Will ARO Cause A Quiver: New Research Org Takes Aim At Analytics Void

In a bizarre string of events that began with a Manhattan car accident and ended with one of its victims pitching a conference full of online metrics industry leaders, a new trade organization was born to focus on the so-called "analytics economy." The organization, ARO (sounds like arrow) stands for the Analytics Research Organization, and is intended to fill a void not being covered by existing ad industry research organizations.

The organization and its new Web site -- www.thearo.org -- was officially unveiled Tuesday morning during a presentation by one of its founders, Joel Rubinson, at the OMMA Metrics & Research Conference in New York. Rubinson previously was chief research officer, Madison Avenue’s long-time research authority.

After concluding his presentation, Rubinson’s partner and ARO Co-Founder Judah Phillips went into an emotional and animated pitch on the need for -- and the role of -- the new research organization. What made Phillips’ performance even more remarkabl, was that he had been in a car accident that morning on his way to the OMMA event -- which he was the chair and emcee of -- ended up in the hospital, and then was released in time for Rubinson’s ARO announcement.

“I was in a car accident this morning, so I’m a little bit adrenalized,” he said while extolling the benefits of ARO.

Phillips said ARO is a “501c3” organization, and that it was not “meant to compete with” any existing industry organizations -- citing the Interactive Advertising Bureau and others, but not naming the ARF.

“How about the World Wrestling Federation,” Rubinson quipped in what seemed like a tag-team set-up for Phillips pitch. Among other things, Phillips said ARO was needed, because other industry trade associations are focusing on relatively trivial analytics issues, such as “improving tags."

“They’re all talking about nothing that I really care about, because they’re not talking about reducing costs and increasing revenues. They’re all talking about improving tags,” he chided.

Phillips also said that ARO plans to “crowd source” its initiatives to “see what everybody else wants to do,” and he vowed to provide it all to the analytics community “for free."

“I’m going to give you guys what you pay Forrester for, for free,” he said, adding: “If you guys want white papers, I’ll write them for you -– for free.”

Phillips did not provide specific details during his pitch, but he said ARO grew out of a concept he has been championing, and claims to have coined, called the “analytics economy.”

He said the focus of ARO would be to develop real business metrics and applications around data analytics that can demonstrate two fundamental results for companies: whether they are reducing costs or increasing revenues.

“It’s laser-focused on the heart of analytics. And I mean the business heart,” he said.

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