Community Member of the Month: Brian Lang, eCommerce Manager at Axcess Financial

by Optimizely ‎07-28-2015 July 28, 2015

This month's Community Member of the month is @brianlang. He's been jumping in to discussions in the community, and the sohpistication of his responses is pretty incredible. Brian's knowledge of the industry and his technical expertise definitely make him stand out. Here's a few of his responses: 

  1. How would I report on these inconclusive results?
  2. Volatile winner results in daily data
  3. Statistical Significane and RPV vs AOV

 

To learn more about Brian and what motivates him, I sent him a few interview questions. You can find his responses below -- there are some real jewels highlighted! I'd encourage you read through his interview and ask any questions. 

 

Brian Lang.jpgName: Brian Lang

Title: eCommerce Manager at Axcess Financial

Twitter/LinkedIn links: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianslang

 

Tell us about your journey to work in Conversion Rate Optimization. Did you mean to? Why/Why not?

 

I went to school for computer science and became absolutely fascinated with the ability to build things for people to use. I soon began developing websites and applications for small business and was amazed by the amount of data and measurement capabilities available through digital analytics and more importantly, how that enabled me to optimize customer experience and quantify impact. At Axcess Financial, I was one of the first individuals brought on board to focus on digital marketing and analytics – A/B testing across the business was a clear way to show the value of ongoing optimization efforts, enabling our team to get buy in for additional resources and budget to continue to grow the business.

 

You have a very solid understanding of the Optimization Industry. Do you have any favorite blogs or books that you recommend others read?

 

 

There are so many good ones! My absolute favorite is from Avinash Kaushik, found here: http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/ - it covers a wide range of topics, including career advice, KPI’s that matter, how to get buy in from stakeholders and a ton more – everything he writes is gold.

 

I’m also a big fan of Analytics Demystified, Analytics Talk, Online Behavior, ConversionXL, Optimizely blog, Brooks Bell, WiderFunnel, Blue Acorn and Clearhead.

 

On the same note, you also have a strong understanding of Statistics. Do you have any tips for getting up to speed on the essentials as quickly as possible?

 

 

I am a huge proponent of understanding the implications to both your customers and your business when making decisions – statistics in general can seem very overwhelming, but I’ve found that getting a solid grounding of basics of statistics will help immensely in one’s ability to understand and explain possible outcomes of an experiment. One of the best ways I’ve found to incite curiosity to dive into the topic is by focusing first on the implications of an incorrect decision. A great source to read up on this is Statistics Done Wrong – it’s written assuming no prior knowledge of statistics, and provides a great overview of different things you must account for when running online experiments and quantifying results. One will quickly find ways to deal with potential issues, and hopefully, be curious enough to continue down the never ending rabbit-hole of knowledge and learning on the topic that follows.

 

Coursera has a very good course on data science and statistical inference that is very applicable to A/B testing. https://www.coursera.org/course/statistics

 

Given your experiences, what would you say are the most important skills for being an effective Growth Marketer?

 

Passion, curiosity, analytical prowess, knowledge of tools / business / customers are all key qualities to have, but endurance in my opinion is an undervalued skillset. Often times in the optimization world you read case studies on quick win after quick win – the reality is, it takes a lot of hard work and effort to do the analysis, discover audience segments, and come up with a hypothesis and test plan to drive iterative incremental gains - many times in the process you will find inconclusive tests or tests that didn’t result in lift – optimization is a marathon, not a sprint – endurance keeps you going.

 

 

We have a tradition at Optimizely where new employees share a fact that others wouldn’t otherwise know. What would your fun fact be?

 

 

I’m a HUGE fan of English Premier League football. I was fortunate enough to go to a Manchester City game in-person the year they won the league title for the first time in decades! It was a surreal experience Smiley Happy