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Monthly Archives: March 2021

“Up and to the right” with Data Studio

March 31, 2021 No Comments

Millions of people from global enterprises, small businesses, governments and educational institutions are choosing Data Studio to make data-driven decisions. Over the last year, people used Data Studio to monitor ad performance, track brand performance, visualize student progress, and build machine learning models. 

Google Ads monitoring report by Search Foresight

In 2019, we launched more than 80 new features and over 50 new connectors to data. A heartfelt thanks to our users and developers who made 2019 a year to remember. Here are a few highlights. 

Visual Analysis

Throughout the year, we invested in visual analysis allowing faster data exploration and insights discovery. We made it possible to turn a chart into a filter using chart interaction controls. We also launched cross-chart interactions and drill downs. These investments, alongside updates like optional metrics, give users the tools they need to explore and interact with their data.

Drill Down GIF

Fast performance through In-Memory BI Engine

Having the right tools to interact with and analyze data is critical but if report performance is slow, analyzing and visualizing large data sets can be frustrating. In collaboration with the Google Cloud BigQuery team, we launched BI Engine to bring sub second performance to Data Studio. BI Engine is an in-memory analysis service that integrates with your BigQuery data to return blazingly fast results in Data Studio. No more waiting for the page to load!

BI Engine

Scheduled PDF export

Listening to what our users need has always been a priority for the Data Studio team. Two of the top requests we heard from our users was the need to create PDFs and schedule emails of reports. Users can now do both. We’re happy to let you know that as of last week you can now set a custom schedule for scheduled emails. Learn more.

Email Delivery

Conditional formatting

We recently launched conditional formatting, which allows users to apply formatting based on a set of rules, making it easier to tell a story with your data. We’re continuing to invest in conditional formatting and recently added  AND and OR conditions to support compound conditions. Learn more.

Conditional formatting

In 2020 the Data Studio team is committed to delivering a great product that helps our users make better decisions with data. To stay in the loop on what’s happening in Data Studio, subscribe to email updates under Settings > Marketing Preferences or check our Help Center each week to learn “What’s new.”


Google Analytics Blog


6sense raises $125M at a $2.1B valuation for its ‘ID graph’, an AI-based predictive sales and marketing platform

March 31, 2021 No Comments

AI has become a fundamental cornerstone of how tech companies are building tools for salespeople: they are useful for supercharging (and complementing) the abilities of talented humans, or helping them keep themselves significantly more organised; even if in some cases — as with chatbots — they are replacing them altogether. In the latest development, 6sense, one of the pioneers in using AI to boost the sales and marketing experience, is announcing a major round of funding that underscores the traction AI tools are seeing in the sales realm.

The startup has raised $ 125 million at a valuation of $ 2.1 billion, a Series D being led by D1 Capital Partners, with Sapphire Ventures, Tiger Global and previous backer Insight Partners also participating.

The company plans to use the funding to expand its platform and its predictive capabilities across a wider range of sources.

For some context, this is a huge jump for the company compared to its last fundraise: at the end of 2019, when it raised $ 40 million, it was valued at a mere $ 300 million, according to data from PitchBook.

But it’s not a big surprise: at a time when a lot of companies are going through “digital transformation” and investing in better tools for their employees to work more efficiently remotely (especially important for sales people who might have previously worked together in physical teams), 6sense is on track for its fourth year of more than 100% growth, adding 100 new customers in the fourth quarter alone. It caters to small, medium, and large businesses, and some of its customers include Dell, Mediafly, Sage and SocialChorus.

The company’s approach speaks to a classic problem that AI tools are often tasked with solving: the data that sales people need to use and keep up to date on customer accounts, and critically targets, lives in a number of different silos — they can include CRM systems, or large databases outside of the company, or signals on social media.

While some tools are being built to handle all of that from the ground up, 6sense takes a different approach, providing a way of ingesting and utilizing all of it to get a complete picture of a company and the individuals a salesperson might want to target within it. It takes into account some of the harder nuts to crack in the market, such as how to track “anonymous buying behavior” to a more concrete customer name; how to prioritizes accounts according to those most likely to buy; and planning for multi-channel campaigns.

6sense has patented the technology it uses to achieve this and calls its approach building an “ID graph.” (Which you can think of as the sales equivalent of the social graph of Facebook, or the knowledge graph that LinkedIn has aimed to build mapping skills and jobs globally.) The key with 6sense is that it is building a set of tools that not just sales people can use, but marketers too — useful since the two sit much closer together at companies these days.

