#157: 2020 Year in Review Episode

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As unlikely as it seemed at many times throughout the year, 2020 actually IS finally drawing to a close, and that means it’s time for our annual look back on the year: what happened with the podcast, what happened with the industry, and what happened as the entire world caught fire by way of wood-fuelled, climate-assisted combustion and by virus-induced fevers. In hindsight, there were faint hints of what the rest of the year would bring when our co-hosts and producer were together in person at Superweek in late January, but exactly how upside-down the world went still took them by surprise. One thing stayed constant, though: Tim and Moe continue to be able to talk past each other and violently argue about something about which they, basically, agree. On this episode: cover letters!

Ideas, Resources, and DAPH Episodes Mentioned in the Show

Episode Transcript

[music]

0:00:04.4 Announcer: Welcome to the Digital Analytics Power Hour. Michael, Moe, Tim and the occasional guest, discussing analytics issues of the day and periodically using explicit language while doing so. Find them on the web at analyticshour.io and on Twitter, @AnalyticsHour. And now the Digital Analytics Power Hour.

0:00:27.7 Michael Helbling: Hi everyone, welcome to the Digital Analytics Power Hour. This is episode 157. What will history say of 2020? I mean historians will invariably look back and remember it a global pandemic and a massive economic recession because of the beforementioned pandemic, cultural moment that drew attention to racial injustice all around the globe, killer hornets, more hurricanes than you can shake a house built on sticks at, fires that burned down most of the West Coast of the USA and Australia. But, you know, ahead of all that, historians will naturally place the Digital Analytics Power Hour as the most important thing of 2020, because it was a great year for the podcast. It was our sixth full year in podcasting, and we ranged all over. But that’s what the episode is about, is our year in review. Let me introduce you to the show. Josh Crowhurst, our Producer and the Director of Data and Analytics at PhD Media. Welcome, Josh. We don’t get to actually talk to you on the show enough.

0:01:37.3 Josh Crowhurst: Yeah, it’s good to be here for my annual appearance. [chuckle]

0:01:41.3 MH: This is your opportunity to hear what you sound like when you’re doing the editing and be like cringe in awkwardness.

[laughter]

0:01:48.2 JC: Yeah, yeah, that’s right. It used to be more often with the multi-touch moments, but thankfully, that’s [chuckle], that’s been buried.

0:01:56.1 MH: I don’t know, we have fans out there, who might wanna bring us, want us to bring it back. Moe Kiss, Marketing Analytics Lead at Canva. How are you doing Moe?

0:02:04.3 Moe Kiss: Howdy?

0:02:05.0 MH: How you going?

0:02:05.9 MK: I’m good. I’m good.

0:02:07.8 MH: Tim Wilson, Senior Director of Analytics at Search Discovery.

0:02:11.2 Tim Wilson: Hidey ho.

0:02:13.5 MH: And I’m Michael Helbling, Founder of Stacked Analytics. It’s our year in review episode. Alright, so we typically go through this in some sort of format. So the categories are…

[chuckle]

0:02:28.5 MH: Sorry, this was Alex Trebek too soon. Rest in peace. Okay. So, looking back, what about episodes from this past year that we particularly enjoyed or thought stood out to us?

0:02:43.2 TW: But we’re not gonna turn this around to the episodes that we hated this year?

0:02:47.4 MH: We keep missing that as an agenda item, or maybe it gets deleted out of the prep document by someone, I don’t know. Yeah, the stern words. Here’s a tweet I didn’t particularly appreciate. [chuckle] No, I think we’ll stick with what we love.

0:03:06.8 TW: I love them all.

0:03:08.0 MK: I’m not gonna lie though, I didn’t find it hard to get excited about anything looking back on 2020. It was kind of a bit like, “Oh, okay, I guess we’re scraping into the end, that’s, it’s gonna be good enough this year.”

0:03:21.3 MH: It was pretty brutal this year. Yeah, it’s definitely true.

0:03:25.5 TW: But the podcast was a bright spot. I mean I will take from the making lemon meringue pie out of lemons, I’ll lead off with it because there was this dumpster fire of an election in the US, that was our excuse to get G. Elliot Morris from The Economist on. And I think when we selectively have had some of those episodes where we kinda get a little farther afield from digital analytics but with people who are really deep in the data for one reason or another. I really enjoyed that on two fronts. One, because he’s such a deep thinker about a type of data that… It’s all the stuff that as digital analysts we tend to not focus on, like polling, which is kind of a voice of the customer and trying to make predictions, but also taking systemic things that are happening, and as he talked about… And that’s kinda like, if we turned off all marketing tomorrow, it’s not like there’d be no traffic coming to our website. So just the beta not out there is, yeah, you might call it if you’re being a dork. So plus just the fact that he was delightful and engaged in really kind of thinking and trying to explain and trying to communicate. So that was a way to actually really enjoy the presidential election process in the US.

0:04:50.6 MH: That’s true.

0:04:52.2 MK: I do really enjoy that episode, but I just thought like people would die of shock if I agreed with you, so I am intentionally had to be contrarian.

0:05:01.3 MH: Why don’t you go next, and I’ll disagree with you.

0:05:05.2 MK: Oh, okay, well, this year was a first. We had the same guest on twice in one year. And I can’t really pick a favourite because I just love Joe Sutherland so much. So yeah, I liked both of the episodes with him but, oh, I’ve got too many… Alright, I’ll start with that, and then I’m coming back to more that I wanna discuss.

0:05:30.2 MH: Yeah, actually one of the ones we did with Joe was one of my favourites too, Moe. The one we just did about attribution without cookies. And I think it was because it sort of took a data science concept, and it made it a lot more accessible and just thinking about sort of designing great experiments as sort of an approach. And I was like, “Okay, that’s something I can hold on to, and like I’m not a data scientist, but I can help with that part of it.” So I thought that was really nice. And yeah, it is interesting, that is the first time we’ve had a guest on twice in the same year, so I don’t know, Joe Sutherland’s a new podcast favourite, I guess.

0:06:09.8 TW: Well, a little inside baseball, we wound up with Elliott Morris because of Joe Sutherland as well. So that was like a… As we were casting around saying, here’s a topic, and we were reaching out to people to say, who would be good and…

0:06:22.3 MH: Who else does Joe know that we could get on the podcast, ’cause that seems to work for us pretty well? Alright, Josh, no one’s gonna invite you to just jump in here, so jump in.

[laughter]

0:06:33.6 JC: Yeah, right, nice. So I really enjoyed the episode on “Making Statistics Accessible” with Chelsea Parlett-Pelleriti. I thought that one was really good, just in terms of like a really engaging guest, a super smooth edit, because she’s very well-spoken as well.

[laughter]

0:06:53.5 TW: Oh, I’ll judge episodes different ways.

[laughter]

0:06:57.7 JC: Selfishly, I’d save me.

0:07:00.4 MH: That does matter. That does matter.

