YouTube Studio: better insights or a work in progress?

Will YouTube Studio’s new metrics be better for marketers?

In June of last year, YouTube announced that Creator Studio was about to change. A beta version named YouTube Studio was undergoing testing with hundreds of thousands of users – or should I say ‘creators’.

After nine months of nurturing their new baby, YouTube Studio was unveiled last week. Promises of efficiency, empowerment and increased joy, packaged with new features, metrics and insight. The increased data commitment has been played-up by YouTube.

But did the much anticipated promises deliver? Well, sort of.

YouTube Studio features include three new metrics: Impressions; Impressions Click-Through Rate; Unique Viewers. YouTube says these will give us better understanding of video performance with the aim of helping us produce more impactful video.

What’s an Impression? It’s when a viewer sees one of your video thumbnails; Impressions tell us the potential reach of our videos. It’s an ‘opportunity to view’.

What’s Impressions Click-Through Rate? Simply put, it’s the percentage of Impressions that turned into a video view.

What’s a Unique View? Well, to quote YouTube, it shows us “the estimated number of different people who watch our videos over a period of time.”

And there lies one of my issues. Data should not be estimated. We should be able to know the difference between a unique view and a repeat view. Why is YouTube estimating metrics? As for the ‘opportunity to view’ this just feels like a return to a time when we couldn’t accurately measure irrefutable data. perhaps it’s just me, as I’ve always hated fluffy measurements. In my PR and creative agency days I was forced to peddle PRVs and ‘Opportunities to See’. I hated both.

YouTube’s intent of delivering better insight and metrics should be applauded. It’s a key facet of success for other social media channels and absolutely is the direction they should be taking their Studio platform. Data that helps to evolve the production quality and impact of our videos is welcomed. I just can’t help but feel like this is a work in progress, rather than a refined proposition that’s ready to roll.

I’ll explain why: YouTube tell us that if we’re seeing a low percentage of Impressions convert to Impressions Click-Through Rate, then our thumbnail and title require work. That may be correct in some cases, but we can’t ignore how busy some pages are with thumbnails. Watch a video through to completion and then see how many thumb nails are served to you. It’s busy. Undoubtedly, Impressions will be recorded when users haven’t seen our thumbnails. To be fair though, the same criticism could be made of other social media channels.

Clearly, the Impressions Click-Through Rate is a useful metric. Being able to asses video performance will be insightful. I’m just not sure we needed the Impressions metric.

Now for the good news: we’re excited about YouTube Studio Dashboard – the single view of your data, insights and news. We’ll see three pieces of insight here:

Video Snapshot: A snapshot of our latest video performance, versus past videos – over the same period of time. Quickly, we’ll be able to ascertain if we’ve a production that is resonating, or if refinements are required. This should help us do more of what works, and learn from what isn’t.

Personalised Recommendations: YouTube says this will surface Creator Academy content based on our specific needs. Over time, we’ll also see insight into why certain videos perform better than others. Again, this will help with refinement and development.

News: Dynamic news and community information that is served to us. Meaning we don’t have to discover news, it finds us.

We expect Video Snapshot and Personalised Recommendations to be a real hit with users and the single view definitely receives a thumbs up. It’s just a shame we can’t be as positive about the new data metrics.

Data is resolute. The challenge with data is that it’s sometimes unstructured, requiring a framework to organise and help make the unstructured, structured. Data isn’t, and should never be estimated.

There is no denying that YouTube is onto something with their direction for YouTube Studio. In its current state though, it should be in production, rather than distributed for release. After nine-months of testing, you have to ask who was testing the platform, and why haven’t these basic flaws been flagged sooner?

As my old school tutor would say: “a good effort, but work still to be done!”


Getting Better Analytics And Insights From Your Collected Customer Data

Data collection and analytics are tightly coupled. The mistake we see made over and over again is that companies tend to focus their customer data collection efforts with a single objective (or a single program) in mind. This treats the data collected as a short-term objective, not as a long-term asset. Over time, this results in data islands that eventually “go dark” given that no one is managing customer data as part of an explicit long-term effort.

