Business Intelligence (BI) is a key element that brings together things like being ethical with data, keeping information private, and using practical plans to achieve success.
In this podcast, Emily, a BI analyst at Google, talks about the important role BI plays in marketing, including things like making sure your data is good, keeping track of the revenue earned, and much more.
Currently serving as a Business Intelligence Analyst II in Cloud Marketing at Google, Emily is at the forefront of driving self-service revenue growth for Google Cloud. As an alumni San Jose State, her ability to seamlessly integrate academic achievements with hands-on experience underscores her commitment to excellence in the ever-evolving fields of analytics, and business intelligence.
Harshika is a seasoned product manager with a passion for business transformation, design thinking, technology, marketing trends, SaaS security, and human-computer interactions. What interests her most is the intersection of these fields, which is why she stays on top of the latest industry insights to uncover strategies for success in today's dynamic business landscape.
Hello, everyone and welcome back to another episode of the Revenue Focused Marketer where we discuss anything and everything related to marketing as well as data today.
I have a very special guest with us who has honestly been such a huge mentor to me throughout my college journey and she’s been doing some really amazing things.
So I’m so excited to have her on this podcast today.
Just a little bit about her.
She has been someone who started out at San Jose State has been super generous in helping students like myself in really learning, developing and growing their skills.
And now she’s working at Google.
Her role at Google presently is as the Business intelligence analyst at the cloud marketing team.
So I’m super excited to welcome with us today, Emily and Annie who will be sharing a lot about her experiences and also helping us learn a lot more about business intelligence and analytics today.
So welcome Emily.
I’m so happy to be here.
Yeah, thank you for taking the time to join us today.
So I here know quite a bit about your background, but just for the users that are tuning in today.
Maybe we can just start off with like your journey.
How did you like, you know, start and how are you in the role that you are now?
And then what are some of the things that you really enjoy doing in your particular role now?
I would love to share that.
So I start off, I’ll go all the way back in high school, applying for colleges.
I was not sure what kind of degree I wanted.
,I played with the idea of biomed engineering.
, I realized that was, that was a lot of math.
So then I, I was fortunate enough to talk to someone that talked about,, business degrees and I was like, oh, business.
Ok, let me look into that.
, I’ve always had a fascination with technology and,, understanding like coding and when I came across the major management information systems, mis it sounded perfect to me because it was exactly what it was, sounded like, sounded like,, the translation between business and technology and like, you know, expanding that to, to the companies.
, and so I studied that in college and I probably became the number one cheerleader for that major during my time.
And, and then I think you were with,, during, you were at San Jose State.
, yeah, honestly, such a great major.
So we’re definitely there to talk to a cheerleader.
I talk to anyone at the end of the stage now they’ll be like, yeah, these two loved it.
Shout out to all the misa folks.
And from there, I think being at San Jose State, it’s funny because I never really realized that being situated in the Silicon Valley.
it was such a advantage about San Jose State, you know, like I had kind of taken for granted living here and being in the Bay Area until I was applying for jobs and I was like an internship and there were so many opportunities and having that major allowed me to explore a lot of different options during my college career.
So, after having several internships at like linkedin pricewaterhousecoopers, Cisco, I like, had a diverse, like set of skills from all of these different companies and like a taste of different cultures.
And then that led me up to working to Cisco after I graduated.
So I worked there for a couple of years.
That was great.
And Cisco did a really great job, I think creating like a foundation, you know, because when you’re first coming out of school, you know, you’re getting into professional life for the first time, not really sure, you know how to be professional.
Now, all of a sudden you have PTO and what is that?
And right, it’s, it’s a little bit different than, you know, college life.
And then, yeah.
, and then from Cisco, I was ready to move on to, you know, try something new, outside of business systems analysis.
And that’s when I joined Google in trust and safety where I worked as a strategist, helping with like user trust and building user trust for our payments teams.
And so that was like a data detective right there.