0:07:01.9 JC: Yeah, no doubt. So that was really, really helpful on my end, but no, just some of the things that she talked about like what was the… How did she frame it? I think the attitude of, I guess, gate-keeping in statistics that some practitioners have, right? So people are… Some people who are maybe not expert in statistics can be a little bit intimidated by it, and a lot of that is due to the way that a lot of practitioners tend to speak about it, and it doesn’t have to be that way. So just to have someone coming out and saying, “I want to make this accessible. I want to clarify this for people, and don’t be afraid to explore statistics, and anyone can learn it if they put in the time and the effort.” And then I actually even had a session with her after the episode, because I was like, “This is great. I wanna sales tracks into the stuff that I’m doing.” And she was wonderful.

0:07:57.4 MK: Oh, that’s so cool!

0:08:00.1 JC: Yeah, it was a couple weeks ago. I was like, “Oh, yeah, actually, this, I could really benefit from this.” So yeah, so I had a really great chat with her, and it was all just from being introduced through that episode, so that was definitely a highlight for me, in terms of episodes this year.

0:08:14.7 MH: Very cool. Wow, that’s awesome!

0:08:17.3 MK: I feel like Josh is taking my, well, stealing my thunder in terms of like, “How do I get guests to help me with my work?”

[chuckle]

0:08:25.3 MK: Maybe that’s why Joe’s my favourite, ’cause I had him come to a workshop with us, so yeah.

0:08:31.4 MH: Well, it is heartening, in one aspect, because sometimes I sit in things like, “Man, what does Josh get out of this?” It’s been a long time since Superweek, so I’m glad to hear there’s some positives coming out of the show for you at certain places.

[chuckle]

0:08:46.1 MK: Speaking of Superweek, I still, God, it feels like more than a year ago. Like it feels so long ago, and I can still remember when Helbs decided to pitch the idea of us recording a podcast for 24 hours and I told him he was absolutely fucking insane. And I was terrified, and then somehow we settled on 12 hours, which still seems insane.

0:09:13.6 MH: The memory hurt.

0:09:14.3 MK: But we…

[chuckle]

0:09:14.8 MK: Yeah, we pulled it off.

0:09:17.2 MH: It was very difficult, yeah. Well, you guys were champs.

0:09:21.0 TW: Well, I feel like there’s kind of the meta piece of that, like knowing that November was the first case, and even when we were there, there was starting to be a little bit of awareness of COVID, but still just the human brain, we were not thinking at all. And then, as you said, Moe, it seems like it was forever ago. I mean I think there’s, that’s one of those fascinating things about how the brain perceives time when things are different versus they’re the same, but it is still… It is kind of mind-boggling. Superweek was starting to be this thing that was exhausting and cool and fun, and people that we were seeing and new ideas, and to have that have gone, and then just like within a couple of months like, “Oh, my God, the world has completely changed. Like what would it have been like if we time travelled back in with the Superweek now, knowing what was coming?” I have no idea, but…

0:10:26.2 MK: I think I would have drunk more.

[laughter]

0:10:30.8 TW: ‘Cause I drank almost nothing, ’cause I actually, my time was pretty short there, so…

0:10:35.5 MH: Yeah.

0:10:36.3 TW: Yeah, probably would have, as well.

0:10:36.8 MK: Well, I mean, when I drank more, I mean like I probably would have partied and like stayed up late and like revelled a little bit more, ’cause I have been known to sneak off and go to bed.

[chuckle]

0:10:47.5 MH: Yeah. It’s interesting, ’cause yeah, I remember on the trip back, it was the first time at the airport at our gate, I was travelling with Jim Gordon from Search Discovery, and they wheeled up these extra machines to ask us these questions of like, “Have you been to China…

0:11:02.4 JC: Really?

0:11:02.4 MH: In the last two weeks? Or have you had a cough out in Amsterdam?” And it was kind of like, “Wow! Okay. Wow, interesting.” And then just a month later, I mean the whole world is just shutting down.

0:11:14.2 MK: Josh, I remember when you got there, you talking about everyone, ’cause you were coming from Hong Kong, that everyone on the plane was wearing masks, and we were all like, “Oh, it’s so weird.”

[chuckle]

0:11:24.3 JC: Right. Well, it was interesting, because I, coming from Hong Kong, I stopped in Qatar, and the flight from Hong Kong to Qatar, everyone was wearing masks. And in Hong Kong at the time, there were mask shortages already. This was in January, and everybody was, even to travel, was pretty nervous to get on an aeroplane and wear a mask, and then the second flight from Qatar to Budapest, I was the only person wearing a mask, and I was just thinking like, “This is crazy,” but it hadn’t become really a thing in, I guess, the Western world yet, and I was even able to, because of the mask shortage in Hong Kong, I actually bought a entire box of masks at the airport in Budapest, and I…

0:12:09.4 MK: Oh, wow!

0:12:09.5 JC: Couldn’t believe they let me do it, right? They were selling single masks, and I was like, “Will you just sell me that box?” And they’re like, “Who is this weird person who wants to buy a box of masks and why?” The look that they gave me.

[chuckle]

0:12:20.5 MH: It’ll be a big deal.

0:12:22.0 JC: I was like…

[laughter]

0:12:22.9 JC: “This is amazing!” and I was like, “Will you sell me two boxes?” And they’re like, “No, you’re making me uncomfortable.”

[laughter]

0:12:32.9 TW: Wow!

0:12:33.3 JC: Oh, my gosh!

0:12:34.0 MK: It was such a good episode, and the thing is, I remember Michael really fading at about like hour 10.

[chuckle]

0:12:41.1 MK: He’d hit a wall, but I actually think the show got better towards the end of the day because we were pretty nervous about it, and we had a lot of structure, but then towards the end of the day, I was kind of like, “The hell with the structure, let’s go talk to this person.” And I actually feel like that was some of the best content and some of my favourite bits of the day happened really late in the day when, yeah, poor Michael was hanging on by a thread.

0:13:07.6 MH: Yeah.

0:13:07.6 TW: Yeah, I feel like you’re throwing a little shade, like I’m the one who was like, “No, what’s the detail, what’s the structure, here’s the schedule.” We had all of that going up to it, and you’re like, “Once… Yeah, once I realized Tim needed to just fuck off, and I could just wing it.” That’s what I’m hearing.

0:13:21.5 MK: I did not even mention you!

0:13:24.5 TW: Yeah, you’re like, “Once we decided we didn’t need structure… “

0:13:27.2 MK: Okay, do you know what Brené Brown would say, too? Do you know what Brené Brown would say?

0:13:32.1 TW: Nope, I do not.

0:13:32.8 MK: What is the story that you’re telling yourself? [laughter] You’re telling yourself this story that I have not even alluded to.

0:13:41.5 MH: That’s true, you were hearing something different than what Moe was saying, it’s very interesting, Tim. Well, we should do a podcast episode about that, just how Tim’s feelings are affecting him and the people around him, you know.

0:13:56.4 TW: Yeah. Okay, I’ll sit that one out.

0:13:58.1 MH: Actually, it’d be good. Yeah, 2021 Year in Review Episode is just an intervention for Tim.

[laughter]

0:14:08.3 MH: Oh, man. Yeah, it is so funny that that happened, and I was in the process of basically kicking off my own company, like starting up my own company at that time, I remember at Superweek, I actually signed my second client contract and thinking like things were proceeding nicely, like getting that second client in the door and like things were looking good, and then about a month later, I mean the wheels fell off like big time, and the whole industry was just, you know, kinda socked in the mouth. It was pretty brutal for a few months there.

