NEWS24 February 2012

New analytics association aims to ‘elevate the conversation’

News North America Technology

US— A new industry association is aiming to “elevate the conversation” on how businesses uses data analytics to make money.

The Analytics Research Organization (ARO, pronounced ‘arrow’) was launched this week by Joel Rubinson, former chief research officer of the Advertising Research Foundation, and Judah Phillips, who has worked as an analytics director at recruitment website Monster and academic publisher Reed Elsevier.

Phillips and Rubinson believe that companies and trade bodies have taken a “siloed” approach to the data they deal with, and have not focused enough on the big picture of what data analytics means for global commerce. The aim of ARO is to “light a path for insights to be used regardless of source”, they said.

The organisation will be “laser-focused” on applying analytics and research to business problems, said Phillips. “It’s focused on revenue and profit and value creation,” he told Research, “not clickthrough and tags and Javascript. Those are all critically necessary but insufficient. It’s about data science but it’s also about data art, and more importantly it’s about data business.”

Rubinson said he wants to “revolutionise the insights function by showing it how to harness these incredibly rich sources of insight”.

The pair have set up a website and will be publishing a free newsletter as the starting point for what they hope will grow into a broad virtual community of practitioners and users of data analytics. One of ARO’s inspirations is Bleacher Report, a sports website set up in 2008 that has become a serious competitor to established sites by publishing content from thousands of paid and unpaid contributors and fostering a strong online community of fans.

They aim to use crowdsourcing to decide on ARO’s priorities and activities, by putting a call out to the community asking what they would like to see happen.

Phillips, who previously set up the networking event Digital Analytics Thursdays, said: “Whatever sector uses data analytics to compete, ARO wants those people to come and have conversations about how we do this.”

Rubinson said he wants the organisation to appeal to “marketing research experts, digital analytics experts, frequent shopper database experts… you might even have experts in Sabermetrics which have revolutionised baseball – I’d love to have those guys as part of this.”


1 Comment

10 years ago

Revolution through technology? Sounds familiar to everything from GM food to nuclear power. They may be right - ARF has been on the forefront. I'm more skeptical by nature and experience (what happened to Segway's "green revolution"?) Is it the information source or the thinking applied to it? The SABR folks started with relatively simple analysis and no special data. But they applied a desire to see contrarian insights. They feel like a story of creativity and thinking instead of data. In fact the only new data they brought to the table has been defensive stats. It's a relatively new concept and, I think, having trouble getting the same impact as the on-base percentage (which used old data with a new spin.) Is the answer getting new data? Is it doing different things with the data? Or is it more about different ways that insight professionals work with businesses?

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