Back from holiday, I spent a very enjoyable & informative day at CIM Wales Analytics Masterclass.

This event was held at Glamorgan County Cricket Ground (SWALEC Stadium) in Cardiff. A great venue for food & facilities. It was a well organised day, benefitting from the enthusiasm and professionalism of CIM team and Sameer Rahman (organiser & Chairman of CIM Wales).

Gavin Davies (Vice Chair of CIM Wales) was master of ceremonies, and helped both summarise themes from each talk and keep the questions coming.

As with other local CIM events I’ve attended, this was well worth people’s time. In just 6 hours we heard from experts on: machine learning; digital marketing measurement; data visualisation; BI strategy; dynamic segmentation; developing an analytics culture. Well worth the entrance fee.

I’ve previously suggested that it is worth at such events, just noting one thing you will take away & do differently (from each speaker). In my debrief below, I’ll add a bit more detail, but still just provide the highlights. If you’d like to know more about any of these talks please get in touch, as all speaker slides are being published.

So, without further ado, here are my summary “take aways” from each speaker at 2018’s CIM Wales Analytics Masterclass…

Machine Learning for SMEs (Sameer Rahman)

Sameer shared an overview, debunking the hype around Machine Learning & explaining it’s relevance for SMEs.

My key takeaways are:

  • Marketing is now being taught in colleges as significantly about data & analytics, marketers need to get their heads round this.
  • A number of free (at least trial) tools are available to help pilot use of Machine Learning:
  • Negotiate with these providers, these startups need reference sites as much as you need them (so get a good deal)

Becoming a Digital ROI Marketer (Sam Roberts)

Sam shared on the need for more accurate marketing attribution & talked us through how to achieve this with case studies.

My key takeaways are:

  • Last click attribution can be so misleading, need to use tools available to have more accurate understanding of different media contribution.
  • There is an art to using the insights that last touch, first touch & custom attributions can offer – use judgement (plus great analogy to making a baby).
  • As well as the capabilities provided within Google Analytics already, a new Google Attribution product is coming soon, to focus on this capability.

Data Visualisation (me)

I shared a brief overview of some of the advice from my DataVisualisation workshops. This included theory, as well as examples of good & bad data visualisation. Why basic charts & Excel can still do great things. Plus, resources to help delegates continue their own data visualisation learning.

I’ve uploaded my full slides to Slideshare:

This included sharing with delegates resources on Data Viz blogs, experts on Twitter & Data Viz books. I also recommended a number of resources from Jon Schwabish’s PolicyViz shop (if you use “laughlin2018” discount code on there, you can get 15% off).

Developing a BI Strategy (Kevin Crowley)

Kevin shared the 6 practical steps needed to develop a BI Strategy, with lots of lessons from his experience.

My key takeaways are:

  • Align your BI objectives with business strategy and implement a hierarchy of reports
  • Follow 6 steps: “As Is” data landscape; single data platform (SCV); consolidate expertise; implement BI tool; continuous improvement
  • Don’t underestimate the politics & need for active stakeholder management

Dynamic Segmentation (Tim Wyatt)

Tim, usefully, explained a number of basics that need to be in place before embarking on Machine Learning. He focussed on the value still achievable from statistical analysis & segmentation.

My key takeaways are:

  • Consider if you need Geographic, Demographic, Psychographic (attitudinal) or Behavioural (ice. Value-based) segmentation
  • Ensure meet 6 requirements for segmentation: Identifiable; Substantial; Accessible; Stable; Differentiable; Actionable
  • Be open to the need for a dynamic segmentation, to understand changing consumers

Changing the Culture (Richard Pickett)

To close, Richard usefully brought us back to focussing on people. Very much in line with my own thinking on the critical role of people & culture in getting value out of analytics & IT.

My key takeaways:

  • Work to change culture from “what happened” to “can/did we test & learn”
  • Follow 5 steps: Insight Journey Managers; Capture data needed (inc tags); Ensure managers know & can track own KPIs; Help answer the “why”; Bring everyone together to discuss results & share success
  • Analysts need technical skills but also have to have “business head on” (softer skills matter)

CIM Wales Analytics Masterclass worth attending

I hope those summaries are useful for you. Once the speaker slides are published, I will add links to CIM site to access for all speakers.

This event certainly reminded me that Marketing & Analytics are natural bedfellows. Both need each other and can make a real difference in today’s businesses through closest collaboration. Indeed the skill sets are merging.

Have you been to any other useful events, including for your own CPD, this summer? If so, please do tell us all about them. Sharing useful resources for our Customer Insight Leader community.