Day in the Life: Lindsey Acheson, Business Intelligence
Lindsey, senior director of business intelligence at Magnite, takes us through a typical day in her life on the Business Intelligence team.
Magnite’s Day in the Life series dives into the various people and teams that make up the world’s largest independent sell-side ad platform.
How would you explain what you do to someone outside the industry?
Business intelligence teams are not unique to the ad tech industry, but it usually means something slightly different from what our team does. Magnite’s Business Intelligence team has two main tracks. One is the traditional Business Intelligence track, where we work with teams to source and utilize data, exposing numbers to the company with some context behind it. Our job is to translate raw data into information and put numbers in front of the people that need them to help make their decisions.
The second track for our team is not as traditional. I focus on business efficiencies, including operational efficiencies and contract negotiations. My role has an emphasis on how contract negotiations impact our revenue and everyday business and how they translate into setup. Imagine a salesperson saying, “I’m going to do this deal with a client, and this is what we’re trying to accomplish.” My job is to make sure we can accomplish those goals – and that we’re accomplishing them in the best way – keeping a variety of factors in mind (legal requirements, operational realities, etc.).
How did you first break into ad tech?
I moved to New York with plans to work as a film editor. I worked on a few projects until a friend introduced me to the industry at the time when online video was first emerging as a key media channel. (Anyone remember popular user-generated content like “Charlie bit my finger”?) “Streaming” was barely a concept, but you could see that momentum building and the possibilities around it. Over a decade later, I’m still here.
How does your department/team help support Magnite/Magnite’s clients as a whole? What other departments do you facilitate the most?
We work very closely with the sales team to examine revenue growth and company health. This applies financially and also operationally. Execution is key when you’re conducting sales and operations in contracts. What resources are needed to meet these commitments? We also work with the operations teams to help them with their day-to-day tasks using data insights. They have to make a number of decisions every day, and we try to help them make those decisions with numbers. Our job is to always make their jobs easier by giving them access to data that leads to action. We’re often working with them to define how to operate quicker and smarter.
What does a typical day at Magnite look like for you?
I wake up, and my inbox is filled with international emails. My morning always starts outside of the U.S. I work closely with all the global teams on their contracts, numbers and operations. I’m talking to Italy or answering emails I got overnight from Singapore. I often have my calls with the EMEA team in the morning. That’s kind of fun. Then, when the West Coast starts to get into the office around noon EST, my calls start to focus on the US. I ask: What are the active contracts that are in play? What support do those need to have with numbers and validation that they’re good for our business? I’ll do an analysis and some official approvals. As the day goes on, I start talking to the operational teams. I have two direct reports, and one of them is on the West Coast. Usually, around noon I start checking on them and see how their day is going.
Talk about a recent project that you’re proud of yourself/your team for accomplishing.
A recent project I’ve been working on is to use available data and measurements to paint a more complete picture of the benefits of our offerings and partnerships. We’re finding ways to build better intelligence and context into various tracking reports so that we can more easily identify trends and areas for improvement. It’s really satisfying to use data and numbers to tell a story that might otherwise be hiding in plain sight.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I really like that I get to see the deals globally. It’s interesting to see how different regions approach ad tech. It helps put the US’s side of the business into perspective. It gives you more ideas; rather than just working with one country, you can get ideas for how many other regions do their work.
Having a global role also helps with my communication skills. You always want to keep your audience in mind when considering how best to communicate something, and I appreciate the opportunity to work with so many different co-workers worldwide. I’m always learning from them!
Do you have any advice for people looking to learn more about ad tech/your particular department?
Ad tech is so much more integral to people’s everyday lives than it was 10 years ago. Oscar-nominated films can now be found on streaming platforms that offer ad-tier subscriptions. Ad tech is at the Oscars! It will only become easier for people that aren’t in Silicon Valley to understand what my job is.