The year 2021 meant a lot to us. We have experienced many difficult situations in terms of health and society as a whole, but also many work challenges and joys. Join us to see how 2021 was for Archetix, what collaborations we managed to establish, how we fulfilled our vision, what we are planning for 2022 and also the most important things that happened in the analytics industry.
I am proud of the whole team, where the industry is moving and our clients. Join me and have a look at what 2021 was like and what has significantly impacted our operations.
New ways of looking at analytics
Due to the impact of legislative changes and amendments (cookies, GDPR) the marketing technology market is becoming increasingly more and more technical and complex, placing great demands on clients. In this respect we observe in discussions with clients and at conferences that documentation, planning of measurement and data collection and its maintenance (automatic or manual checks) are very important. These are becoming key issues precisely because of the increasing complexity of all systems.
Related to this, there is a lot of room for innovation in measurement implementation with boxed solutions – codes embedded directly on the web (outside of a tag management system such as Google Tag Manager) are unsustainable. Just last year, there were several instances where an ad system changed the tracking code. Most clients then have a communication problem between the web provider and the marketers who are unable to explain what they need.
If you are developing a new e-commerce store don’t even try it today without a data layer.
What’s new in implementations of web analytics
Over a year on, GA4 is with us and starting to be recommended as a full replacement for GA3 (Universal Analytics). At the end of 2021, GA4 has features to connect with Google Search Console and more recently with Google Optimize. There are also new predictive metrics (GA4 is able to predict purchases in the next 7 days, revenue and churn of existing customers…). There are still a lot of pitfalls but we think that by the end of 2022 GA4 will swing into a full-fledged tool. And since no one knows when GA3 will end support, it pays to prepare early.
GA4 is an interesting topic in the business world as they give maximum freedom to our customers in setting up events, their naming and parameters (apart from a few recommended events like Add to Cart or Purchase). Paradoxically this is a problem because without a prepared template, few inexperienced people will come up with any custom events, metrics or their overall meaning. It’s important that the market and community share good case practices.
In the autumn of 2021the legal changes around working with cookies were finally clarified in Czech republic. This has put the market in the awkward situation where everyone has to implement cookies bars. This raises a lot of questions – for example the design of the bars, the functionality of the bar itself, the registration of consents. This issue kept us busy towards the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 was no different.
Discussion over techniques of server-side measurement is coming to the fore. Google Tag Manager introduced a server-side variant of measurement (data does not go from the browser to ad systems but through a company-managed server, ideally in cloud). We are starting to address this with clients for brands that support server-side measurement (not yet Sklik, which will be implemented classically from the frontend).
Smartlook went global towards the end of the year, got a lot of innovations, adjusted pricing and is starting to become better known abroad. We’re proud they are our client and that we are also a major implementation partner in the European and global market.
Within the market, it is possible to notice more and more frequent discussions about personalized search and recommendation algorithms.
We wrote: Google Retail API
In this case there is a business case to consider whether this key part of the web solution should be outsourced or whether the existing solution should be customized internally and have in-house control over such a “dumb-intelligent” or even “smart- intelligent” system.
News in the online world
There is a great hunger for manpower in the analytics and marketing industry. Clients are starting to hire in-house and analytics agencies are expanding their teams. Some technical analyst positions are taking a really long time to fill.
Primarily depending on the maturity of the firm or project, each firm is choosing a mix of both approaches:
- inhouse team – reports, operational part, daily executive
- external company – complex integration, technology expertise
Main company news
Now comes a bit of hubris, so hold onto your hats. Here we go.
I’m extremely happy that we have both Czech and English websites ready and are working on international expansion. This move has helped us in building our brand.
