Interview with Khrystyna Grynko, Head of Data at Better&Stronger

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In our Expert Opinion column, we highlight some very different people. But as different as they are, they all have one thing in common: lots of experience in the digital marketing and analytics sphere.

Today, we’ll be interviewing Khrystyna Grynko, the Head of Data at the Better&Stronger web marketing agency.

Khrystyna is the DataCamp Lyon and MeasureCamp Lyon organizer and also serves as vice president at AADF (French-speaking Digital Analysts Association) and at TAAL (Technological Association for Advanced Learning).

In addition, she’s a guest lecturer at Jean Moulin University Lyon 3 and at Emlyon Business School.

Khrystyna Grynko, Head of Data at Better&Stronger

We previously collaborated with Khrystyna when she hosted a webinar on streaming Google Analytics raw data to BigQuery without Google Analytics 360, in which she discussed how to get data into BigQuery, whether you should use Google Analytics 360 for this, and what benefits you can receive from combining your website data in Google Analytics with data from other sources.

Table of contents

Current responsibilities and position

The first question we’d like to ask is about your experience. Could you share what you’re currently responsible for and what brought you to this position?

I am the Head of Data at the digital marketing agency Better&Stronger. This role includes providing analytics services to our clients, educating the agency team on analytics matters, building a data team, and creating/developing our analytics services.

My journey as an analyst started at the Ukrainian agency Nitralabs, where I worked as a digital marketer and where I first tried Google Analytics.

When I came to France to pursue my studies, I did two internships — at Siemens as a marketing assistant (no “digital” involved) and at Adecco Groupe as a web analyst. After these two internships, I found a job at Better&Stronger as a Digital Marketing Consultant, but I loved to manage data projects so much and our clients needed someone to help them with all this analytics stuff, so eventually we created a data department. So no more marketing campaigns in my life — only data, though some of it is related to marketing campaigns!

Let’s talk about your current position. What analytical challenges do you have at your company right now? What tools do you need to overcome them? What disadvantages of existing tools can you highlight?

The main challenges are figuring out how to prepare for a “post-cookie world” and making some clients realize that data is important for their business growth and that “being data-driven” isn’t just putting Google Analytics code on the website and having a fancy dashboard.

In terms of tools, there are too many tools that have the same pitch, that don’t show the pricing on the website, and that don’t clearly demonstrate what problem they solve. Therefore, we need to plan a demo, test a tool, and then realize that it’s not what we were searching for. Sometimes it takes too much time and it’s quite frustrating. I would really like if the “tool providers” were transparent with their pricing and had a clear comparison with other similar solutions (example: We don’t deal with historical GA data as… but we do stream raw GA data, which is much more valuable for you because X, Y, and Z.

Some of the tools I love:

  • Google Data Studio
  • Google BigQuery
  • Google Sheets
  • OWOX BI
  • Datail
  • Hotjar
  • Dexem
  • Zapier

How do you choose a new analytics tool?

I consider utility, simplicity, and price. If the SaaS company is transparent about their pricing and can clearly show the benefits of the solution (also in comparison with other solutions on the market), I’ll take it!

Difficulties and challenges

What difficulties do you see when it comes to implementing analytics?

Communicating with developers! Quite often (but not always!), they don’t understand the importance of a correct dataLayer implementation and don’t prioritize the analytics implementation tasks, so it can be quite challenging. I prefer to always schedule a call with developers at the beginning of the project to explain what we’re doing, why, and how so they better understand our analytics needs. It’s absolutely okay if they’re not familiar with our job, so our goal is to explain the subject in a brief and straightforward way.

Do you have challenges with miscommunication between analysts and marketing teams in your company? Do you have any recommendations on how to overcome them?

In my company there’s no miscommunication because we (the data team) are always there for the marketing team and provide regular training sessions and workshops to teach them about using data in their jobs. Our digital marketing consultants are all capable of implementing GTM/GA, automating reports, performing advanced analysis, or creating an OWOX BI Pipeline to import Facebook cost data to Google Analytics.

