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Speaker Spotlight: Sasha Bartashnik, Zulily

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We recently caught up with Sasha Bartashnik, Manager of Marketing Analytics at Zulily. She will also be speaking at our upcoming Marketing Analytics & Data Science Conference in San Francisco this spring.


Bartashnik leads a team of analysts focused on optimizing $1.6B online retailer Zulily’s multi-channel marketing strategy. Zulily is now at 6.6 million active customers, and she helped the team transition to self-service analytics using Tableau, enabling a shorter cycle between data and action, to help drive a recent 24 percent year on year increase in active customers – to 6.1M.

Prior to Zulily she worked at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center applying predictive modeling and visualization to solve strategic problems in healthcare. She is passionate about data visualization and has taught its basic principles via Tableau at the NYC Data Science Academy and as a guest lecturer at the Pratt Institute. In addition, she volunteers with DataKind, an organization focused on harnessing the power of data science to support mission-driven organizations.

Here’s what she had to say:

What will be the biggest data science trend in 2019?

Bartashnik: As machine learning technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, data science will have a renewed focus on ensuring interpretability of output or ensuring that more functions of the business can more fully understand data scientists’ recommendations. A more accessible approach will be necessary as regulatory demands get stricter, but also will be a win for businesses, which will be able to gain more insight into how to better serve customers as a by-product of innovations in this area.

The industry will be required to build tighter bridges between data engineering and infrastructure to support data science and machine learning processes, and ultimately, innovation. We are already seeing immense evolution in this trend when it comes to cloud infrastructure solutions, democratizing data. Businesses will be increasing investment to produce repeatable data pipelines necessary to integrate machine learning more seamlessly into existing operations.

What is your favorite marketing technology right now?

Bartashnik: I'm a huge proponent of Zulily's model, which is to lean heavily on home-grown tech. That approach has allowed us to continuously adapt as marketing platforms and strategies change in a fast-moving marketing landscape.

What are you most looking forward to about MADS 2019?

Bartashnik: I look forward to learning from the inspiring lineup of speakers, networking with other data science pros, and meeting future Zulily analysts and data scientists.

Want more from Sasha? Don’t miss her speak about Optimizing for Growth at Zulily at Marketing Analytics & Data Science 2019 on Tuesday, April 9th at 3:00 PM. 

The MADS conference empowers you with practical applications to achieve better bottom line results in a data-driven future. As consumers demand more personalized communications, experiences and products; and internal stakeholders require more predictive intelligence to inform decisions, a disciplined approach to analytics and data science is the silver bullet to unlock opportunity and growth. Learn more and register here:

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