You have applied for CTO roles in the past. Would you say you’re better suited for a product role where your experience in tech, programming, and databases is a valuable strength?

I’ve had roles across product, technical and commercial teams but fundamentally the product mindset needs to encompass all of these aspects. Especially with a solution like StatsDrone, you need to create a product that solves real user challenges and provides immediate value. That core understanding of technology absolutely plays a part; directly and indirectly, when it comes to problem solving and adapting to differing challenges faced by our partners at varying technical levels.

What did you learn while at Catena Media as a Technical Product Owner?

Catena Media was my first foray into the gambling industry, I learned a huge amount across a lot of different areas, and was fortunate to work with incredible people, and mentors across various departments from R&D, TechOps and Product, from their London, Malta and Serbia offices. We worked on some challenging projects including global standardisation and full funnel deal to invoice initiatives. 

What experiences do you have outside of iGaming that you think the iGaming industry could benefit from?

For me, the start of my career wearing multiple hats at a startup allowed me to really look at how we bootstrap and grow a business, seeing it grow from 3 people to 20+ over a couple of years. That taught me to be efficient in everything that we do and not be afraid to jump in and get my hands dirty. Also, my tenure as the Programme Manager at Circus Street really opened my eyes to enterprise SaaS platform operations.

Do you think better BI tools and adtech will become the services that move the affiliate industry forward?

Absolutely, data is king in today’s market, but data alone is not enough; understanding your data completely and correctly applying it is what provides that critical advantage. Having meaningful, actionable insights and fostering a true “Data Driven” culture is a must-do, regardless of the size of your operations.

[As an aside, it’s also why I dislike the term Data Lake - you shouldn’t have to go fishing to find out what you can catch!]

Other than Python, what data tools are you working with?

Honestly, whichever tools help to solve the issue at hand, recently that seems to be more focused on the analysis/visualisation side, usually Tag Manager/Analytics integrated into Looker Studio, Python for some deeper dive analysis and trend identification, tools like ahrefs/semrush, and of course, StatsDrone.

What books, resources, blogs and communities do you follow to stay on top of Business Intelligence and data analytics trends?

Data Science for Business - A good read on how to treat data as another business asset, and how to extract useful knowledge from your data, covering fundamental data principles. 

For the industry news, the usual suspects, SiGMA, NEXT, iGB, Vixio for regulatory compliance updates.

With your new role as Head of Product at StatsDrone, what are you looking forward to in that role with them?

For me, I think being a customer first has given me a great outlook, things I wish were easier, more accessible, less time consuming in order to carry out the day to day work in affiliate marketing. Over my discussions with the StatsDrone team it is clear that our core values are well aligned, and the product has a lot of opportunity to address real life challenges for our customers.

What do you think affiliates and operators need to focus on now and in the future

Actionable data, we’re working in a highly competitive and fluctuating market, constantly having to adjust and adapt to market changes and regulations extremely quickly. Having accurate data to drive decisions, understand which markets to enter, or how to pivot successfully is key. Being able to quickly understand your organisations “health score” across offers, campaigns, exposure and knowing exactly what your customers are doing is a huge advantage. 

Where do you feel there is room for reducing time spent on manual tasks (SD saves time, affiliate tracker, eventually studio, etc)

Elaborating from the previous answer, quickly diving into your numbers in one place is a huge benefit. The visibility we provide (Program, Brand, Campaign analysis) already allows for granular tracking: which partners are working, which campaigns are getting clicks but no conversions - and we are only just scratching the surface. Notifications on trends and catching potential issues before they are reported is a big win.

John and Darrell are the best! Tell us more.


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