Have A Long-Term Data Strategy

When it comes to customer data, a long-term data collection strategy almost always proves critical for any advanced analytical work that leads to meaningful business outcomes that can optimize (i.e., simulation management, condition-based maintenance, predictive maintenance and digital twins). Trending analysis, predicting behavior and customer profiling all benefit from long-term data collection strategies. Companies that understand customers’ buying patterns over longer time frames stand to win key insights versus their competitors.

Customer data deserves a data-access-centric strategy to ensure that the data is treated as a reusable asset. This implies that the data should be available to the right people in the company when they need to repurpose it or mine it months or years later. If the data is not findable, threadable (tied to other data sets) or readily accessible, then it’s effectively dark, and its chances of being repurposed are low.

If you are storing your customer data like you store everything else, chances are much of the data you’ve collected from customers has already gone dark. The tendency is to focus on analytical outcomes without preparing the precondition required for the analytics to occur over a longer period of time. If a data strategy for customer information isn’t well-executed, then customer data will reflect the problem you already have in your data center — lots and lots of data sets that represent difficult-to-access data islands.

Thread Your Data

Sophisticated analytical efforts require advanced techniques such as data threading. Threading data across many silos of data is a challenging undertaking. Techniques deployed to achieve threading include (re)ingestion of data, aggregation, parsing, meta data enrichment and indexing. Data is often so extremely siloed that the most efficient first step is simply discovering data islands and recollecting them into an architecture that allows for advanced analytics. The good news is that data capture and storage technologies are relatively cheap, but finding data and then curating it properly does require significant investment.

Customer data needs to be curated and managed as an asset. As more data is collected, it needs to be aggregated with customer data collected during the previous year (or the last campaign, the last payables cycle, etc.).

For example, if a financial institution wants to understand if a customer is approaching a life-changing event such as marriage, having children or purchasing a home, then threading becomes important because it lets you piece together various customer data collection efforts into a single threaded digital dossier. The threaded customer digital dossier allows for different customer data (collected at different points in time) to be accessed for future analytics. It treats customer data as valuable, evergreen and interconnected. A data architecture that allows you to thread and incrementally expand the customer data set is an essential component to making more with your customer data. Advanced analytics, in turn, will allow you make better use of customer data that is properly curated through threading or other data access techniques.


Separating the customer data collection process from the data curation process from data analytics is not a recipe for success. Unfortunately, most companies treat these three activities independent of each other. As a result, customer data is underutilized, undervalued and is not curated as a long-term asset.

The best customer analytics happen when you intersect people who understand the customer data being collected with people who understand how to use and access the data over time. This means that customer data collection efforts need to be discussed in one room with data architecture folks, analytical/data science teams and traditional marketing/customer success teams, ensuring that all have an active voice at the table.


Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 review: Better but not the best

galaxy tab s3Had the device been Rs 10k cheaper, it would have been a genuine challenger to the iPad Pro, in fact it would have been hard to argue in the iPad’s support but being offered at the same cost makes it hard to recommend over the iPad Pro.

There never has been a real tablet market — there’s an iPad market and then there are the rest of them. Windows sure has produced some impressive devices in the 2-in-1 and high-end segment, and most of the Android tablets fall under the lower-end category. And thanks to the big screened phablets, tablets are becoming less attractive each passing day.

galaxy tab s3

An Android tablet with top of the line features is a rare occurrence these days, and the Galaxy Tab S3 is another example why. Samsung’s latest tablet is premium looking, zippy and comes with a great display, but the Android experience on a tablet still isn’t up to the mark. The Tab S3 is without a doubt a great device, but do we really need this tablet at all? Let’s find out.


In terms of design, the Galaxy Tab S3 resembles the iPad Pro (review) featuring nearly same dimensions but in a lighter form. Both devices have the same display size and the pixel resolution.