Like a data detective and finding like the hotspots for user experience for users using Google pay Google places, any kind of like Google payments products.
and really like fixing that experience for users as much as we could.
And yeah, and what was cool about travel safety is it almost has like a cybersecurity component to it because you have to identify, you know, bad actors versus like good actors, for example, you know, like you want to make sure all of the users are safe on your company’s products.
And I think that was really cool about trust and safety.
So, and how many years did you work within the trust and safety field?
I worked for almost four years.
Oh, wow, that’s fine.
And what would you say was like your highlight?
So like was it the fact that you were able to sort of, you know, help your customers out and like protect them or what was your favorite part of that team?
Oh, great question.
Besides the people I know that’s like a generic answer most people give.
But I loved working with that team.
The work itself that I loved was the blend of user experience and data.
Like quantifying how many users are going through a certain experience and how can we make it better solving problems that have never been like created before?
Wow, that’s huge.
And I think that to also had such a huge company like Google, like I’m sure like most of us, if not everyone uses Google.
So I think it’s really huge that you were able to make such an impact.
And you know, it’s also nice to see that like within Google, this is such a huge aspect, making sure that, you know, their customers are safe and there’s so much work being put on the back end just to help them.
I think that’s also huge.
So that’s awesome that, you know, you got to do that.
Yeah, I’m, I’m honestly very humbled and honored to be a part of, oh, you know, of such a of a cool workspace, you know, And to work with like a lot of great people.
And yeah, it is a very humbling role, but I I’m just so appreciative of it.
Yeah, that’s awesome.
And I think something that you mentioned the people that even though it is like that, probably one of the answers that comes up the most.
It’s also because people make a huge impact in what we do, right?
And we have to spend a lot of our life working a lot of our day working towards something.
It’s typically nice to have people around that really support you.
And it’s an environment where you can see yourself grow and also make an impact.
So I’m glad that, you know, you were able to find that at Google and then are you still within this role or did you end up transitioning from this role?
So as I grew within like the trust city org, I eventually became team lead for like our user trust team.
But from there, I did look out to venture to join a new team which leads me to the team I’m on now which is like our growth, marketing analytics for Google Cloud.
And that’s been such an amazing whirlwind and adventure that it, it excites me every day.
Oh That’s awesome.
So, how was that transition for you?
So I assume like, you know, being like leading the team to like starting off a completely new field that would have been somewhat of a transition and would have required some changes.
How did that go for you like And are you happy with where you are at now?
Oh Yeah, I’m, I’m so happy.
I’ve always been really happy, I think wherever I’m at because it’s kind of like you create your own, you know, you kind of create your own ethos essentially.
But, but yeah, the transition was, it was smooth.
I would say the entire process, I would say like there was a great like process around it and of course, you had an interview for the new team.
And it really pushed me because after having been on a team for four years already, you know, I had all this subject matter knowledge, all this domain knowledge.
I was, you know, very at that point familiar with like the data and the subject matter.
And then now I was jumping into an entirely new space, like from trust and safety to marketing.
And so I it was very uncomfortable, I would say in a good way because I had to stretch myself again, you know, in ways that I haven’t.
So no, that’s awesome.
And I think sometimes we learn the most when we push ourselves out of our comfort zones.
So I’m so glad it’s honestly inspiring to see that you continue, like, even though you’re at such a great place, you continue to push yourself to like, you know, learn more and grow more.
And that’s something that’s, I think all of us should aspire to do.
I think I really would love to also understand like, how did you go about like preparing yourself with the new role?
Was it more like on the job learning or once you, like transition or did you, like, take some time to really do, like more research study and like, also get more in touch with the marketing side.
How did you go about that?
Yeah, that’s a great question.
The way that I prepared for it was essentially like applying for an entirely new job.
So I started researching, like, first you have to find the role that fits that you want to apply for, right?
And so I had found the one that I wanted to apply for it was within the marketing space.
And so I, you know, was resting on my marketing since, you know, since college, you know, in general.
So I, yeah, I did a lot of research.
I practiced interviewing ahead of time.
