EPISODE #17 || Reese McGillie, VP of Experience Analytics at Merkle


Reese McGillie is a badass. She's a female person of color without a college degree who's become a leader in one of the most in-demand fields in the industry. Hear about how creativity is used in Analytics, platforms and resources for those interested in data, and how Analytics is helping the industry's Diversity & Inclusion efforts.  

Heads up: I'm currently looking for guest contributors for our Weekly email, so if you have advice to share based on your own experience, hit me up at natalie@we-are-next.com. It's an easy, one-time thing that goes a long way. The best ones come from junior talent 1-3 years into their careers, so don't feel like you need a ton of years under your belt to contribute!

Topics Discussed

  • Why her lack of a college degree hasn’t held her back.
  • What QA is, what it entails, and how it led her to Analytics.
  • The breadth of work an Analytics team handles.
  • How to help clients understand what their customers are doing when they think no one’s watching. 
  • How creativity is used in Analytics to persuade clients of your insights.
  • The platforms and skills to start honing now if you’re interested in Analytics.
  • Her experience as a female person of color in the industry, and how Analytics is helping the industry move in the right direction. 
  • What junior talent can do to promote diversity and inclusion as they’re starting out. 

Mic Drops

“Data is democratized now. It’s everywhere. Analytics is ubiquitous. Newspapers articles have charts and infographics. The Guardian has an entire section of their website dedicated to data stories. And anytime something’s ubiquitous like that, and everyone has access to it, it starts to seem really simple and easy. But truth is that it isn’t at all, and so when I say that somebody likes insights, not data, that’s getting at what I think is really important for people who will sustain in this work. You have to love data. You have to actually love data. It means that you’re not going to get bored when you have to sit there and take every single step before you can even start to talk about why it’s interesting.”

“The creativity is about being able to draw those insights out and tell that story. And storytelling is art in and of itself. Being able to engage an audience and contextualize something or personalize it in a way that they feel an emotional connection. It might sound dramatic to talk about it in those terms, but ultimately I think what people assume is that because a client is paying us, we do the analysis, that they’re automatically going to listen to what we say and that’s just not true.”

Resources Mentioned

Keep in Touch

About Reese

Reese is a thought leader with over 20 years of experience working in technology and marketing. Her career journey has had many twists and turns - early on she started out in the digital printing technology industry and later moved on to software engineering for websites and mobile applications. She finally found her destiny working in marketing analytics where she gets to blend her passion for creating great user experiences with her interests in data and analysis. In addition to her professional career she is a certified Yoga instructor and spends her spare time practicing and teaching yoga. 

Throughout her career she has leveraged her professional skills to further philanthropic causes - serving on boards and steering committees for a few different Seattle non-profit organizations - all focused on addressing health outcome disparities for women through innovative and evidenced-based models of care. She is currently employed as a VP of Experience Analytics at Merkle Inc., a global performance marketing agency.

Reese resides in Seattle with her two children (Fenix and Soren), husband (Jason) and two dogs (Anakin and Kitsune).