Although I received my college degree in the Arts, my passion has always taken me toward the analytics side of the business. In my first job recruiting Accountants for the Illinois CPA Society, I naturally gravitated toward tracking and measurement. I used “colored dots” on each of the recruitment applications to track the number of contact attempts, creative variation, and referrals. This wasn’t something that was taught to me in school; it was just something I wanted to do to understand behaviors and exceed the acquisition targets.
I was fortunate to join Discover Card when they were still a relatively small startup. This is where I fell in love with the power of a time-series database and all it could afford. While we still hadn’t been introduced to the words “structured” and “unstructured” data, we used a value to track every customer behavior…and non-behavior. While I struggled with statistics in university, barely passing with a “D,” I learned to love the power that behavioral scoring models gave me as a marketer and P&L owner. And oh boy, then came the predictive models…models on top of models. We had to build a “filter model” just to avoid over contact with the small customer base. Although I absolutely loved the creative end of the business, my passion for data allowed me to experiment and be creative in its applications.
With 30 years of “big data” experience under my belt, this story could go on for pages. Over my career, I have established analytic functions within the marketing organizations for which I worked. I’ve worked in many industries and applied new analytic techniques to define business strategies. My advice to others is to continuously test and learn. Experiment with applications from banking in retail. Export your knowledge from tech to CPG. Study how other industries are using data and analytics to solve problems, identify growth opportunities and drive productivity, then try them at your company.
One of the most important aspects for those new to the analytics’ field is to bridge insights to action. Today’s CEOs are looking for employees who not only can mine the data but can interpret insights and work with teams to execute against action plans that deliver hard results. The ability to utilize the right brain and the left brain, the art and the science, is what is in most demand today as long as you can show positive results.
The one thing that those most know about me is that I always start with consumer insights on all projects. Taking the time to understand consumer trends, behavioral data, and quantitative and qualitative insights have always guided my direction on a project. These projects can end up in a new AI method, a new creative design approach, a machine learning bot, or a new product innovation. By following this methodology, I have successfully filed 11 US patent applications for unique products or promotions that all started with data analysis.
Recently, I was working in the insurance industry and feel there is so much more that can be done on product configurations, pricing, underwriting, and the consumers’ financial well-being. I read, think, analyze and ideate solutions to the world’s healthcare crises and associated financial toxicity in my spare time. The biggest challenge is to get the decision makers to understand the analytics and move from being risk adverse to pro-active with data-driven solutions. I want to be at the forefront of solving this challenge.
I’ve been married for 30 years and moved together 14 times for my work. We have three adorable dogs. I am a dog person and treat them like kids, now that my three children are on their own.
Beyond that, I like to serve as a mentor to those junior to me. To help them see the facts and measure their achievements. I even had my son at age 17 give me an ROI analysis on his two university degree options. He ended up choosing the one with the highest return…success! My next venture is to build my advisory business to young adults globally through social networks. This way I can continue to provide guidance and advice to build the next generation of “hard-side marketers.”
Meet Gail Galuppo: A Hard-side Marketer, an Inventor, and an Adventurer.