Jason Zintak, the company’s CEO (who worked for many years as a salesperson himself, so gets the pain points very well), referred to the approach and concept behind 6sense as “revtech”: aimed at organizations in the business whose work generates revenue for the company.

“Our AI is focused on signal, identifying companies that are in the market to buy something,” said Zintak in an interview. “Once you have that you can sell to them.”

That focus and traction with customers is one reason investors are interested.

“Customer conversations are a critical part of our due diligence process, and the feedback from 6sense customers is among the best we’ve heard,” said Dan Sundheim, founder and chief investment officer at D1 Capital Partners, in a statement. “Improving revenue results is a goal for every business, but it’s easier said than done. The way 6sense consistently creates value for customers made it clear that they deliver a unique, must-have solution for B2B revenue teams.”

Teddie Wardi at Insight highlights that AI and the predictive elements of 6sense’s technology — which have been a consistent part of the product since it was founded — are what help it stand out.

“AI generally is a buzzword, but here it is a key part of the solution, the brand behind the platform,” he said in an interview. “Instead of having massive funnels, 6sense switches the whole thing around. Catching the right person at the right time and in the right context make sales and marketing more effective. And the AI piece is what really powers it. It uses signals to construct the buyer journey and tell the sales person when it is the right time to engage.”


Enterprise – TechCrunch


YouTube tests hiding dislike counts on videos

March 31, 2021 No Comments

YouTube announced today it will begin testing what could end up being a significant change to its video platform: It’s going to try hiding the dislike count on videos from public view. The company says it will run a “small experiment” where it will try out a few different designs where dislike counts are no longer shown, however none will see the “dislike” button itself removed entirely.

The company announced the tests on Twitter, but then explains further in a community forum post that the goal is not to remove the ability for users to signal they disliked a video — creators will still have access to the video’s like and dislike count from YouTube Studio and dislikes will still help power YouTube’s recommendation algorithms.

Instead, YouTube says that the idea to try hiding dislikes is based on creator feedback.

“We’ve heard from creators that the public dislike counts can impact their well-being and may motivate a targeted campaign of dislikes on a creator’s video,” the announcement reads. “So, we’re testing designs that don’t include the visible like or dislike count in an effort to balance improving the creator experience, while still making sure viewer feedback is accounted for and shared with the creator.”

Of course, there can be a sort of mob mentality that accompanies the use of the Like and Dislike buttons on YouTube. But seeing the dislike count can also help to signal to others when videos are clickbait, spam or misleading, which can be helpful.

YouTube showed off one potential design being tested that simply shows the same button layout but instead of a number of dislikes, the word “Dislike” appears underneath the thumbs down icon.

There will be no way to opt out of the test if you see the changes appear when you’re logged into YouTube — you’ll only be able to share feedback, the company notes.

To be clear, however, YouTube isn’t yet committed to removing the dislike count for everyone at this time. The feedback from this test will help inform YouTube as to if, when or how it will release designs like this more broadly.

YouTube wouldn’t be the first to experiment with removing metrics from a social app. Instagram has also been testing removing the number of positive engagements (Likes), in order to make the experience feel more authentic and less about chasing clout. And Facebook this year removed the “Like” button from Facebook Pages, in favor of the more accurate “Followers” measurement. However, in the case of removing just the dislike count and not the likes, viewers may misunderstand a video’s true popularity.

The company told TechCrunch the tests will run globally over the next few weeks on Android and iOS while it gathers feedback from a handful of designs.

Updated 3/30/21, 6 pm et to add details about launch. 


Social – TechCrunch


Our Favorite Photography Backpack is $50 Off

March 31, 2021 No Comments

At $ 120, the Moment MTW Backpack is a great bag at a good price—but the discount ends March 31.
Feed: All Latest


Do more with Data Studio Community Visualizations

March 29, 2021 No Comments

Data Studio Community Visualizations, currently in beta, allow you to create and integrate custom JavaScript components into your dashboards. You can use Community Visualizations to expand your chart selection, customize your report styling, or create custom components that perform advanced analysis or even in-browser machine learning.

New galleries for Data Studio Community Visualizations

Showcase gallery for Community Visualization reports

The Data Studio team recently launched the Community Visualization Report Gallery.

There, you can explore how others in the community have leveraged Community Visualizations to make the most of their data and dashboards.

Reports featuring Community Visualizations

Reports featuring Community Visualizations

Public Partner Visualization Gallery

Additionally, we’ve added a new gallery of Partner Community Visualizations that we’ve made available. Browse them in the new Data Studio Visualizations gallery.