I brushed up on my statistics because this role is more heavily statistical focus, whereas previously, it was more like maybe design and data analytics focus.
And so it was just great to like brush up on those and then, and then, yeah, went through the interview process and it was, it was great to meet some of the team and hear about them and you start to ask different kinds of questions because when you’re transitioning teams, you typically wanna know, like who, what kind of team are you joining?
Yeah, I already know, I already know what Google culture is like, right?
So if you’re transitioning teams, you really want to figure out, OK, what are the team’s priorities?
Xy and Z versus if you’re applying to a new job and at a new company, you’re probably gonna ask about company culture.
You know, you probably might not be as like specific as like who specifically am I working with, but more of like, OK, what is the leadership like?
So that’s something that I noticed was like kind of the key difference.
No, that makes it, that makes sense for sure.
And then sort of chiming into like, you know, for people who don’t know more about this role.
Could you describe what your day to day looks like now, from what it used to maybe when you were at the trust and safety team?
What I do now is are my team’s like priority is to grow revenue for Google by leveraging data analytics.
I use a lot of SQL like I live within SQL data science principles and tying it in with business acumen And, and being able to share and story tell those insights on a monthly basis.
And yeah, and what’s interesting about business intelligence analyst versus like data analyst?
At least the difference I’ve I’ve witnessed in my own experience was business intelligence analyst really requires you to know the business like what is driving, you know, users to your website?
What is fueling your funnel?
where is your funnel efficiency?
Really like where is your biggest drop off?
And tying it in with things that are happening around the world, right?
Or like seasonality, different trends and pulling those all together and tying it in with the data.
versus maybe like data analysis might be heavier on like the technical aspect of like, OK, building a pipeline, making sure that the data quality is great, which I think goes hand in hand with business intelligence.
However, there’s more of a focus I would say on business insights from my personal experience.
So yeah, that’s something that I learned was definitely different from my previous role.
which was I had to understand more of the experience, but I didn’t really have to understand like overall trends or like seasonality, you know, I mean, in payments of course, or seasonality if like Black Friday, right, which is after the Thanksgiving, there’s a big shopping rush, right?
There’s a lot of pressure on on data centers, right?
To make sure all those purchases are going through.
And so I think there were, there was a piece of that, but now my role really focuses on having that overall understanding too.
So I think you went from like a role that had like a micro level, like deeper understanding to now having a macro level where you’re looking at other influences and like the whole picture as a bigger picture.
So that’s really cool that, you know, you have had the chance to have both the perspectives and I think that just really adds more to your skill sets and also your understanding, it was also really great to like, sort of know the difference because I think it’s easy to intertwine these roles sometimes.
Like, oh, I, I’m not sure in every company I would say is a bit unique in how like they go about like what they really mean when they say, oh, a business intelligence analyst versus a data analyst.
So it’s really cool to learn about how different it has been for you at Google.
How would you say that like, you know, now that you have such diverse skill sets, how does it help you become a good business intelligence analyst?
That’s also a great question, Hershey, you were just killing it with the questions.
So there’s like a common like comparison typically, right?
Like would you rather have a breadth of knowledge or a depth of knowledge?
And that’s something I’ve been kind of asking myself for several years now in my professional career, right?
Like I could go really deep if I really wanted to in my career on like one specific subject matter.
and be like the absolute expert in it, right?
That would like, create this depth of knowledge and then I would be irreplaceable, right?
Because I would have so much knowledge about this one thing.
And then there’s the breadth of knowledge where it’s like a lot of different experiences and understanding them enough to function.
But maybe you’re not like the absolute expert on like all the niche scenarios.
And I found for me, at least like from the leaders that I look up to and like leadership I’ve noticed is that a lot of them tend to have a breadth of knowledge.
They’ve had experiences in marketing and sales, they’ve had experiences in learning and development.
They’ve had experiences in accounting and they’re able to take little bits and nuggets from each part of their career and their experience and then be able to problem solve in a way that maybe someone with just like a more narrow focus on a subject matter might not know or like know how to address.
