CRAP Talks 12 & Couch Tunes

CRAP 12 gave a platform to three special individuals who each represented one of the main focus areas for the event, but from different companies unlike the most recent meetups. Yes, that’s right – no themes and no brand takeovers. The first speaker provided us with a UX view of what CRO should be considering, the second spoke passionately about the magic of sharing analytics and the third explained the importance of dashboards as a product.

Each of them recognisable contributors to the eCommerce community and seen frequently attending as guests at CRAP and other related industry events, it was a real treat to see them all take the floor to impart the ideas they’d usually reserve for networking conversation to the room.

Steven, now a freelancer, was introduced as somebody who had multiple years of valuable experience in companies such as IBM, Nationwide and Screwfix. Instead of hearing about the challenges of what may have been expected from working at these legacy corporates was refreshingly replaced with radical and controversial ideas around qualitative research being used in CRO.

With a playful title, he began speaking about the importance of data as footprints across a website, but like at the scene of a crime – what good are footprints if we don’t know who made them? Whilst the key to making products better is through convergence and optimisation, you de-contextualising the data by failing to investigate persona, which is a barrier to making products better – a whole new goal entirely.

By performing research into exactly who your customers are and why they make their choices on the website, you can find surprising and unimagined reasons for common eCommerce metrics, such as basket rate drop out. Steven gave a superb concrete example of this at his time working for Screwfix, which allowed them to add features to the website based on feedback specifically related to one of the customers.

He spoke about the difference between instinctual insight and plain evidence, and how powerful it is to use both when applying this to personas. Identifying different user groups and user journey aggregation may subvert the widespread misconception of primary narrative, or the one pattern of behaviour fits all approach,.

However by bringing the UX design terms closer to the CRO teams, there is created an opportunity to define demographics and be more successful in the ultimate objective of the customer’s reason for being on the website.

Grant from Photobox used his General Assembly teaching skills to promote his experience of using revolutionary tools in analytics and predicted what the future would hold. His belief is if data teams in companies spent time proactively closing the gap around them, they will build bridges to success – “the more you share, the better it gets.”

He used humorous Star Trek clips and interactive handouts with the audience to illustrate the lack of visibility the wider business have of data and how as a result of not changing, the valuable data collected by the analytics team is either underappreciated, or worse – underused in decision-making processes.

He outlined three key actions to make this change happen – build out a product, partner with teams and the science of awesome! He demonstrated the complexity of too much data, and how this is just as overwhelming as not enough data.

By engaging your stakeholders and asking for their personal feedback on what they want from you, you have the power to turn dashboards into something of quality that they will find useful, such as answering their core question related to their role.

Building a connection with those key data users in the business and offering a first-rate, personalized experience for them will also add value to you in so many ways. Understanding how the digest data can help you to know what visualization technologies to invest in next by a way of success rate.

He emphasized that this doesn’t have to be every single analyst on your team – assign a Google Data Studio ambassador to train the main points of contact and explain the context of the data in real time. By defining and uniting this commonality of purpose for your company’s data, you’ll not only pursue more useful metrics but also focus on the reports that matter.

I was so pleased to see Annabel having the opportunity to expand upon her lightning talk from the now discontinued Web Analytics Wednesday event in January 2018. From what was a forcibly rushed 5-minute assault of her 12 Design Principles for Dashboards methodology, she had now been given the space to deliver a fluid and detailed presentation.

She spoke about how she had revolutionized self-serve analytics at Monzo by creating a collaborative Dashboard Finder widget for all employees across the company, allowing them to see value in mandatory Tableau training and ensuring nobody is out of the loop. This is also a perfect place for the Product team to maintain standards, keep track of best practices and continue to approve dashboard proposals from stakeholders.

Confidently, she addressed the key improvement signs to look out for, which went attributed the psychology of information retrieval as well as pre-attentive processing vs conscious processing and how this dominoes to less effort for the end user. Breaking down the “4 A’s” – affordance, accessibility, aesthetics and acceptance – into three points for each section really helped the audience to understand a structured way to manage the way data is consumed.

For a full blog of her presentation in her own words, please see this link.

As for the ‘something special’ slot, we harkened back to the creative roots from a four talks ago, when my friend Howard and I performed a slam poetry set. Bhav had arranged for Marla and Michael, (Product Marketing Manager at MOO and her super talented music teacher husband) to perform an intimate ‘couch session’ jam set, complete with acoustic guitar and vocals. Pulling up one of the sofa on the MOO speaker stage, they strummed and sung three songs for us, the last with some classic audience participation.

It was a wonderful sight to see such melodious chemistry between them as they harmonized together in such a relaxed way – clearly self-assured and professional but with an air of sincere humbleness with the setting. I could easily picture them staying up all night practising this for fun, and the beautiful selection of music they chose had me vibrating with joy and smiling as wide as I could through the whole set.

If you’re interested in sharing your hidden talent with the CRAP family and perform in the future, get in touch with us!

As our delightful host Parveen mentioned earlier in the evening, in CRAP’s gone by we’ve had feedback to say that there wasn’t many opportunities for newcomers to meet new people and interact during the networking time. She challenged the audience to approach and speak to at least one new person by the end of the night to encourage the spread of more amazing ideas and the forever welcoming atmosphere at CRAP made this as smooth as possible.

Looking around the room, I no longer saw clusters of the same individuals, but first-timers and long-servers mingling comfortably, chatting about the talks shared that night with beer and pizza in hand!

A big thank you to the MOO offices again for hosting the event and all the sponsors for being as passionate as we are about keeping such a unique and genuine meetup in the circuit.

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