The tablet is extremely slim, at just 6mm, however, it slightly thicker than its predecessor Tab S2 (also heavier at 429g). It also feels more premium than the Tab S2, but it looks a bit odd with unusual USB port placement. Both headphone jack and the charging USB port are placed off-centre.

galaxy tab s3

galaxy tab s3

galaxy tab s3

galaxy tab s3

The noticeable changes happened on the rear end, where the Tab S3 boasts a new glass panel. Although, glass makes the tablet look stunning, it acts as a smudge and grime magnet too. Sweat marks, fingerprints and smudges are clearly visible, making it look unappealing. However, the silver colour variant hides the fingerprints slightly better than the black variant.

galaxy tab s3

The Galaxy Tab S3 has an advantage when it comes to the stylus S-Pen that comes bundled with the device. Unlike the iPad’s Apple Pencil costs users a separate $99, users here don’t have to shell out extra money for the S-Pen. Samsung has worked well on the S-Pen this time around and made it more intuitive and impressive. It can work with third party app as well and hovering the pen over the edges will provide quick access to shortcuts for screen shots, notes and others. The shortcuts can also be customised according to the user’s needs.

galaxy tab s3

The S-Pen offers four times pressure sensitivity similar to Apple’s Pencil. It is capable of recognising whether a user is shading or putting more pressure on the nib, making it a useful and effective tool for jotting down notes or doodling and digital painting.


The Galaxy Tab S3 comes with a 9.7-inch Super AMOLED panel with a 2048 x 1536-pixel resolution. The screen now supports HDR content and has some serious brightness, making it an excellent tool for media consumption. Colours on the display look crisp and images are filled with good amount of detail. But the downside is that there is not a lot of HDR content as of now. It’s surely an upgrade in quality, but since the content isn’t available yet, it’s like paying in advance for something that will deliver the improved quality later.

galaxy tab s3

While the display is impressive, it fails to look good in all conditions — it’s too reflective. It is nothing compared to the display on the iPad — Apple’s True Tone display is capable of changing colour temperature for a more comfortable viewing experience, and has an anti-reflective surface too. The Tab S3 only allows user to optionally switch on the blue light filter.


The Galaxy Tab S3 uses the dated Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor paired with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, which is a let down since most of the users expect more storage on a media-focused tablet. But at least it offers a microSD card slot for storage expansion. Although the chip used here is older, the quad-core chip does a good job and handles almost every task with ease. Performance wise, the device is smooth and is capable of running intensive apps easily.

galaxy tab s3

The tablet runs on the company’s TouchWiz UI wrapped under Android 7.0 Nougat. At its core, the software largely borrows from the Galaxy S8, with similar interface and the pre-loaded apps of course.

The tablet comes equipped with a 13MP rear camera which performs below par, but then again you shouldn’t expect much from a tablet camera. The pictures lack detail and depth and the colour reproduction isn’t impressive. It sports a 5MP front facing snapper with an f/2.2 aperture and it is good enough for video calling.

galaxy tab s3

On the connectivity front, the Tab S3 offers Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi with 2×2 MIMO and optional LTE Cat 6, but misses out on the NFC or an infrared sensor. For added security, the company has added a fingerprint sensor incorporated under the home button. The sensor is fast and responsive as one would expect and also comes in handy for unlocking the Samsung account.


The Galaxy Tab S3 draws power from a massive 6000mAh battery, which is bigger than the one seen on the Tab S2. The tab is capable of providing 12 hours of video playback, but that can change in case of the HDR content. The standby time on the device is brilliant; you might go without using the device for days and it will still have enough fuel to power the device for moderate usage.

The tablet charges using the USB Type-C port, but there is no option for wireless charging. The bundled fast charger will fully charge the device in about two and a half hours, which is pretty good for a 6000mAh battery.