0:14:49.0 TW: Well, how… I guess two questions for you, that puts you kinda behind the target that you planned, that you’d put, as I recall. Like you had kind of a plan, you were never… You’re never close to moving into a cardboard box, I don’t think, but you were also trying to help the rest of the industry and kind of set up the… What were you seeing from then?

0:15:13.1 MH: Yeah, there’s a couple of big precipitating moments because I think early March was when it started being like, “Whoa, this is gonna be crazy.” I think March 9th was when I sort of had a, “Oh crap, what’s gonna happen to me?” kind of a moment. And then I just sort of tried to like, “Okay, get your boots back on, get back out there and try to figure out what to do.” And then I started hearing from contacts and other people, like how the major hotel companies had laid off or furloughed their entire analytics teams. I knew some people in the cruise industry, and they were having huge layoffs, and it’s just hearing about layoffs starting to happen all over the place.

0:15:54.8 MH: And, you know, I just… You look at that, and you look at sort of like, “Oh, the economic impact of this is gonna be really huge.” And not just like we all were concerned about the loss of life, and we still are, but people were falling out of employment really, really rapidly. And so yeah, I just looked at the situation, and I was like, “Well, I don’t really have like frontline skills to go help in a hospital or anything like that.” But I was like, “I’ve spent the last seven years as the practice leader at Search Discovery, basically matching up talent with needs.” So I was like, “Why don’t I just start this joint program where basically I just figure out who needs help and then try to contact companies and find ways to introduce companies and people.”

0:16:41.4 MH: And it was actually… I really credit that with keeping me sane through March, April, May, and June. And I got to talk to like over 100 analytics professionals all over the world, some of whom we were able to help actually find jobs, find networks to contact. I got to meet a bunch of cool companies, we actually had… I met Laura Stude, who was on the podcast this year through that program, and surefoot was hiring at that time and so I was able to work with them, so big shoutout to them for hiring that time, another big shoutout to Blast Analytics, which was also… They were a great partner. Glassbox, another good one, another great company. So it was just really interesting, I felt really lucky ’cause I spent the first two hours of every day during those months talking to people who were looking for work, and that put the world back into perspective for me, took me out of my own problems a little bit, and then propelled me into the rest of my day with a lot more force, if you will.

0:17:44.4 MH: And so like clawing back out of that, like April, May and June, I signed new clients in each of those months, which basically then put me on a pretty good footing for the rest of the year, which sort of was like, “Yeah, it wasn’t a great time, it felt pretty awkward.” And there’s still people out there who need help, so we all have to be kind of really looking out for those who need a little bit of help or assistance, like it’s a great time to just keep remembering that not everybody’s having a really easy go of it. It was interesting, by the time June rolled around though, I was getting more contacts from companies looking for talent, than I was contacts of people who needed to find work.

0:18:21.9 MK: Oh, wow.

0:18:22.0 MH: And so the analytics industry started springing back really quick, and I would say right now, like the amount of jobs that are out there is just growing rapidly, and I’ve talked to even people in the last two weeks are like, “I’m trying to find and hire for this role, can you help me find somebody?” I’m like, “That ship has sailed a long time ago, like there are people out there, but it’s harder and harder to find.”

0:18:46.2 TW: Although it’s interesting, people still seem to be slipping back right into the, “I wanna hire a unicorn.” I feel like they may still… Like the reaction of, “Things are uncertain, so what we’ll do is we’ll find a magical person, whether we have too broad and too deep of what we’re asking for.” And it’s like, “Okay, it’s good that you have an opening, but what you’re looking for… ” And I’ve definitely seen some of those come across, which is still one of those where it’s like, “Come on, you need to understand the space a little bit better.” I feel like there’s a degree of some companies saying, “Hey, we can get whatever we want, because look, the industries and the world is in the toilet, and therefore we don’t need to have the discipline in our job postings.” And I still catch the unicorn postings. I’m like, “I like you, I like your company, but come on, people.”

0:19:43.5 MH: Well, it was a very interesting time, in terms of talent, because I definitely recognize some very talented people and actually transformed the way my company’s direction took. Because we started with AGL Analytics, but I’m ending this year as Stacked Analytics, when we grew our team out pretty significantly this year because in large part mostly people I met through the pandemic or got a chance to work with in a way… ‘Cause that was the cool thing is that the community kind of rallied around the joint program, too. So it wasn’t just me. There was a lot of other people who jumped in to help out. And so, whenever you work alongside somebody, you get to know them a little bit and then you can kinda see yourself like, “Hey, we should team up on more stuff.” And so, that’s been a pretty interesting transition this year for me. It’s been pretty awesome, actually.

0:20:35.4 MK: And it finally meant we could do an episode that I’ve been dying to do for ages, about landing the dream data job with Ali Dorman, which if anyone listens to that episode, I’m pretty sure I talked more than Ali, ’cause I get so excited about that topic.

0:20:51.3 TW: Well, I think you knew more of Ali’s life than Ali did, since you would kinda stalked him as part of your own… I mean, it got a little weird.

0:21:00.3 MK: Hey, that’s, yeah, a little bit true, but that’s ’cause he was by recruiter. And so, I was like, “I’m gonna have all the information to land this job.” But I just think it’s one of those things like… And it’s actually funny, throughout the year, ’cause I remember on that show offering to look at people’s resumes. And I’ve had probably 15 people reach out saying like, “Hey Moe, can you give me a hand with my resume?” And just how many people haven’t had to apply for a job in a long period of time, or like it’s a skill people are really, really rusty on, and it felt like something really practical that people could take away and listen and apply. And so, I absolutely loved getting to chat to Ali about like all the tips and tricks you can do to stand out from the pile of applications.

0:21:46.8 TW: Still baffled by the whole resume thing. That indirectly spawned a discussion with somebody like, “What do you think of my resume?” I’m like, “I don’t know. I read… What?”

0:21:56.8 MK: What do you mean? Someone asked you and you didn’t know how to give them advice?

0:22:02.1 TW: I mean I looked at it, and she was giving me… She’s like, “Here’s this one and this other person. This one person told me that this is the resume structure she likes.” I’m like… There are some aspects of that I’m not a big fan of, but I’m like, I don’t… I never see, I haven’t seen a resume for somebody, an actual resume. I’ve seen the information from a resume, I’ve seen LinkedIn profiles, but I’ve not seen an actual…

0:22:25.0 MK: Is this because you’re not a hiring manager, or is this because…

0:22:29.2 TW: That’s part of it, part of it is, yeah, I’m definitely not a hiring manager, and I’m only reluctantly, occasionally involved in the hiring process, so I did not realize resumes were actually still a thing. So…

0:22:43.9 MK: Yeah, but I think the thing is, what goes in your resume goes in your LinkedIn. It’s the same shit.

0:22:49.1 MH: Yeah. I’m just laughing over here, ’cause, Tim describing resumes. I’m like, “Yeah, it’s still a real thing.”

