Responses to Negative Data: Four Senior Leadership Archetypes.

Not everything a company does works out.
(That is different from everything that a company is doing not working out. :))
If you are in the data business – my bread, butter and tofu – you often carry the burden of being the bearer of bad news.

The conversion rate is down 30% at launch.
The goal was to deliver a 30% increase in revenue, the team delivered 1.7953%.
During 2019, our Net Promotion Score has dropped 15 points.
The average length of our video ads is 30 seconds, less than 10% of the audiences watches beyond 5 seconds and 90% is exposed to less than 1 second.
Our Market Share in the 2-ton truck market shrunk by 1.5% (= -$3 bil).

Negative data.
Accurately collected. Intelligently analyzed. Factually presented.
Sadly still, negative data to the person/team receiving it.
Why be hurtin’?
A decade ago, data people delivered a lot less bad news because so little could be measured with any degree of confidence.
In 2019, we can measure the crap out of so much. Even with the limitations of tools, government regulations, and the astonishing fragmentation of everything (attention, devices, consumption sources, identities and more).
Companies have also evolved to be significantly more complex beings, who have to do so much more than what they did 50 years ago. Think of all P&G had to do to sell soap 50 years ago, think of everything they are doing now. Add on top of that, where P&G could sell soap, the purposes it could sell soap for, and imagine both of those things now. It is a lot of stuff!
When you do that much stuff, and you can measure almost everything… The result is that our ecosystem of data people are returning

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Digital Analytics + Marketing Career Advice: Your Now, Next, Long Plan

The rapid pace of innovation and the constantly exploding collection of possibilities is a major contributor to the fun we all have in digital jobs. There is never a boring moment, there is never time when you can’t do something faster or smarter.
The tiny downside of this is that our parents likely never had to invest as much in constant education, experimentation and self-driven investment in core skills. They never had to worry that they have to be in a persistent forward motion… sometimes just to stay current.
This reality powers my impostor syndrome, and (yet?) it is the reason that I love working in every dimension of digital. We are at an inflection point in humanity’s evolution where in small and big ways, we can actually change the world.
With that context, this post is all about career management in the digital space. Like this blog, it will be particularly relevant for those who are in digital analytics and digital marketing. I would offer that the higher-order-bits in each of the three sections will provide valuable food-for-thought for anyone in a digital role.
The post has three clusters of advice. The first two are from editions of my newsletter, The Marketing – Analytics Intersect (it goes out weekly, and is now my primary publishing channel, sign up!). The third section was sparked by a question a friend who works at a digital agency asked: Will I lose my job to automation soon? (The answer was, yes.)
The Now section provides advice on how investing in growing your Analytical Thinking will contribute to greater success in the role you are in. The Next section provides advice on what you should be doing

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It's Not The Ink, It's The Think: 6 Effective Data Visualization Strategies

Ten years, and the 944,357 words, are proof that I love purposeful data, collecting it, pouring smart strategies into analyzing it, and using the insights identified to transform organizations.
In the quest for that last important bit, I am insanely obsessive about 1. simplification and 2. pressing the right emotional buttons.
The reasons are that we all like complexity, it gives us energy :), we tend to be logical, and we often treat data output as the end when in reality the data output is just the start of the process that results in actions that deliver business impact.
Very often the output of our work with Big Data or Small Data, Google Analytics or R, will end up in a few cells of a spreadsheet or a table in Word/Keynote/PowerPoint. The stakes for this output are higher when we are in front of the Senior Leadership of any company, we have but a few minutes to communicate what we have to. Hence my two obsessions above.
In this post, with lots of pictures and real-world data examples, I want to share 6 different strategies you can leverage in service of simplification and pressing the right emotional buttons. Along our journey, I’ve also sprinkled in 15 universal truths that will bring you joy.
Here are the sections in this post:

An important assumption.
Death at the last-mile.
    1. Rebel against crapification via cluttering.
    2. Don’t fragment data, don’t forget higher order bits.
    3. Obsess with deleting information provided.
    4. Don’t run away, make the tough choices.
    5. So what? So What?? So WHAT!
    6. Sell smarter,

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Five Key Elements For A Big Analytics Driven Business Impact

