Lessons from MeasureCamp Amsterdam 2018

This years MeasureCamp Amsterdam was my eight one, and it was one of the best I attended. If you’re unfamiliar with a MeasureCamp: it’s a conference where people who work in digital analytics come together to share ideas. So in that spirit: Here are a few of the things I scribbled in my notebook.

Website testing and evolution

It was nice to see the philosophy behind Sentient Ascends framework. They run extensive tests on website interfaces with an evolutionary AI. That means that you tell the systems which elements you want to test, and then they run all sorts of combinations to find the one that works best.

They sometimes test thousands of variations and let the AI determine which elements to combine. Each run is what they call a generation, and it takes four generations to find a significant improvement. I found it very interesting that they bring back losing attributes from time to time, to see if they work in a combination. It is evolutionary.

What I learned about reporting by driving home one guys wife.

This story opened up my eyes to a mistake I make all the time: Let’s say that my boss asks me to pick up his wife from the airport and drive her home. When we’re on our way back he calls and he asks me: “how is it going?”.

Would he be happy to hear that I’m driving 130 kilometres an hour, in southern direction, while listening to Studio Brussels which is playing Metallica? No, what he wants to know is when his wife will be home.

So why do we constantly report on metrics that don’t matter and take away time from metrics that do? Even if it’s monthly reporting: focus on showing the evolution of customer acquisition cost, time and numbers. That’s all that matters.

The perfect dashboard

Turns out perfect is a funny acronym that helps you build good dashboards. This is a quicky:

  • People: Talk to the end-users
  • Empathy: What can you do to make them better, what do they need?
  • Relevance: Not everything that can be counted, counts
  • Format: How will this dashboard be used?
  • Elegance: Show things that can be understood in 2, 20 and 200 seconds. In that order.
  • Context: What do these numbers and graphs mean?
  • Text & Color: Make it easy to understand and read.

The book club

Geeking out with other business book nerds is a fun thing to do in the sun. Here were the recommendations:

  • How brands grow
  • Mistakes were made, but not by me
  • The signal and the noise
  • Total Competition: Lessons in Strategy from Formula One (that one’s mine)
  • Profit First
  • The Ultimate Sales Machine
  • A billion wicked thoughts
  • Surely you’re joking Mr Feynman

Let me end with a bit of news: MeasureCamp Brussels will be on October 6th 2018. I hope we’ll see you there!

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