The Artist Behind Our Data Science
As “digital” becomes more of a lifestyle for practically everyone around the world, an explosion of data emerges whereby actions and interactions can be mapped to specific behaviors – with a good amount of precision. This has led to the rise of data science, or, in simpler terms, critical business insights that bring clarity to how people interact with the digital world.
Data scientists paint pictures with numbers. Their practice requires a mastery of statistical analysis, data mining, predictive analytics, and machine learning to identify and solve a wide array of marketing challenges. So looking at it from this perspective, it would only make sense to say that Eric Farng brings a certain amount of artistry to his work.
Eric recently joined YP℠ to head up the data science practice on our Mobile Labs team – following successful stints at leading e-commerce and ad tech brands, like Grubhub, Bluefly, Yodle, and Quigo. His academic background is no less impressive, holding degrees in Computer Science, Machine Learning, and Statistics from Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, and Columbia.
Data science is important at YP because it helps local businesses reach, target, engage, and convert potential customers with more granularity and precision. For this reason, we decided to sit down with Eric to see what he had to say about the current state of marketing landscape as well as what he sees coming on the horizon for him as a data scientist. Here are the three key themes that popped up in conversation:
- Marketers Need Data Science
Marketers have been using statistical analysis to bring rigor and confidence to their work for a long time now. The emergence of data science as an area of focus and expertise signals the ongoing need for marketers to prove their hypotheses with greater confidence and precision. Market research, without proper data analytics to support it, has little to no value.
Data science has also introduced a new set of algorithms to the industry. Market segmentation research uses clustering techniques. Supervised machine learning helps predict future trends. Pattern matching techniques can identify specific purchase behaviors. When combined with the large amounts of data we have available to us today, these new algorithms can solve these marketing problems at greater scale and with more relevant business insight.
- The Promise of Mobile
Businesses are still adapting and evolving as more traffic continues to shift from desktop to mobile. And while many businesses have truly harnessed the potential of mobile – by creating responsive, mobile-optimized website – there is still a tremendous amount of room to improve in order for those efforts to create truly effective lead generation opportunities.
Mobile location data via smartphone usage is yet another nascent (but quickly growing) area where marketers are focusing a lot of attention. Because smartphones allow for location tracking, it’s now possible to more accurately identify the correlation between how many people see a specific mobile ad and how many people visit the advertised retailer after seeing that mobile ad. Understanding these causal relationships with more granularity will allow marketers to better anticipate and respond to their potential customers’ wants and needs.
- It All Comes Down to a Good Product
Product is king. It doesn’t matter how much selling you do, how beautiful your website looks, or how deep your marketing budget is – if it’s not all backed by a solid, quality product, then you’ve got very little ground to stand on.
At YP, we’ve been working hard to create industry-leading targeting products and technologies to help marketers reach, engage, and convert potential customers better than ever before. This includes using data to more clearly articulate and optimize for today’s “zigzagging” path to purchase, wherein we see more and more consumers moving between multiple devices and platforms as well as between the real and online worlds as they make purchase decisions.
Are you a data artist? Do you love solving complex marketing problems with numbers and algorithms? Then join our team! Check out our open positions today.