Ahead of his presentation at the Big Data Innovation Summit in London on March 30 & 31st, we spoke to Ryan den Rooijen, Global Capabilities Lead, Insights & Analytics at Google.
Ryan is Google’s Capabilities Lead for Insights and Analytics. His role involves understanding the strategic questions of Google’s largest advertising clients, and identifying ways that Google can better answer them using its unique understanding of consumer intentions. Among other projects, he led the development of the global skills curriculum for Google’s sales analysts, and helped codify Google’s approach to insights. On the client side, he has worked with the leading brands in Tech, CPG/FMCG, Finance, and Auto, providing advice and inspiration.
What challenges do you think the industry has in its use of big data?
While there are technical challenges in managing large volumes of data, most issues I have observed relate to how to make this data useful. This does not just mean knowing which analyses to perform, but being able to apply the outcomes in a way that drives a meaningful business impact.
How do you think the use of big data has changed over the past 5 years?
As the field is maturing, a lot of the discussions around big data have started to focus on practice as opposed to potential. This makes it easier for companies to embrace it as a business priority with clear goals, especially as more examples are appearing of how big data can deliver credible value.
Do you think an understanding of big data is now a prerequisite to a successful marketing career?
While I don't feel big data per se is a prerequisite, I would argue that analytical thinking certainly is. Whether you work in product development, account planning, creative production, etc. data is in some form impacting your role. Being comfortable with these changes is relevant for any career.
How do you see the use of big data changing in the next 5 years?
Machine learning is going to play an increasingly important role. We are only just starting to see some of the transformational impact in this field, as with Google Translate. At the same time, I can see society as a whole becoming more familiar with the idea of data and analytics, as they see the benefits of more connected devices making their lives easier.
You can catch Ryan's presentation at the Big Data Innovation Summit in London on March 30 & 31.