UC Berkeley School of Information

(Really) Knowing Your Customer (Hugh Williams)

Feb. 27, 2015

In this talk, Hugh Williams shares over ten years of experience in using customer data to improve product experiences and drive business results. He shares stories of both quantitatively and qualitatively understanding customers, and how the large Internet giants experiment, measure, and improve their experiences. He talks about flaws and stories of failed experimentation, and the pitfalls of large scale measurement. He also discusses his career as an executive at Microsoft, eBay, and Pivotal, and talks about what he plans to do next. A significant part of the talk will be interactive, with plenty of time for questions and discussion. This talk was a guest lecture for the course Info 296A. Data Science and Analytics: Thought Leaders. Hugh E. Williams has spent twenty years researching and developing search engines, web services, and big data technologies. From 2009 to 2013, Hugh was with eBay. He led a large cross-disciplinary team that turned-around the Marketplaces business. His teams conceived, designed, and built eBay’s user experiences, search engine, big data technologies, and platforms. Prior to eBay, he spent 4+ years managing a search engine R&D team at Microsoft’s Bing, 10+ years researching and developing search technologies, and 5 years running his own startup and consultancy. He has published over 100 works, mostly in the field of information retrieval, including two books, Web Database Applications with PHP and MySQL and Learning Mysql, for O’Reilly Media, Inc. He holds nineteen US patents and has many more pending. He has a Ph.D. from RMIT University in Australia.

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