The Nashville Technology Council hosted its 7th Annual Analytics Summit on September 9th and 10th at the Omni Hotel in downtown Nashville. Hundreds of attendees throughout the state look forward to this yearly event where they hear from experts sharing valuable content and insights focused on data. Attendees walk away with knowledge, tools, and useful skills to apply. Presenters come from companies like Amazon Web Services, CCG and Snowflake to name a few. Before I dive into my key takeaways from the Summit, let's define data.

What is data? Merriam-Webster defines data as factual information (such as measurements or statistics) used as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation. Analytics is defined as information resulting from the systematic analysis of data or statistics.

At Data Driven Design DATA is what we do. We can't do our job without diving into data to develop and design a website. Digital marketing does not happen without data. Our opinions don't matter when it comes to your website or business. The data drives the project, and we use the data to drive results.

Takeaway #1
Data is deep and can be confusing. It can also be boring. As a marketer and creative person, discussing euclidian distances and understanding dendrograms isn't necessarily my cup of tea. However, very important when looking at customer behavioral data and purchase data.

Takeaway #2
If you are not a data scientist, data analyst, or developer, it's challenging to carry on a conversation about Python and R. Honestly, at first, I felt out of place surrounded by these data nerds (I say that with the utmost respect); however, I was intrigued by their knowledge and how they use data to leverage results and deliver (like we do, except they use fancy code and mathematics). One of the first sessions I attended was How to Predict Personality Types from Digital Footprints. I learned how companies like Facebook are using psychometrics to understand what type of person you are, predict your age and your personality type so that they can present content in your news feed based on the data. Moreover, they got into the algorithms to come up with the data which seriously blew my mind!

Takeaway #3
Data is THE most critical aspect of any business. Whether it's a large corporation or small business, information obtained is the data that supports strategy, decision making, and daily operations. Think about customer data, transactional data, product data, and social media data. Information that is crucial to know and learn. Also, this data isn't just for the senior-level executives. To drive the business and reach the business objectives, everyone in the company needs to understand the goals and get insight into the data.

Overall, I was happy that I attended the Summit. I made some excellent connections and learned a lot. Shoutout to Jay Roy and Rachel Winfree Consulting on their presentations. Jay Roy's presentation on Leveraging Customer Data was insightful, and I learned that analytics is more than using R. Analytics is about solving your business/customer problems first and then using technology much later. Rachel Winfree Consulting did a great job explaining the importance of SMART goals and measuring relevant KPI's to drive data projects.

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