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Web Analytics Consultants Summit 2018 In Tokyo, Japan

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The 5th annual web analytics conference saw a final-lap surge in registration.  One week before the conference began, the capacity was increased from 300 to 400 seats!  The organiser had to scale up 33% to accommodate the surge.

Welcome to Web Analytics Consultants Summit 2018.

 

As a winner of a writing contest organised by Web Analytics Consultants Association (WACA), I was invited to the event on a fully sponsored trip to Tokyo, Nippon.  The contest was organised across six countries in ASEAN and Japan.  With so many talents, I was indeed lucky to be selected.

Above Picture: Mr Dennis Sugahara Presents Award To Best Content Producer

I am also informed that the 2nd prize of Apple product goes to an Indonesian.

Along with these, there were also WACA’s membership and exam vouchers worth about US$300.00 up for grabs.

This conference is interesting for me in two ways, as usually, such formal event would be held during the work week in Singapore instead of a Saturday.

Secondly, I get to meet industry experts, practitioners and learners, like myself in digital marketing.  The programmes put together for the seminar allow me to learn and interact with people across various segments of the industry from the land of the rising sun.

With the assistance of a translator Mr Hayato Kawaguchi in the event, which is conducted entirely in Japanese language, helps me to better relate to some of the materials by the presenters during the conference.

The first to kick-off is a Japanese Googler, Mr Takeshi Kanaya, and from what I can glean from his prezo, shares about several components in Google’s arsenal in big data, data analytics and algorithms.

 

 

One particular subject that captures my attention is known as ‘PageSpeed Insights’ (PSI), which refers to an online engine to analyse loading speed of a website or landing page.  Which I reckon also refers largely to latency.

As e-commerce continues to be a driving force and many in the industry would know, users and consumers at large can be very impatient.  If a landing page or website takes too long to load (sometimes in a matter of a second or two), potential and existing customers can abandon the site in a blink.

To merchants, this can represent lost sales.  Importantly if not more, it can also affect a brands’ name and its dependability perception.  Below is a screen shot of a sample PSI analysis.

 

 

PSI can guide web owners and administrators to optimise their online assets and become efficient in delivering user experience.

This can be carried out for digital properties in desktop and mobile versions.  Besides providing a snapshot of delivery performance, Google says it can also go granular.  The depths of capabilities allow developers to go deep into making their digital assets run efficiently.

Several talented speakers from digital and analytics practitioners to agency professionals also take to the stage delivering speeches in their experiences.  However, one speaker makes a deep impression.  He sings!

 

 

Yes, besides giving a conventional form of speech with slide deck, Mr Nozomu Kubota, who runs his own practice from CNXT ends his presentation in a song with rousing applause from the floor.  According to Hayato, he belts about using his product and solution.  This is quite a refreshing way to convey a message to an audience.  Two Thumbs Up!

At the same time, I also wonder if what he sells would be going for a song?!

The summit also sees over 20 professionals being recognised for their contributions to the field of analytics, adding value to the Japanese economy and individual know-how.

 

 

I have the honour to share the stage with these creative folks. 

An award recipient, a lady by the name of Shikama Manami, also wins the ‘Best of the Best’ award.  According to Hayato, this award is given through a voting process by about 10,000 people, for an analytics practitioner who outshines all the rest in the previous year.

 

Above Picture: Mr Toshiaki Ejiri Elaborates About Ms Shikama Manami As Best of The Best Winner

WACA, which is head-quartered in Japan, has over 30,000 trainees across several countries in ASEAN and its homeland passing through its doors, progressively aims to bring quality education in analytics to a diverse range of industries and its professionals.

Concurrently during the seminar, additional actions are taking place outside the conference hall.

 

 

Besides having participants taking pictures with social media cut-out placards at the summit, in my walkaround at the exhibition area and with the help of Hayato, I get to learn about the solutions exhibitors showcase.

 

 

From specialists in heat-mapping solution to forecasting applications.

 

 

 

 

As the day progresses towards the evening, Mr Toshiaki Ejiri, who founded WACA in 2004, takes to the stage in his concluding remarks for the summit. 

 

All in all, what surprises me is perhaps the culture to Japanese eagerness to learn.

In Singapore, it is quite common that majority of conference participants would leave an event before it ends.  And at times, organisers need to resort to attractive lucky draw prizes to incentivise people to stay. 

While I was later told that early departure by conference goers is quite similar here, but from observations, most stay in this one.  I am not sure if this is a one-off occurrence but certainly an interesting cultural difference for me to take away.

The other thing I am amazed about is in notes-taking. 

Yes, taking notes while presenters talk.  As some presentations also contain elements of business cases along with tips and tricks, a quick scan around my neighbours shows that many in the audience busy themselves with taking notes.

 

 

This is in contrast with similar conferences I have attended in other countries, including Singapore.

(In the context of learning with WACA, it is fundamental to point out that WACA provides certification courses in three competency stages, starting at a Consultant level to a Master.)

It is almost 1900hrs, Hayato informs me that participants would adjourn one floor above for food and drinks and networking session.

 

 

 

When I see the tables of foods and drinks, second thought pops up, “perhaps it is this sumptuous spread of buffet which makes majority of the participants stay”!

As this is a Japanese event, I am thankful to Ms Foo Wai Foong and Mr Hayato Kawaguchi for their hard work to periodically facilitate translations.

The exchanges with attendees provide networking opportunities in many areas.

 

Above Picture: At Extreme Left, Mr Hayato Kawaguchi

As the curtain to the event falls, I wish WACA a successful completion of the summit and all the best in their future endeavours and initiatives.

Posted by Gary Tan Kar Quan

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