Ian Thomas has been involved in the world of Big Data and digital marketing for over fifteen years. In 2000 he co-founded WebAbacus, which was one of the UK’s first web analytics firms, helping to define the online ad campaign and web behavior measurement space. In his time at WebAbacus, Ian worked with major brands and media agencies, including Ogilvy:One, Mindshare and TribalDDB, to deliver some of the industry’s first ever cross-channel campaign analysis and attribution projects.
In 2006 Ian moved to Seattle, WA, to join Microsoft Advertising to work on web analytics tools to complement the company’s emerging AdCenter (now Bing Ads) search advertising platform. During the next five years, he built out a company-wide data platform to understand monetization across all of Microsoft’s advertising surfaces, including Bing, MSN, Outlook.com and Xbox Live, as well as third-party content partner sites such as FOX Sports. This project required integration of data from Microsoft’s recently acquired Atlas ad platform, as well as from its strategic partner, AppNexus, with data from Microsoft’s own advertising technology platforms. Ian delivered a string of innovations that helped senior leadership within the company boil down the complexities of the online advertising business and make impactful decisions on how to run the business.
Since 2012, Ian has held the role of Principal Group Program Manager for Microsoft’s Customer Data & Analytics (CDnA) group, a central group within the corporate marketing organization which provides data and insights across the company, supporting the CEO and his leadership team as well as individual product and marketing groups. In this role, Ian manages a Big Data platform that processes terabytes of data every day, as well as a team of data scientists, to deliver insights about user engagement with Microsoft products, including Bing, Windows and Office.
Alongside his technical and business skills, Ian is an accomplished public speaker, and has been an active member of the Web Analytics Association since 2005. He maintains a blog about the challenges of data and measurement in the online advertising industry, at www.liesdamnedlies.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @ian_thomas; he is available on LinkedIn here.
|Jan 2012 – present||Principal Group Program Manager, Microsoft |
Runs Big Data platform to process and combine behavioral data from across Microsoft’s products to produce a single picture of user engagement across the Microsoft portfolio.
|July 2006 – Dec 2011||Senior Director, BI/CI, Microsoft Advertising |
Runs Business Intelligence/Customer Intelligence platform for Microsoft’s global display advertising network; advises senior execs on business performance and facilitates data-driven decision-making.
Ran Microsoft’s “Gatineau” project, a web analytics tool as part of the AdCenter advertising platform.
|July 2000 – June 2006||Director of Marketing & Development, WebAbacus/Foviance |
Co-founded WebAbacus, which provided one of industry’s first and most flexible web analytics products. Led marketing & product management activities; oversaw four major releases of the product. Worked with CEO to secure seed funding; established partnerships with ad technology vendors and agencies to broaden portfolio.
Following merger with The Usability Company in 2005, led rebranding effort for combined company and relaunched as Foviance.
|Oct 1996 – June 2000||e-Business Marketing Manager, Lotus Development Corporation |
Led go-to-market strategy & activities for Lotus’s “e-Business” offerings (web-based communication/collaboration software); acted as key spokesman for press outreach and led developer conference planning. Represented Lotus in key enterprise customer engagements.
|Oct 1993 – Oct 1996||Technical Pre-sales Specialist, IBM |
Provided pre-sales support to sales and marketing organization for IBM Software portfolio, especially OS/2.