WICT New England hosted a “Conversation with Jessica Gelman” around utilizing analytics to grow your business at the annual NECTA Convention in Newport, RI on July 13, 2017. The interview-style chat was hosted by Rachel Holt, Video Host at NESN.com. Jessica was a great fit for not only with our theme for the year, “Educate and Elevate”, she also was a great fit for NECTA’s them for this year’s convention: Focus on Customer Service.

A few key takeaways from the session:

Have a vision – and be OK to evolve it as you go.

As the co-founder of the MIT Sloan Analytics Sports Conference, Jessica spoke to what her (and co-founder Daryl Morey’s) vision was for the launch of this first-of-a-kind sports analytics conference — to create a network where technology and use of data can be shared to strengthen business, product or operational functions in the sports industry. She wasn’t quite sure the conference would take off like it did, which ultimately created new avenues for talent discovery in this space as well, in particular for women. Her involvement with the sports analytics conference was an extension of how she approached her role with the Kraft Group. Jessica made it clear that success comes from support from leadership and the willingness to be in front of understanding consumer behavior as opposed to being reactive to it which leads to the second takeaway …

Be forward-thinking.

In Jessica’s world, strategic change has been driven by information and insights gleaned from consumer data: it’s about serving what the customers want. It starts with knowing what problem you’re trying to solve and identifying the right questions to ask. Then you can use information to help prioritize where you want to focus your change, be it messaging to consumers or even operational efficiencies for your business unit.

Both of these takeaways can be applied no matter what your role, be it serving in a leadership or operational capacity, managing internal stakeholders, external partners or direct-to-consumer products and services. It’s important to have and state a goal, then determine what you need to put in place to achieve it.