With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.
Visit our Blogs & News portal or check out our recent posts below.
Harriet joined Harnham in 2017 as a recent graduate. Harriet now specialises in Digital Analytics, within a team who have helped a number of high profile companies build out their conversion rate optimisation, digital analytics and digital media functions all over the UK.
With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.
Visit our Blogs & News portal or check out our recent posts below.
The Web Analytics world is evolving. What used to require an understanding of Google Analytics, some tag management and visualisation for presentation purposes has grown into something much more. Whereas Web Analysts may have once been lone players in a Marketing team, they’re now expected to sit as part of, and feed into, an enterprise’s Insight team. This exposure to more comprehensive forms of Data Analysis has led many Web Analysts to explore what the next step in their career could be. Namely, should they move into a Data Science position? For those who are looking to make this move, here are some considerations: Technicalities and Technologies Digital Analytics are not excluded from the debate over what it means to be a Data Scientist, especially given that some with a Data Scientist job title may in fact be Web Analysts, and vice versa. Many Web Analysts are now working with a number of Data Science tools, including SQL, Python, and R. By using these alongside Google or Adobe Analytics, they are able to form a comprehensive view of the customer, using different types of Data, in different forms, from different sources. However, there remains a gap between the use of these tools and actually working within Data Science. The most logical leap for a Web Analyst to make is to a Customer Insight or Digital Insight role. This type of role would still involve the analysis of online Data, but would likely be paired with building models, Predictive Analysis, reviewing customer LTV and creating a picture of customer online, offline and post-purchase behaviour to enable better targeting and retargeting. However, the knowledge gap between Web Analytics and Data Science may be more significant than one would anticipate. Your Current Position As a Web Analyst, you may well sit within a larger Data, Digital or Customer/Marketing Analytics department. Your exposure to these experts is one of the best assets you have available. Use the environment you are in to learn, upskill and gain hands-on experience. Knowledge of the necessary tools and languages is unlikely to be enough to lead to a move into Data Science and by getting hands-on commercial experience, you drastically increase your chances of success. If you are able to expand on the tech that you have already used, take advantage of this. Even if this is just in a consulting capacity, your ability to demonstrate a real-world application of your knowledge makes you significantly more appealing as a candidate. Plus, your knowledge of, and approach to, Web Analytics may actually work to your advantage when it comes to assessing Data quality. Consultancies and agencies often provide the best training opportunities and are more likely to allow you the opportunities to hone new skills. If you are fortunate enough to work in an environment like this, make the most of it. Attitude Is Everything It may sound like a cliché, but Hiring Managers are on the lookout for people that they know will benefit their business and attitude plays a huge part in this. Do not underestimate the importance that is placed on cultural fit during an interview process. Whether you are looking to make a move internally or externally, you should demonstrate your intrigue and willingness to learn. If you already have a strong record of progression within your current career, this will benefit you moving forward. When it comes to preparing, take time to dive into the world of Data Science, attend events and meet-ups, and continue to widen your remit. If you don’t have exposure to Data Science at work then you will also need to be learning SQL, Python and R at home to ensure you have a firm understanding of all the relevant technologies. Whatever role you are looking for, the worst thing you can do is not apply. One of the most common mistakes we see is analysts not applying to an opportunity because they would need to develop in some areas once in the role. If you are able to demonstrate the above attributes many enterprises, particularly agencies and consultancies, may still be willing to take you on. And, if you’re not looking to make a move, don’t panic; Web Analytics skillsets remain highly sought-after and valuable. Whether you’re looking for a new career in Data Science or your next role in Web Analytics, we may have a job for you. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more.
