AoF 69: Could you use an Analytics Quarantune? w/ Tiankai Feng

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Today’s episode features Tiankai Feng, Global Director and Voice of Consumer Analytics at Adidas. Tiankai is going to help you decide if you need an analytics Quarantune. A quarantune is music or a song that is created for quarantine. The best part about this one is that it is all about data and analytics. Trust me – it’s not only fun but it literally speaks to our daily lives in this field!!  

In this super fun episode, my amazing co-host Lillian Pierson and myself discuss Tiankai’s unique talent for combining analytics and music and how it plays into his day-to-day roll at Adidas. He also shares his Digital Analytics Anthem while dropping a number of knowledge bombs right in the song. Tune in to find out if you could use an analytics quarantune. Knowledge bombs galore!

“It proved to me that combining music and work and using music as a way of loosening up and communicating something serious can work.”

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3 Knowledge Bombs

  • [26:03] - Tiankai on working with analysts: Analysts are great collaborators and not only service functions that have to follow your guidance, but we have to work together to make an impact.
  • [34:54] - Tiankai on the pandemic: You can predict and plan the most things possible, but when really big unexpected things happen like a pandemic or a huge society issue then none of those plans can actually work as you planned before. Having data and timely insights is even more important now so you can act timely and the right way.
  • [41:01] - Tiankai on the Perfect Job: It is always easy to complain, but it is so much harder to solve the issues. If you are not happy with the situation then try to change it.

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • [00:54]  - Tiankai is going to help you decide if you need an analytics Quarantune. A Quarantune is music or a song that is created for quarantine.
  • [02:04]  - Tiankai drops a number of knowledge bombs in his Quarantune, Digital Analytics Anthem.
  • [03:11]  - Mico shares some thoughtful feedback from a podcast listener.
  • [04:58]  - The book raffle is happening in our Facebook group, come join the group and enter the giveaway.
  • [06:55]  - Tiankai is famous for creating the digital analytics Quarantune. Quarantine + music!
  • [08:49]  - His day job is being the voice of consumer insights at Adidas. By night he is a passionate musician. Most people don’t know that during his studies he was earning his living as a bar pianist.
  • [11:54]  - Tiankai is married with a 15-month-old son. He is also a big music fan!
  • [14:19]  - Tiankai’s team at Adidas includes three team members right now and his team focuses on understanding the consumer field back online to make the best decisions.
  • [16:32]  - He shares the German history of both Adidas and Puma.
  • [18:47]  - A Quarantune is an original song about the situation of being in quarantine. He used Quarantunes to put a more positive and fun spin on the quarantine.
  • [19:41]   - He got a lot of positive feedback on LinkedIn and almost went LinkedIn viral. It was just the right content at the right time for the right people. He came in with a fun approach singing about the situation but how we can get through it together.
  • [20:42]  - Key Quote: “It proved to me that combining music and work and using music as a way of loosening up and communicating something serious can work.”
  • [21:37]  - He did not expect a big audience. It was just a fun project that he wanted to do for some close friends and colleagues but it became so much bigger.
  • [22:25]  - The Quarantune was first most popular in the Adidas employee group and then it got a life of its own as people started sharing it.
  • [25:24]  - In pop culture most of the sidekicks to the main heroes are also analysts. Without the analysts, the hero would be dead.
  • [26:38]  - Tiankai shares analyst struggles.
  • [27:45]  - By singing and rapping about how the day to day of a data analyst looks and what we can do, I hope it makes a mindset change for people that work with analysts and maybe the next time they see them in a different way.
  • [28:06]  - Tinkai dives into the challenges on how analysts are treated and how to fix the problem.
  • [28:39]  - Data analysts have been seen and stereotyped as just being the “data guys.” In today’s world, data analysts can do so much more.
  • [29:12]  - Analysts need to be the translators between the data and the business world. By pointing out that we are great sidekicks, we can solve this problem together.
  • [30:23]  - Without a great sidekick giving them the best guidance possible they would not make the right decision. Sidekicks are actually depicted as partners to the heroes.
  • [31:46]  - Being a sidekick enforces the fact that we are here to help them and at the end of the day we will put all the credit back on you.
  • [33:05]  - Power Quote: Sometimes we need to show this humility towards your client to show that we are not there to be the hero instead of you, but that we are there to make you the hero as a sidekick.
  • [36:02]  - Exploratory understanding in analytics is all about making sense of all the data that is available outside to then identify what it means to you and what you can do as a brand.
  • [36:58]  - Key Quote: Balancing the performance measurement and the exploratory understanding is the key for any brand moving forward.
  • [38:58]  - One piece of advice for his younger self: There is no perfect job, but you can make a job perfect for yourself through your own passion and actions.
  • [39:54]  - Depending on what the mindset of the people I work with is, I can still have flexibility in how I shape the project and what actually the scope will be about.
  • [41:01]  - Key Quote: It is always easy to complain, but it is so much harder to solve the issues. If you are not happy with the situation then try to change it.
  • [42:29]  - John Krasinski inspired Tiankai because he started a good new YouTube series during the quarantine and used his energy for good.
  • [43:36]  - Tiankai’s book recommendation: Because Internet by Gretchen McCulloch.
  • [47:41]  - He is on fire about the Dark series on Netflix. Back to the Future is his all-time favorite movie.
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“Data analysts are great sidekicks. Without a great sidekick giving them the best guidance possible they would not make the right decision.”

Links and Resources mentioned in this episode:

  • Tiankai’s fav resources

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