- we have a blog – irregularly published interesting content
- we have made a list of products – we have managed to dispense our services into a beautiful portfolio and describe everything so that we can easily explain to our customers and families exactly what we do
- we present a clear and consistent career path, company vision and have a described onboarding process for larger clients
- for technology-focused clients we have described the technologies we have been able to tame and are able to implement
Our firm is built among other things on freedom of work and an international environment. As a result I was able to spend almost half of the year abroad and work full-remote from Indonesia, which was a tremendous experience for me and the entire team. Thanks to technology and tools (Caflou, Google Workspace and Discord) we were able to manage this period and open up opportunities for future employees who want to work remotely.
The arrival of a new team member – Bára – was very positive. She started working on the development of analytics and integrations as part of her studies (data, artificial intelligence, automation).
After three years of the company’s operation the owners decided that it was necessary to appoint the main or if you prefer, the CEO in order to further develop the company. We unanimously agreed that it would be me. I took charge of the business activities of the company and the direction to fulfill the vision. Corporate structure has never been played with in our company but this is a crucial step for us to grow in the future.
Fulfilling the vision from the owner’s perspective
From a vision perspective, building a leadership position in web and customer analytics and visualization is key for us. Thanks to our motto, “We make the utilization of limited resources more efficient by meaningful usage of the data.” We have also penetrated into other areas – not only marketing data, but we have tackled projects in the fields of logistics or company-wide business intelligence.
A key theme we pride ourselves on is the long-term development of our employees’ knowledge, innovating our company’s practices and developing the entire industry and community – and it’s working. Across the company, we have long dedicated up to 20 % of our working time to education and innovation, mostly following the example of the big players – during Friday working hours – this helps us to maintain a positive, healthy and open atmosphere in the workplace.
During the year, we managed to complete 35 internal innovation projects that have long facilitated the day-to-day work of data analytics.
Thanks to the English website, we have started to communicate with customers from abroad and prepare the ground for active expansion into European countries – strengthening the internal team is crucial for this expansion, and we expect to hire up to 5 analysts by the end of the year (currently, in April, when this report is published, we have already filled half of these positions), both for web analytics and for data integration and visualization.
We have been able to solidify strategic partnerships with Keboola, Smartlook and now Cookiebot.
Overall, the company is meeting its owners’ expectations and is moving towards a major expansion of its internal team in the coming years as well as expanding the scope and quality of its services.
Fulfilling the vision in implementations
I am pleased that the relatively small team has managed to keep up with the technology and changes that have taken place over the past year. Even in such a turbulent time, with tools changing under our hands every week, we know what we’re talking about and our customers can rely on us.
I’m definitely proud of the entire team, where in the concept of daily lifelong learning (not easy or obvious) the team is able to learn the necessary information and immediately deliver them to our clients.
- The backoffice areas I took care of last year – innovation management and learning, where we managed to add 10+ core competencies and 35 innovation projects across the company
- I’m proud of the whole team for embracing the concept of daily lifelong learning (it’s not easy or self-evident) our team is able to learn new procedures very quickly and deliver outputs and services to our clients in no time
- Marketing – we are working on building a brand of professional analytics service providers who are not afraid to use the latest technologies and innovations; in addition to this, we are able to provide long-term quality services to clients, communicating our guiding principles, which we build on – transparency, openness and documentation of all settings (the client will find detailed information in the field of analytics)
Mark’s year 2022
My plans include:
- Keeping up with innovation and building a stable team that is able to work on the most complex analytics projects + is able to handle even simple client requests
- In my role as director, I want to continue to build a strong brand, show up at community and industry events, and organize some training or webinars for those interested in data and web analytics
- I want to support the leaders of other areas in our company so that visions can be fulfilled and a strong team can be built
The year 2021 was more of a year of work progress for me, but of course I was also affected by several events in the company.
News in the industry and our work
The field of web analytics and data analytics is changing every day. Here are some of the biggest news stories that I or one of my colleagues have worked on within the company.
