Bye Bye SEO. Hello Data Analysis & Visualization

"changes aren't permanent, but change is"
Tom Sawyer - Rush

You might think I'm crazy, stupid or both. Up to you but let me explain why I'm halting my career as Senior SEO Strategist to be, eventually, full time focused on Data Analysis (whatever the source is, web or not) and Visualization.

So Why moving? Why now?

If you are a decent SEO, Analysis's round the corner

You guys already know that Web Analytics was always big part of my SEO thing. I like to base the practice of that discipline on data, not speculation so that step is not a U turn for me, just a slight detour.

In other hand I studied Industrial Design and practice some Graphic Design in a well renowned, at that time, art school in Barcelona. A strange mix of disciplines related somehow to the ones required to be successful in Dashboarding and Data Visualization where scientific matters as statistics and aesthetic subjects shake hands.

I guess I've got a nice spot in the pole position to make a good start for that race.

Looking for challenges, burning bridges

Probably I've already mentioned in this blog that for many years I was having the feeling that life was pushing me wherever it wanted instead of being me driving my live and heading to some premeditated professional destiny.

Besides some personal / familiar reasons, one of the most important ones why I decided to move to Vancouver from Barcelona with my wife and daughter three years ago was to challenge myself with a relevant decision. We went for it full throttle and it has been a marvelous adventure. Experience another culture should be mandatory once in a life time, seriously.

But that one, although not finished yet, does not represent a challenge any more and I need something making my daily doses of adrenaline to ramp up again.

One of the tools I never had in my tool box was the experience to be an in house SEO, quite different to be an agency guy. Even assuming I could get a position like that right now I'm a bit tired of the SEO game, to be honest. I'm looking for something else.

Amelia Earhart Google doodle

Very timely Amelia Earhart's doodle. Her fearless love for aviation inspired many including me. My dream was to be a pilot when I was a teenager. Who said ‘fear'?

Would I make it? Would I become a really good professional in those topics? I'll do my best investing many hours of my time off educating myself, enrolling online and offline courses and seminars, reading tons of blog posts, following relevant guys in Twitter, investigating tools and testing ideas the same way I was doing for SEO.

The important thing, more than arriving somewhere is having fun along the way, "If I can't dance, it's not my revolution!" (attributed to Emma Goldman).

I'm starting to madly adore this idea of burning bridges from time to time; it keeps my poor brain awake, alert and working.

Opportunity is right in my face

I joined VKI Studios March 2010 and one year later we joined two other agencies to become Cardinal Path, the largest digital measurement firm in North America with 50+ people dedicated to search marketing, acquisition, and performance measurement.

Most of my time there has been devoted to SEO but no matter what you do there, you breathe analytics! The perfect ecosystem to try this new adventure is right there, why not making profit of it?

Small or Big Data, there I go

'Big Data' is the new buzz work in the analytics space. As Stephane Hamel commented recently in a meeting "it has been always there" although it is true that lately it grows insanely and we have to be creative to tame it and make sense of it somehow, the same way we treat small data with all our love and affection.

Big or small, real time or historical, relational or not, all is good to understand the whys of what generates it, personas, nature, economies, artificial systems, or any other.

I've learned tons of good things, especially from bad experiences, that will help me for sure. Many good mates that I'm not planning to 'unfollow', on the contrary because their expertise and kindness goes beyond pure SEO.

Do you think I'm going to miss Google's algorithm updates? Nah.
And yes, I've replaced the green for blue in the design of that blog to represent somehow that new phase I'm heading to.

Jul 25, 2012
Written by:
Filed under: Online

Jul 25, 2012
Posted by:
Andrés #1

Best of lucks! I'm sure you'll excel it. Great challenge.

Jul 25, 2012
Posted by:
Stephane Hamel #2

Great post Ani - it is always good to question ourselves and think about what motivates us. One of the reasons I decided to join Cardinal Path is exactly for what you describe: amazing opportunities to learn, to share, to grow, but above all, great people to work with!

Jul 25, 2012
Posted by:
Ani Lopez #3

Thanks Andrés and Stephane, I really appreciate that coming from experts like you.

Jul 30, 2012
Posted by:
F.Beneitez #4

I like it blue, hehe.

You might have to do a last SEO job and try to exchange your site's result from "SEO teacher" to "Analytics Teacher", :-)

Good luck.

Jul 30, 2012
Posted by:
Gus #5

Buena suerte Ani!!!!!

Entiendo totalmente tu punto... Data Analysis es muy tentador... y si... esta a la vuelta de SEO.

Todo lo mejor!

Jul 30, 2012
Posted by:
Jackson Lo #6

Nice post Ani! Good on you for challenging yourself to something new and exciting in the world of data :) We'll miss you on the SEO team at Cardinal Path.

Aug 05, 2012
Posted by:
Ani Lopez #7

Thanks F.Beneitez, Gus and Jackson!

Aug 08, 2012
Posted by:
Manuel #8

Totalmente de acuerdo. Yo he sentido algo parecido, si no te abres más allá del SEO y eres una persona que necesita retos y cambio, después de cierto tiempo necesitas un cambio importante. Conozco a mucha gente que tras unos años de SEO han evolucionado a otras disciplinas.

Aug 08, 2012
Posted by:
Ani Lopez #9

En mi caso, Manuel, es una decisión donde lo personal ha pesado mucho. Tampoco es necesario saltar del SEO a otra cosa, hay quien tras muchos años en esa disciplina sigue profundizando en ella.

Aug 13, 2012
Posted by:
titojose #10

nice post :) and good luck

Nov 02, 2012
Posted by:
Marc #11

Good luck in your new career path Ani!

There's plenty of demand for someone like yourself with your skills and experience. I can definitely understand your fatigue with SEO and the yearning to do something more. Looking forward to your future blog posts on analysis.

Nov 03, 2012
Posted by:
Ani Lopez #12

Thanks Marc, much appreciated.

Jan 23, 2015
Posted by:
Lianne #13

Ani, great to read this post even though you have verbally told me most of it. It's really cool to see people taking risks...most of us don't have the guts. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with you and hear your perspectives on life and work. You are a rare and awesome person!

Jan 23, 2015
Posted by:
Ani Lopez #14

Blush all over my face now Lianne!
Your extremely kind words mean a lot to me because I've been working side by side with you enough time to know I can include you into my (short) best-wormates-ever list.

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twitter @anilopez

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