[laughter]

0:22:57.4 JC: Or even cover letters, I think came up on the show, right? And I always said still write a cover letter. And I was like, I didn’t realize that that was a thing that people still did, but maybe that’s why I don’t get hired for jobs.

[chuckle]

0:23:09.4 TW: But even that, it’s like a carriage return, like the… Still write a personalized greeting, still send a personalized follow-up that is tailored to the job, versus cover letter, like you say cover letter, and I’m thinking, “Okay, I’m typing it on my… Pushing the little carriage return, typing it, with my carbon paper behind it, folding it up, writing a cover letter.” Like you’re not really doing cover letters. You’re not walking into an interview and saying, “Here’s my cover letter.”

0:23:43.2 MK: I still write cover letters, and I think it’s an opportunity to expand why you would be good for a job and why you’re interested in the company. Why wouldn’t you take that opportunity?

0:23:53.5 TW: I’m not saying not to, I’m talking about the… I’m talking about the format of a… Are you sending it in via post, are you folding it up, putting it in an envelope?

0:24:03.0 MK: Oh my god, Tim.

[chuckle]

0:24:04.0 TW: Right. That’s what I’m saying, a cover letter like it’s literally saying, cover. That’s all I’m talking about. I’m not saying… I literally started by saying…

0:24:11.5 MH: We have to keep on with the year in review/cover letter podcast episode.

[laughter]

0:24:20.3 TW: I was like, after accusing me of hearing what I wanna hear, she literally took exactly what I said and turned it around, it’s the opposite again.

0:24:26.1 MK: So Tim, for context though…

0:24:26.3 MH: Never polite to put that out, Tim, never, never.

0:24:31.0 MK: I don’t remember if I said this on the show. I’m guessing I didn’t, but my first ever job, which was at the Department of Corrective Services in Western Australia, I sent my cover letter. I got about 300 people’s names from the directory, and I sent my cover letter, personalized with their name and their department to every single one of the 300. And finally, I got this call from a guy who was like, “Okay, I think we need to chat,” and I’m like, “What’s up?” He’s like, “Well, I’ve now got your cover letter sent to me by about 30 different people. So I’ve got 30 of your cover letters sitting on my desk, and I guess you really wanna work here, so why don’t you come in and have a chat?” And that’s how I got my first job.

0:25:08.2 TW: Again, my point, was there a stack of 30 pieces of paper? Or that he has…

0:25:11.1 MK: Yes.

0:25:12.4 TW: Okay, so… And that was a little while ago.

0:25:14.8 MK: That was a fair while ago.

0:25:16.7 TW: I started by saying, I absolutely think sending a personalized, tailored to the job, communication makes sense. I was only making a comment about the cover letter, physical printed, folded up and put in envelope. Somehow, you took my basic point and said, I’d said the opposite.

0:25:39.5 MH: I liked Moe’s point. Anyways…

0:25:41.7 TW: Huh, what else?

0:25:42.7 MH: Okay, so you know what…

0:25:43.7 MK: Still feeling optimistic about 2020, Tim? [chuckle]

0:25:46.8 MH: Well, actually, there are people that had a lot of amazing things happen, like e-commerce businesses. A lot of them had tremendous success in 2020, and actually a lot of the hiring that got done early on happened in a lot of those places. I know, Moe, you’ve basically been hiring at Canva pretty much all year long.

0:26:07.9 MK: Yeah, we’ve been hiring like a machine, which also was funny ’cause when the pandemic started, we had this huge like we’re gonna slow down our hiring and… Yeah, it’s been insane.

0:26:18.3 TW: Yeah. Here’s my concern coming out of it, right? It’s a version of a K-shaped that, yeah, travel hospitality, food service got hammered, tech, e-commerce did great. Largely, the biggest signal impacting both of those was a pandemic. I did see a communication where there was like a team saying, didn’t we do a great job with our marketing with this home builder? We did an amazing job. And I’m like, “Well, yeah, pretty much. I could run your social media strategy, are you watching what’s happening in the economy, those are blowing up.” So we’ll see what people put in their cover letters and on their resumes about the [0:27:01.9] __ that they drove in 2020.

0:27:04.6 MH: I can’t wait to see their year-over-year analysis in 2021 then.

0:27:09.1 JC: Yeah.

[laughter]

0:27:09.2 MK: My hiring team is struggling with that right now, and we actually did quite a bit of analysis, ’cause we could actually look at particular markets and when COVID got really bad… So when it first got bad, numbers dropped a bit… Well, yeah, quite a bit. And then as people started working from home and lockdowns were in place, our numbers skyrocketed and it was so fascinating, you could see the different weeks as different countries got worse like between February and April, and they like, “Oh, that’s where COVID really got bad in that country,” which was really fascinating. But I’m not gonna lie our core folks have been doing forecasting for the last four months, and I think they’re gonna rip their hair out ’cause trying to forecast anything for 2021 after 2020 is… It’s a shit show.

0:27:52.5 TW: Well, although it gets to where the market needs, that means the uncertainty has gone way up, and the way to… That does get to I think, for me, one of the… I’m getting more comfortable with a lot of the statistical side of things, and that’s kind of one of my hopes for 2021 and beyond. But it is one of those that if you talk to a Joe Sutherland or Mac Kershaw, you’re like, “Yes, uncertainty is increased, which means the range of what could actually happen… Okay, so what do we do? What do we do about that?” And even looking at things that are moving so differently, our base level data is non-stationary now, which means, “Okay, we gotta be careful with how we’re… What are the techniques we’re using to analyse that data. Things went up, things went down, where is causality versus where is both being impacted by the same other signal.” I think there’s huge opportunities for people to think with more kind of statistical rigour. And I feel like companies that are needing to forecast and are taking that sort of approach and saying, “There’s this much variability, we can’t judge the accuracy of our forecast based on how we would judge the accuracy of our forecast a year ago,” I think it’s kind of an interesting idea.

0:29:15.6 MH: Yeah, I mean, we kind of got into that a little bit with Gary Angel on episode 145 when we talked about that, and it’s forecasting, not the statistics part, that’s sort of like… Tim will always find a way to make it come back to needing more statistical rigour for some reason. [chuckle] No, I’m just kidding. No, it’s a drum your beat because it’s the right drum to beat. But actually, a lot of things happened this year in data that didn’t have much to do with statistical rigour also, which is the continuation of the destruction of all things cookie-related and also new regulatory structures. How’s that treating everybody?

0:29:52.0 TW: That has everything to do with statistics.

0:29:53.8 JC: I’m gonna say yeah.

0:29:55.4 TW: That’s the solution.

0:29:56.4 MH: You’re gonna find a way to connect it. Statistically speaking, Tim Wilson will find a way to connect it, the statistics. Yes, we actually did a whole episode about this. Joe Sutherland, episode 155.

0:30:08.3 JC: Yeah, I’m with Tim on this one.

0:30:10.2 MH: No, I’m not saying I’m against it, I just… I’m just trying to change the subject.

[laughter]

0:30:16.2 JC: Sorry. [laughter]

0:30:17.3 MH: Yeah, you’re new here, Josh. Just go with me.