The Data Studio Visualizations Gallery

The Data Studio Visualizations Gallery

Click-to-add Partner Visualizations

To add these Partner Visualizations to a report, click “Explore more” in the Community Visualizations drop down. There, you can browse and install a variety of partner-built charts, including funnel visualizations and Gantt charts.

The new in-product Partner Visualization gallery

The new in-product Partner Visualization gallery

Community Visualizations can add to a Data Studio dashboard in different ways – from providing custom charts and styling to integrating calculations with reporting.

Statistical analysis with Community Visualizations

Anvil Analytics + Insights works to bring data-driven decision making to all of their work, including optimized paid media campaigns. They used Community Visualizations to build their own Chi-Square statistical analyzer.

Several Anvil customers noticed that channels in Google Ads and Analytics converted at different rates, and wanted to know if the variance in conversion rates was statistically significant. 

Prior to using Community Visualizations, the Anvil Insights team manually exported the data out of Google Analytics into a separate tool, then ran the statistical analysis. Depending on where Anvil ran the analysis, the results were either stored separately from their reports, or not stored at all. Every time they wanted to test a different hypothesis or run a different variation of the test, they had to repeat the same time-intensive process.

In order to speed up hypothesis testing and integrate the tests and results into Data Studio reports, Anvil used Data Studio Community Visualizations and built a Chi-Square calculator within a week. 

Anvil’s calculator takes in data, just like any Data Studio chart. Once the calculation is complete, the analyzer presents the statistical significance, and either calls the viewer’s attention to a relationship in the data, or comments that there was nothing of note in the data. Now, all it takes to test new hypotheses is switching out the data for the component, just like you would for any other Data Studio chart. See it live.

Anvil Analytics + Insights Community Visualization Chi-Square Calculator

Anvil Analytics + Insights Community Visualization Chi-Square Calculator

“This has been a much faster way to find statistical significance in our campaigns and in other hypotheses we want to test. Anvil’s Director of Analytics and Decision Science, Brett Lohmeyer says, “The best part is that it gives us an easy way for our team to better communicate the value of using statistical significance to our clients.”

Try it yourself

Check out the new in-product Partner Visualizations Gallery to browse and add new partner-built Community Visualizations to your reports. To build your own Community Visualizations, check out the developer documentation.


Google Analytics Blog


UIPath’s meteoric rise from unknown startup to $35B RPA juggernaut

March 29, 2021 No Comments

When TechCrunch covered UIPath’s Series A in 2017, it was a small startup out of Romania working in a little known area of enterprise software called robotic process automation (RPA).

Then the company took off with increasingly large multibillion dollar valuations. It progressed through its investment rounds, culminating with a $ 750 million round on an eye-popping $ 35 billion valuation last month.

This morning, the company took the next step on its rapid-fire evolutionary path when it filed its S-1 to go public. To illustrate just how fast the company’s rise has been, take a look at its funding history:

Chart illustrating rapid rise of UIPath through its funding rounds from 2017-2021

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

RPA is much better understood these days with larger enterprise software companies like SAP, Microsoft, IBM and ServiceNow getting involved. With RPA, companies can automate a mundane process like processing an insurance claim, moving work automatically, while bringing in humans only when absolutely necessary. For example, instead of having a person enter a number in a spreadsheet from an email, that can happen automatically.

In June 2019, Gartner reported that RPA was the fastest-growing area in enterprise software, growing at over 60% per year, and attracting investors and larger enterprise software vendors to the space. While RPA’s growth has slowed as it matures, a September 2020 Gartner report found it expanding at a more modest 19.5% with total revenue expected to reach $ 2 billion in 2021. Gartner found that stand-alone RPA vendors UIPath, Blue Prism and Automation Anywhere are the market leaders.

Although the market feels rather small given the size of the company’s valuation, it’s still a nascent space. In its S-1 filing this morning, the company painted a rosy picture, projecting a $ 60 billion addressable market. While TAM estimates tend to trend large, UIPath points out that the number encompasses far more than pure RPA into what they call “Intelligent Process Automation.” That could include not only RPA, but also process discovery, workflow, no-code development and other forms of automation.

Indeed, as we wrote earlier today on the soaring process automation market, the company is probably going to need to expand into these other areas to really grow, especially now that it’s competing with much bigger companies for enterprise automation dollars.

While UIPath is in the midst of its quiet period, it came up for air this week to announce that it had bought Cloud Elements, a company that gives it access to API integration, an important component of automation in the enterprise. Daniel Dines, the company co-founder and CEO said the acquisition was about building a larger platform of automation tools.

