The Digital Analytics Hub continues the successful format of XChange Europe (pioneered by Semphonic's XChange Europe that was produced by Semphonic, AEP Convert and Rising Media in 2012 and 2013) on June 2-4, 2013 in Berlin. Matthias Bettag, one of the organizers, shares some insights about this new event below. Summaries of previous XChange Europe events may be found on my blog here: 2012 and 2013.
Nicolas Malo: Hello Matthias, could you please start by explaining the concept of the Digital Analytics Hub event?
Matthias Bettag : The DA Hub is a peer-to-peer conversational conference designed for enterprise analytics managers, optimisation professionals and data practitioners. It is a unique format that allows top practitioners to exchange experiences and discuss their success, failure and challenges with regards to their analytics projects. Based on the famous X Change conference pioneered by Gary Angel and Semphonic, we were fortunate to attract senior practitioners from companies such as Siemens, Sky, Deutsche Bank, Financial Times, Skype, Walt Disney, ASOS, OTTO, Zalando, Expedia, Google, eBay, Economist, BBC, Dell, Deutsche Telecom and Nokia over the past couple of years.
Delegates pick six 90-minute discussions which they will participate in over two days. There are nine discussions running in parallel and 54 discussions to choose from. Delegates are bound to find many topics of interest. Most discussion groups have 8 to 15 participants taking part. Topics include analytics methods, tag management, marketing and attribution modelling, data integration, customer analytics, analytics management, A/B testing, predictive analytics, conversion optimisation, mobile analytics, social analytics etc.
There are no powerpoint presentations. The conference is all about discovery - sharing experiences, asking questions and learning from each other. Many discussions continue into the various social events we have over the two-day conference.
We also run an extensive training programme on the day before the conference starts. Training classes are run by top notch experts such as Gary Angel, Jacques Warren and Craig Sullivan. Classes will include the Analytics Toolkit (Gary), Running a Conversion Optimisation Programme (Craig), Privacy in Analytics workshop and tool-specific trainings. The full programme will be finalised in the next couple of weeks with the full schedule ready by the start of February.
Nicolas Malo: Who should attend the event?
Matthias Bettag: The conference is designed for experienced practitioners such as 'heads of analytics', 'senior web analysts' and 'optimisation managers'. Junior analysts would stand to gain a lot out of the DA Hub but in most cases are less able to contribute. Whilst we don't set any official experience criteria we recommend analysts have a minimum of 2-3 years of digital analytics or optimisation experience.
We also welcome vendors and consultants. They have an important role to play sharing their knowledge and experience. However, we limit their numbers in order to ensure the conference has a good balance of client-side practitioners to consultants and vendors. We also discourage any overt sales pitches as it really does not fit with the conference spirit.
Nicolas Malo: For those who have previously attended X Change Europe, what will change in the DA Hub and what will stay the same?
Matthias Bettag: The X Change and DA Hub conferences are essentially the same. The spirit and format, location (Berlin), facilities (5* InterContinental Hotel) and social events are the same. Apart from Semphonic, who can no longer run the conference in Europe (due to its acquisition by EY USA), the organising team is identical. That is Rising Media (event organiser), Michael Feiner (AEP Convert) and myself.
We have decided to introduce light touch sponsorship of the social events. The purpose of sponsorship is to subsidise the event costs and to keep delegate fees as low as possible. For example, hotel room rates have increased by 15% since last year. Thanks to sponsorship we are able to subsidise room rates and offer them at the same rate as last year (for delegates reserving their place before May). Sponsorship will not include any content and all discussions will remain independent to maintain the conference's integrity.
We are so pleased that AT Internet have agreed to be our Premier sponsor. Their commitment to the conference and community has been great. Thank you Mathieu and the team! We are about to agree the two remaining sponsors spots in the next couple of weeks.
Nicolas Malo: Who are the confirmed discussion leaders so far?
Matthias Bettag: The updated list is available here: https://digitalanalyticshub.com/berlin2014/discussion-leaders/
Some of our discussion leaders are returning including Gary Angel (EY, USA), Ole Bahlmann (Soundcloud, DE), Alex Emberey (Shopstyle & Popsugar, UK), Tom Betts (Financial Times, UK), Sebastian König (HRS, DE), Tim-Fabien Pohlmann (Spreadshirt, DE), Holger Offermann (Nokia, FI), David Leese (Dell, UK), David William (ASOS, UK).
But we also have some new exciting leaders in Benoit Deutsch (SalesForce, FR), Xavier Colomes (Intuit, UK), Toby Goldblatt (CACI, UK), Alexandra Paun (Wooga, DE), Teemu Relander (Sanoma, FI), Christian Schlieker (Ebay, DE) and Richard Phillips (Virgin Media, UK).
Nicolas Malo: What benefits should attendees expect from the event?
Matthias Bettag: An incredible opportunity to explore and learn new practical solutions to analytics and optimisation challenges. Delegates forge lasting relationships with colleagues across Europe that they can reach out to in the future for advice and support. You are absolutely guaranteed to go back home armed with many new ideas and aspiration to improve your analytics and optimisation programme. We are also building a community of professionals looking to benefit each other by sharing valuable experiences.
The conference fees include all social events and meals. So delegates do not need to worry about such matters and have even more time to continue discussions outside of the six formal discussion groups they participate in over the two days.
Nicolas Malo: Talking about fees, how much does the DA Hub cost?
Matthias Bettag: The early bird cost is €1,199 for the conference and €1,599 for the combined training day and conference. It is not cheap but bear in mind the fees include all expenses during the days such two breakfasts and buffet lunches, gala dinner, two receptions and all coffee and refreshments during the breaks.
You can register here: digitalanalyticshub.com
To hear what Jim Sterne (who will join again this year) and others had to say about the X Change Europe conference :