Sami Vaala

Sami Vaala

Senior Web Analyst+358 50 359 6844sami.vaala@quru.fi

 

Achievements
  • Graduated Haaga-Helia Marketing and Service Design (2004)
Publications/Awards
  • Divia Seminar (Speaker) Helsinki 2010
  • Dimar Webinar (Kävijätiedon hyödyntäminen & globaalin tunnettuuden lisääminen)
  • Thesis contributions Search and Email marketing. (Case Sähkölehto Oy & Camicle Finland)
Certifications
  • GAIQ (Google Analytics Individual Qualification)
  • Snoobi Certified Analyst

 

Interview

Name, title and what are you doing at Quru?

My name is Sami Vaala. I am Senior Web Analyst and team leader of the consultant team. I am managing a team, serving customers and helping them with problems related to understanding their own customers better. Of course, there are a lot of details, but in the end, it is all about problem solving and helping customer do better.

How did you end up at Quru?

I used to be in the research business. I was doing marketing and online research. I wanted to see the other side of the coin. I always got answers to “why?” and not “how?”, but I wanted to know how. I actually applied to Kwantic (now Quru) around 2009. At that time, there were not many companies hiring. I was recommended to go to another company and come back after couple of years. And that is what I did.

What have you been doing lately?

There has been a lot of managing lately. I also work as a retainer for a large customer and I help them to make their data useful for their business. I also do trainings and consulting. One essential part of my work is conversion optimization. For example, I do a lot of A/B testing and personalization for different websites.

What is your most recent discovery about your work?

This is the kind of business where you learn as you go. Every day there is something new on the market and tools evolve. You learn something new almost every day, I just do not keep count. For example, a while back, Google added a new feature in Google Optimize. Now I know that I can do sequential A/B testing with that tool.

What is the most challenging thing about your work?

The most challenging thing for me is usually related to communication. You might give good suggestions on how to improve something that you know would benefit the business of the customer. You tell this to the customer, but it does not happen. There may be many good reasons why something does not happen, but I am not necessarily told what that reason is. This of course makes my job to help the customer difficult. One thing that is also sometimes challenging, is to find a good common ground for communicating. Sometimes terminology might just be too foreign for some.

What is the most relevant thing about your expertise?

I see myself as more of a problem solver. I feel like it comes natural to me, always trying to find a solution. Even my teachers in school hated me because I was always asking “why?”. I wanted to know why something was the way it was and not just take things as given. Even if someone says that something is, it does not necessarily mean that it is. One needs to come to the same conclusion by themselves. In my opinion this is the best way to learn. Another relevant part of my expertise is that I have been in the business for a pretty long time already, and I think that I have a pretty good business sense. I understand the customer’s business, I can relate to it, so I can ask the right questions. I get into the root of the problem they have and what they want to achieve.

What new is happening in your field?

What is not happening? Something new is always happening in this field of business. It is changing all the time. Of course, there is a lot of talk about AI. I do not know how fast that is going to affect the industry. I am hoping the first things will be to get rid of the mundane, repetitive work that you do manually now. Instead you will use intelligence, not necessarily artificial, but an intelligent way to do it automatically and be more efficient. Then you can concentrate on analyzing and understanding. That is what I hope is coming. This is not a new thing as such, it has come up before. When I started in this business, it was more about analyzing and understanding. But at some point, it turned more into providing technical implementation, data management and overall focus on the technical side. It was more about providing the correct data, which is of course important. However now customers are clearly at a point where they have started to as the “why”-question again.

How has the industry changed during your career?

Quite a lot, but the basic things have not really changed that much. The customers want more nowadays. When I started in this business, if you went to the analytics tool with the customer, looked at one figure and said “you need to do this” they would be very happy. You could make a big difference with just small things. Using online behavior data was just a very new thing back then. Nowadays companies need deeper insight to gain competitive advantage. It is more about looking at the big picture and to understand the customers better.

If you could only choose one application/program for your job, what  would it be?

Google Analytics because most customers have it. It is crucial to see and understand what is happening on the website because that is pretty much our business. Of course, we web analyst do other things and use other tools, but that would probably be the tool I would choose right now.

Describe your work using 5 emojis.

😲😃💪✔️🍾

What is the best thing about working at Quru?

I like the people and the culture. The overall “laidbackness”, but still doing serious business. I also like the fact that I am surrounded by gifted people and that I am able to learn more all the time in a very natural way. Everything I learn is not necessarily useful for me, but I learn new things and that is always good. It also helps me to be a better professional. Even though I do not know everything, I know what I do not know. The workplace is where one spends quite a lot of one’s time, so I do not see any sense in working in place where one does not like to work. Human relations are important in a functional community, so I try to spend as much time with colleagues as possible.

 

I work as a Senior Web Analyst at Quru.

My job is to help companies to develop their businesses by providing useful insight about their online business.

The insights are gathered through various services such as Website analysis, web analytics, KPI workshops, audits, training workshops, A/B testing and conversion optimisation.

I have experience in producing analytics services for several different customers in various business areas, such as insurance companies, Media, ad agencies, construction companies, municipalities, ministries, schools, retailers, consumer good industry and B-to-B companies of all sorts.

-Sami