EmoryMAC 2014
Marketers from around Atlanta and the southeast gathered to discuss trends and the future at this year’s EmoryMAC conference. PHOTO: Allison Shirreffs

“It’s not about data, it’s about the stories you will tell with the data.”

Google’s Saket Kumar spoke with an almost inspiring tone, encouraging the marketers in the room to think beyond the numbers.

Thus was the tone of the Emory Marketing Analytics Center Spring Conference on March 21.

Each year the center hosts hundreds from around the Southeast eager to learn best practices and trends in a now data-rich environment.

“This year we had some very well-received presentations from representatives of firms who had not presented in prior years, including IBM/Target Corporation on retail assortment optimization, Chick-fil-A on new product testing, and Google on making data work for you,” said Doug Bowman, a Goizueta professor and co-director of the center.

Kumar encouraged attendees to think of ways to visualize data. He said it requires curiosity, an understanding of math (or ability to see patterns), domain knowledge and as much organizational knowledge as possible.

“If you can not show it to people who aren’t quantitative and make an argument, it’s no good,” he said.