[laughter]

0:30:22.2 TW: To me, it’s a little disheartening to watch how many people get sucked into, what’s our workaround? How do we get around this? What do we do server-side, what… And I say disheartening, we’ve done basically two episodes on ITP ’cause we had Kasper Rasmussen back in April of 2019? Maybe.

0:30:46.1 MK: That’s an impressive memory.

0:30:47.6 TW: Okay, maybe it’s in notes, I looked it up before I was… And then we had Corey in October. So we actually didn’t have any in 2020 to talk about it, ’cause I felt like it was… Maybe it’s… I feel like that’s ’cause we just knew that that ball was rolling, but…

0:31:01.7 MH: I also was putting out negative energy towards any topics I considered downers, if you’ll recall.

[laughter]

0:31:08.1 MH: I don’t want to talk about that.

0:31:12.0 TW: But to me that’s… It’s bringing this… It’s forcing the industry to recognize that we’re not gonna get all the data, and we did. We’ve had discussions around ethics and privacy and why consumers don’t want you to have all those tracking. And that whole tension, it’s like, “Yeah, stop trying to run around… ” Neustar just had a press release where they’re, they basically conflict with themselves. We use hashed email IDs and totally protect privacy, and it’s like you’re talking out of both sides of your mouth, you’re pretending you can do this user-level tracking and statistics is about taking a sample and trying to make inferences about the population. So it’s time to start working off of that samples to infer the population rather than precise measurement so…

0:32:02.3 MK: I still think it sucks.

0:32:05.8 TW: I kinda don’t ’cause I feel like it’s forcing us to do things in a way that are fundamentally healthier for the world.

0:32:18.3 MK: I agree with the fundamentally healthier for the world, but some of the marketing platforms responses are the opposite to name names. Facebook, for example, is now asking us to send them even more PII to compensate. And I’m like, I actually feel like that is a worse reaction than us having the data, ’cause at least I know that our team is really careful with it, and we have things in place. Like I don’t wanna be sending our customers PII to Facebook, that sounds awful to me. But that’s how the industry has shifted as a result of this, which terrifies me.

0:33:00.6 TW: I mean Facebook… Facebook is its… We have to be careful, I think, about Facebook goes in its own bucket, Google goes in its own bucket, Apple… The whole FAMGA? FAMGA, so what it is?

0:33:09.2 MH: FAANG, FAMGA?

0:33:10.9 TW: FAANG, FAMGA? Whatever.

0:33:13.9 MH: FAM squad. I don’t know.

0:33:16.1 TW: I mean if you take those demands… ‘Cause Amazon is now sucking up a ton of advertising dollars as well, right? But they’re all doing that user-level data is how they’re driving the bulk of their revenue. Google stumbled into that, not how they intended, but that is now the dominant part of their business. Facebook is more objectively evil and opportunistic, and because we’re saying we’re buying into, we have to have that precision. When we talked about the social dilemma, it’s a hell of a story, but is that really what we have to do or could we say, “No, we’re gonna find other ways to spend our dollars” and that’s… I mean this does go to me, an episode we haven’t done yet on the Subprime Attention Crisis book, but if we really started stepping back and not relying on somewhat circular logic, Facebook has all this targeting capability, so therefore we wanna target them with their ads, so therefore they’re providing value.

0:34:32.2 TW: I do pretty strongly believe if we’ve said, let’s pretend, let’s work in a world where we don’t have that and design experiments and test it, we’d find out the stuff isn’t as valuable as we’ve been led to believe, because it’s a good story, and we could try to break free of that, the feeling that there’s just an imperative that you’ve gotta do this one-to-one advertising, I hope. Especially if you’ve got a good product. Canva is an interesting example, like if you’ve got a good product, and there’s also the case of scale if local SEO versus doing targeted Facebook ads. If I’m a local coffee shop, yeah, I wanna know if, what could I really do to spend, can I have a really good loyalty program, a good word-of-mouth program, could I test those things without saying, “Facebook and Google, I’m gonna fork over my customer’s data to you to do hyper-targeting, and I’m gonna pay a hell of a premium for it.”

0:35:36.8 MH: Yeah. But the problem for a lot of marketers is that, A, it works, B, they’ve become dependent. I’m just telling you what people are saying to me. Like I work with clients who, they advertise very heavily on Facebook because they generate a huge return, and so it is profitable. And the bigger problem, Tim, is that they’ve come to rely on it, and that’s really the problem is now that we need to transition and people need to start looking for a new paradigm for this, people are clawing at some kind of remainder as opposed to leaping toward the new thing, which I think that’s our job in the industry. One thing that we can do to help the industry is to demonstrate those things, but it’s gonna take a long time. And in the meantime, Facebook is literally telling people, give us more than you’ve ever given us before, so we can go back and basically on our end, match this data back up with all the identification that we have.

0:36:40.7 TW: I will take issue with… There’s a lot of dollars being poured into Facebook where they’re saying, “We do this, and it works because we got a bunch of video views, and we know we’re driving awareness. There is direct response… ” Yes, I got it, I’m selling a widget, and I’m pushing that into a feed, but there are a shit ton of marketers out there who are saying, “I am getting numbers from my fucking media agency who is telling you that this works,” and they’re getting it from Facebook and nobody knows their ass from a hole in the wall, and you look at these, you pull back the covers a little bit and say, “Are you insane?”

0:37:14.0 MH: These people will advertise on Twitter too, for some reason I cannot fathom or comprehend.

0:37:18.7 TW: So when you start with the premise of saying people use Facebook because it works, yeah, it does in some cases, but not at the rate that people are pouring money into it, and they are not… They don’t know whether it works or not, in many cases, they’re saying, based on this metric that is completely stacked to make it report a number, which is understandable because they’ve got budget, they’ve gotta spend, and they’ve gotta report up the chain that it worked.

0:37:43.4 MH: Sure.

0:37:45.2 TW: So yeah, there’s a topic for 2020.

0:37:46.1 MH: So you’re talking about view through, again.

[chuckle]

0:37:51.6 MH: I mean this is as old as the industry though, is a point I’m trying to make Tim is, I’m gonna spend the money and then your job is to invent metrics that make that money look like it was well spent.

[laughter]

0:38:01.5 MH: That’s basically the game.

0:38:04.7 TW: Yeah, absolutely.

0:38:05.4 MH: All of us have a negative reaction to that kind of behaviour.

0:38:09.5 TW: But unfortunately the internet is built on that, right? So all the content, and this is where, ass-hat not to be named, former WPP, Chief Marketing McDouche, who says, “Well, all these big companies have been pouring all this money into it, and so they couldn’t be wrong,” and it’s like it’s so… It is so infuriatingly circular, and that media is getting more and more expensive, which is why everyone’s saying, like, “Oh man, it’s… But now we’re doing programmatic, and now it’s just all real-time bidding and all of this. The SSP is talking to the DSP, and this amazing.” It’s like that’s a great story, but you’re actually watching your results erode, but you’re so locked into the millions of dollars or hundreds of thousands of dollars that you’re spending. And yes, you’re getting metrics back that show that it works. When then, as a consumer, we’re like, “Oh, I was just searching this, and I found what I wanted to buy. I was ready to pay $30 for it. But then, I went and did a Google search and found an affiliate site, and now, I only pay $27. And the company made even less profit because they paid the affiliate a referral fee to sell me something for less than I was willing pay.” It’s broken.

