Ho Ho Holy CRAP #16!
The second Ho-Ho-Holy CRAP and the 16th CRAP Talks event in London was held at the Bower building in Old Street, where online fashion marketplace giants Farfetch were our hosts for the night. A mirrored modern pass-key controlled elevator with harsh lighting took us up to the fifth floor where we were welcomed into a wooded floor event space full of plants and TVs.
Bhav and the Brain Trust team had designed bingo sheets for the festive semi-formal event which encouraged guests to network during the event, ticking off the different types of people they met. This served as a great ice-breaker activity, especially for the ongoing influx of first timers to the event, and even for the regulars, it challenged the audience to ask deeper questions about the attendees.
After a short introduction by Michelle Wong, Head of Marketing Analytics, about the purpose and impact of her team, we started the first talk with two senior analysts from her team, Owen Kinsella and Jan Gananathan. This was the first time we’ve had dual speakers delivering an exclusive insight into their methods – incrementality testing, explaining why it is more effective than simple A/B tests.
They talked about the differences between their approach and the accepted standard, highlighting the advantages, challenges, and showcasing some case studies for us, which were really interesting. They also tackled some tough questions in a very professional, skillful and knowledgeable way – only after the fact did we learn they were first time speakers too (our favourite kind!)
The second and final speaker of the evening was Dan Lee, Head of Data from Dataform talking about the concept of a full stack analyst, and why he sees value in hiring them. At first, it sounded to me like every other unrealistic essential skills brief I’ve had from clients to find their perfect analyst, and I was sceptical as to how Dan had found these special unicorns, but actually, this evolution made a lot of sense!
At first, he gave us a summary of his career up until joining Dataform, detailing all the tools he had had to utilise, never losing sight of SQL. He talked passionately about turning insight into a lasting and ongoing product, applying data to business objectives rather than just sharing data for data’s sake.
To flesh out this idea of a ‘full stack analyst’, he built the foundations beyond the bare necessities – data modeling/collection, or the ‘back end’ – to the ‘front end’ like analysis, communication and visualization, combining it with product management type qualities such as considering the business impact.
What I liked most about this message was the idea that specialisms are overrated, and adaptability and ability to do it all was more powerful than being a cookie-cutter numbers whizz. The foresight to understand what is possible and be creative with it with the intention to be inclusive and collaborate is the way toward success with data.
After finishing the vegan/vegetarian Homeslice pizzas and all the free alcohol in sight, it was time to head to Serata, an artisan bar specializing in an odd and unlikely mix of absinthe cocktails and craft beer. Needless to say, I was lucky to duck out early when I did for a school night! Nobody did end up claiming the prizes for the bingo wins, so we decided to hand them to the delightful speakers and wonderful hosts.
As we enter a new decade with the gain of iTech Media and Content Square on our list of sponsors, it is with a heavy heart we say goodbye to our long-time sponsors Pivotal, who have decided to diversify their approach to recruitment by focusing more on performance marketing and less on analytics. The floor is open to anybody who is keen on supporting one of the most genuine, cutting edge communities in the ecommerce world.
See you in the next decade!