Notes from Industry

Microservices is my go-to framework for building a nimble, effective data function. Here’s how and what I’ve learned

A data team is a specialist business function setup to leverage data and insights in decision making.

I’ve built two data teams in my career so far. The first was building the Decision Science function at Instagram. It was an important role with a wide remit. We supported business teams…


Scale your customer insights with a fully automated NPS survey process to rival programs at tech titans like Facebook or Google

Automated insight-gathering programs were once a super power that tech titans like Facebook and Google leveraged en masse to grow their businesses.

When I worked at Instagram, for example, we had a fully automated customer survey program that hummed along like a well-oiled engine. NPS surveys were sent daily, responses…


Seven principles Analytics uses to set goals for Instagram Marketing campaigns.

We take goals very seriously at Instagram. Goals are important anchors and focus points. They ensure everyone is aligned and set expectations on what a particular marketing program is trying to achieve.

As a Analytics leader, it is my responsibility to set goals for marketing programs.

However, setting a goal…


Marketing Analysts should take note of Selection Effect. Unchecked, Select Effect bias can lead to false positives and the wrong investments.

Selection Effect is a pervasive threat to the validity of any marketing analysis. So analysts should be acutely aware of this phenomenon to ensure they don’t overstate marketing impact.

This article is a brief discussion about Selection Effect and how I try to combat this type of bias in my…


What’s the difference between a Data Scientist and a Decision Scientist?

At Instagram, we have many different job roles that analyze data. A few of the ‘data’ job titles include: Data Scientists, Analysts, Researchers and Growth marketing.

But there’s often a lot of confusion between the roles of Data Scientist vs Decision Scientist.

We have both here at Instagram and they…


Skills needed to start a CSS career and industries that hire CSS professionals

This post was written for and originally appeared on SAGE Ocean

It’s an exciting time to be in social science. Social media, digital identities and the world of big data has opened up new ways for social scientists to study and examine social phenomenon.

Some examples include using online search…


Marketing Analytics is a multifaceted but often misunderstood practice. Here’s an example day to highlight the diversity of the role.

Marketing Analytics is often the foundation of any world-class Marketing program. But conferences, interviews and meetings have taught me that very few people understand the world of Marketing Analytics.

Some incorrectly describe Marketing Analytics solely as digital analytics — tracking visits, clicks and conversions. Yes, we do that but that’s…


Organizational bias in data use has long flown under-the-radar. However, its impact on businesses and their bottom-line can be destructive. This article aims to start the discussion on organizational bias, including what it is and why you need to be vigilant in limiting its impact around the business.

Data use…


Company-level dashboards are special. They hold the most important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) across each department and business area.

Everyone in organization gravitates to the company-level dashboard, from the CEO to the newest team member. This makes them a focusing tool as much as a reporting tool. …


I’ve been working in Analytics for nearly 14 years now. Over that time, I’ve seen the measurement landscape change dramatically.

Coding packages come and go. New ‘exciting’ areas of analytics come and go. So it can hard for aspiring analysts to know where to focus.

However, I’ve found a number…

Chris Dowsett

Head of Decision Science + Analytics @ Spaceship. Ex Instagram + Intuit. PhD. Social Scientist. Conservation, paddleboards & smoothie fan. Views are mine only.

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