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Employee Spotlight: Anne Lo, Senior Analytics Lead

by Charlotte Zee, April 29, 2021

Meet Anne Lo, Senior Analytics Lead at Amobee. A veteran of the marketing analytics field, Anne conducts data analysis and visualization to support Amobee’s clients. Though no day is the same, critical to Anne’s ability to provide data-driven insights everyday is taking a step back to see and understand the ‘bigger picture’. Learn more about Anne, an avid traveler, proud UCLA Bruin, and an East Bay SPCA volunteer in today’s Employee Spotlight. 

Big picture, why did you join Amobee?

I’ve been working in the online advertising space for a long time. Amobee (formerly Turn) was one of the largest data and media management platforms that provides online advertising planning, activation, and analysis in one platform. I was attracted to the role because it was with a more established company in the space, and was both a DSP and DMP, both of which are important for success in the industry. Moving forward, I believe there is huge potential in the programmatic and convergence space, not just in display advertising but other digital media. This is the space I want to be in.

 What’s your day-to-day like?

Similar to how most teams function at Amobee, I don’t have a typical routine, but I structure my day depending on my current projects and commitments. I enjoy the flexibility that this work style offers, and it allows me to work efficiently in terms of communicating a timeline to constituents. Overall, my role is 80% data analysis and 20% client facing. The technical portion involves cutting and slicing data differently to identify useful patterns, finding ways to visualize the materials, or putting a client presentation together. The other side of the coin is to interact with clients to understand their business objectives and questions they want to answer so I can compile a comprehensive analysis to meet their needs. While it’s challenging to highlight a favorite aspect of my work, I enjoy strategically solving problems and providing actionable solutions for clients.

Tell us about your experiences prior to joining and how they have prepared you for your role today?

Most of my analytics career is online measurement related. Starting with site analytics, online advertising effectiveness, and then social media insights. All these experiences provide me with a unique perspective on how data fits together and how to approach a business problem.

What makes Amobee the right fit for you?

Prior to joining Amobee in 2016, I was looking for a client-facing analytics role, and Amobee had established itself as one of the leaders in the space. I was also very impressed with everyone I met with during my interview. My interview took place at the San Francisco office, where I am based now, and I met with the account team in person and most of the analytics team virtually. In past roles, I was the only analytics person in the office, but at Amobee, there are analytics people across the globe, so it’s exciting to work with colleagues who are in a similar line of work. I also had the opportunity to meet new hires from different teams during the onboarding process, which stood out to me at the beginning of my time here. When the opportunity presented itself to join Amobee, I knew it was the right fit.

How did you choose data analytics as your career path?

I received my BS degree in computer engineering from UCLA. At the time, computer engineering programs did not have an emphasis on software engineering, so I went on to pursue IT to figure out my path. While I was employed at National University in the Bay Area, I got my MBA, during which, I became interested in market research due to my background in analytics. Following the completion of my MBA, I had my first non-tech role in market research. Since then, I’ve been working in the online advertising space and it is fascinating to see the progression of technology and how it changes ad buying online. I really enjoy the type of work which requires both the left and right sides of the brain to work together. I use both sides of my brain in my work by finding creative ways to share insights with clients, whether through a graph or a table.

From your perspective, how has analytics (i.e. technology, the way we collect and present data) evolved from when you began your career in analytics?

The world of analytics has changed a lot since the beginning of my career, and will continually evolve. Analytics used to mainly encompass performance reports to monitor traffic, but audience level analyses were rare and expensive. Nowadays, we are storing more data in large data warehouses with faster processing capabilities. Companies such as Amobee can discover patterns in large datasets to identify business trends and customers’ needs to guide future investment and reach their target audience.

I think data analytics will eventually move closer to data science, which involves predictions and forecasting the future. Convergence is an important story in ad tech, but the question about linking everything together still remains. Now our goal is to reach the right audience at the right place and at the right time. The industry will evolve to meet that challenge.

How would you describe your problem solving process as an analyst? What resources do you turn to?

I’ve developed my problem solving process on the job, through consulting with clients, understanding their needs, and keeping the big picture or the ‘so what?’ in mind. The most effective approach is to define the problem and what the expected outcome looks like. It is really difficult to produce an actionable analysis if you don’t know what you are aiming for. Once you know what you are trying to solve, it is then breaking down the problem into smaller steps, identifying potential roadblocks, determining action plans, and tackling it one by one. 

What are you looking forward to most post-pandemic? 

One thing Covid-19 reminds me of is that I should not take anything for granted because life is short. In the next five years, I want to step outside my comfort zone and try new things. Traveling is the top of my list. I traveled through London, Amsterdam and France just a couple months before the Covid-19 lockdown started. I would love to start planning my next trip soon; I am flexible on location, but I would be interested in exploring Belgium. I traveled to Belgium as a kid, but I don’t remember it too well. Something else I want to do is take classes just for fun, such as a cooking class or pottery.

What advice would you give to young women hoping to pursue a career in data analytics?

Don’t be afraid to speak up. Ask questions if you don’t know. Likely you know more about the subject than most people in the room. You want to be respectful and thoughtful on what you have to say, but don’t assume people know what you know.

What is your favorite moment you’ve had with the Amobee team so far?

Analytics leads generally work independently. We had an analytics summit a couple of years ago where analytics team members flew from all over the world and gathered in Redwood City for a few days. Outside of the summit, we enjoyed dinner and drinks as a team and participated in a cooking event. While the US analytics team does share knowledge all the time, we rarely work with our counterparts in Europe, Australia, and Asia. It was great meeting everyone in person, and I enjoyed the camaraderie of the team.

Tell us one fun fact about you

I have been volunteering at the East Bay SPCA since 2007 and have a weekly shift playing with cats and cleaning their habitats. I am not able to do that during the pandemic but I would love to pick that up again once it is safe to do so.

What show, book, or podcast have you enjoyed engaging with recently?

I listen to podcasts while I walk everyday. An interesting podcast I listened to recently is ‘Stuff You Should Know,’ where the hosts discuss a certain topic in-depth. A show I watched recently is ‘The Food That Built America.’ The show centers around the inception of big food brands, such as Hershey’s and Dominos. Since watching the show, I’ve learned so much that has changed the way I view these brands. For example, one episode was on Nabisco, which I learned was short for ‘National Biscuit Company.’ I find it Interesting to learn about brands that I wouldn’t otherwise research. 

Any final thoughts you’d like to share?

To close the interview, I’d like to share a quote that resonates with me: ‘luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.’ To me, this means that it is important to be open to new experiences, as you can take something away from all experiences. Listen to your gut and seize opportunities when you are ready for them.

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