I, Johan, went to Google Cloud Next in London to represent Outfox, and I made this interview with myself!
O: Why did you go to Google Next in London, Johan?
J: Because you can’t sleep when Google is up to things in the cloud. Me being an analyst, I was extra interested in the products that relate to me and my job. Topics like BigQuery, BigQuery Machine Learning, TensorFlow (an open-source software library that can be used for building your own machine learning applications such as neural networks), and how you can use Google’s cloud products to deploy machine learning.
O: Johan, this sounds soooo nerdy, can you break it down?
J: I can try! For me, in the last couple of years, machine learning has improved what I do in ways that were hard to imagine before. It makes things that were impossible possible. Look at the Vision API for example. No more manual tagging of images. Just let the API do the job for you! This can save crazy amounts of time if you are working with tagging images. Read more: https://cloud.google.com/vision/automl/docs/
O: Cool, but what about marketing?!
J: Aha, then the new possibility to use machine learning in BigQuery is just awesome. You can use it to find the users who are most likely to convert based on what they have done on the website. Sounds great, but the cool thing is that you don’t need to be a data scientist to make this happen. You just need some SQL skills, or a friend with some SQL skills. Say you are a B2B company and you want to target only the users who have a higher probability to convert. Then you ca, based on what they did on your site, use BigQuery and the machine learning capabilities to find them.
O: Any other cool things?
J: Yes, two more things that will stick with me going back home are: 1.) How King uses Google Cloud to create artificial intelligence for game testing. This means that King has improved the workflow for designing and testing levels. Instead of having people testing the levels and having them write a report and send it back, the AI will test the levels and give the feedback to you in minutes or hours instead of weeks.
2.) How universities use computing power from the Google Cloud Platform to solve the most amazing research problems.
Things like building models to understand and predict the spread of the zika virus. The zika virus is apparently very hard to predict, but it also requires a ridiculous amount of data to build meaningful models. Thanks to moving the workload to the cloud they are now able to perform these calculations in hours instead of weeks!
Or how Researchers at the Neurosim lab use the cloud to understand the human brain! The amount of data that they have to processes is just amazing, and makes every marketing DMP look like a floppy disk. They were able to cut the compute time from five days to one hour! This means that the work they are doing can move much faster and help us understand the way our brains work much faster.
O: OMG Johan! Got more high-level stuff?!
J: Maybe just that the ones who have an infrastructure that makes the impossible possible, are the ones how will move faster than the others.
O: Sorry, I do not understand. What you mean?
I think that Spotify is a great example of this. They have, with the help of Google Cloud Platform, made it a lot easier for their entire organization to understand their users, and to make smarter decisions based on their data. This would not be possible if they did not have a great digital infrastructure. It looks like leaders in this field have sat down and thought long and hard about how to make it easy to use the data we have about our users.
O: Any last things takeaways?
J: Google Sheets rules. Just check the 30 tips in the video. One of my favourites is to connect to Google Sheets to automate reporting. That function just saves a crazy amount of time, especially if you also consider that you can get data straight into Google Sheets from, for example, Google Analytics.