0:39:23.6 MK: And that is the problem with marketing.

0:39:26.1 MH: That’s right. And this show would be going a lot better, Tim, if we could just find one topic you’re passionate about.

[laughter]

0:39:35.4 MH: Oh, Josh, we haven’t heard from you because we’re getting into our banter, and we need you to jump in here. So, I’m gonna stop us and be like, “What do you see in this year from your perch?”

0:39:49.2 JC: Alright. I guess, just jumping off of that same point… So I’ve been thinking about this approach in measuring success of different paid channels by going through and doing like media mix modelling to kind of identify where there could be opportunities, or maybe where we’re spending too much, and then testing those formally, right? Which is what Tim’s kind of been beating the drum on for sure. And I kinda see things the same way. What I’m hoping for in 2021, and maybe a bit beyond 2021, as we start to see third-party cookies are going away, Apple’s coming for the mobile device identifiers, IDFAs going away, I think, in early 2021. And I almost wonder if Google is gonna, at some point, do the same thing, like they eventually capitulated on the cookies. Will they also follow suit with taking away mobile device identifiers? What I think is gonna happen at a certain point is, marketers are gonna start to see performance actually suffering in programmatic media, so at some point, I think there’s maybe gonna be a bit of a reckoning, and I don’t know if that’s a 2021 thing or if that’s a 2022 thing. And it comes back to, again, the Subprime Attention Crisis topic that we’ve alluded to earlier. But that’s something that I’m definitely working at a media end to see.

[chuckle]

0:41:11.7 JC: Keeping a very close eye on. But yeah, and again, all of it, for me, comes back to, “Okay, we need to find ways where we can test things out to really see what is the incremental impact of where we’re spending our money and where we’re placing our bets.

0:41:29.9 TW: Mm-hmm. Nice. The challenge is that so many people think what that would actually show if they did it, and it would put their jobs and livelihoods in jeopardy, so they are resistant to doing that. I think that’s what’s holding it up.

0:41:47.9 MK: And I know I work at a really unique… I don’t know, maybe I just work at unique companies where marketers do actually wanna prove that it’s effective, but I feel like my stakeholders are the one pushing me to be like, “Can we do more MMM? Like how do we do a test for this?” And I’m like, “Cool, cool. We’re really busy, but yes, we wanna help you, ’cause that shit’s important.” But listening to the idea that people don’t wanna prove whether or not their marketing spend works… And it’s not a view I’ve been exposed to a heap, and maybe that’s the benefit of companies I’ve chosen to work for, but that… Yeah, that stance is scary.

0:42:32.5 TW: And maybe it is also from being kind of outside… Most of my clients… Let’s say historical, let’s just say we’re not referring to any current clients, just to keep me out of trouble. Well, just infer what you like. They want to demonstrate… They would be framed as, “We wanna demonstrate how much value we’re getting from each one of these spends.” It is not framed as a, “We believe… ” Just reading some Cassie Kozyrkov, of course I was.

0:43:04.3 MK: Of course you were.

0:43:06.4 TW: Where she’s like, “How you frame the question is your default action and is everything.” Like, “What would it take for you to convince me that marketing does work?” is very different from, “What would it take for you to convince me that marketing is not working?” And that’s kinda where the bar gets set is, “My presumption is that each one of these channels is working. You have to come up with the data and the analytics to prove to me, to convince me that it doesn’t,” as opposed to framing it as saying, “Let’s start with that it doesn’t work and see what evidence we can find to disprove that.”

0:43:48.1 MH: Well, and let’s be honest, in our industry, unfortunate… Advertising and marketing generally, there’s a lot of post-hoc rationalization that’s happening, because no one’s preparing ahead of time to actually say like, “This is what I’m hoping for or what I expect to happen.” And so, it’s sort of like, “Quick, I’m going to this meeting. Get me some metrics that make this campaign look good.”

[chuckle]

0:44:11.0 TW: Yeah, no, that still is endemic.

0:44:14.3 MH: That’s still a real thing.

0:44:15.9 MK: Oh, I’m gonna confess, that is definitely a real thing, where I had to be, like, “The learning from this campaign is that it didn’t work. That’s what we learned.” So, how do we phrase that to the business versus like what are the metrics that make it look good?

0:44:31.6 MH: Fail faster. Alright.

[laughter]

0:44:35.3 MH: Hey, jumping to something that I think is a positive, and actually this one goes a little bit towards you, Moe. This year, I definitely got my first, real first-hand experience with what people would call the modern data stack or how the analytics infrastructure is changing. And obviously, Moe, you’ve been talking about this for quite a while. And so, as I got to be working with some clients or doing this, just seeing, turn the light on for me like, oh, so this is how it’s gonna be… And I’m really excited about it because I think the future of doing analysis with some statistical rigour Tim is actually really enhanced by this path. And we’ve seen like the IPO of Snowflake this year, DBT had two rounds of venture capital this year, which is… I’ve never heard of a company going through two rounds of fundraising in one year, so it’s just… Oh wait, PAMA did too?

0:45:39.8 TW: Pay attention, pay attention.

0:45:41.2 MH: Oh, I did not know this. Yeah, sorry. I mostly monitor analytics companies, so, I’m sorry I missed that.

0:45:46.3 TW: Well, can you even extend that to like the GA, GA 4 and how…

0:45:51.4 MH: GA 4, exactly.

0:45:53.0 TW: And how that’s actually coming to more sophisticated tracking and oh, by the way, it’s now gonna… With the free version, pump straight into big query. So that’s…

0:46:02.7 MH: Yes. 100% of the point is, this is the future. We’re headed that way. The Enterprise is starting to make that migration. It’s slow at first. I remember talking to, I’m gonna not get his name right, Joao Correia earlier this year, and we just had a great conversation. And he’s pretty adamant, like “the old tools are dead, the new tools”, only snowplow mattered.

0:46:23.3 MK: He’s been out of it for a while.

0:46:26.4 MH: Yeah, yeah, but it’s sort of like, you know, it’s sort of like you love to see profit coming out of the wilderness a little bit, like validation for that stuff, and that’s just it. People ask me, and I totally stole this answer from Michele and June Dershewitz and Moe, Michele is Moe’s sister, Michele Kiss. Okay. In case our listeners weren’t able to like… But like what’s the number one skill an analyst needs to learn right now? You definitely need to learn SQL. That’s been my… I’ve heard somebody say, Sequel, S-Q-L the other day, and I sort of like bit my tongue, but I was like, it’s Sequel to me, so…

0:47:03.4 TW: You need to learn the standard query language.

0:47:05.8 MH: Yeah.