05. September 2019
As customers, we are now looking for more and more personalisation in our shopping experiences. We expect recommendations suited to our tastes and budgets, as well as a seamless customer journey. However, this has come at the cost of the more traditional shopping trip. The retail industry, long leading the way in utilising data and insights to provide unique, tailored online experiences, has left their own bricks and mortar high street stores at risk of redundancy. Now that AI is entering the Customer Journey, there is more necessity than ever for these outlets to evolve how they operate and apply the tools they have available to develop their stores, advancing their back office processes and in-store experiences. Having initially been applied to just the customer journey, digital analytics are now being used to help shape every touch point throughout the sales process. From the design of the store, to sales predictions, through to product conception and final purchase. Evolving The Experience As retail executives have begun to take a closer look at their own operations, it has become clear that they need to go beyond just having enough staff during their busy seasons. With many of us now using our phones to make online price comparisons whilst in-store, the entire experience needs to change. This has facilitated a move from predictive analytics to prescriptive analytics, with data analysis being used to optimise store operations, set pricing models, and dictate the future of the high street store. Minding The Store If you’ve ever been to a busy store with more customers than cashiers, you’ll understand one of the major challenges retail businesses face. Compared to the few clicks required for us to search for, purchase, and ship an eCommerce order, having to stand in a length queue seems like a lot of effort, even for us British. It’s here where in-store analytics shine. Store owners can manage operations by optimising the number of staff required based on historical data and various scenarios gleaned from the data. Above and beyond traffic numbers, retailers can ultilise other trends and data to go one step further; weather predictions, location intelligence, peak hours and product availability provide them with the opportunity to precision manage their operations and maximise profit margin. Beyond Customer Data Against big online retailers, such as Amazon, one of the biggest challenges has been pricing. A survey from Vista found that 81% of the British public still see the high-street store as ‘vital to the shopping experience’ and so, to maintain this level of necessity against falling online prices, shops must continue to evolve. Some leading outlets are already using new technologies to enhance the in-store experience by introducing Augmented Reality (AR) into their stores. Both Topshop and Gap have installed AR mirrors into certain outlets. Looking into these would allow you to see how the clothes you are trying on may look in different colours and styles, whilst Specsavers have an in-store app that lets you asses the best shape and size glasses for your face shape. Whilst such schemes are still in their early stages, they could be the answer for ensuring that the high-street store remains an essential part of the shopping experience. A Guiding Hand Retail businesses are now looking for a guiding hand to support them in calculating gathered data, as well as to make recommendations for future innovation. If you're looking for a permanent or contract Data & Analytics position within retail, we may have a role for you. Check out our current vacancies here. Alternatively, you can call us at +44 20 8408 6070, or email us at email@example.com.
18. July 2018
Nielsen has today launched a new tool that combines credit-card purchase data with online behavioral data to help advertisers target people based on their buying habits. The ‘Nielsen Buyer Insights – Precision Marketing’ tool has so far signed four digital analytics advertising platforms as clients, who in turn will offer this data to their clients to enable buyer-segmented audience targeting, ranging from category level to heavy buyers of a single merchant. “We see this as a huge step for digital analytics precision marketing,” said Nada Bradbury, Nielsen’s senior vice president of global media products. “Clients can see syndicated data exposing the reach and frequency of their ads layered with actual consumer shopping behavior.” Credit card purchase data is derived from Nielsen’s own panel, and is anonymized and privacy-protected, the company said. Specific Media is one of the first Precision Marketing customers. Jill Botway, president of global sales and marketing, said: “Connecting with consumers is increasingly more complicated; yet, with new technologies that allow us to create a link between offline and online by harnessing insights from aggregated data, retailers can build direct connections with consumers to deliver messages and offers that will resonate.” Click here for the article on the web.
05. January 2015
Forrester report shows PayPal, Google Wallet Contribute to Digital analytics Payment Evolution - Merchants have a growing set of payment options that do not adhere to the traditional interchange or processing fee model.Digital analytics disruptors are at work in the payments arena, removing friction along the path to the moment of payment and creating products and services that are stirring up a transformation in the consumer payments industry, according to a report from Forrester Research.The study noted merchants and consumers will wield their influence in picking winners and losers as the array of alternative payment options becomes more abundant, more accessible and begin to deliver greater value and ease to the commerce experience, as evidenced by MasterCard's new fee structure for “staged” digital analytics wallet providers such as Google Wallet, PayPal and Square. Under this structure, the merchant of record and other transaction details are masked from others downstream in the transaction flow."As the digital analytics wallet wars continue in 2013, leading competitors will drive adoption by integrating capabilities that remove friction and transform the payments and commerce experience in contextually relevant ways," Denée Carrington, a senior analyst with Forrester, wrote in a blog post. "2013 will be a pivotal year in consumer payments. It will be marked by an increase in digital analytics disruption by nimble, tech-savvy competitors. Payments incumbents will leverage their market power to battle disruptors."While the report said traditional economic models will not disappear overnight, it would be a mistake for payment incumbents to dismiss the growing number of unique pricing schemes and the disruptors who are moving aggressively to gain a foothold in a rapidly expanding, but still nascent, market.As trends in digital analytics payments evolve, merchants can expect to see a growing set of payment options that do not adhere to the traditional interchange or processing fee model, and as merchants adopt these new payment methods, their expectations will reset and they will expect lower costs and greater value from incumbent payment service providers."Disruptors are creating better, lower-cost alternative products and services that deliver more value and meet broad-based payment needs," Carrington said. "Services that enable quick and easy conversion of cash for digital analytics payments or prepaid products with rich features and capabilities formerly reserved for traditional bank products will appeal to underserved consumers but also other segments (e.g., younger consumers) and directly compete with checking accounts and debit cards."Mobile-payment transactions are expected to rise nearly fourfold over the next five years, exceeding $1.3 trillion, according to an August 2012 report from Juniper Research. The research company expects sales using remote purchasing and near-field communication (NFC) technologies to be the primary drivers of the growth. Encouraged by the increased engagement of the wireless carriers and increasingly widespread rollout of NFC infrastructures, by 2017 these two types of transactions are expected to account for 54 percent of the total value of the mobile payments market. Click here for the article on the web.
