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Data Testimonials

Our working world is becoming ever more digital, and it is our mission to embrace the opportunities opened up by new technologies. Because of our global reach and different divisions, there is an immense variety of projects around data at Bertelsmann. Find out more about the importance of data science in the context of an international media, services and education company.

Matthew Smith


Why is data important for your division?

Data has always been important for BMG. With the industry transitioning more toward digital income streams, it’s more interesting than ever. Analyzing streaming data, as well as traditional income data, informs our decision-making process and ultimately empowers us to exert influence in the industry for the benefit of our clients, the content creators. Wrangling such a massive and complex music data environment is challenging, but the key insights we’re able to derive can drive our success.

How is data being applied in your division?

Data is applied differently across departments, however, very generally we’re looking at correlation between different metrics and building a comprehensive view of a given songwriter’s or artist’s activity. This market intel can be folded into our forecasting and projection models and also helps inform us of burgeoning market developments. As an example, as a newly released song goes on its journey through streaming, radio, sales, live performance, et al, we track activity, compare to royalties earned and then see what we’ve learned about activity versus earnings and ROI. Models are updated with significant data points and our decision-making process is further enhanced. 

What role does data play in your job?

First and foremost, my role as Senior Director, Income Tracking & Analytics is to determine whether certain metrics, e.g. sales, royalties or rates, actually meet our expected target state. If they do not, why? Answering the question, “why?” is the challenging part and can involve everything from data collection, data quality control, modeling and taking a deep-dive business analyses into industry research, communication and relationship management. The goal is to be continually learning something about our business and thereby producing increasingly meaningful insights and efficiencies.

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