0:47:06.8 MK: Someone recently asked me if Sequel and SQL are the same thing, which was cute. Yeah, so for this year, I suppose one of the biggest things that I’ve really noticed, and this is looking back at that episode we did with Claire Carroll on DBT, is really that space of how the Stack is changing. And I remember probably a year or two ago, we were really only talking about the Google Cloud platform or Amazon, and now we’re really shifting and like Snowflake has just, its market penetration has been really crazy. Like every data engineer I know is talking about Snowflake as a product and how quickly it’s growing. And then, that episode with Claire, which I just have been reminded of, which I absolutely loved, and the whole emergence of this analytics engineer and even us internally are starting to talk about, do we need to have streams within data analytics? Because we definitely have some people who are really into Ginger and data warehouse builds, and it’s becoming this new, I guess this new space for analysts to really delve into. And do we need to have a particular stream that focuses on the analytics engineer because their SQL skills are absolutely amazing and incredible? And then, split that out from the people doing the analysis, and that’s a trend I’ve really seen in 2020, I guess, solidify.

0:48:31.4 TW: I’m still not prepared to say that SQL is the must-have, a must-have skill. I think it still is situational too. It depends on what you’re working with and how you’re accessing it. So I think there’s… We’ve had this before, but… Rudy Sheppard said it in the intro, To Beyond Web Analytics. It’s whatever is tools you need. And there are cases where, if you’re working somewhere where you don’t, you’re not accessing a database in that format, if you’re accessing data through an API, Python and R, maybe all you really need. But absolutely, it shouldn’t be a… If there’s an opportunity in like, “Hey, there’s data that could be queried then, yeah, you’d better ramp up.” You shouldn’t say, “I’m gonna try to duck around that.” But it still comes down to what job are you doing and what data are you trying to work with?

0:49:20.8 MK: I think though, that soon, you’re gonna have no choice. All data’s gonna be in a database, and you’re gonna be having to access it that way. And I even had this conversation with my sister the other day, where I was like, you do remember… We were actually going through… She was having… She was stuck on something in BigQuery, and I was like, you do remember there was a time you didn’t know BigQuery. And she was like, “I actually don’t know how I did my job. Like I literally cannot think of how I function because that is 90% of my day now.”

0:49:48.3 MH: Yeah. I don’t… Your point’s well taken Tim because there are aspects that will be more primarily used by our programming languages and stuff like that, but I agree, especially now with GA 4 basically, setting up a situation where two years, hundreds of thousands of GA implementations will have BigQuery instances. It’s just gonna become the new language of working with the data. It’s gonna be like being able to do a pivot table.

0:50:19.9 TW: It is gonna broaden your ability to work, but I guess, I look at a lot of large companies that they can’t even get to, when you say, “Oh, you’ve got GA 360 now, you’ve got money. Are you pumping that into BigQuery?” And it’s like pulling teeth but they’re not even doing that. And so, there’s gonna be a long runway. There are still plenty of analysts out there who are copying and pasting charts from analysis workspace or buying into Adobe saying, “Get somebody to hook up, and now you go do all your customer journey analytics. You can do it in Analysis Work Space.” I’m like, “That’s… You’re not selling me on saying, do all this work with data, and now you’re constrained to our rigid interface.” So…

0:51:04.7 MH: Well, looking at that, that sounds like there’s potential going out into the future to continue to explore these and many other topics.

[laughter]

0:51:12.8 MH: Let’s change our focus. And point our lens to the future. So all of us have lots of stuff going on, but maybe let’s just talk a little bit about what’s going on in each of our lives. It may be something you’re looking forward to exploring in analytics in 2021. I don’t know who wants to go first.

0:51:34.2 TW: Or if there’s any personal news that’s of real…

0:51:35.9 MH: I said, I’m combining it. I’m saying, let’s talk about you and also maybe something you’re…

0:51:42.7 MK: Well, I suppose, for 2021, the thing that most terrifies me, is the idea that I’m not gonna be at work for a big chunk of the year and that’s ’cause I have a little human that will be arriving in a few weeks.

0:51:57.6 TW: You what?

0:51:58.6 MK: Yeah.

0:52:00.4 TW: That explains all those noises that Josh had to edit out is you dealing with morning sickness.

0:52:06.7 MK: Oh, thank God. I pray you were not going in another direction. [laughter]

0:52:13.7 TW: Our next live episode is, instead of being Superweek, we’ll be at the bedside with Jamie.

0:52:20.6 MH: That’s right.

0:52:21.2 MK: Oh, God. Yeah. But yeah, it’s been a weird year, or I guess, end of the year, getting my head around the idea of stepping away from work. And it’s something I’ve actually talked to quite a few people around, because for me, what I do is so much part of who I am. I really, I love my job. And so, the idea of taking a break… And I confess, in Australia, we’re very, very lucky and have very generous paternal leave. But yeah, it’s gonna be a really weird year, which means that I’ll be missing in action for a little bit this year.

0:52:56.9 MH: Wait, Moe, you’re not gonna be taking a break from the podcast, are you? I’m kidding, I’m kidding.

[laughter]

0:53:07.6 MH: This is something we should have talked about. No, I’m just kidding.

[laughter]

0:53:14.5 MH: Oh, I’m so excited for you, Moe. We’re super excited. Now, hopefully, post-COVID, we can all make a trip to Australia and come meet this new person.

0:53:24.4 MK: What about you, Michael? What’s happening with the business in 2021?

0:53:28.0 MH: I’ve started saying in late November, into early December, I’ve just started repeating this phrase to myself a lot, which is, 2021 is gonna be an amazing year. And that’s not something I’ve applied any statistical ringer to, Tim. I don’t have data that necessarily supports that at this point. But I think it’s just like, I’m taking this mentality of, “Man, we took a lot of blows in 2020. And it was a rough year, we had a crazy election in the United States, and we’ve just gotten through it and now let’s take a step upward. Let’s go take a big next step and look to next year to be that step.” And so, that’s kind of the way I’m sort of positioning it. There’s a lot that we’ve got on the plate. Stacked Analytics has been growing really nicely. We’re making progress, and so I’m always at my best when I’m trying to help my team. And I’ve got an amazing team that I’m working with. And so, we’re just focused on that future.

0:54:27.9 MH: I see so much potential in helping companies engage in some of the transformation that we’re talking about, whether it be grappling with how browsers are impacting data collection and cookies, migration to a more modern stack for analytics analysis so that they can do the statistical work and the data science even, that they need to do to kind of take what you’ve been saying Tim and be more authentic and truthful about how they’re approaching analysis. I read that article… I think you’re talking about that article Cassie wrote about How to Spot a Data Charlatan. I don’t know if that was the one you were referencing, but I read that recently, a couple of months ago, and I was just like, that’s probably gonna be a last call at some point, and at the same time, I was like, “Damn, this calls me out so hard.” Like we’ve all got to step up a little bit.

0:55:20.7 MH: But that’s sort of… For me, 2021 is… And I don’t… I’m trying to get hobbies going outside of work. So there’s this small group of people in the analyst community that post pictures of food they cook on Instagram and stuff like Jason Thompson and Justin Goodman, and Jim Gordon and Julian. And so, I’m like, alright, so I’m gonna get into smoking and stuff, and I’m gonna try to post some pictures and do something outside of sit at my desk in my basement. But I do love my work, so I end up doing it all the time. What about you, Josh? What’s going on in 2021 for you?

