Russell McAthy is a Digital Marketing Consultant currently applying his trade at Stream 20 Digital Consultancy. Working with clients such as Sky, Sony, Which, Ladbrokes and More Than Insurance on a multitude of projects he gets to utilise his analytical background to grow digital knowledge of teams as well as sales. Russell loves football, doesn’t like animals (other than the Honey Badger) and is partial to some Christmas Jumper action.
What was your highlight of the last Measurecamp?
The young lady coming to collect her prize failing dramatically at Rock, Paper, Scissors was very funny. But seriously I think it’s the great community spirit shown on a Saturday that so many people came out and shared knowledge in a rapidly growing sector.
Measurecamp had the format to gather significant amount of knowledge in an appropriate setting.
What made you want to attend an analytics conference on a Saturday?
All the analytics conferences I’d seen historically were either in America or were a single hour talk after work in London. Although both were intriguing, America was too far to travel and the after work analytics talks were only capturing the tip of the iceberg.
If you will be presenting, what topic have you chosen and why?
I’ll be speaking about attribution, something I’ve been working in and around for a couple of years now. Peter and I have differing views on the subject so it will be interesting to form a debate (after I give my presentation of course!)
So, how did you get into analytics?
I started my career in data input when I left school. I decided not to go to university and got a job inputting numbers from printouts into a database. It was as boring as you can imagine. Within 6 weeks it got very monotonous therefore automated the process, effectively doing myself out of a job. Luckily I started looking at the data (no-one else really was) and investigated trends, created a report and fed back suggestions on how the business could be improved. My analytics career had begun.
What advice would you give someone thinking of entering the world of analytics?
I would say “Think what the client wants, not just what they ask for”. When management ask the question “How did we do yesterday?” this could prompt just a thumbs up or thumbs down. Realistically a manager who cares wants to know the answer to a more complex question; “Based on recent trends what can we influence to affect performance going forward?”
What do you think will be the greatest development in the field over the next few years?
I’d love to say multi-device tracking or the expansion of real time analytics. But realistically I think the biggest development is getting more support and recognition from the business. Recent trends have shown that data is becoming more and more sought after within business, and naturally that will create a higher demand for analysts to turn that data into actionable insights.
And the greatest challenge?
Returning to my other futurology answer, the challenge will be to find good analysts. Being a successful analyst is not just saying that X is larger than Y. It’s having the genuine passion and skills to want to seek out that nugget of information that could improve performance. Finding the ideal people to fill these ever expanding requirements will be the challenge of today’s analysts as they become the recruiters.
Who are your top analytics people to follow on Twitter
Obviously you have the famous ones…Avinash (@avinash) and Justin (@justincutroni) etc.. There are a few other really amazing people doing clever things out there this side of the pond. @RichardFergie a very smart man – who is doing some clever things in the world of analytics, he’ll be in attendance and if he speaks, everyone should listen.
@danbarker if you’re into analytics and you’re not following this man – you’re not into analytics. DONE.
@snowplow The guys at Snowplow (small business not affiliated to me) are taking analytics and making what GA requires custom coding for standard in their tag – one to watch for the future. @doughall if you want to create a custom setup for analytics this guy is your man – he spoke last year and him and @timlb smashed it with some amazing tips and tricks. Last but, by no means least, someone who I wouldn’t class as a pure analyst per se, but as a conversion guru. Craig ‘@OptimiseorDie ‘ Sullivan (ask him about his twitter handle) is a very helpful and incredibly knowledgeable gent and a good friend.
Looking forward to seeing everyone in Feb!