24. April 2013
Tim Waterstone: 'If reading is going be all digital analytics in 50 years, so be it' - Thirty years ago, Tim Waterstone founded one of the UK's best-known booksellers, and is still in love with the idea of bookshops. So what is he doing starting a new ebooks venture? "Anyone who tells you they know the future is telling you the most grotesque lie" … Tim Waterstone Tim Waterstone's house in Holland Park, west London, sits on the edge of a small cluster of book-industry landmarks. Round the corner is the HQ of Granta, the publisher and literary quarterly. Just as close is a sumptuous branch of Daunt Books, the six-shop bookselling company owned by James Daunt, now also managing director of the chain Waterstone founded in 1982, these days owned by the Russian tycoon Alexander Mamut. The nearest Waterstones is a 10-minute walk away in Notting Hill, an outlet its former owner would occasionally visit when it was managed by HMV – and, as he saw it, going to the dogs, at speed. In an imaginary movie of his life, you can picture the scene: the principal character stealing a look at his life's work and wondering what on earth had happened. "What I hated, to the point that I couldn't sleep at night, was that I thought it was being badly run, and going backwards," he tells me, while shooing off one of his cats. "It was just agony to me. I felt HMV were screwing it up, and I couldn't stand it. Every time I walked to the tube station, past that shop, I could hardly bear to look in the window." He felt it had drifted too far from the simple business of selling books. Waterstone – a calm, candid presence, some distance from anyone's idea of a big retail player – will soon turn 74. After three unsuccessful attempts to buy back the chain that bears his name, he assisted in its latest change of hands, and though his involvement now extends to little more than the occasional lunch, he says he is confident that it's back "in proper ownership, with a very, very good business plan". Mamut, with whom he has worked on a bookselling venture in Moscow, is "a very cultured, literary figure. Most unusually for a Russian oligarch, I must say." He laughs. "But genuinely so." Waterstone can now concentrate on his fiction writing: two short novels are on the way, following four already published. (Of these, In for a Penny, In for a Pound, which drew on his experiences in the corporate world, got the most attention.) Then there is his life as a venture capitalist, which has led him to invest in wholefood shops, magazine publishing and cosmetics. He is also about to return to bookselling as non-executive chairman of a new venture called Read Petite. This will be launched to the trade at next week's London Book Fair, and to the public in the autumn. An online outlet for short-form ebooks (fiction and non-fiction), its users will pay a monthly subscription – "a few pounds" – and have unlimited access to texts of around 9,000 words or under. But this is no literary Spotify, offering hundreds of thousands of items with little quality control: Waterstone is insistent the service will be "curated" to ensure a high standard. Authors will have appeared in traditional print, and have been brought to Read Petite by a publisher. "The individual short story, or whatever it is, may not have been published, but the author will be an established, published writer," he says, drumming his fingers on the table to emphasis those last three words. "The whole point is to avoid a slush-pile of material. What we'll guarantee is quality writing." Read Petite's name was inspired by Reet Petite, Jackie Wilson's 1957 rhythm and blues classic. One of its key players, former Bookseller editor Neill Denny, has come along to further explain what it is all about. The pair are particularly excited about the chance to serialize new fiction à la Charles Dickens, reintroducing readers to the long-forgotten art of the cliffhanger. They enthuse about how e-readers seem to have increased people's appetite for short-form writing. In the US, the New York Times has reported on a resurgence of the short story, benefiting new and established writers. We talk about such short-story masters as Somerset Maugham, Stephen King and Annie Proulx, and why the publishing industry has never quite managed to market the form. "A lot of the best short fiction has never been properly exposed, because publishers don't find it commercially comfortable," says Waterstone. His bookselling business did have success with Graham Greene's short stories, but such successes were rare. "Even with a collection, how do you package it? It's difficult in print: traditionally, money was used up on production and distribution, and not enough was left for promotion. In the digital analytics world, production costs are virtually nil, and distribution costs don't exist, so you're left with a much cleaner sheet." They plan to publish journalism, too. By the sound of it, they have not quite firmed up how deals with writers will work, but as Waterstone