2021: Measurelab’s year in review

A reflection on the year gone by and how far we’ve come as a company and team. From remote working to co-working, finding time for fun, and a growing appetite for GA4, we only mention Covid a few times.

I know I’m not alone in thinking how strangely time is running at the moment. 2020 seems like a complete blur, almost like it didn’t happen, but this year has seen us go from a winter lockdown, to ‘freedom day’, to now worrying about this new Omicron variant. Unlike last year though, I feel like 2021 has proved how much (for the most part) we have all adapted to Covid. This year-in-review is definitely not about Covid-19, honest. It would be hard not to mention it though when summing up how 2021 has been for Measurelab, or for anyone really.

We’re finishing the year as a team of 18. Some moved on, seeking something new, but we’ve had six new faces join us full-time. We welcomed Vanessa, Nick, Natalia, Katie, Matthew, and Elisa to the team. And we are very much looking forward to Scott starting in January. We will also be actively recruiting for analytics consultants, digital analysts and data engineers again soon.

Local, remote, and IRL

Just to put another pound in the Covid swear jar, as a business there have been some silver linings to these “unprecedented times”. Vanessa, mentioned above, moved over to the UK from Brazil this year. When she first joined us, she was working remotely… from Brazil, meaning very early mornings for her! 

Pre-Covid, all our recruitment was focussed not just in the UK, but local to the South East. Vanessa traveled the furthest, but it’s worth noting that none of our new starters this year are all that local to our HQ in Lewes (Katie is the closest and she’s in Worthing, so more than a stone’s throw). We have three people based in the greater Manchester area now too, and as a result of that, we signed up to Work.Life and have been using shared offices in both Manchester and London. 

Meetups and measureversaries

We are remote-first now, but we also have more options than before for people to work together, IRL, in an office. It’s not just about meeting up in offices though. We also set up a social committee, led by Natalia and Jake, who arrange something each month for us to get together outside of work. We call this our First Thursday Club and so far, we have bowled, bingoed, and battled big little cars (big compared to the original Scalextric). Many LOLs have been lolled, and although I am obviously very biased, I will put my neck out and say a healthy helping of fun has been had.

We’ve had two 5-year Measureversaries this year (sorry, not sorry), with both Daniel and Magda having seen plenty of change in their time at Measurelab. Magda also returned to us from maternity leave during the summer. I was personally so happy to have Magda back. Not only is she great to work with in general, but I was still leading one of our client accounts at that point, and Magda was an absolutely essential and rock-solid support to me on that; something she’s still doing now, just not with me. I’ve left that to someone far more energetic, efficient, and effective (aka Jake).

Sindhoora celebrated 3 years with us all the way back in March, so she’s closer to 4 years now. Victor and Dave both hit the 2-year mark this year, and Jake, Lace, Liam, and George all had their first candle on their cakes. Jake joined us right as we went into the first lockdown in March 2020, so I can only imagine what that was like. And for Lace, Liam, and George (as well as our new joiners this year), they have only known Measurelab since the dreaded C-word has been hounding us all.

On a personal note, I’ve changed my role this year. In May, I stepped into the Managing Director role. This blog isn’t about me though, so I’m not going to waffle about that here – we’ve posted previously about the shake-up at the top. What I will say is how much I’m relishing this new challenge for me and how excited I am to see Mark focus fully on technology and operations, doing what he loves best – solving problems with technology and systems. For me, it’s a genuine joy to work with everyone at Measurelab and I’m having fun figuring out how I can best help everyone and the company to succeed.

Marketing and The Measure Pod

We ramped up our marketing efforts this year, something we intend to push even further in 2022. We published 18 blog posts throughout the year, covering a mixture of technical topics (including how-to guides like how to flatten tables in BigQuery and how to write a value to a cookie using GTM, and processes like our PIVOT framework for GA4 migration), opinion pieces (like the superpower of objectivity or who cares about data privacy?), and also some insight into who we are as a company and how we work (like our company values).

We also launched our podcast, The Measure Pod, and at the time of writing we have 20 podcasts live (a prize for anyone who correctly guesses the number of times Dan mentions GA4 across all 20). This was a daunting experience at first, as we had never done anything like this before. But Dan and I threw ourselves into it, and I have to give him the vast majority of the credit for this. All I do is show up and ramble on each week. Dan does all the editing and makes sure each episode is ready and available bang on time each Friday morning. 

There’s a line in my intro that says we “try to have a little fun along the way”. Well, to be honest, recording the podcast each week has been a huge amount of fun. It’s basically like a big chat each time, and there are so many bloopers that always crack us up (usually at my expense, but I’m fine with that).

To support this increase in content, we’re trying to be more active on social channels and we’re also sending out our Random Forest newsletter again (sign up in the footer of our website if you’re interested).

Time with the team

Sadly, I missed our last official social event of the year, the office Christmas party, as I tested positive for that fairly well-known, contagious respiratory disease. But fun was had and rumours suggest a hardy few ended up in a Brighton club until the early hours of the morning. Here they all are earlier in the evening, with appropriately fresh faces.

Thankfully, I didn’t miss our annual company away-day(s) a month ago – a thoroughly enjoyable couple of days. It started off with classic team-building exercises, including some top-quality, artistic storytelling, and group sharing of personality tests. On day two, we chased around London in groups, doing some high-tech AR secret agent missions. 

Tasty food (more fish than we could handle, especially for the vegans) and plenty of drinks punctuated all the shenanigans, and we also ran our inaugural Company Values Awards. Before the event, we asked everyone to anonymously nominate one person for each award, with one award for each of our four company values. Our illustrious and deserving winners can be seen looking justifiably proud below. Left to right: Victor (Integrity), Sindhoora (Compassion), Jacob (Tenacity), and Daniel (Curiosity).

Reflecting on the year in review

It’s been a rollercoaster year but, on reflection, it has been very positive for us as a company and we have the memories to prove it. And we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the commitment and dedication of our team and the loyalty and trust of our clients.

I’m excited about what 2022 holds for us and it will be interesting to see what has changed when the time comes to write the next year-in-review 12 months from now. We’re seeing appetites sharpen for GA4 amongst our clients and, of course, this bridges a gap with BigQuery that existed previously with non-360 Universal Analytics. So, I foresee further growth in demand for data unification and advanced analytics in the year ahead.

In the meantime, to everyone reading this, have a safe and Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year – from me personally and on behalf of the whole team here at Measurelab.

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Dara is Managing Director at Measurelab. He is an active member of the Google Analytics Partner community, a regular industry speaker and GA trainer.

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