And I think personally for me and like, where I wanna go, my professional career later on is the breadth of knowledge will really allow me to, I think problem solved for like what’s gonna come next and solve like things that for example, may cybersecurity or user experience design issue versus understanding how to grow revenue, right?
Like getting that breadth of knowledge, I would say.
No, that’s huge.
And the fact that like, you know, you’ve already had so much experience.
I think I am really excited to see what you continue to do moving forward also.
I think that now that you sort of touched upon marketing, I’d love to dive a bit deeper into that aspect also.
just wanting to understand like now that you work with business intelligence, what would you say is the role of it in marketing and like maybe what are some of the aspects of marketing that are really what you’re seeing in the current situation right now?
Someone mentioned on one of your previous episodes that if a marketer is not hand in hand with analytics, they are gonna go down a different road that might not produce the same results than if they were hand in hand with analytics.
And I think that just rings so true.
I think like that piece really resonated with me because it’s like, yes, like I, I currently support like a horizontal, I am in a horizontal role.
I support all of like growth, marketing by supplying them with analytics.
It’s, it is a hand in hand process and I would say that trend, you know, if you’re looking to succeed and you, you need to start making data driven decisions, right?
And I don’t think any, any area of a company is exempt from using data.
So I would definitely say like marketing can really benefit by being hand in hand with analytics and even being proactive about it, right?
Like maybe you don’t need an analytics person to spoon feed you the insights, but maybe they can provide you the tools that you need to dig into it yourself.
If you’re not as like analytics savvy, right?
There are a lot of the great tools out there that are easy to use to pick up insights.
And so that’s what I would recommend.
I think it’s really rightfully said, a lot of people even in today’s world do end up focusing like, you know, I would say maybe more on the vanity metrics.
So what would you say are like, you know, some key metrics that you always look out for when you’re helping your businesses like in functioning?
Hm I think every single department within marketing may have their own separate KPIS that they’re really focusing on.
But I think ultimately, if you’re looking to grow revenue of your business, depending on what your business is, you’ll really need to focus on, I would say like funnel efficiency and tying in like some of my, my own like personal experience from my previous role is even looking at like building user trust.
Mhm And what I mean by that is you know, brand perception, brand loyalty.
Those are I would say like some core tenants of user trust, but user trust is kind of like this umbrella and it, it encompasses a lot of different things.
But ultimately, if you have fans of your product, right?
Not just happy users, you have fans, people promoting your product, right?
Like you’re gonna go much further.
and you can only do that once you really establish user trust with them.
And I think that’s so important.
Yeah, I love how they both of these roles are like, sound different but still are intertwined and like one experience has really help you like, you know, grow and bring those insights into your new role.
I’d also love to sort of dive deeper into just like some of the other aspects when dealing with data in general, like is are there particular things that you sort of look out for?
I know we sort of chimed upon quality of data earlier.
So are there other aspects like that that you sort of keep an eye out for?
Especially while you’re focusing on your work?
I think every piece of data that I work with has a lot of great value, but it really depends ultimately on your organization’s priority and what the focus is and not spreading your, your priorities too thin or like your team too thin, right?
Like if you want to do something well, focus on it and make that like 100 and 20% right?
Like growth, right?
Like focus on that piece and then and then zoom in, into the next like nuggets that you wanna focus on?
And the reason why I say that is if you can do something really well, that’s better than doing a lot of things mediocre, right?
So, no, that’s awesome.
And for people that like, you know, might still be in an earlier stage of their careers.
What would you recommend, how would you recommend that they chime into like this industry of like marketing as well as data now that is associated with this marketing aspect.
Do you have any advice for,, like the younger generation who’s still figuring out what’s next for them?
Yeah, a question.
I get a lot whenever I speak with students or folks like trying to figure out in their career is what certification should I get?
A lot of people ask me like, what certification should I get?
Should I pay for one?
You know,, and what, what license is going to get me in the door with X company?
