The problem with growing your business in the information age is staying up to date. ADMA’s Data Day 2018 is an event built on only the most contemporary of expertise.



As the business world becomes more complex, the lesson it presents is simple. Understanding the challenges and opportunities data, technology and marketing present is essential to success and sustainability.

The trouble is knowing how to stay up to date.

ADMA’s Data Day has long been the prime example of picking the brains of local and international experts.

This year follows that ethos, and builds upon it, as they welcome an outstanding lineup of speakers from brands that have found innovative ways to make the modern day challenges of data work for you.

Over 16 sessions, 11 insightful leaders will share the most contemporary applications of data and its convergence with technology and marketing to deliver business outcomes. If you want to improve customer experience, learn how to use data to kick business goals and prepare for the future, check out ADMA’s Data Day 2018.

In the meantime, get a glimpse of some of the leading experts from the conference.


Liz Moore, Director of Research, Insights and Analytics – Telstra:

What is the most exciting development Telstra has worked on in 2017 regarding analytics?

For Telstra this year it has been about machine learning for marketing. We rebuilt our Market Mix Model (MMM) using machine learning techniques – this has allowed us to extend our detailed understanding of channel performance completely “through the line”. We now know the impact of every dollar that we have spent by channel, by segment, by campaign – at both a total level and at a marginal level. This allows us to make fine and detailed adjustments to our marketing spend to drive the right outcome. The model has allowed us to drive experimentation through every channel in marketing not just 1 to 1 channels. For us, it’s exciting because it allows us to take that disciplined approach to optimising what we are doing from direct channels and apply this capability in mass market channels, as MMM gives us the measurement tool to know whether the experiment is working. This work is applying artificial intelligence in a way that delivers very practical outcomes for us marketers.


What processes help Telstra extract and utilise the data to derive value for its customers?

Everything we do starts with our customers. And that’s how we provide the right experience for them. You start with your customer and look to optimise the customer experience around our products and services, you then start to think about what is the data and analytics that you need to make the decisions to drive the right customer outcome. What is really important to us is to understand how customers are using and buying our products, as well as the decisions that the customers are making along the journey, and then to identify what data and analytics we need to help support a great customer journey. So it is really about starting with the customers and then working back, rather than starting with the data.


Having worked in banking, communications and research, did you observe specific industry-related needs to develop best approaches to utilise data?

The industries I’ve worked in are predominantly service industries. They will inherently generate data through the way customers use and buy the products. There are similarities and differences. From a telecommunications perspective, I’m working with different types of data, because the industry has different products compared to banking and finance. I think what is interesting for me personally, and why I love telecommunications and technology, is that people love their technology and what it brings to them. People are waking up with their phones beside their bed, they’re not waking up with their mortgage beside their bed. You’re not necessarily excited about your mortgage. Whereas the technology that is enabling people to do lots of different things also enables innovation within the financial services. One of the big differences that I saw when I made the switch from financial services to telecoms is the real excitement that you get when you talk to customers about their telco and technology products.


What is your approach to the relationship between a business problem and data and analytics?

My approach is to be really clear about the problem we’re trying to solve, starting with what we are trying to achieve from a business perspective, then looking at the problem through the customer lens, and then identifying what analytics and data would be needed to help solve the problem. Our first port of call is to always look at the existing assets. Can we answer the problem by using the existing frameworks and models in our kit bag? If not, it’s then that we would look to build out new data and analytic assets. There’s always a vendor with a new technique or a new way of doing something or new kit which is interesting – but unless you’re grounded in helping to drive the business forward, then it’s very easy to spend money and time on interesting techniques which don’t add much value to the business.


Where do you see the biggest challenges and opportunities for Australian businesses related to the use of data and analytics for 2018?

For me, I think it is what I had just said about too much data. It can be seductive and easy to run off and buy cool kits and interesting techniques and different things that have been offered to you or arranged from different vendors. I would recommend having a data and analytics strategy which is aligned and focused on the business problems you are trying to solve, the customer experiences you are wanting to deliver and drive this back to that analytic strategy, and therefore the data strategy.


Kshira Saagar, Head of Analytics and Data Sciences – THE ICONIC

How has THE ICONIC leveraged internal systems to ensure a competitive edge?

At THE ICONIC, every aspect of decision making is tied strongly to the fundamentals of data-driven insights derived from analysing data generated from all our internal systems. This, in turn, ensures that the internal systems and data generated by these systems are inherently kept credible, clean and accurately functioning.

In simple terms, better maintenance and management of our internal systems helps us get more credible data from them to understand and analyse our business, which in turn leads to valuing the use of these internal systems – and, finally, which eventually leads us to invest more in maintaining and managing our internal systems. This is best described as a flywheel or a virtuous cycle. A virtuous perpetual cycle powered by the simple need to use data from our internal systems to make decisions.


What has been the most exciting development THE ICONIC has worked on in 2017 regarding analytics?

Apart from quite a few interesting algorithms and new age data pipelines, the most exciting development for Team Analytics at THE ICONIC has been the redefinition of what a member of this team does and is expected to do – bringing together people of various skillsets and mindsets from across teams into a common denomination of a full stack data person. Ensuring that new members of the team can perform effectively across the three-pronged front of data engineering, data science and decision sciences was the first big step. The second and other further steps involved upskilling our existing team members and enabling them to realistically play in this full stack realm.


Having worked across varying industries, including media, what do you find is a consistent misunderstanding when management are approaching data?

