What is MeasureCamp and why data analytics professionals should attend
MeasureCamp is a series of must-attend events targeted at data analysts. Hosted by the data analytics community for the data analytics community, the series of events give attendees the opportunity to share ideas and learn from other professionals. The events are held in person and virtually in 24 cities around the world and are all free – so what exactly is MeasureCamp, why should you attend, what have we learned from participating in these events, and where can you register?
What are the MeasureCamp events?
Established in 2012, MeasureCamp has evolved into a series of interactive unconferences where participants design and lead the agenda. Peter O’Neill, Head of Data Product at Otrium, founded MeasureCamp to create an event similar to the unconferences for developers, product managers, and social media users but focused on his community: Data Analysts.
The first MeasureCamp was held on September 22, 2012, and since then there have been over 100 events in more than 30 cities around the world with over 100 tickets being claimed in less than a minute for each release.
How do MeasureCamp events work?
MeasureCamp events are unconferences that are always held on Saturdays to ensure they attract die-hard data fans who actually want to attend. This ensures that the topics, conversations, and questions are authentic, thought-provoking, and insightful and that everyone brings their perspective to the table.
Agendas typically include eight 30-minute time slots across various rooms of different sizes. Sessions aren’t determined until after the event introduction, which means you never know what you will see or who you will listen to. But the lineup is always themed and highly engaging.
Members of the global data analytics community organize the events in their respective cities. If there is no MeasureCamp in your city yet, you could be the one to start it. There are a few requirements to do so, but if you meet them, there’s nothing stopping you from bringing MeasureCamp to your city.
Why should data analytics professionals attend MeasureCamp events?
The data analytics industry is constantly evolving, with new tools and techniques emerging all the time. Therefore, it’s important for data analysts to stay ahead of the curve, especially in areas such as machine learning and artificial intelligence. MeasureCamp provides the perfect platform for data analysts to do just that. Plus, it’s free to attend and you can meet and learn from other professionals.
MeasureCamp isn’t only a fantastic opportunity for personal development, but it also allows you to gain new insights that you can apply to your business. And given the current economic environment, bringing new ideas and approaches to the table has never been more important.
Another great thing about MeasureCamp is that the community isn’t just tied to the events. There’s also a virtual community – Measure Slack – that allows members to continue their conversations online.
Snowplow + MeasureCamp Highlights
Members of the Snowplow team, also known as Snowplowers, have participated in a number of MeasureCamps, including London, Brussels, Brno, Stockholm, and Copenhagen. We participated in the Melbourne MeasureCamp in February 2023 and will be in Amsterdam on April 22.
Snowplow has been a Gold sponsor of several events, with team members (and Snowplow users) having given presentations on a variety of hot topics, including:
1. The Post Google Analytics World
Jordan Peck, Principal Data Strategist at Snowplow, gave a presentation on the uncertainty surrounding the future of Google Analytics and discussed several alternatives, some of which he strongly advised against.
Jordan discussed how countries like France, Austria, Italy, and Denmark have banned the use of Google Analytics, deeming the tool non-compliant with GDPR. As a result, businesses across Europe are feeling pressure to think about and implement alternative solutions.
Several alternatives were shared with MeasureCamp attendees, including:
- Self-hosting Google Analytics
- Forwarding hits from the browser to your own storage layer
- Building your own tracking solution
- Adopting new/start-up analytics providers
- And of course, the shameless plug, implementing Snowplow!
It was an exciting session and led to lots of questions. One of the great things about the MeasureCamp events is that so many conversations occur and you get to hear new ideas and thoughts from different perspectives.
To learn more about our take on the future of Google Analytics 360 read our blog post, Life after Universal Analytics.
2. Open Source Data Creation: Why organizations need to deliberately create data to power data applications
Eddie May, Head of Community at Snowplow, has attended many MeasureCamps and has even presented a few times. At the Stockholm MeasureCamp in October 2022, he gave a talk on data creation and why organizations need to move away from data exhaust and start deliberately creating data that is fit for purpose. Some key insights from Eddie’s talk included:
- Is everything broken now?
According to a Gartner study, 87% of AI and advanced analytics projects never make it into production and 20% of analytics insights will lead to positive business outcomes. According to Snowplow’s 2022 Behavioral Data Report, 7/10 data practitioners are looking to change roles in the next 12 months.
- Data teams are left to make do with digital exhaust
Data teams rely on extracting behavioral data from platforms that were never designed to be extracted into a data warehouse or data lake. Data in Google Analytics is designed for the reporting interface, while customer data platforms (CDPs) are designed to trigger automations, meaning behavioral data is merely a by-product of the platform. So when data teams extract data from these tools into their data warehouse or data lake, they have to go through a lengthy process of data wrangling as these data sets have different field types, granularity, quality, and completeness.
- Data Creation
Some organizations have started doing this, but the vast majority of organizations and data teams still rely on extracted data rather than intentionally creating data.
3. The dataverse after Google Analytics Universal
Snowplow customer Charlotte Tilbury delivered a talk at the 2022 London MeasureCamp. Lucy Truong, Senior Web Analyst at Charlotte Tilbury used a series of Lego action figures and Lego parts to illustrate how Google Analytics products and Snowplow attribute various touchpoints across the customer journey. She also covered:
- How to implement GA4 with existing GA/UA dataLayer (GTM Client works for Server as well)
- Which data verse she would use and why (spoiler alert, it’s Snowplow!)
Lucy then shared the reasons why ‘the Snowplow universe’ is her winner: from greater flexibility and control to quicker data queries when compared to Google Analytics.
Why not have a look through our case studies hub to learn why and how other customers use Snowplow.
MeasureCamp plays a big part in bringing together the broader data community and the Snowplow community together to talk about issues that affect not only aspects of their work lives, but also what genuinely interests them in their personal lives.
Every MeasureCamp Snowplow has participated in has been a great experience, and we look forward to participating in many more over the coming years.
Where can you register to attend?
To sign up to attend a MeasureCamp in a city near you, please click here where you’ll also find a list of all upcoming events.