There is, almost literally, an unlimited number of things you could focus on to create a high impact data-influenced organization.
And, as if unlimited is not enough, nearly every month your analytics vendors release new features, you discover new analytics solutions, and as your business is more successful (hurray!) there is a new mobile app to track or a new digital experience to problem-solve or a crazy online to offline campaign that upends everything unleashes a new layer of tactical activity.
In a world when your work will never be done, how do you assess that the core things necessary are present? How do you ensure that your can zig-zag with business strategy? What guarantees that agility and innovation are present in your analytics practice?
I believe there are five elements that have to be persistently present in the primordial soup at any company that expects amazing life to spring forth.
You’ll be surprised, there’s only one tool in that mix. It is not even an analytics tool. My reason for that is simple… At this point, it honestly does not matter which web analytics tool you use as long as it is a tool that is under active development by your vendor. Yes, some tools can dance on their left foot and others can only do so with their right foot. Not as important as you might think.
My recommended five elements are much more primal, their presence powers brilliant life to constantly evolve.
Here’s a little back story.
I was asked a few weeks back: “What companies should we proactively help with analytics, for free, so that they can make smarter data-influenced decisions?” I think the answer expected was my view related to

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Five Key Elements For A Big Analytics Driven Business Impact

There is, almost literally, an unlimited number of things you could focus on to create a high impact data-influenced organization.
And, as if unlimited is not enough, nearly every month your analytics vendors release new features, you discover new analytics solutions, and as your business is more successful (hurray!) there is a new mobile app to track or a new digital experience to problem-solve or a crazy online to offline campaign that upends everything unleashes a new layer of tactical activity.
In a world when your work will never be done, how do you assess that the core things necessary are present? How do you ensure that your can zig-zag with business strategy? What guarantees that agility and innovation are present in your analytics practice?
I believe there are five elements that have to be persistently present in the primordial soup at any company that expects amazing life to spring forth.
You’ll be surprised, there’s only one tool in that mix. It is not even an analytics tool. My reason for that is simple… At this point, it honestly does not matter which web analytics tool you use as long as it is a tool that is under active development by your vendor. Yes, some tools can dance on their left foot and others can only do so with their right foot. Not as important as you might think.
My recommended five elements are much more primal, their presence powers brilliant life to constantly evolve.
Here’s a little back story.
I was asked a few weeks back: “What companies should we proactively help with analytics, for free, so that they can make smarter data-influenced decisions?” I think the answer expected was my view related to

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A Great Analyst's Best Friends: Skepticism & Wisdom!

Here’s something important I’ve observed in my experience in working with data, and changing organizations with ideas: Great Analysts are always skeptical. Deeply so.
This was always true, of course. But, it has become mission critical over the last few years as the depth, breadth, quantity and every other dimension you could apply to data has simply exploded. There is too much data. There are too many tables/charts/”insights” being rammed down your throat. There has been an explosion of “experts.”
If you are not skeptical, you are going to die (from a professional perspective).
And, yet… You can’t be paralyzed by skepticism. At some point, you have to jump. Or, you are dead (again, professionally).
Let’s do this post in two pieces.
First, a plea to be skeptical, of everything and everybody, illustrated using an example from one of the most respected sources of data out there. Followed, by advice on getting to a decision rather than what happens to poor analysts: paralysis.
Second, as we are on the topic of great analysts, I want to share how to recognize that you might be one, from a macro perspective, and, if you are, or are not, what’s your value to your company.
Surely, you are intrigued!
#1A: Skepticism is your BFF.
I saw these two numbers presented the other day: 42% of online shoppers use video for pre-purchase research. 64% use YouTube to find products.
As soon as I heard them, I knew they were horse-manure.
The source of skepticism was simple, neither number is true for me – and I’m in a place, with people, who are the most connected people on the planet with more devices to do this type of research if it was true.

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The Complete Digital Analytics Ecosystem: How To Win Big

The world of digital analytics seems to be insanely complicated.
And, yes, some of it is. Third-party or first-party cookies anyone? And, are we tracking people, devices, web browsers or whoknowswhat?
But it is a lot less complicated than you might believe. No. Really. A lot less complicated.
I led a discussion the other day with a collection of people who were brand new to the space and some who were jaded long-term residents of Camp Web Analytics. When someone played the omg, it is all so complicated (!!) card, I took the opportunity to sketch a picture of the entire ecosystem to highlight that it really was not all that complicated. The process involved slowly laying out each piece of the puzzle and how it fit the piece next to it.
By the end of the exercise there was a lovingly simple picture, and a path to glory. In this blogpost I want to share that with you.
Regardless of your experience in the space, I believe you’ll find it to be of value. Even if you are in the super-jaded category, this will help you present something to your boss’s boss that will get them to finally understand what you do!
Our journey to understanding, dare I say nirvana, follow these steps:

Digital Analytics Ecosystem: The Core Elements
Digital Analytics Ecosystem: The Inputs
Digital Analytics Ecosystem: The Outputs
Digital Analytics Ecosystem: Optimal Execution: Three Phases
Digital Analytics Ecosystem: Optimal Execution: Timing Expectations

Doesn’t it sound absolutely exciting? It is. And along the way you’ll find helpful tips, links for deep dives, and a ravishing amount of new insights.
Ready? Let’s go!
Digital Analytics Ecosystem: The Core Elements
At the

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