0:56:01.0 JC: Yeah, just really focusing on getting really good at test design and just kind of learning the statistical techniques I need to, boning up on that to support actually pulling that off in the real world and when we encounter unique challenges and setting some of that stuff up. So that’s a major focus for me. I wish I also could set up a smoker, but sadly living in an apartment, but I am also learning to cook. So that’s another big focus.

0:56:29.0 MK: And Josh, you need to drop by, if that’s your learning goal for 2021. We need to have a catch-up and hear all about it and hear what resources have worked, especially experiment design. I often get asked for good resources on that, and I don’t always have the best list ready to go for recommendations.

0:56:47.2 JC: What I’ve actually been doing a lot of is, so I finally decided to pay up for a medium subscription because there’s a lot of good articles on there, right? But their recommendation systems seems to do a really great job because I get an email every day, and they’ve learned what I’m interested in, what I’m focused on. And then, I just get like five or six articles every day that are really specific to it. So that’s been my main thing. And then, you find like, okay, who are the authors that are reputable for this specific topic, and then you follow those people. So that’s what I’ve been doing, but yeah, I’m also only just really at the tip of the iceberg on some of the stuff, so…

0:57:27.5 MH: Nice.

0:57:27.9 MK: That sounds awesome.

0:57:29.5 MH: What about you, Tim? How are you gonna apply quintessentiality in 2021?

0:57:35.3 TW: So I would say I had a full year that was just brutal, on a client basis and client workload that I started to come out of. But still, 2020, my content was all sort of data visualization. It goes back to Superweek, and that snowballed in a bunch of different directions, which actually I have a… I probably should say, I had a CXL course. It’s like four hours on data visualization and data storytelling, that came out a couple of weeks ago. They ultimately came directly out of my Superweek presentation and Fred Pike kinda making a recommendation. But that’s not really my passion about analytics, as this episode has demonstrated.

0:58:12.0 TW: So of late, I’ve been getting back in… It’s been a year, we’re learning and working with Joe Sutherland and lots of other opportunities. I’m ready to take my next run at the statistics side of statistics for the analyst, and what are these kind of techniques and how to explain them and how to show their application. So that’s professionally, I’m ramping up on a content production front, it has been labelled as a manifesto, Joe is calling some of it. But some of it’s just very practically explaining non-stationary data and first difference in some of these techniques and concepts.

0:58:54.5 TW: But then, it’s funny, I’ll take a page from the cooking which I kinda go in and out of, but I also, partly due to COVID, I’ve long been kind of, I love taking the kayak out and trying to do bird photography. And because I have not been travelling, it’s been two or three times a week. So this year, I have managed to get a little more organized, get a little new equipment, and I’m kinda hoping that is even things come back, I still manage to escape to the water, either by myself and my camera or with a member of my family, and sit on the water and watch the sunrise and say hi to the great egrets and the great blue herrings and post more stuff on twilson.smugmug.com.

[laughter]

0:59:44.2 TW: Nice.

0:59:45.1 JC: We’ll link to that in the show notes.

0:59:46.9 TW: That’s right. Yeah.

0:59:47.5 MH: Make sure to tweet that as well.

0:59:50.2 TW: That’s like one of multiple places I post up, and I’ve tried to actually curate them…

0:59:54.5 MH: Actually, I really enjoy your kayak photos. It’s very peaceful and beautiful. So yeah, keep it up.

1:00:01.4 TW: So I’m looking forward to… What is it, Michael? Great. 2020 is gonna be what?

1:00:05.3 MH: 2021 is gonna be an amazing year.

1:00:07.9 TW: An amazing year. I’m looking forward to that, as well.

1:00:10.3 MH: An amazing year. We’re gonna just push that idea forward into reality. Well, I certainly think it’s been an amazing year of doing this podcast with all of you. Josh, we don’t really get a chance to talk enough. And so, it’s delightful to get some of your thoughts and things as the years progressed and sort of the ways you’ve grown, even since we saw each other at Superweek. So thanks for coming on and joining us for this. And Moe and Tim, as much as you frustrate the crap out of me sometimes, I love you both, and I couldn’t imagine doing the show without you.

1:00:49.2 MH: And honestly, I’ll say one more.

1:00:51.1 TW: You better start imagining being without Moe for a little bit. Work on that.

1:00:56.4 MK: I was like, yeah, that’s about to happen.

1:00:58.0 MH: Right. Oh no! Oh! That’s right. Well, we have plans, we have plans to address this, of course. This is not taking us by surprise, and we’re excited. Yeah, I’ll just do a corporate… Anyways… But what I really wanna say was one of the things that has made 2020 wonderful for all of us is, you the listeners, the chances we’ve had to interact when we’ve had chances to talk about the things or hear your feedback on the show or see things that delighted you, or insights you gained. Those are bright spots for us. And so, please keep it up. Please let us know topics that you’re interested in, things that we should cover on the show. We would be delighted to hear from you. And of course, reach out to us on the Measure Slack, which is an amazing community. We’re over 12,000 members now on that Slack community. Also, we have a LinkedIn group. In 2020, we actually ended our Facebook page.

1:01:55.0 MH: We don’t like Facebook very much, and so we took our presence off of that platform, but we do have a LinkedIn page it’s probably just as evil, but whatever. They haven’t made a documentary about it yet, so I’m turning a blind eye. And then, also on Twitter, you can reach us there. So as you go forward and make 2021 an amazing year, just remember, whatever setbacks, whatever learnings, whatever opportunities. I know I speak for my two co-hosts and our great producer, Josh, when I say keep analyst.

[music]

1:02:30.9 Announcer: Thanks for listening, and don’t forget to join the conversation on Twitter or in the Measure Slack. We welcome your comments and questions. Visit us on the web at analyticshour.io or on Twitter @AnalyticsHour.

1:02:46.4 Charles Barkley: So smart guys want to fit in, so they made up a term called analytic. Analytics don’t work.

1:02:53.4 Thom Hammerschmidt: Analytics. Oh my God, what the fuck does that even mean?

1:03:03.2 MH: Alright, well, Moe, as soon as you’re done with your nails there. [laughter] I’m sorry, it’s just coming through on the microphones. What’s that noise, oh, she’s painting her nails.

1:03:18.5 MK: In fairness, we’ve been waiting for you. Well, and then I decided to make it…

1:03:27.7 MH: You okay, Moe? Were you listening to us the whole time?

1:03:29.6 MK: Yeah. I just keep my earphones in. Yeah. I’m good.

1:03:34.3 MH: That’s good. I’m glad you used mute selectively.

1:03:39.2 JC: That’s what I was thinking.

1:03:39.3 MK: I use my microphone.

1:03:52.9 MH: 2020, I’m pretty much done with it. We’ll never speak of it again, except just on this episode of the podcast, of course. We’re not even, nope. The election is over. We’re not even gonna talk about it.

1:04:11.1 TW: Is it, really?

1:04:12.9 MH: We’re gonna pretend the last four years, slowly recede into the distance.

1:04:16.6 TW: Rock, swag, and see ya 2020.

1:04:27.2 MH: And good riddance.

[laughter]

1:04:28.4 TW: And good fucking riddance.

Photo by Byron Johnson on Unsplash

The post #157: 2020 Year in Review Episode appeared first on The Digital Analytics Power Hour: Data and Analytics Podcast.

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