“The acquisition of Cloud Elements is just one example of how we are building a flexible and scalable enterprise-ready platform that helps customers become fully automated enterprises,” he said in a statement.

While there is a lot of CEO speak in that statement, there is also an element of truth in that the company is looking at the larger automation story. It can use some of the cash from its prodigious fundraising to begin expanding on its original vision with smaller acquisitions that can fill in missing pieces in the product road map.

The company will need to do that and more to compete in a rapidly moving market, where many vendors are fighting for different parts of the business. As it continues its journey to becoming a public company, it will need to continue finding new ways to increase revenue by tapping into different parts of the wider automation stack.


Enterprise – TechCrunch


Daily Crunch: YouTube’s TikTok rival launches in the US

March 29, 2021 No Comments

YouTube Shorts comes to the U.S., Amazon starts testing electric delivery vans in San Francisco and new data suggests the impact of Google Play’s recent changes. This is your Daily Crunch for March 18, 2021.

The big story: YouTube’s TikTok rival launches in the US

The YouTube Shorts product allows users to record, edit and share videos of 60 seconds or less, which can be accompanied by licensed music from a variety of industry partners. The company has been testing the feature in India while making Shorts viewable internationally — but until today, U.S. viewers couldn’t actually create short videos of their own.

Sarah Perez took an in-depth look at the Shorts experience, noting that it’s pretty similar to TikTok while lacking some key features, such as intelligent sound syncing.

The tech giants

Amazon begins testing its Rivian electric delivery vans in San Francisco — This makes SF the second of 16 total cities that Amazon expects to bring its Rivian-sourced EVs to in 2021.

Data shows how few Google Play developers will pay the higher 30% commission after policy change — As regular Daily Crunch readers will remember, Google recently announced that it’s cutting the commissions it charges developers on Google Play.

Twitter begins testing a way to watch YouTube videos from the home timeline on iOS — Shortly after Twitter announced it would begin testing a better way to display images on its app, it’s now doing the same for YouTube videos.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Substack faces backlash over the writers it supports with big advances — The startup has lured some of its most high-profile (and controversial) writers with sizable payments.

Homebrew backs Higo’s effort to become the ‘Venmo for B2B payments’ in LatAm — Rodolfo Corcuera, Juan José Fernández and Daniel Tamayo founded the company in January 2020, recognizing that the process of paying vendors for business owners is largely “manual and cumbersome.”

NFT marketplace OpenSea raises $ 23M from a16z — OpenSea has been one of a handful of NFT marketplaces to explode in popularity in recent weeks.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

MaaS transit: The business of mobility as a service — Amid declining ridership, transportation agencies find new software partners.

Three steps to ease the transition to a no-code company — Despite the many benefits, adopting a no-code platform won’t suddenly turn you into a no-code company.

Snowflake gave up its dual-class shares. Should you? — The mechanism can enable founders to maintain control despite later dilution and may sometimes even grant ironclad control in perpetuity.

(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

Tech companies should oppose the new wave of anti-LGBTQ legislation — TechNet’s David Edmondson puts the spotlight on a number of states that are currently considering anti-LGBT legislation.

Talking robots with Ford — We interview Ford’s Technical Expert Mario Santillo about its new robotics initiatives.

Startups, get your bug bounty crash course at Early Stage 2021 — Katie Moussouris, founder and chief executive at Luta Security, will give a crash course in bug bounty and vulnerability disclosure programs at TC Early Stage 2021.

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.

Mobile – TechCrunch


Google Display Network Best Practices In A First-Party Cookie World

March 28, 2021 No Comments

With first-party data becoming more relevant and third-party cookies becoming a thing of the past, this leaves marketers questioning, how can I best prepare?

Read more at PPCHero.com
PPC Hero


New Enterprise IT Controls for Data Studio

March 27, 2021 No Comments

As people use Data Studio throughout their organizations, IT administrators have asked to manage how Data Studio can be used. Today, we’re launching three free enterprise features providing IT administrators new visibility and control over Data Studio in their organization.

Organization management through Cloud Identity integration

Data Studio now integrates with Google Cloud Identity to provide organization-wide administrative capabilities. With this integration, Cloud Identity admins can manage who can use Data Studio and how they can use it. Existing G Suite and Cloud Identity customers get Data Studio integration out of the box, and can start using the new Data Studio administration features today. Customers using other identity providers, such as Active Directory, can synchronize their users with Google Cloud Identity, so that creating, suspending, and deleting users happens in one place. 