The one amazing thing about working for THE ICONIC is that none of the management or executive team have any misgivings about what is possible and feasible through data-driven decision making. However a few of the previous organisations that I consulted for and worked with unfortunately had the “analytics is storytelling through data” approach which fundamentally undermines the concept that analytics is not about telling stories using data but rather finding facts to better inform decisions.

Employing the storytelling approach results in the analysts and data science practitioners yielding to emotion rather than facts. The whole analytical function becomes an arithmetical/graphical way of validating the management’s emotions and feelings rather than serving as reality checks and rear-view mirrors that truly reflect the actual performance and understanding true root causes for issues.


What suggestions can you offer Australian brands who are only now investing in a deeper level of understanding around their data and analytics?

One crucial suggestion for companies investing in going deeper would be to set up a less fragmented and more cohesive foundation for their data and analytics teams. That involves thinking about the data and analytics team as a horizontal, and not like a vertical tied to individual departments. Think of Data and Analytics as you would think of your Finance or Human Resources team – horizontal for the whole company.

Rather than having a separate Marketing Analytics department that churns out amazing insights into customer behaviour and another separate Product Analytics department that in turn generate their own deeper insights running counter to the aforementioned first team, which is quite consuming in terms of time and energy, it pays to have all the Analysts and Data Scientists under one common umbrella but still deputed to work for individual teams. This is where cross functional thinking plays a big role and can not only unify data initiatives but also help in scaling them efficiently.


What are some of the best takeaways you hope attendees at ADMA’s Data Day 2018 will get out of the conference?

With the data and analytics landscape changing at a never-before-seen pace, it would be very interesting to learn from the leading industry practitioners both from Australia and abroad on how they tackle and have planned to solve the future data problems – problems of scale, problems of speed and problems of socialising the outputs at the same scale and speed. These are things I look forward to learning and sharing from ADMA Data Day 2018.


Wendy Walker, Head of Marketing – Intuit

What is the most exciting development Intuit has worked on in 2017 regarding analytics?

At Intuit, we are relentlessly experimenting with the use of data and technology to continually shape and transform both the global and Australian small business sector as well as our organisation. Over the years we have seen some incredible innovations realised and no doubt we will witness more over the coming years.

One internal example currently in beta in the US is QB Assistant, an AI-powered voice assistant that helps customers find answers about their finances in a fast and natural way – literally ask your questions using speech (or text) and get answers and insights immediately. You can ask it “how am I doing this month” or “how much did I make this month compared to last month.” QB Assistant will understand the context and provide the answer you are looking for.


How does Intuit integrate and utilise data to drive improvement in customer service and product offering for their customers?

Customer feedback and data is how we innovate. We spend a lot of time talking with small businesses and accountants in their homes or offices through our regular “Follow me Home” and “Follow me to the Office” visits. We use these visits to understand their business challenges and gain valuable insights on how we can help. Also, we share their feedback with our product development team so we can continually enhance our products and support them.

As well as the “Follow Me Home” visits we have developed innovation approaches that ensure our work is focused on solving our customers’ biggest pain points. These include “Customer-Driven Innovation” (CDI), the intersection of finding an important unsolved customer problem that we (and those that we enable) can solve well and building durable, competitive advantage, as well as “Design For Delight” (D4D), Intuit’s design philosophy that prioritises deep customer empathy and rapid experimentation.


You carry 20 years of experience across different businesses and wearing a multitude of “hats”; how do you find the use of data and analytics as an asset changes across industries, and why?

It not a matter of how data and analytics changes across industries, it’s more about how organisations in various industries extract, understand and ultimately use the data.

Over time I have seen great companies fail to grow and flourish by not utilising data or analytics to anticipate and deliver solutions for customers’ unmet needs. On the other hand, in the past 10 years I have witnessed some incredible innovation stories from organisations that have invested, listened and transformed their customer solutions. For example, Amazon has reinvented itself in a variety of ways, from creating the Kindle to four-hour delivery with customer benefits that are unmatched in e-commerce.


What are some negative trends in leveraging internal systems that you have observed repeatedly across industries and that are toxic for businesses?

The most toxic tendency for any organisation right now is not a system as such, but rather the culture they choose to adopt. Successful businesses are agile or quick to respond to change. In fact, the ability to make smart decisions fast can be more important to growth than techniques or business practices that have “always” worked in the past.

Intuit is a great example – we have grown and thrived for over 30 years by constantly transforming and reinventing ourselves. Since we started, we have never stopped disrupting ourselves, re-imagining and recreating our core products for a changing world. This constructive dissatisfaction has allowed us to transform from DOS to the web, to mobile, to the cloud – and fend off wave after wave of competitors.

How does the impact of data and analytics affect the strategy and operations of a corporate with global objectives?

At Intuit, our innovation practices are always in service to our customers and to our mission of improving their financial lives no matter what market we are in. Everything we do starts with deep customer empathy – the practice of immersing ourselves in their lives so we can understand their pain points.

Simultaneously, our employees are continuously tracking emerging technological trends with the goal to find the right data and implement the right technology, at the right time, to solve our customers’ real-life problems. Our innovation sweet spot comes when we use cutting edge technologies to transform difficult, high-stakes problems into simple solutions.


This one-day program includes 4 top international leaders and 16 sessions across data and analytics, technology, customer experience, and marketing strategy. Early bird rates now available; book your tickets today to save $100 on standard rates and secure your seats to what promises to be the data-driven event of 2018.




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