BEACON Digital North America: What’s in store

Kathryn Petrini, Looker Event Marketing Manager, Google Cloud

Aug 30, 2020

Our first BEACON Digital series in North America wrapped back in May, and we’re more excited than ever to launch our second series on September 15 and 16.

For those who didn’t get to attend our May event (or need a quick refresher), here are some highlights from our most popular sessions:

The rise of data experiences

To unlock the full value of information, companies need solutions that help businesses not only analyze data, but truly experience data by closing the gap between insights and action. Together, we explored real-world methods of modernizing the workplace to inspire and increase productivity.

Creating and operationalizing data experiences

This session dug into specific cases, the mindset, and various approaches to operationalizing data and automating workflows. From a retail manager receiving a text notification on low inventory to an Account Manager updating Salesforce fields directly from Looker — and the bid-bot that auto-adjusts bids on online ads, based on performance.

Monetizing an embedded analytics product

Beyond dashboards and reports, there are a variety of product differentiators and value-add experiences that can be used to expand revenue opportunities with embedded analytics. This session was spent diving into a few effective monetization strategies and opportunities.

Navigating an uncharted course: evaluating data & analytics tools

In this session we covered the framework that organizations should use to evaluate data and analytics platforms beyond the conventional understanding of business intelligence. Becoming data driven is a journey all organizations must take in order to thrive. We heard from innovative companies that are turning raw data into a valuable asset as they offered advice on how to evaluate the technology options best suited to your organization.

Check out all of the content from our spring series here.

Answers to a few common questions from BEACON Digital

During our May series we also received some great questions from BEACON attendees during the various Q&A portions of the event. Below are some of the most upvoted attendee questions along with answers from our Looker team.

Q) How do you think about staffing with new BI tools and paradigms?

"Looker customers report analyst time savings of up to 70% due to automation of repetitive tasks, provision of self-service analytics to users, and collaboration around model development. Data volume often grows faster than data team budgets, so saving analyst time helps them scale to accommodate increasingly complex data environments. Looker helps organizations focus staff and resources less on infrastructure and maintenance and more on delivering data where and when it's most needed."
— Joel McKelvey, Looker Product, Partner and Solution Marketing, Google Cloud

Q) How do you know if your organization is ready for modern BI/self-serve vs traditional BI and having IT develop reports and dashboards?

"Your people are your greatest resource, and if you aren’t giving them the ability to explore the data or ask and answer their own questions, there is potentially a lot of insight that may go undiscovered. It’s not necessarily an either/or question.

If IT is not resource limited by having to produce dozens of one-off reports for their internal customers, they can focus more on the high-impact, big ticket items. The time spent developing the LookML models that power your self-service analytics gives your users the ability to develop their own reports and dashboards with a simple to use click-and-drop interface. This also ensures that everyone is using the same single source of truth for their data and the same definitions for calculating all of the key business metrics that power your company."
— Bruce Sandell, Looker Alliances Senior Sales Engineer, Google Cloud

Q) Are companies adding more value to their product or service to be more competitive or doing so to create a premium offer/upsell?

"Most folks are starting with adding the offering to be a little more competitive. A lot of industry trends are driven by user expectation, so a lot of user expectations come into play when keeping in mind the different competition and services users have to choose from within the market. To provide feature parity, a lot of companies look into offering some sort of analytical platform to enhance the user experience. So once that has some stickiness and users are finding value, the next step is to look at how that value add can become a primary revenue driver for the company, ‘monetizing’ the value add."
— Bruce Sandell, Looker Alliances Senior Sales Engineer, Google Cloud

The best is yet to come

As mentioned, the second BEACON Digital series will be held on September 15th and 16th. We’re coming back with a robust agenda filled with a variety of content from data experts across Looker, Google Cloud, Looker customers and partners — as well as a special guest, Jeff Ma, author of ‘The House Advantage’ and former member of the MIT Blackjack Team.

Some other agenda highlights for the upcoming September sessions include:

Transcend traditional BI with data experiences, feat. Pedro Arellano, Looker Head of Product Marketing

Take a look at how innovative companies are expanding BI by delivering data experiences that go beyond reports and dashboards to unlock the full value of data.

Data analysis for everyone, feat. Jen Bennett, Technical Director, Office of the CTO, Google Cloud

It's an exciting moment in data analytics. What used to be the work of expensive, specialty engineers and PhDs is now expanding to frontline IT teams, marketing specialists, and call center workers. Learn how bringing new capabilities to familiar tools for better decision-making and faster skills training can help level up your data game.

Lightning Talks: How Marketing, customer success and more are empowered by analytics, feat. Connor Sparkman, Looker Marketing Analytics Manager, Avery Robins, Looker Enterprise Customer Success Manager, and Aaron Trenouth, Looker Customer Intelligence Manager

Get a closer look at various ways different departments across your organization can find value in analytics to make sound business decisions and positively impact the bottom line.

You can check out the rest of the sessions and register for BEACON Digital North America Part II here.

We hope to see you there!
- The BEACON Team

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