I was thrilled to learn that our very own Andy Boothe was named as a In2 Innovator of the Year this past week.

Andy is the longest tenured analytics professional at W2O, initially hired as an analyst at W2O after an engineering stint at IBM. He spent his early days at W2O producing online influencer reports, a process and deliverable we have longed-called, “The Meme”. Back then, this process took nearly 8 weeks and involved an absurd amount of manual labor, such as pulling Google search results into thousands of rows in Excel, manually reading through each result to make sure it was relevant, and manually matching up each online influencer to their respective social media properties.

Andy, being the engineer that he is, found our manual processes to be a tragic waste of human time and ingenuity. So he created a series of tools that automated nearly every painful part of the Meme process. Within a few years, the time to produce a Meme has gone down about 80% through the clever use of ML techniques and distributed workload through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.

Andy has had an outsized impact on W2O’s “speed to data-driven insight” by creating a system of systems and tools known as our Analytics Operating System (AOS). These tools free analysts from rote, manual data collection and cleansing exercises. Today, analysts spend most of their time testing hypotheses and making sense of patterns in data that tell us how to better connect our clients to audiences that matter to them. It’s one of the key things that has allowed us to scale the practice to over 100 analytics professionals today and impact nearly every single W2O client.

Andy’s innovative qualities go beyond scaling and automation. For many of us at W2O, he is the first person we go to when facing what appears to be an insurmountable data and analytics problem. His competency as an Engineer might only be exceeded by his problem solving skills and creative approaches to research design and data analysis. In fact, I’ve only once heard him say, “no, that can’t be done” – the time I tried to get Andy (a true blooded Texan) to try barbecue in San Francisco. His hacker’s mindset has been an inspiration to me and my colleagues at W2O for years.

So please join me in congratulating Andy on the great achievement!


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