to discuss R and…


31:31 MH: No, that’s good, we’re in tune with the industry. Yeah. Well, at the end of a year is a great time to reflect. I wonder if each of us had something we wanted to say to the audience going into next year, what would you wanna tell people?

31:48 MK: So for me, I wanna say a huge thank you firstly because coming on the show was actually… It was something that was a little bit scary to do and everyone has been incredible. I just feel so humbled, people have been so amazing with feedback, being super supportive and I should have known that the analytics community would be so amazing. So I just wanna say a big thank you firstly but also, I guess from me myself personally, I’m kind of… Well, I don’t wanna say a journey. What’s with me and journey? It’s such a corny word.

32:22 MH: That’s okay. Just embrace it.

32:22 MK: But I really…

32:24 MH: Be corny.

32:25 MK: Oh sure. I’m on a path where at the moment my biggest priority is just learning and continuing to evolve and try out new things and so, for next year, I just am looking forward to the show being a bigger part of my learning. ‘Cause well, I’ll have the whole year to learn.

32:44 MH: I like it.

32:45 TW: So I will say, for those of you who have not yet sent in their negative feedback about Moe, I know many of you have.


32:53 TW: Those of you who are if you could kind of continue just to direct that to Michael and me, we’ll continue to shield Moe from that.

33:00 MH: I was gonna say that in another way, I was gonna be like, “For all of you who are telling us Moe is the best thing that ever happened to the show we get it, we get it. It’s fine. You don’t have to keep telling us.”

33:10 TW: We don’t need any more.


33:14 MK: That is not the same thing at all Michael.

33:16 MH: Trust me, that’s the…

33:17 TW: Well, mine was with tongue-in-cheek. It was the same thing.

33:20 MH: We’re both getting that feedback Moe, and so we’re delighted that you joined the show. It has meant a ton. Anyways, I don’t wanna… I’m gonna save that for the end.

33:31 TW: I think one thing I would say, just to slip a little inside, I would say that the left lane is for passing.

33:38 MH: I like it.

33:38 TW: Just words for the wise. Unless you’re in Australia, in which case that’s probably [33:42] ____ for passing.

33:42 MH: Or in England.

33:44 TW: Or in England.


33:46 MH: Not sure how that works.

33:47 TW: Read the signs on the sidewalk before you step off. Honestly, Moe, I feel like I am in the same way. It’s been this kind of two-year journey but it’s gotten to where I’m really excited about the future and it is the data science/ machine learning/ AI type thing which I will… The way Michael always closes the show with the keep analyzing, we’ve had a few conversations, I think Corry brought it up, others have brought it up, it’s been much more in the forefront of my mind that it’s kind of like being sharks, if you’re not moving, you literally are going to get left behind and I feel like that has become so much more the reality in our industry and I’m sure it’s in other industries. If you’re a programmer and you’re still living on your COBOL laurels that’s gonna play out as well. But, I do feel like and I’m a little scared for the industry. I still run into analysts who are so kind of caught up in what they do and the way the recurring thing they do day in, day out that they have not. They’re like, “I’m too busy to push myself,” and I think that’s gonna suck for them.

35:01 MK: But there’s also some… I’ve met people that are like, “Oh, I don’t feel comfortable speaking at Superweek, it’s way too technical,” or, “I don’t feel confident learning this new language because it’s too technical.” And yeah, I think that’s a really tough place to be and it’s scary to learn new stuff but I kind of think you just got to do it ’cause you will get left behind.

35:21 TW: That means communicating or business or it doesn’t necessarily… This is not the case that it has to be data science, I think that’s kinda where we landed but it’s like you can’t say… I can’t say, “I’m not gonna be more technical and I hate going and interacting with the business and I don’t wanna go and evangelize internally for anything.” It’s like well you better figure out what you are gonna do and figure out how you’re gonna take it up a notch. And unfortunately, I think there’s still plenty of companies that, oh, there’s the analyst and the analyst does the things we tell the analyst to do and I think at some point there will be executive turnover in those companies and all of a sudden it’s gonna be holy cow, we have woefully under-invested in this analytics thing, and the person who’s there is just completely not gonna be equipped to do it. Which means that that would be unfortunate.

36:14 MH: Yeah.

36:14 TW: That’s a soap box.