And my response typically is there are so many learning resources out there that if you are hungry enough and hunger is a key aspect to this.
Yeah, that you will be able to learn pretty much whatever you want to learn by, by free.
Like you don’t need to purchase, you know, buy certificate and a lot of those certificates are expensive too, right?
, and if you’re applying for a role, like ideally if you don’t have that certificate, but you show that you can do the work, which is the most important aspect of it, then maybe they’ll pay for you to, to get that certificate ultimately.
So that is my recommendation typically is like it have that hunger and curiosity to, to learn more if you really are driven by it.
And, and dive into the free resources that are out there.
There, there’s so many good ones.
And so that’s what I would say.
No, I think you touched upon a great aspect like hunger and just having the will to learn makes a huge difference.
I’ve also noticed within my own career, like, there have been times I also sort of transition as you know, from like a very typical consulting role to like now being a product manager and it was kind of a huge transition and I was also in this phase where I was like, do I appear for the P MP?
But I do, I don’t have enough experience yet.
Do I take the C A M to sort of get there?
But then you realize like, knowledge is not just restricted to like certifications, right?
If you really want to get at something and is that something that resonates with you, you can, there’s so many free resources out there that you can push yourself to learn from.
some of the best, like even professionals, I know in certain aspects started off with like just learning things or how to do things on youtube.
So even if they’re not in like, you know, businessy role, people can learn to do things like repair things, make things better just out of like share use of videos in youtube.
So I think like, you know, for particular roles such as like ours, it’s, there’s so much resource out there.
So I think that’s a great aspect as long as you have hunger, if there’s the will, you will find the way even without having to spend a lot of money.
So that’s awesome.
And I guess diving like deeper again into the B I and marketing aspect, where do you, I know we talked about like, you know, the current state but where do you sort of see the future of B I and marketing?
What, what do you think is coming up next and what are like, you know, things that you’re already starting to see, make a change in the industry.
You know, I haven’t been in the industry as long as, you know, others may have been because I, I’ve been on this team for a little over a year now within the marketing space, right?
But I think one trend that is becoming a lot more prominent to me or prevalent is, is that business intelligence and data science are almost no longer going to be mutually exclusive or like separate categories.
I think business intelligence is now going to mean data science.
It it’ll go hand in hand.
Because I think probably what, five years ago, maybe 5 to 7 years ago, data science was like the hottest new topic, sexiest job, I think it was labeled, right?
And, and people can’t get enough of data scientists.
And what I see more and more now and especially with like the rise of A I and ML becoming more accessible is having that core understanding of statistics could never be more important.
I think today.
And also just, it’s not just for someone who’s studied only statistics in school, like now statistics a lot more accessible, right?
You have tools that can, can run your A B tests for you and calculate the P values and the power and confidence intervals for you.
And so I think the future B I will be definitely hand in hand with data science.
Yeah, I, I can definitely see that and that I, I think another aspect you touched upon was A I and ML.
And I think that’s become such a again buzzword, like I would say after everybody talking about crypto, now everybody wants to talk about ML.
So I think a lot of people that I, I see a lot of polls on linkedin also where people are discussing, like, you know, do you think A I is taking your job, do you think you’re gonna do a better job with a, I, where do you sort of, you know, see this,, trend really moving forward to?
So, I just wanted to get your thoughts.
Do you think like, a I is here to stay,, or what are your thoughts?
Yeah, I think A I is here to stay,, and I think it’ll push us to be a lot more efficient with our time and like our skill sets, you know,, instead of like spending, you know, several weeks on a single executive deck now with, you know, a, I, maybe you could trim that down to one week.
, but I don’t think ultimately, at least not in the very near future that A I will, you know, replace our jobs or anything like that.
, as far as, you know, everyone’s seen that movie Irobot.
So it’s, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s all in the back of our minds.
Yeah, I think the fact that you’re talking about like, efficiency that’s definitely huge.