There’s no doubt that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is one of the best Android tablets amidst those launched recently. If you are looking for a device that can go against the likes of the iPad Pro but runs on Android, then this is it. Performance on the tablet is great, even though it looks more like an early 2016 flagship phone on the paper. If you have Rs 47,990 and want a tablet only to get the best video-watching experience, then it highly recommended. Also it comes bundled with the S-Pen which is good for creativity and productivity and is fun to play around with. However, if you are ready to shell out more money, then the iPad Pro is the go-to tablet for you. The 10.5-inch iPad Pro (WiFi + Cellular) is priced at Rs 61,400 for the 64GB. The keyboard will cost you another Rs 14,000, and the Pencil for around Rs 9,000.

But it seems the Korean giant is pushing the limits of the tablet too far. The software is not well-optimised, multitasking options are limited and the UI is buggy at times. The tablet almost checks every box a tablet can, but sadly all those high-end features come at a hefty price.

Had the device been Rs 10k cheaper, it would have been a genuine challenger to the iPad Pro, in fact it would have been hard to argue in the iPad’s support but being offered at the same cost makes it hard to recommend over the iPad Pro.


7 ways to get more (and better) creative ideas from your credit union team

Credit unions are a unique business. However, there are certain things that all businesses share. One of these is the need for innovation. Because the credit union business is constantly changing (now there’s an understatement!), it’s vital that credit unions keep innovating to stay ahead of the curve. And all innovation begins with a single, creative idea. But how do you get those creative ideas? Here are 7 ways that you, as a credit union leader, can get more (and better) creative ideas from your credit union team.

  1. Get them out of the workplace.

A change of location helps shake the brain out of its routine. It also gets people away from the multiple distractions of the workplace, which are not conducive to creativity. So try having a lunch meeting at a local restaurant. Maybe a nearby hotel has a nice lobby area for a small, informal meeting. If it’s nice outside, go to a park! Anyplace other than your credit union’s version of “Meeting Room C.”

  1. Give them the “What”; let them give you the “How.”

Nothing kills the creative spirit more than being micromanaged. Creative people (and we are all creative people) love being challenged. As a leader, it’s your job to set the goal (the “What”). Now, ask your team to come up with the “How.” Tip: prepare to be surprised by some brilliant ideas that you would never have thought of!

  1. Ask crazy questions.

When looking for creative solutions to your next credit union challenge, ask your team “crazy” questions. Questions like: “How would we solve this problem if we had $20 million to throw at it?” “How would a professional dancer solve this problem?” “How would three cats, working together, solve this problem?” Not only will this force your team members’ brains into their naturally creative space, you may just find the germ of an actual solution in some of the answers they come up with!

  1. Make a “play space.”

Creativity needs stimulation to thrive. People are more creative when they play. If possible, furnish one of your meeting rooms with a few toys (Nerf® balls, Legos®, etc.) and interesting, colorful magazines (not credit union—or any industry-related—magazines!). And, if you’re really serious about this, paint this room a shade of green. Studies show that the color green boosts creativity!

  1. Invite an outsider.

Every now and then, invite someone from outside the credit union (and, preferably, from outside the financial services industry) to sit in on a meeting. An artist, a comedian, an art historian. Someone who sees the world through a completely different lens than you or your team. This person might see solutions, or come up with ideas, that would never occur to someone from the credit union industry.

  1. Send your team out for a walk.

According to recent research done at Stanford, people do their best creative thinking while in motion—outdoors, down a corridor, or even just a treadmill. Many leaders have discovered the multiple benefits (including, of course, health) of holding “walking” meetings.

  1. Initiate “Plagiarism Friday.”

(Full disclosure: I plagiarized this idea from someone else, but I can’t remember whom.) Every Friday, have each member of your team bring in one great idea from outside the credit union industry and share what makes the idea creative and innovative. Then ask your team how that idea could be incorporated into the credit union.

  1. (a bonus tip!) Let your team know that ideas are welcome, encouraged, even required, from everyone.

No one has a monopoly on great ideas! That next breakthrough idea—the one that takes your credit union to the next level—can come from anyone on the team.

Creativity and innovation are the keys to your credit union’s success. Every new challenge (and it seems like there’s a new one every day) requires a creative solution. It’s up to you, as a credit union leader, to encourage, support, and value creativity from everyone on your team!