36:15 MH: No, but actually, it’s funny you say that, Tim, because I actually was thinking about this, and I was thinking about the very first episode of the show we ever did. So it kinda goes to this thing, I don’t know if people are familiar with Jeff Bezos, but every year he writes a letter to shareholders, and in that letter, he includes the very first letter he ever wrote to shareholders. And basically, his focus, his commitment is to being what he calls a day one company. On day one, you’re doing brand new things, you’re innovating, you’re steamrolling ahead. Day two is when you start to die. And it’s sort of like, in the very first episode of this show, I think it was you, Tim, that said, “Get out there and do stuff.” Like, you might not know if it’s right or wrong, but experiment, try, do things. And I think that’s never been more true. It’s never been more necessary. And then, I would say in addition to that, push a level deeper in evaluating and talking to people and companies about the tools and the technologies that are there.

37:18 MH: We have to move to a place in our industry where we don’t believe or don’t take at face value what vendors tell us. And I think we’re moving that way, just we need to move quickly that way. We need to really understand those capabilities and then push a level deeper. It’s like the Jim Cain-ism, right? The hype lies, and shitty sales guys. We can go a level deeper than that as an industry now. We can say, “Wait, let me stop you. Let me ask you some… Let’s go deeper for a second. How does this work?” And so, I think we’re ready to do it. I think we need to just sort of take that step. So that would be my encouragement to our listeners is go that next level deeper. Keep doing what you’re doing, but go a next level deeper.

38:06 TW: Hear, hear.

38:07 MK: And what about your goals for you for the next 12 months?

38:10 MH: Well, I’m glad you asked. So first off, my first goal is to be nice to people, because I have a very bad reputation.

38:19 MK: Oh, geez. [laughter]

38:25 MH: No. I don’t know how much our listeners know. I don’t spend a lot of my time in doing analytics anymore, given my role and what I do for Search Discovery. I still think I’m an analyst, but I analyze operational data, I analyze P&Ls, I analyze what we’re doing for our clients and all those kinds of things. So my goal for next year is to be able to start getting back into looking at how tools fit into the overall framework. How do we create solutions from more than just the Adobe and the Google clouds? I think we’re ready to branch out a little bit as an industry. And like you said, Tim, Snowplow. And there’s amazing tools out there. There’s amazing innovations that are happening. And I wanna spend part of next year kind of getting my feet back into that area and getting a chance to evaluate some of those things.

39:22 TW: Well, I think in the vein of the moving forward, I do think I am gonna try to actually dive a little bit into Python next year, so that’s very, very tools-centric. I also… I made the joke about Snowplow, but I am very, very intrigued. So I don’t know whether it’s Snowplow as a tool. I think the broader ecosystem, sort of trying to figure out what a broader ecosystem looks like. I feel like I’ve kinda got to the point where I am very comfortable with R and I’m using it every day, although it still sort of ebbs and flows. And I’ll say, “Wait a minute, how come I’m not in that platform for half of my day in a week?” But I think that’s just gonna happen. I just feel like, okay, got a good foundation there, need to keep pushing. I’ve got an unbelievably long list of content I wanna generate for the community around that, but I think that will sort of keep my chops up, as well as actually applying it with real data. So yeah, I’ve not actually done any machine learning. And I would, whether that’s Python or R, I’m hoping to actually do some of that. The making it real, we talked about this on some recent episode, but getting from the idea of machine learning and AI to the actual practical application of it, I think that’s what I’m hoping to be part of in 2018. So nothing big.

40:49 MK: Oh, nothing at all.


40:51 MH: Just tired of R now and switching to Python. You heard it here first, folks.

40:56 TW: Still love R.

40:58 MH: Okay. Still love it. Anyway, well this is fun for us. Probably nobody is listening at this point, so we can say whatever we want. [laughter]

41:06 MK: Everyone’s hopefully at a Christmas party.

41:08 MH: Yeah, or some holiday gathering.

41:10 MK: Or another holiday gathering. Way to be PC.

41:13 MH: Yeah. Well, part of what I do.


41:21 MH: Well, I certainly hope for all of our listeners out there, and I think Tim and Moe, you share this sentiment, that 2018 will be a year of discovery, learning, and deepening of your analytics career, no matter what you do. Moe, I do have to say that you becoming part of the show has been fantastic, and I just want you to know that you… People do stop and tell me, “It’s so good that you added Moe to the show.” And I think what it is is you bring real analytics practitioner experience and perspective to our show. 2018 is gonna be a great year. I can’t wait. We’d love to hear from you. Moe mentioned it before, we love to hear topics and ideas you want us to talk about on the show. That helps us sort of align our content. And the best way to do that is through the Measure Slack or our Facebook page. Also via our Twitter account, so just add us on Twitter, whatever. We actually love to hear from you and actually, we’ve improved this year on our response SLA. That’s mostly due to Moe.