But as a marketing agency, we often communicate with marketing people on the client’s side, and they sometimes suffer from miscommunication with their data teams. We try to persuade them to work together and we try to highlight the benefits of this collaboration.

In your opinion, what are the advantages of OWOX BI over other similar services?

  • Simplicity — It’s super easy to use.
  • Pricing — It’s transparent and attractive compared to similar tools.
  • Support — The OWOX team is always there for you if you need help.

What do you think is the biggest mistake an analyst can make? Maybe you can share something from your experience that you’ve run into?

Oh, the classics — someone deletes Google Analytics code from the website and you only notice it after two months. How do you explain to the client why you didn’t see it earlier?

What advice would you give the next generation of analysts?

Configure analytics alerts right away! There are plenty of articles out there that tell you about the top five Google Analytics alerts to set up.

You can implement some solutions (like Datail) that will regularly check your website and send you an email/SMS if some of the codes are missing. My advice is to surround yourself with great tools that will save your (professional) life!

Analysts’ skills and missing knowledge

What hard and soft skills are most important for analysts today?

We need to know how to communicate better about our work with our clients. So communication skills are really important. When I became a lecturer at some universities and business schools, I learned how to be patient and absolutely clear when explaining how Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager work. When speaking to a client, it’s important to make sure what you say is useful and comprehensible for them and that they know how to use this information.

What knowledge are analysts and marketing specialists missing in order to make companies data-driven?

Sometimes it’s just knowing the goal of their actions. It can be quite useful to have a clear OKR (Objectives and Key Results) system for the company and its employees.

Example:

Objective: Be number one on the market in 2021

Key Results 1: Have 95% positive reviews

Key Results 2: Have 100% client retention

Key Results 3: Increase annual revenue by 200%

When you’re oriented towards your measurable goals, being data-driven is the first step. Cause if you see that you’re not making it, you can take action.

Always have this schema in your head: Result -> Analyze -> Action

Conversion rate decreases dramatically -> Analyse why -> Take action to optimize it -> Analyze -> Repeat if needed!

Khrystyna Grynko, Head of Data at Better&Stronger

Thoughts about the future of marketing analytics and how analysts can help businesses grow

How can analysts help businesses grow nowadays despite the crisis?

We can start by teaching everyone that implementing Google Analytics (or any similar tool) on your website pages is not enough. And maybe it is time to actually start using this data. First, make sure you track everything you need, then analyze it and take action! If someone is contemplating their insanely low conversion rate for years without doing anything — well, how do you want to grow? If you get 10 users on your website, make them all stay and become your clients by optimizing their user experience — you have the data to do that!

What do you think is the future of marketing analytics? What trends do you see coming and what’s in high demand?

I think we’ll have less data available with all the privacy laws and browser cookie policies, but that’s alright because we’ll finally start to appreciate the data we can get and make the most of it (while respecting the laws, of course!). Let’s go from we track everything and never analyze it to we track these three things that help us to realize where we can improve the user experience.

What is the difference between working at an agency and working directly for a business as an analyst?

I can definitely compare because I’ve had the opportunity to work from both the client side (at Adecco) and the agency side. On the client’s side, you usually deal with one industry, which can be nice but quite boring (or not!) after some period of time. When the company chooses to use some specific tools, you stick to them and can’t really explore other options (though I admit it depends on the company).

At an agency, you work with a lot of different types of clients, projects, and tools. If you’re used to Google Analytics and there’s a new client who uses Adobe — well, figure it out ;)

In your experience, who on the client’s side is responsible for reporting and selecting tools?

For selecting tools, I would say the CDO or data analyst if they have one, or their data agency. For reporting, it depends. For example, in my current company, every digital marketer is responsible for reporting the marketing results.

Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read.

The final word

Khrystyna has been helping clients use their data better since 2015, and we can make great use of her expertise and tips in the analytics field.

Her thoughts about the future of marketing analytics and the idea to finally start appreciating the data we can get and make the most of it seems reasonable and relevant.

We thank Khrystyna for sharing her experience, practices, and favorite tools. We’re sure you’ll find them useful.

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