October is a big month for Alexa. Not only have we wrapped up some major projects, including increasing our global traffic panel, but we also welcomed two new amazing team members to Alexa.
Joining our data infrastructure team is seasoned Senior Research Scientist, Russ Thompson. For the layman out there, this means Russ processes exceedingly large amounts of invaluable user data, derives understanding and makes predictions from it. This directly impacts the experience we give our Alexa customers, as we aim to evaluate our users’ needs and usage patterns to continuously develop our robust platform.
Cleaning, rationalizing, and ultimately building models and tolls from such vast quantities of data is undeniably a challenge, but one Russ is excited to tackle. In his own words, the Internet is one of the most important inventions since writing, and the opportunity to create and iterate with leaders in the industry allows you to be a part of that invention’s evolution.
Russ originally hails from Shelby, North Carolina, but has spent two stints in California. The first was as a post-graduate doctoral fellow at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute where he studied probability and geometric group theory, as well as contributed to research in Quantitative Geometry. In addition, Russ holds a PhD in Math from Cornell University and completed an additional post doc at Texas A&M. Prior to joining Alexa, Russ worked for the San Francisco based crowdsourcing data company, CrowdFlower. While there he applied advanced data mining and machine learning methods to create anti-scamming and fraud detection systems. As well, he developed performance-monitoring tools that assisted with crowdsourced job tracking and contributor segmentation based on an individual’s experience level and quality of work. Russ also created a system for estimating a contributor’s accuracy on a specific task using what’s called a probabilistic graphical model.
Russ looks to apply his experiences in honing complex, messy data directly to Alexa’s expansive data panel, while also building robust data systems based on measured observations of how people interact with the web.
Outside of our beautiful Presidio office, Russ takes to the hills hiking and backpacking trails like Point Reyes and Kings Canyon. You can also find him behind the lens, photographing California’s striking cities and landscapes.
Joining as Marketing Coordinator is content strategist and social media specialist, Jennifer Johnson. She will join our marketing team in bringing you all the latest and greatest happenings within Alexa and the wide world of web analytics.
Jennifer is a Virginia transplant who came to the Bay Area a little over a year ago. She recently received her MBA from San Francisco State University, where she focused on strategic management and marketing. Jennifer brings a breadth of experience to the table, having managed marketing initiatives that both drive business development and excite action from audiences. Previously Marketing Coordinator for Virginia-based healthcare advertising firm Franklin Street Marketing, she managed the agency’s community presence through message development, campaign management and measurement. She also assisted with business development initiatives such as case study creation, responses to requests for proposals, and research. She also holds a B.S. in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management from Virginia Commonwealth University (Go Rams!).
She is thrilled to join such a strong, growing team, acknowledging the opportunity to push Alexa’s incredible capabilities out to audiences. “Alexa was a founding father in the web analytics space, but of late has been somewhat of a sleeping giant. The chance to reintroduce Alexa to the industry is a marketers’ dream. The potential is immeasurable”.
When she’s not scouring social channels and conversing with audiences, you can find her in one of the city’s many parks dog (and people) watching, brunch grubbing, and touring SF one food truck and street fair at a time.
Welcome, Russ and Jennifer!