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  • Elsie Russell

FinTech Female Fridays: Michelle Kim, VP Business Intelligence and Analytics, Trusted Media Brands

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

Can you tell us about your role as a Vice President of Business Intelligence and Analytics in Trusted Media Brands

This is a fairly new department and I stepped into this role at the very beginning of the year. Our main focus has been the collection, consolidation, and validation of the data. As we continue to grow the data lake, this opens the door to connecting different data points and insights that we didn’t have easily or readily available in the past. 

As the main source for data, we liaison and collaborate with almost every business function in the company. Whether it’s finance, product, or programmatic, we strive to provide valuable insights to help grow the business and achieve key KPI goals. 

As you pivoted in your career, you seem to gravitate towards data-driven fields. Can you share your thoughts on the significance of data and analytics in today’s times? 

For the majority of my career, I have always been in a role that was tasked with revenue generation and management. I learned through these roles that informed decision making backed by data almost always yielded optimal results. It felt like a natural transition and allowed me to support and learn about other parts of the digital business, in addition to ads. 

Can you share why you think it is important that monetization and revenue strategies be rooted in data? 

Having data at the root of monetization and revenue strategies mitigates risk and maximizes efficiency. We try to leverage data and A/B testing to strip out as much of the unknown as we can when rolling out a new product, partnership, or monetization strategy. Constantly testing, measuring, and changing is a data-driven approach to growing the business that we truly believe in. 

What are some strategies with data analytics and business intelligence that promote cross-departmental collaboration and efficiency? 

We had to start with having a central source of truth for data and analytics. We didn't have a Business Intelligence department, so there were a lot of cooks in the kitchen when it came to analyses. This occasionally led to some conflicting methodologies when pulling data and in some cases inconsistencies in the platform where the information was being pulled.

Once we were all speaking the same language, we took it upon ourselves to not only disseminate as much information as we could but also make sure all necessary stakeholders were looped in. For example, a small change to any elements on the page could have an impact on more than just ad performance, so we try to overshare as we support all lines of the digital business. Additionally, like many other companies, we have temporarily shifted to a work from home situation. Collaborating and communicating the data efficiently is critical, now more than ever.  

How have you pivoted the analytics and business strategy to account for the uncertainties in the global market-facing Trusted Media Brands? 

The pandemic has affected virtually every industry, and publishing is no exception. We've had to pivot in the way we tackled data collection and outputting the insights generated from the data. Generally, we always try to take a more proactive approach, following a lot of historical information and seasonality to predict trends in the marketplace. 

Needless to say, there wasn’t much historical data or analyses that we could lean on to foresee what had happened, and what is yet to come, as these are truly unprecedented times. We had to step up the frequency and granularity of the real-time data we were looking at to adapt to a highly unpredictable market. 

What can you share about your career path? 

I can’t say I entered the workforce with a clearly defined roadmap of where I wanted to be at this point in my career. However, I’m so grateful for the networks and mentors I’ve had the great fortune of coming across to help me navigate it all, particularly the ones focusing on women in leadership. Having a sounding board to share and talk through similar experiences is invaluable, and I can’t stress enough how much it has helped me.

Reach out to Michelle on LinkedIn.

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