Improve existing applications with better business intelligence | #SeizeTheData

Eva Donaldson

For companies of any size, effective implementation and structuring of the data already available to them can lead to significant improvements in operations, marketing and retaining relevance in their industry.

Eva Donaldson, data architect and software engineer at iContact, LLC, sat down to talk with Dave Vellante (@dvellante) and Paul Gillin (@pgillin), cohosts of theCUBE, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, during the HPE Big Data Conference about iContact’s evolving use of data, what practices are considered good and bad in the modern e-marketing world, and her own roundabout path to the IT world.

Breaking expectations

To start, Donaldson addressed her double-title status. “The reason that I have both of those titles is because I was originally brought on as a software engineer. So iContact said, ‘We have business problems we need to solve, and we need to write a whole bunch of teeny-tiny applications to solve those problems.’”

However, after analyzing iContact’s business issues, she realized that it did not actually need an application to handle them, but instead to refine and improve the applications it already had with better business intelligence.

Building up

iContact’s business focus is on e-marketing across a wide range of avenues, though email remains its core. At the time that Donaldson joining the company, she found that it had too much data to simply answer the questions that were being put to it, and the structuring of the data indexing limited its usability.

But when Donaldson brought these findings to the company, along with her recommendations of improving the business intelligence and a description of its current approach as “business stupidity,” it took her on as a data architect, a position in which she has worked with iContact to improve its data collection and utilization.

Identifying needs

Today, iContact’s widening efforts to put data to better work covers several practices, including improving collected points of data with email, creating understandable analyses of which factors are impacting customer reactions, and how these can be improved and filtering out spam transmissions from shared ISPs so that legitimate mailing won’t be interrupted as part of a blanket response.

For Donaldson, who majored in cultural anthropology, the move to this career was an unexpected one, but she counts herself lucky to be faced with clear and distinct business problems, as these are where she feels the most can be done to improve operations.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of the HPE Big Data Conference.

Photo by SiliconANGLE