Harnessing Data with a Touch of Fanaticism: Madeleine Want’s Journey to AdMonsters Ops Keynote

In a world where data reigns supreme, few have managed to navigate its complex waters with the finesse and insight of Madeleine Want. As Vice President of Data at Fanatics Betting & Gaming, Want has been at the forefront of leveraging data in dynamic and transformative ways. Her journey, stretching from Sydney to Berlin and eventually planting roots in New York City, is a testament to her ability to adapt, innovate, and lead in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

Want’s diverse background spans across e-commerce, social media, entertainment, and gaming. With a foundation in philosophy from Sydney University, followed by a master’s in economics and public policy at Columbia University, her approach to data is both holistic and strategic. Co-authoring “Precisely: Working with Precision Systems in a World of Data” further cements her as a thought leader in this space. The book is a detailed examination of global data applications and reflects her deep understanding of how data shapes industries from agriculture to education.

As a keynote speaker at AdMonsters OPs, Madeleine will delve into “DATA DYNAMICS: HARNESSING FANATICISM IN THE PRIVACY ERA.” This session, scheduled for 9:30 am-10:00 am, promises to be a deep dive into the art of monetizing customer relationships amidst the complexities of the open web. Drawing on her rich experiences at both Fanatics and Index Exchange, Want will unpack how aligning incentives across the ecosystem can fundamentally alter audience engagement strategies.

At Fanatics, she led the creation of a ‘Customer 360’ view, establishing the company as a beacon in sports customer relations. Her session at OPs will reveal how publishers can smartly use their first-party data to nurture customer relationships while offering new opportunities to partners. Expect to hear about innovative strategies like Private Marketplace deals, audience matching, and identity solutions — all geared towards thriving in the current digital, privacy-conscious market.

Now, let’s take a closer look at our LinkedIn Live chat with Madeleine Want, which highlights her insights and contributions positioning her as a pivotal figure in today’s data-driven world.

Charting a Data-Driven Path in Ad Tech and Betting

Madeleine Want’s career path led her through various roles in Australia, Berlin, and New York before becoming VP of Data at Fanatics. Her journey from Sydney’s product management scene to the high-stakes world of betting and gaming in NYC is nothing short of inspiring. With a career that pivoted from Australia’s biggest ecommerce clothing provider to tech in Berlin, and finally to Audible in the U.S., her story is a playbook for seizing opportunities in the ever-evolving ad tech landscape. Her journey illustrates how diverse experiences can forge a path to roles like VP of Data at Fanatics.

Data: The Asset and the Art

Want speaks about data with a passion that’s infectious. Her intrigue with the ‘physicality of data’ — moving beyond just figures on a screen to the real-world impact — is a fresh take. It’s fascinating how she views data as an asset, to be leveraged for growth and innovation. The way she articulates it, data is not just a tool; it’s a canvas for creativity.

The AI Revolution in Behavioral Data

The conversation took an interesting turn when discussing AI’s role in identifying behavioral patterns in gambling. Want’s work in developing predictive models to flag potential gambling problems showcases how AI can be used responsibly and ethically. It’s a delicate balance of tech and morality, emphasizing the impact of tech beyond just business outcomes.

Audible Memories and the AI Integration Challenge

Her stint at Audible was a period of significant change, focusing on integrating AI with data science teams. This wasn’t just a technical challenge but a transformative shift in how the company approached data. It’s a compelling example of how AI is not just about algorithms and coding but about culture and strategy.

Fanatics: A Data Powerhouse

In the realm of betting and gaming, Fanatics stands out with its unique approach to contextual data. Want’s insights into how the company uses customer data to personalize experiences are a peek into the future of customer engagement. Fanatics’ ability to interact with the same customers across multiple properties gives them unique contextual data advantages. It’s a testament to how data can create a competitive edge, especially when you have the ‘Amazon of betting and gaming’ at your helm.

Writing ‘Precisely’: A Journey Through Data’s Impact

Want’s book, co-authored during her master’s degree, is a reflection of her depth of understanding and curiosity about data. From weed identification on farms to music genre classification, her exploration of data’s role across sectors is a reminder of its pervasive impact. Understanding business goals and existing data assets is important before determining analytical systems. Trial and error can be effective for businesses to learn what systems work best for their needs.

Navigating the Regulatory Maze

The regulatory landscape in ad tech and gambling was another focal point of the discussion. Want’s comparison of the two – especially the nuanced, state-by-state approach in gambling – highlights the complexity and importance of compliance. It’s a stark reminder of the challenges businesses face in aligning with legal frameworks.

The Future of Data: Complexity, Access, and Consolidation

Her vision of the future in customer data resonates with anyone who’s felt overwhelmed by the current complexity. The future may bring consolidation of customer data tools and strategies as the industry matures. Her hope for more accessible data practices for smaller businesses is not just insightful but also speaks to an inclusive future.