#MozCon Speaker Interviews: Avinash & Annie

Posted on Monday, July 1st, 2013 and is filed under News, SEO. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Posted by Lindsay

Today I’m excited to bring you a short interview with two of the top web analytics professionals in the industry, Avinash Kaushik and Annie Cushing. Not only are they experts at leveraging data effectively, they’re incredible conference speakers who are returning to MozCon this year!

Avinash Kaushik is the digital marketing evangelist at Google and co-founder of Market Motive. He is also the author of two best-selling books, Web Analytics 2.0 and Web Analytics: An Hour A Day, and he writes a popular web analytics blog, Occam’s Razor.

He’s an energetic speaker who delivers eye-opening insights about the power of data that you can put into action immediately. He gave an awesome presentation at MozCon 2011 which inspired a flood of tweets and ended with a standing ovation.

Annie Cushing is an SEO and analytics consultant. Her areas of expertise are analytics, technical SEO, and everything to do with data — collection, analysis, and beautification. She’s on a mission to rid the world of ugly data, one spreadsheet at a time.

If you don’t think analytics can be sexy, chances are Annie will change your mind. She shares practical, actionable information that revolves around one of her passions — making data sexy. At MozCon 2012, the audience at her amazing presentation left with tons of useful tips and tricks for creating Excel spreadsheets that are comprehensive, easy to understand, and compelling to decision-makers.

We are honored that Avinash and Annie are joining us again at MozCon, and we hope you will join us, too! Their talks will help you demystify analytics data the moment you get back to the office.

In his keynote, “Simplifying Complexity: Three Ideas For Higher ROI,” Avinash will apply Occam’s Razor to three user cases and share practical tips for dealing with complexity. Annie will show you how to separate the junk from the sound data when analyzing organic keyword data in her talk, “Breaking Up With Your Keyword-Based KPIs.”

Recently, Avinash and Annie were kind enough to answer a few questions about their upcoming MozCon presentations, must-know analytics information, and which technology would improve their lives.

Tell us about the presentation you have planned for MozCon.

Avinash: My plan is to share three stories that serve as an example of amplifying the awesomeness of any business not by focusing on doing one thing well. That seems like such an odd thing to say, but I’ve convinced that if we are to make incredible progress we need to solve for multiplicity.

Three simple examples, from our everyday lives, that the audience will be able to go back and implement in their day to day efforts.

Annie: I’m going to talk about breaking up with your organic keyword data. Many marketers (if not most) who focus on organic search are using junk data that does not stand up to scientific criteria. I’m going to talk about what data is junk, how to differentiate junk from sound data, and some alternatives to junk data that withstand statistical scrutiny.

What is something that all marketers should know about web analytics, but many don’t seem to know?

Avinash: My 10/90 rule. For every $100 you need to invest in making smarter decisions on the web, you need to invest $10 in tools and consultants to implement the tools, and you need to invest $90 in big brains to analyze the data and recommend actions.

People have this insane belief that data talks. No. Data does not talk; people make data talk.

The question to ask, hence, is not how much data you have. The question is how many big brains you have.

Annie: How to report on conversions in a way that gives all of the marketing channels credit for their contribution to the end goal(s). If coaches ran football teams the way marketers report on conversions, only the players who score the touchdowns would get paid.

What uninvented technology would improve your life the most?

Avinash: I know this seems silly, but I think I have all the technology I need in my life. Sure the batteries could last longer and my computer could just type in what I’m thinking - why do I need to physically type in a cramped plane seat?

There is an impressive amount of technology we need to deploy to ease human suffering. Those solutions, big and small, from smarter malaria nets to more precise lasers to target cancer, are the ones I’m rooting for.

Annie: A centralized financial system in the cloud that would enable me to manage all of my financial needs from one place — from investing to paying bills to paying my business quarterly taxes — with robust projection and budgeting data visualizations at my fingertips.

Thank you for speaking with us, Avinash and Annie!

If you would like to read more about Avinash, check out this great interview he did a couple years ago, which covers some of his views on social media, SEO, and why he is always looking for exceptional things. You can also follow Avinash on Twitter @avinash.

Learn more about Annie and web analytics by checking out her info-packed blog, Annielytics, her great posts on Search Engine Land, and by following her on Twitter @AnnieCushing.

Even better, get actionable analytics advice by joining us at MozCon and experiencing their awesome presentations!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

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