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Introducing the Be Certain Interview Series: Media Executive | Mark Holland


Welcome to our Datorama Be Certain interview series where we’ll be interviewing various leaders in the marketing industry about their roles, how they’re using data and analytics in their daily decision making and how Datorama is helping them gain certainty in their roles.

For our first interview, we had the chance to sit down with Mark Holland, Head of Business Intelligence for Omnicom Media Group’s Facilitator division in Sydney.

Large agencies like Omnicom have come to trust Datorama because it provides a single source of truth for collaboration and alignment. Media Executives aligning a large team around vast datasets is no easy task. This is especially challenging when teams are increasingly distributed. Not only must a Media Executive enforce structure, but they must do so while remote and while managing increased responsibilities. In order to be successful, the Media Executive must overcome these obstacles efficiently and at scale.

Our recent Datorama APAC Marketing Intelligence Report highlighted some of the obstacles that particularly vex the Media Executive. Respondents ranked data accuracy, sharing and collaborating on data analysis (faced by 37% of marketers), and connecting marketing investments to business outcomes (faced by 35% of marketers) as the main challenges facing their media practice.

But, with a single source of marketing truth like Datorama, teams can overcome these challenges. The platform enforces structure and best practice, ensuring accuracy and confidence in reporting. This allows the team to continue focusing on growth and scale, even when times are uncertain. Read on below to hear about Mark’s experience using Datorama to find certainty:

Name: Mark Holland
Mark Holland
Title: Head of Business Intelligence – OMG Facilitator
Company: Omnicom Media Group

Q: Tell us about yourself: tell us your name, your title, and one undeniable fact about you
A: My name is Mark. I’m the Head of Business Intelligence at OMG Australia. One undeniable fact – I used to be a Circus Coach back home in Scotland before moving to Australia

Q: Give us a breakdown of your responsibilities by month: (Feel free to use the below as an example)
A: 50% building and launching reporting solutions
20% redeveloping and refining existing reporting solutions
15% meetings about building and launching reporting solutions
10% presenting reporting solutions
5% webinars and reading blogs on data visualizations

Q: I’m sure your job is tough. What do you find is the most difficult part about your job?
A: I’d say my job is challenging rather than tough but that’s because I enjoy what I do and feel valued by my organization. So, the most challenging part of my job is managing expectations. Scope creep and miscommunication can lead you down a rabbit hole where you lose sight of the initial objective, which is to empower people to be more effective and efficient in their role through data. Working with data is the easy part, working with people is where the challenge lies.

It can also be challenging conveying technical concepts in a way that gives users enough knowledge and confidence in your ability without overwhelming them. You also want to give them confidence in exploring data visualization and the importance it can play, moving them away from traditional formats like Excel.

Q: How does Datorama help you “Be Certain” in your job?
A: In so many ways! Datorama does all the heavy lifting. We often talk about the Data Iceberg with all the elements that go unseen by end users making up the bulk of the work – around 80%. Datorama takes on a lot of this burden; managing all the APIs and data storage and refreshes, mapping a solid framework to build on top of, data categorization and blending, etc. It makes Datorama feel very lightweight and allows me to focus on how my users can get the insight they need from their data.

Q: What’s one solution you’ve come up with that you’re Certain others will find cool?
A: We all know you can set up a theme in Datorama, which is great for branding your page. But what if you want to have an associated logo that you can change dynamically depending on your Brand, centrally stored so it can be changed on multiple pages at once? We created a Calculated Dimension with a list of Agency Logos. Then set up a Custom Widget that works to dynamically show one logo depending on the field in another Calculated Dimension. We also set up all Custom Widget text to dynamically change to the main Brand colour depending on the same Calculated Dimension – no need to swap out URLs or HEX codes in JS/CSS – often it’s the little things that get people excited.

Q: You are the Head of Business Intelligence for one of the largest agency groups in the world. How does Datorama help you Be Certain that the solutions you create scale effectively across your large organization?
A: Templates, templates, templates! I have templates for everything – Data Streams and mapping, Dashboard Pages, Dimensions and Measurements, Custom Date Ranges and Page Themes.
We mostly use Datorama to produce a standardized reporting structure that can be used across Clients working in a variety of sectors, from Airlines to Government Organisations to Snack Manufacturers. We’ve defined an approach to cover 85% of what could be required. We have a set list of Data Sources that are blended together to give one source of truth. While the focus may change across Clients the same essential metrics apply throughout. We also allocate one Workspace per Client so we’re able to house everything within manageable spaces

Q: How does Datorama help you Be Certain all of the teams and practices are aligned in your organization?
A: Again it comes back to all the structure that in place that end users don’t see. This standard APIs and mapping framework does so much of the work, giving strong foundations to build upon.

Q: How does Datorama help you Be Certain that your end clients are getting the best-in-class experience they expect from OMG?
A: The BI field is very competitive. Each product has its strengths and weaknesses, and I think Datorama does a really good job of competing – it’s much more suited to Digital Media and Marketing, which gives it an advantage in this industry. Having Datorama as part of our suite of tools strengthens our offering to Clients. It shows we have a broad range of skills and viewpoints with which to explore, and a flexible approach to tackling their objectives. It’s about having the right tool for the job rather than having one tool hoping it will do every job.

Want to share your story? Reach out to your Success team. And continue the conversation with Mark in our Datorama Community.

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