September 30, 2015 ben salmon

The MTA Beautiful Data Party

What is beautiful data?

Returning from summer we put the beach towels back in the cupboard, and prepared for the inaugural Marketing Technology Association, MTA, event: our Late Summer Party! The theme? Beautiful Data.


The MTA event

Hosted in the rather swish workspace WeWork (a short walk from Liverpool Street Station in London) we assembled over 100 senior marketers, technologists, and everyone in between. In conversation it was clear that all were hungry to discuss and learn more about this emerging space. We got to know each other over a few drinks before a few words from Dan Kirby, one of the MTA founders. Dan gave some background context to the launch of the association, explaining that we are at the start of a ‘third industrial revolution’, where digital disruption is getting faster and faster every day. The MTA was founded to bring together diverse groups of people to help each other understand how to better deal with this brave new world.

We had a line up of three experts, each given only 10 minutes to give us their take on the biggest of big issues: big data.

Mark Lindsay, Experian Marketing Services

Mark kicked off in style, challenging the audience: data is beautiful, so why not use it? In a fascinating discussion on personalisation, Mark gave us a great statistical insight: 80% of customers think personalisation is neither ‘creepy’ or ‘cool’. His takeaway from this? That you should be brave in how you use personalisation, as long as you focus on what’s in it for the customer.


Hem Patel, Signal Noise

Our second speaker, Hem Patel, guided us through a structured approach to data, so we could better design information, based on how people prefer to consume it. His company creates new ways of seeing data in order to provide greater understanding – and indeed empathy with – raw numbers. He explained how interactive data that people can delve into, based on their preferences, is far more engaging than – now ubiquitous – infographics.

Ben Salmon, Attributely

BeautifulData-10Our third and final speaker – MTA co-founder Ben Salmon, brought the crowd to their feet (literally, he made everyone stand up), before giving us a highly personal and often hilarious view of data. His issue is that there’s too much data out there, so we need to really concentrate on how to make it useful. With a call for us to focus primarily on the appropriate use of data, he showed his frustration with the Sky web site – which would not respond to the browsing data he was giving them. He showed a case study where he helped increase conversion rates on the VW home page by 200% by using simple contextual personalisation techniques (ie the site would remember which option you had previously expressed an interest in).

Next event

We were pleased that everyone had such a great time, learning new things with passionate and spirited new colleagues. Many people said they couldn’t wait for the next event…neither can we! If you aren’t already signed up to the Marketing Technology Association click here.

Our next event is on 25th November find out more here

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