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3 Key lessons from Tug Life Day 2: Data and Insight

by Olivia Williams | 13.06.2018
Tug Life IV is underway, and it’s already shaping up to be a huge success! If you missed yesterday’s sessions, which focused on the theme of Humans Vs Machines, you can find out what happened in our round up.

Day 2 at Tug Life is themed around People, Tech and Advertising. We’re kicking off the day with a session on Data and Insight, featuring some titans in the world of tech.

The path to success begins with integration

Our first speaker, Chris Grimesy from Google Analytics, spoke about the value of pulling data from different sources an aggregating it into insights. Google is pushing the boundaries of artificial learning to apply it’s Google Assistance tech across Google Analytics, so that users can ask the programme questions to return spoken answers.

Chris said: “artificial intelligence is the future.”

Integration is also important for Twitter, but on a more personal level. As Ned Miles explained: “everything happens on Twitter.”

People use the social media platform to share and find out about the everyday, their passions, news, events, politics, TV and general conversation – it’s an integrated platform for everyday users. Ned was proud to say that Twitter is “the largest publicly available archive of human thought to have ever existed.”

Position technology as a social enhancer rather than an isolator

Simon Moriarty from leading market intelligence agency Mintel emphasised that “connectivity is really powerful in enhancing relationships.” He acknowledged that although connectivity can be a great thing – for example connecting musical teenagers to form bands, or connecting female gamers so they don’t feel outnumbered – it can also be isolating. For Simon, it’s important to give control to the user, because “trust is harder to earn and easier to lose than ever.”

Spotify’s Zuzanna Gierlinska was also keen to emphasise that Spotify uses streaming intelligence to enhance people’s listening experiences. She points out that music is like a mirror, and reflects our emotions, moods, tastes and preferences. She said: “you are what you stream.”

Challenge assumptions in marketing

The final speaker to take to the stage for the Data & Insights session was somewhat controversial. Patrick Fagan worked as the lead psychologist in the final six months at Cambridge Analytica. As he said himself: “Until recently I believed there was no such thing as bad publicity. Turns out there is.”

Although Patrick pointed out that there was no evidence that Cambridge Analytica did work for Brexit, often it doesn’t matter what’s true and what isn’t – it all boils down to what people believe. He argued that a lot of big companies are gathering data in the same way as Cambridge Analytica, but does the public really care?

One final lesson that Patrick had to share with the audience: Assume that nothing is private. In a world where even Mark Zuckerberg covers the camera on his laptop, it’s safe to assume that nothing is secure from snooping.