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The Importance of Understanding Data in the Agency World

Tradd Salvo, Senior Data Strategist at Droga5, shares his industry expertise on the importance of understanding data’s role in an agency workplace and why young professionals should seek education on data-driven marketing.

What do you think is the most important skill for a young professional to have if they are interested in working in an agency setting?

I think what makes someone coming into an agency, or interviewing for an agency, more useful is their understanding of critical thinking. Anyone can teach a skill, like Python or C-Force or something like that, those are easy to teach. The hard thing is understanding how to solve a problem and the steps that it takes. So, that fundamental critical thinking is what everyone is really looking for right now. Also, understanding the role that data plays. Data doesn't really answer the question, it helps you answer a question, but it doesn't do all the work. Understanding how you put systems in place and use data to solve a problem means you inherently understand the overarching goal of that campaign. You use your critical thinking to do all that. That's really what's valuable to agencies.

What does “data” mean in an agency setting?

I think that data's a buzzword. I think that a lot of people just assume that it's just spreadsheets or measurements, which in a lot of cases it can be, but I think people need to really hone in and focus on what they want to get out of data. Data is essentially a tool, right? So, it's more of understanding what companies need from that tool and learning the types of skills needed to get that information moving forward.

Why should young professionals seek education about data-marketing communications?

I do think it's important, now more than ever, to understand the fundamentals of data earlier on in education and really explore how data can be useful because I think it's still an untapped vehicle. Just like using data to solve problems I think that there's a lot of things that we can do with it and is super exciting. I mean, I love data to the core, like I love the fact that we can use all this information to solve big problems, but I think I just want, like everyone else, people to understand that this is a really interesting industry. Data is a really interesting thing and it's really rewarding to use data to do something that's as massive as a global advertising campaign or help people with the data that you find. There’s just a lot to be done.


Want to learn more from Tradd Salvo? Register today for Integrate where Tradd, along with a great line up of speakers, will present on the most up to date marketing communications strategies and technologies. Experts in PR, data, healthcare, creative, digital and social media will converge in Morgantown for Integrate 2020.