42:34 MH: So way to go, Moe…

42:36 TW: We’re generally responding to…

42:37 MH: Practical way of making the show better.

42:39 TW: Naked and awful pitches from PR people, but those are…

42:44 MH: Well, yeah, those… But even Moe has an amazing response to even those. So it’s just…


42:51 MH: Whereas Tim and I get the PR pitch and we’re just like, “Yeah, we’re not doing anything with that.”


42:56 MH: And like, anyways. It’s just good, the civility of it all, it’s a good thing. So 2017, 2018, years stacking on top of each other. Four years in, we’re gonna kick off the fourth year in a couple weeks. That’s crazy. But we’re excited and we hope you are too. Again, for our fourth anniversary, hopefully, we’ll have more awesome things to say. But for you, who are listening, I believe I say this on behalf of both my co hosts, Moe and Tim, don’t ever stop analyzing.


43:36 Announcer: Thanks for listening. And don’t forget to join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, or Measure Slack Group. We welcome your comments and questions. Visit us on the web at analyticshour.io, Facebook.com/analyticshour, or at analyticshour on Twitter.


43:56 S5: So smart guys want to fit in, so they made up a term called analytics. Analytics don’t work.

44:05 MH: There are still people who don’t know about the outtakes, and that’s something we should start advertising more regularly. Are you recording Tim? Okay, good.


44:15 MK: That’s not fair. I’ve gotta say, the year in review shows were always my least favorite. I’d get like five minutes in and I would turn them off, and be like they’re just talking shit.

44:28 MH: So that is gonna be true again but…


44:32 MK: Now I’m part of the shit talking.

44:34 MH: Yeah, but now you’re part of the terrible show, [44:37] ____ the year in review.


44:40 MK: Trust the vibe.

44:40 TW: I don’t know.

44:41 MK: Always go with your gut.

44:42 TW: I stayed with it and it took three or four months, but eventually I thought Michael was okay after all.

44:50 MH: That is not a rationale. I was like, no it’s not, it’s an intuition.

44:54 MK: The head of analytics goes with his gut to make decisions. Interesting.

45:00 MH: Tim, you’re setting it all back. You just interrupted.


45:05 MH: Geez Louise!

45:08 TW: And, scene.


45:12 MH: And that’s all I have to say about that.


45:15 MH: This is probably a bad time to be like, what, you have a blog?

45:19 MK: Oh man.


45:22 MH: I’m sorry. I think I saw that. I’m terrible. I’m so bad.


45:28 MH: I’m so bad. I’m sorry, Moe.

45:30 MK: Oh shit.

45:30 MH: I’m pretty… I’m sorry. You were on fire too.

45:33 MK: I was on fire just then. It was gonna be my revelation.

45:38 MH: The DAA is putting back together their award thing, and they’re calling it the Quanties. Which for those who specialize in qualitative data just don’t feel offended.

45:50 TW: I want to submit something that’s just an analysis of qualitative feedback for whatever… Do they have a category on the best analysis?

45:56 MH: The Quantie for the best qualitative analysis goes to…


46:02 MH: We’re technically not in a brainstorm, guys. So, show ideas need to be tabled until the planning meeting.


46:12 MH: I hope our listeners can understand what I have been dealing with for these past few years.

46:17 TW: Were you just trying to make Michael say something?

46:19 MK: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

46:20 MH: I wanna swing from the chandeliers. The chanda-lee-hee-heres. One, two, three, one, two.

46:26 MK: Huh?

46:26 MH: It’s a song by Sia.

46:28 MK: Again, not good with the pop culture.

46:29 MH: Well, that makes two of you.

46:32 TW: I am shocked that I… Sia’s the one with the face covered with the black and white. Is that Sia?

46:37 MH: There you go. So right away Tim, extra credit.

46:41 TW: I did not Google that. Could not name a song.

46:44 MH: Well now you can. Chandelier. That’s the part that Katy Perry sings, right? “Don’t be afraid to catch fish. Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid to catch fish.”



46:58 TW: People say the same thing to me. I just didn’t stop and introspect about why. I’m like, “Yeah, yeah, but what about me?”

47:04 MH: Anyways, I’ve been drinking. So, let’s just wrap this up.


47:11 MH: Anyways, if you’re listening, then I feel sorry for you at this point. ‘Cause you’re just like, “Why?”

47:18 TW: I will find ways to cut it where there’s still some level, but it doesn’t go on and on and on.


47:24 MH: On and on.

47:25 TW: And on.

47:28 S?: Rock, flag and navel-gazing. Happy New Year!


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