5 Must-Read Optimization Posts for the Week of April 4

Interested in building a dynamite data science team? In First Round Review, Instacart’s data science VP explains when you should invest in talent (“Data science only matters if data drives action”), where the team should fall in your org structure, and how to build a data-driven culture. The post is aimed at startups, but any company can benefit from this advice. Read it: Doing data science right — your most common questions answered

Here are four more A/B testing and conversion optimization articles (plus one from the Brooks Bell blog) you might have missed this week:

Qubit: How test and learn drives Expedia’s innovation. In this interview, Expedia’s managing director of Northern Europe, Andy Washington, explains how to optimize the customer experience for the cash-rich, time-poor set (think: it’s all about autonomy and speed) and why a culture of “test and learn” is at the heart of their organization.

CMO: Data-driven marketing in action: Six lessons from the leaders. A recent study from Econsultancy and Adobe shows that top-performing organizations recognize the importance of mobile, are working toward a better customer experience, and foster collaboration among departments.

Marketing and Growth Hacking (Medium channel): Want to grow faster? Spend more time talking to customers. “Data will tell you something. Talking to a customer will make sure that you feel it.” Dave Gerhardt explains why having conversations with your customers is the original growth hack.

Brooks Bell: When secondary metrics matter: Brooks Bell experts weigh in. Your KPI is a single metric, like average order value or form completion rate. But what if you want to broaden your perspective to understand your test results? That’s where secondary metrics come in.

Quote of the week: “One of the most interesting things we’ve done to better test and measure our user experience is move away from relying solely on behavior metrics (like number of clicks, likes, comments, etc.) and move more towards trying to understand how real people are feeling.” –Julie Zhuo, Product Design VP at Facebook