I think it’s also up to us how we really make up technology in a lot of aspects, like, as anything really in life also, there’s pros and cons to everything.
, so for me, I think the fact that you talked about, like, you know, how you can increase your productivity, that’s something,, that’s a more positive way of, you know, looking at what you have available to you and how you can make the most out of it.
No, I was just saying so like, you don’t think our jobs are going away anytime soon right now.
Not the immediate future but always be on your toes.
Always be learning.
We’re learning faster than machine, machine learning.
As long as you can outpace machine learning, then you’re fine.
But what I was gonna say to about like A I and ML that I just haven’t seen as many people talk about is you need really good quality data to train your models on and who is gonna create that, right?
Like ultimately, humans will have to, right?
If we want A I to replicate essentially what a human thinks and does.
And there are a lot of like nuances, I think that unless it’s explicitly written or somehow insinuated A I will need to pick up on and having good training and like models on that.
I think we’re definitely, I mean, that is a time investment, right?
To have enough labels, like good labels for your model to learn from.
And so I think that’s one piece that yes, we have all these amazing tools that from, you know, companies that have already created the models and trained the data on, you know, whatever they’ve used already.
But I think in the future, there is gonna be like a necessity for for good quality data.
Yeah, I think the out quality of the output really depends on the quality of the input, right?
So we often talk about the garbage in garbage out approach.
And I see that like now that we’ve done a couple of podcasts, like a lot of the marketers today, that’s definitely like a big is becoming now a big concern for them.
What quality of data and like, so just, I guess that goes to show that there is more effort that’s needed in like focusing on what we’re really feeding our A I or any like sort of our analytics tools, even when it comes to getting the right output because it’s really easy to have these tools out there.
But how accurate are really these tools if you know, they’re not consuming the right inputs.
And who is maintaining quality, like who is managing and checking that the quality is consistently good as new data and new labels are coming out, like, how do we know the ground truth?
And so I think like maintenance is such a core tenant to like ML models.
And I think I think that can’t be something that’s overlooked, right?
Like, sure, yeah, you can create a model but it’ll be inefficient in like two years time because it’s gonna be outdated by then, right?
Or it’s just gonna be repeating itself and not learning.
So, yeah, definitely.
And I think, like, I know you’ve worked at PWC before, you sort of have like also the cybersecurity aspect.
So I think a lot of people are still like, you know, questioning the ethics behind A I and ML Right.
I, I had one of my previous speakers, they sort of talked about A I for social good, which is awesome, you know, that, you know, we’re taking that approach.
But do you, are there any concerns that you’ve experienced or you see foresee coming up with like, you know, just how focused we are on data privacy and then just the E takes behind the data being consumed by A I and ML Yeah, I think like a open question I have is if we know that humans have a lot of biases, how can we be sure that A I won’t?
So like if, if humans are the ones creating A I and then A I is learning from human inputs, how can we ensure that it won’t be faulty to the same way that humans are?
And I think that is such a tricky question and trying to figure it out.
And I’m just glad I I’m in the growth marketing analytics.
Yeah, I think yeah, for, for the next maybe the next podcast I have with you.
You’re like Hershey, I have definitely changed careers now and I’m fully into a IML but not for now.
At least this isn’t your concern.
No, this has been so awesome.
Honestly chatting with you about so many different things today.
I think I always am so inspired by the amazing things that you continue to do for me.
It’s always been how you really push yourself out of your comfort zone and I have definitely seen you have the hunger to want more out of life, out of your career.
So thank you so much Emily for taking the time to inspire us all and also just being so open to sharing your story, your journey and even like some of the fears you might have for the future.
So I really appreciate you know, the time you took out today and I’m sure all our listeners have gotten a lot to gain from you today.
So thank you.
Thank you so much Hershey.
I really appreciate being here.
This is fantastic and for all you listeners out there, stay hungry.
So, yeah, thank you so much to everyone that tuned in today and we will be coming out shortly with more episodes just so you can learn more about marketing, stay hungry and stay learning.
Thank you so much.