Enterprise audit logging

Data Studio now offers audit logging, providing IT admins organization-wide visibility into Data Studio usage, similar to that available for apps like Drive and Calendar. For example, admins can understand which users are creating Data Studio reports, and who they are sharing those reports with. Admins can also identify which reports have the most engagement, to scale successful reports across the organization. With custom alerts, you can monitor potentially risky activity like external sharing of data sources, and can export audit logs to BigQuery and use Data Studio to drill into the details. Learn more.

Audit Log

Organization sharing policies

New Data Studio sharing policies allow you to reduce the risk of data exfiltration. You can set limits to prevent users from sharing reports outside of your organization, or make sure they don’t expose company data by disabling public link sharing.

Sharing policies offer you the flexibility to define sharing permissions that meet your business needs. You can give certain users the ability to share reports externally, while allowing other users to share only within the organization. Learn more.

Organization sharing policies

There’s no charge for audit logging or sharing controls — they’re included with every edition of G Suite and Cloud Identity, including Cloud Identity Free. We’re committed to making Data Studio a solution that works for businesses of all sizes, and we’ll continue to build on this foundation. That way, everyone in your organization can uncover insights that matter, and you can rest assured knowing that your valuable business data is safe. 


Google Analytics Blog


Slack wants to be more than a text-based messaging platform

March 27, 2021 No Comments

Last October as Slack was preparing for its virtual Frontiers conference, the company began thinking about different ways people could communicate on the platform. While it had built its name on being able to integrate a lot of services in a single place to alleviate the dreaded task-switching phenomenon, it has been largely text-based up until now.

More recently, Slack has started developing a few new features that could bring different ways of interacting to the platform. CEO Stewart Butterfield discussed them on Thursday with former TechCrunch reporter Josh Constine, now a SignalFire investor, in a Clubhouse interview.

The talk was about the future of work, and Slack believes these new ways of communicating could help employees better connect online as we shift to a hybrid work world — one which has been hastened by the pandemic over the last year. There is a general consensus that many companies will continue to work in a hybrid fashion, even when the pandemic is over.

For starters, Slack aims to add a way to communicate by video. But instead of trying to compete with Zoom or Microsoft Teams, Slack is envisioning an experience that’s more like Instagram Stories.

Think about the CEO sharing an important announcement with the company, or the kind of information that might have gone out in a companywide email. Instead, you can skip the inbox and deliver the message directly by video. It’s taking a page from the consumer approach to social and trying to move it into the enterprise.

Writing in a company blog post earlier this week, Slack chief product officer Tamar Yehoshua was clear this was going to be an asynchronous approach, rather than a meeting kind of experience.

“To help with this, we are piloting ways to shift meetings toward an asynchronous video experience that feels native in Slack. It allows us to express nuance and enthusiasm without a meeting,” she wrote.

While it was at it, Slack decided to create a way of just chatting by voice. As Butterfield told Constine in his Clubhouse interview, this is essentially Clubhouse (or Twitter Spaces) being built for Slack.

Yeah, I’ve always believed the ‘good artists copy, great artists steal’ thing, so we’re just building Clubhouse into Slack, essentially. Like that idea that you can drop in, the conversation’s happening whether you’re there or not, you can enter and leave when you want, as opposed to a call that starts and stops, is an amazing model for encouraging that spontaneity and that serendipity and conversations that only need to be three minutes, but the only option for you to schedule them is 30 minutes. So look out for Clubhouse built into Slack.

Again, it’s taking a consumer social idea and applying it to a business setting with the idea of finding other ways to keep you in Slack when you could be using other tools to achieve the same thing, whether it be Zoom meetings, email or your phone.

Butterfield also hinted that another feature — asynchronous audio, allowing you to leave the equivalent of a voicemail — could be coming some time in the future. A Slack spokesperson confirmed that it was in the works, but wasn’t ready to share details yet.

It’s impossible to look at these features without thinking about them in the context of the $ 27 billion Salesforce acquisition of Slack at the end of last year. When you put them all together, you have this set of tools that let you communicate in whatever way makes the most sense to you.

When you combine that Slack Connect DM, a new feature to communicate outside the organization that was released this week to some controversy, as people wanted assurances that they could control spam and harassment, it takes the concept one step further — outside the organization itself.

As part of a larger entity like Salesforce, these tools could be useful across sales, service and even marketing as a way to communicate in a variety of ways inside and outside the organization. And they greatly expand the value prop of Slack as it becomes part of Salesforce sometime later this year.

While it began talking about the new audio and video features last fall, the company has been piloting them since the beginning of this year. So far Slack is not saying when the new features will be generally available.


Enterprise – TechCrunch


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