Sometimes we forget the humans behind the tech in our ever busy world. DSF is fortunate enough to know some incredible tech leaders across the world and has the privilege of hearing them present at our events. That being said, our Speaker Spotlight sets the stage to get to know our speakers on a more personal level and connect them with our growing community. Read the mini interview below!

A bit about Igor

Igor is part of the global Marketing Science team at Meta (previously Facebook) based in London, helping agencies and advertisers find true business value through a range of solutions designed to measure audience, brand and sales outcomes. Nuclear scientist & mathematician by education, prior to joining Meta, Igor held various senior analytical positions within data, tech and analytics units within media agencies in Prague, Dubai, and London.

How did you start out in your tech career?

I studied mathematics at the Faculty of Nuclear Science and Physical Engineering at Czech Technical University in Prague, and it was still during my studies that I took up a “part-time job” as an analyst statistician at a marketing agency. Having been deep into the theories & academic thinking at the uni, I really loved how the same mathematical & statistical concepts could be applied in business, and use science to solve specific tactical & strategic marketing challenges for brands.

What are the signs of success in your field?

There are many components that influence how you can measure success but most important in my opinion are passion, fulfilment, work-life balance, sustainability and the levels of self-actualisation. It’s my opinion that the perception of success is subjective and success can mean something very different for each individual – everyone has to find their own definition and balance.

What is the best and worst thing about your job role?

Best part is the people in our industry who I get to work on solving some of the largest, complex, long-term challenges. I often find the best challenges at the intersection of the various facets of marketing effectiveness – between contemporary marketing mix modeling, holistic attribution and experimentation. The hardest part and in fact the highest potential improvement is the speed at which we as the industry – and advertisers – embrace science in marketing. There are still so many unscientific methods in budget allocation that lead to possibly wasted money and resources.

What can you advise someone just starting out to be successful?

Always aim to solve large, interesting problems and challenges and in particular those that are meaningful to you. Thrive in ambiguity, sharpen your problem solving skills and early on try to get the sense of diversity of assignments – it’s the learning by varied experience that you get the most personal and professional growth. And put heart into what you’re doing. I’m personally very vision/mission driven; and it’s very important to me thinking about the bigger pictures. Long term goals are important for me. Are you able to see the reason why you are doing what you are doing?

How do you switch off?

Sport! Beyond my passion for numbers, I like rock climbing, mountaineering and trail running. Long term goals give me strength and energy to endure, and I actually love the feeling of not knowing something and then mastering it.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Always aim to “optimize for experience”. You have the ownership of your career – and it’s about finding meaningful opportunities that will keep you motivated and energised for the long term.

What are your top 5 predictions in tech for the next 5 years?

I believe that AI/ML will continue to proliferate ever more over the next few years across all tech and tech applications. Within marketing & marketing data science specifically, I think we will see an acceleration of the trend and growth of in-housing analytics. This is mainly linked to more data skills and presence of more data scientists entering the workplace (which itself is great!). Alongside this and as it is the case with more “modeling” & more applications of AI, we will see increased demand for more transparent processes – no more black box. So I think in turn, this will lead to further growth and adoption of open source and open source techniques. The next 5 years I foresee will be of industry collaboration, openness & establishing best practices of what works best but doing it in an open & transparent way. Specifically with media & marketing, I believe the potential of aggregated analyses such as contemporary ML-powered marketing mix models (MMM) or PETs (privacy enhancing technologies), a set of open protocols based on cryptography to re-establish some of marketing effectiveness techniques that are impacted by the changes in ad ecosystem such as cookie deprecation.

Watch Igors’s session at the Data Science Festival here.

Thank you to all our wonderful speakers for taking part in our Speaker Spotlight!

Want to become a DSF Speaker? Apply here!