Meet the Team is a recurring series on the PowerReviews blog, allowing you to get to know the people behind our success.
We recently sat down with Arend Henderson, our SVP, Analytics, to chat about how he likes to take risks and use his creative side – to improve a client’s understanding of how analytics can be used to improve business, and to improve a wicked barbecue sauce at a 4th of July party.
With about 20 years in a leadership role in analytics at other firms, what brought you to PowerReviews?
On one hand, I was working heavily in the advertising industry, and this allowed me a new and interesting challenge on the consumer side of things. On a higher level, my decision to come here was a combination of data, the people here, and the untapped potential that analytics presents for the customers here.
Looking at report data can be overwhelming for non-technical folks. What do you love about it?
It’s funny, compared to many others in my field, I fall more on the creative side of things. But those on the outside still see what I do as very technical. What we can do is very special – the data available from ratings and reviews can tell a retailer or brand what people think of their products, and even how they rank compared to the competition. This is information that industries spend a lot of time and money trying to obtain, and we can coax this all from the data. That’s exciting.
How do you approach the practical benefits of analytics with your clients?
I find that the basics cannot be underrated, and that the focus needs to be on the business questions, with an eye to continuously refining those questions. While some folks can be dazzled by a new technique, or want to see some sort of chart that shows them some aspect of data, I may challenge them by asking what they are looking to do with the data. Our goal here is to provide more insightful solutions, and not just necessarily respond to a specific request when we may have more to offer our clients.
Do you find your clients utilize their reporting capabilities to their greatest advantage?
We have some great products, but sometimes the most useful tools are already right there, built into the reporting. The core value is in the tracking of site behavior and conversion, combined with the ratings and review information. We’re always available to talk to our clients, to dig deeper in order to bring out the most beneficial data, including how to act upon what is discovered.
How do you explore your creative side outside of the office?
In my free time I like to relax with my wife and two sons. I especially enjoy photography, and making a fantastic barbecue for friends and neighbors. I love when I can try something new and get an unexpected, delicious result.