Report – Mapping Data, Building An Audience

Posted on: Thursday 07 July 2016 11:30am by Heather McDaid

The art of building a content masterpiece through data-driven decisions as well as incorporating real audience engagement patternsphoto mapping data


  • Help boost the profile of your videos by understanding how to utilise YouTube data
  • A user’s understanding can be vital in shaping design and tells you where and why users are dropping off your product so you can fix it


Ten years ago it was said that data was the new oil, but if data’s the new oil then it’s only useful when it’s refined. A panel of ‘refinery’ experts discussed how data can be used for good across YouTube, publishing and gaming.

To kick the session off, Rebecca Frankel from Little Dot Studios talked through the 2billion views the receive each month.

She said that by having a wide breadth of brands (Peppa Pig, Cartoon Network) they have a vast amount of data, so they can track patterns and anomalies, deduce peak times and untapped countries that enjoy their work.

There is so much content online that it’s hard to be seen, she added, but there are ways to crack this. Use cards on your most popular videos to direct people to one you choose – it will push your video up the algorithm and give it a chance to fly.

Stuff doesn’t naturally grow over time, it’s better to aggregate content and make your channel more alive, and then YouTube will give it preferential treatment.

Nicole Seymour of Anamil Tech showcased Pacca Alpaca, a language learning app where she worked with freelancer James Dolan.

She said that YouTube provides a great opportunity for affordable high quality content for indies. The key points to consider are:

  • Who is watching and where are they located?
  • Review viewer engagement and retention
  • How are audiences finding you?

Between analytics, watch times and clicks, there’s plenty to delve into to help refine how best to get your video bumped up the algorithms and out to more people.

Nick Marsh of Lost My Name talked through their personalised children’s books, explaining how it’s important to not just look at data, but act on it to make better decisions for your customers and business. Product design isn’t very data-centric but they used it to redesign the start and end of their story, trying alternatives to see how people understood and recalled the pages and ads to find the right design. Did they understand who was who? What their product was? The changes made it better, but still with a long way to go.

Finally Mark Owens, Digital Lead, Children’s In-house Production at the BBC and Catherine Roley talked gaming and using data insights to make better decisions.

You can track performance from the launch, monitor issues, learn, and get more in depth on player behaviour. Dangermouse was one game where data has been key – there was a large drop off at certain parts, and scrutinising why – the spiky monster who killed 25,000 in his first week was causing people to turn off in frustration – can lead you to fixing it and increasing your game time and getting more content in front of users.

 Introducing an option to ‘skip’ the level increased the number of players engaging with later levels by 70%.

Like all instances in the session, in understanding your data, they were able to understand what their users wanted, and improve and adapt to make it the best it can be.

Event Reports CMC 2016 mapping data

Heather McDaid

About the author

Heather McDaid

ScotLitFest, Co-ordinator

Heather is the coordinator of ScotLitFest, a virtual book festival celebrating Scottish literature as part of the Saltire Society's 80th anniversary, social media officer for the Society of Young Publishers Scotland and a freelance writer and publishing person. When not writing about music for magazines including Upset and Rock Sound, she… Read more