puts it, "if the site works, if the total subscriptions are high enough, it should leave a decent sum". Time, then, for a rude question. How much is Waterstone in for? "Personally?" Yes. "That's too rude for me to answer," he says, smiling. It comes as no great surprise that Waterstone owns a Kindle. The last book he read on it, recently, was David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas. When he first used one, though, he felt a sharp pang of fear. "I think I went through a crisis: [was it] the end of Waterstone's, and the end of the book trade? I was incredibly depressed. I pretended I wasn't, but inside I was churning: 'Maybe I should die now.'" He laughs. He now thinks that, for the time being, ebooks and print can coexist. Nonetheless, the high streets on which so many shops still bear his name are in unprecedented crisis. For the moment, Waterstones (it lost its apostrophe in 2012, apparently to make online business easier) may be safe, but plenty of equally renowned names have gone under, and the future of the town and city center is clouded in doubt. Talking about this, Waterstone sounds by turn ambivalent, uneasy and open about the idea that no one knows where things are headed – but also somewhat optimistic. Town-center rents, he explains, are finally coming down. His own chain is getting back to the idea that the shops "should be a theater. It should be a lovely place to be on a Sunday afternoon. The physical browsing process is enormously pleasant. It's an important part of our national culture, those bookshops." A pause. "But the arithmetic does get more and more difficult, and online retailing gets more and more seductive. And all of us get more and more used to it, from grocery supply to buying books off Amazon. Yet I go to the Westfield shopping center down the road, and it's turned out to be an absolute goldmine, heaving with people all year round. Anyone who tells you they know the future is telling you the most grotesque lie, because none of us do." Among the high street's casualties, of course, is HMV, which bought Waterstone's from WH Smith (who had acquired it in 1993), at the end of the 1990s. Waterstone himself was HMV's chairman from then until 2001, and it was during that period that his nightmare began. So how did he feel watching HMV go under? "I brought Waterstone's into HMV in 1998," he reminds me. "HMV stores at that time were extraordinarily successful, and very well run. I used them a lot: I thought they were a tremendous public service. I think some terrible decisions were made by the HMV management in the following decade. They blinded themselves to what was happening. Too slow to react, too slow to face the truth. The issue of downloading – they were always reactive rather than proactive in trying to find a way through. They should have led. I'm sad, really sad, as a consumer. But I've got children of 18 and 19, and they've got no interest in HMV whatsoever. All their music is downloaded. The switch has been so precipitate in that market." Bookselling remains more balanced. Amazon – about which Waterstone has mixed opinions, recognizing their role in growing UK book sales, but decrying their "absolutely outrageous" tax manoeuvring – claims to be selling more ebooks than printed titles. As a whole, though, the market is still dominated by print: at the last count, ebooks made up 9% of the total. While the number of e-reader users grew by 150% through 2012, that rate of growth is predicted to slow. In other words, the digital analytics reading revolution goes on – but more gradually than you might imagine. "Robert McCrum, former literary editor of the Observer, rang me about a year ago," Waterstone recalls. "He said, 'Tim, I'm doing yet another piece on "Whither the book?" For God's sake give me something new.' I said, 'I've done this so often.' He said, 'Well, have a go.' While I was talking, I walked to the other side of the house, where my daughter's bedroom is. She's 19, at Oxford, reading English. I walked in, and I could hardly move for books. And she couldn't be more technically savvy … so I rang her and asked, 'Why have you got so many physical books?' She said, 'I like having a Biro in my hand, scribbling notes down the side.' So I see the two forms sitting side by side." But what if people only have a finite book budget? If they spend x pounds on ebooks, won't that mean x pounds not spent at a traditional shop? And in that sense, might even new ventures such as his contribute to the eventual demise of a lot of what he holds dear? "That's behaviorally too complex a question, because none of us really know what happens," reckons Waterstone. "I am certain that if more people acquire the habit of reading, the more they'll stick with it and the more they'll read. And if that's going be entirely digital analytics in 50 years time, so be it. "They'll be reading," he says, glancing at two shelves of novels behind him. "And that's a great thing." Click here for the article on the web.
24. April 2013