- I dealt more with data quality and data testing
- we focused on new data sources
- we integrated new systems (e.g. proper e-mailing)
- server-side measurement is starting to be solved, on which we will work in pilot projects in 2022
- we started to focus on the visualization of data flows
- Keboola is fully accessible even for a smaller user
- GA4 have direct integration into Bigquery
- change in working with cookies – missing data will be modeled in 2022
- we started using Deepnote (programming environment)
Main news from the company for 2021
In 2021 I was put in charge of the technology direction of the company. Thanks to a new addition to my micro-team, Bára, we are able to work on very smart things and tackle a lot of automation. In the past year, we’ve changed our data workflow quite substantially, and we’re working with Keboola a lot.
And what’s more?
- We have become a 2. level Google Partner.
- Earlier this year, we moved into a new space.
Fulfilling the vision
I’m one of those people who find any progress slow. But when I see the numbers for 2021 (both in terms of sales and number of tasks, etc.), I’m happy.
We’ve been able to shift technologically to be able to work with any data source – it doesn’t matter today if we work with Facebook, Google Ads, SAP or Shoptet. Few things surprise us, and for me that’s probably the biggest change and visible shift from previous years.
It was also pleasing to be mentioned by companies of an order of magnitude different size – the strength of our brand could be seen in cookies, for example, with new clients contacting us as well as our network of partners. Similarly, the partners we’ve worked with for a long time are thriving and growing.
What’s more, I’m glad that we maintain quality, the boundaries of which we define ourselves. And very strictly.
Michal’s year 2022
I think I’m going to repeat myself a little bit after the others, but the growth of the team is absolutely crucial. I’d also like to move the company forward in project management – while we’re doing well, we can do better.
Beyond that, I want to:
- test data more in depth
- help clients with the self-service phase of visualizations
- describe at least 1 of the tools so that even for amateurs it is clear what the processes are worth (make an overview of all data available to clients – now it is described in the documentation, which often contains over 200 files)
During 2021, I have come to some major decisions that will affect the functioning of the whole company. I have come to the conclusion that I don’t have the mental capacity to pursue technical products and educate myself in depth on the technical side (where the whole company is moving). Therefore, I decided to focus more on the back office and running the company (contracts, finance, operations).
At the end of the year, to increase efficiency, I started to focus more on HR and recruiting.
Company structure and HR
One of the most important things in the company structure is that we have a CEO – a person who is accountable to the owners and in charge of the whole company. And that’s Marek. As this change was only made towards the end of the year, it is too early to draw conclusions.
Another important decision is to grow in 2022, when we want to focus on hiring 5 people and have more regular HR meetings.
And last (and not least) is the fact that we have a new member in the team – Bára. The only woman and the element that brought the energy. She’s already brought a lot of new things to the table within the work, she’s not afraid to speak her mind and she’s elevating the skipina of the “stuck up” guys. We now wash twice a week and it feels good! 🙂
Covid in the company
First of all, I have to say that it has made us stronger as a company. We started the company with the idea that we wanted to be able to work from anywhere, and Covid made us do that in part.
- We learned how to work from home
- new clients have come in, who see that making data-driven investment decisions is worthwhile
Of course, there are a few negatives – like the fact that it’s harder to build team spirit, the occasional unproductivity in the home office, or the health inconveniences we’ve all been through in some way.
Achieving the vision in 2021
From the owner’s point of view the vision has for the most part been fulfilled. I was expecting a little more from the expansion abroad, but in terms of growth in work volume and turnover, I am exceedingly pleased.
I very much appreciate the shift in technical knowledge, where we can work with more complex systems and integrations – we are no longer surprised by anything.
We have also managed to move to new offices in Pilsen, set up new financial management, sorted out some legal issues and launched a new website Archetix.com for expansion.
As for visualizations (my area, which I am still responsible for), here we had a big head start from the previous years and we were rather fine-tuning small things, such as visualizing data from GA4.
Jirka’s year 2022
The first half of the year will be crucial and I would like to dedicate it to the HR process and recruitment. I would like to work proactively with team members so that everyone is happy with us.
I’d like to take on more back office stuff and move the company so that these non-data things are a stable mainstay and no one on the team has to think about them. The back office should then be self-sustaining with a separate decision making process.
I joined Digital Architects part-time in 2021. I mostly work on RFM segmentation, data analysis and visualizations. However, thanks to my studies in cybernetics with a focus on artificial intelligence and automation (FAV), I get to do automated tests (whether a piece of data is missing; whether there is a regular data update, etc.).
Starting in Archetix
The first weeks at the company were relaxed – everyone welcomed me warmly, the team is super friendly. It’s great to be able to try out more or less everything in web analytics and data analytics, and then be able to start doing what you’re closest to.
What surprised me the most was how efficient they are. 🙂 At first glance, it looks like there are more people in the company, but thanks to the sophisticated internal processes, they really get a lot of work done in a relatively small team.
Bára’s year 2022
In 2022 I want to get more into data work and work with AI or automations which can save a lot of time for other activities. I’m also interested in data storytelling and would like to push this area further in the company.
My most common tasks in the past year were:
- GA, GTM, data layer implementation
- Implementation and follow-up work with Smartlook
- Editing and working with reports in Data Studio
- Helping with internal marketing
I most enjoyed having my own clients to work with from start to finish. In terms of tools, my favourite part was working with Smartlook – from setup to analysis and drawing conclusions.
Company-wide view of 2021
On a company-wide basis I see that we’ve been able to tackle more complex projects, have more stable clients for regular collaborations, brightened our product and solution offerings, and fine-tuned our internal workings (handoffs, meetings).
What I plan for 2022
In 2021, we have established a lot of new collaborations, but at the same time we are taking care of existing projects that we are developing.
New collaborations with clients
Among the new projects from 2021 you will find:
- Smartlook (official client)
- SARTOR – cost import and visualization
- TRASK – application measurement
- AD PARTNER
- small-scale projects: Medical Uniforms, Altman, Studio Domino, VERKON, Dragonfly trading
We became an official partner of NVIAS, we solved a small project for the Institute of Physics. We also became an official partner of Cookiebot.
New collaborations also include legal representation by JUDr. Libor Kraus.
We manage many projects on a long-term basis.It is also our long-term vision not to deal with analytics on a one-off basis, but to develop analytics in a long-term and strategic manner. Our key long-term clients include:
- NanoSPACE – working with Shoptet data (issues: how to get data into the web where it is not accessible)
- Outdoor Concept – new data sources (new SAP) – integration of data from marketing and internal systems
- FLAT ZONE – implementation of Slovak web measurement
- Saint Gobain – implementation of measurement
- Zaslat.cz – data download from internal database, customer analysis, visualization
- and many others, which, as it happens, cannot be discussed publicly
Given the situation around Covid-19, there were not as many events in 2021 as we would have liked. Still, we tried to show where we could:
- Participation in MeasureCamp
- Presentation at the Mobile Internet Forum (mobile app analytics)
- Lectures and online streams on Cookies – for example, a webinar was created in collaboration with eLegal
We plan to participate in MeasureCamp in 2022 (either physically or online). With current topics (GA4, cookies, server-side measurement) we plan to participate in domestic and international conferences.
Important corporate milestones and goals in 2022
We have mentioned many of our milestones and goals in the article above. Let’s summarize them nicely:
- 5 new team members as reinforcements during the year
- arranging an analytics partnership with Google
- 15% of turnover from abroad
- 30% of turnover outside of pure marketing data (we want to look into other fields thanks to our knowledge)
- Reaching at least 4,000 people with training and workshops
- technical direction – GA4, cookies, server-side pilot projects
- incorporation of a competence model (completion of an extensive list of competences in the field and its use across the company)
Join us on the incredible ride that awaits us in 2022. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook. If you are one of our clients thank you so much for partnering with us in 2021, we couldn’t have done it without you.