At Criteo, nearly everyone who does analytical work has taken a DataCamp course, said Iouri Chapochnikov, director of data science and analytics. Criteo has a subscription allowing up to 80 people at a time to sign up for DataCamp courses.
A DataCamp course typically takes around four hours to complete and a subscription costs about $300 per year per user.
Criteo recoups that investment when employees understand how to improve their workflow and make more intelligent requests of analytics teams in support of accounts, Chapochnikov said.
The DataCamp courses enable collaboration across the 200 or so Criteo employees who work in data science and analytics, he said, as well as the traders and account managers who actually translate Criteo’s data to clients.
Chapochnikov’s data-science team consists of people with applied mathematics, physics or other non-advertising backgrounds, often with Ph.Ds. Taking joint courses gives employees baseline knowledge and shared language to “bridge the disconnect” between a group doing high-level data science and ad tech developers and traders on the front lines.
DataCamp is expanding its business from individual users to company subscriptions for employee learning, and now counts almost 500 companies as customers. The advertising industry has been a strong adopter, but DataCamp’s B2B offering is also aimed at categories that are adding data science talent, such as finance, health care and consulting.
As a way to extend its body of expertise into specific verticals, DataCamp allows practitioners to create courses and get paid when users take them, such as one on writing Python code for search engine marketing, said Robert Daniel, DataCamp sales chief and a longtime ad tech exec.
Data and coding education is a crowded category, but Cardillo considers DataCamp to be unique in its focus on practical applications and required coding. M&C Saatchi also has a subscription to Lynda, a video tutorial service acquired by LinkedIn, but Cardillo said coding skills don’t stick without hands-on programming built into the interface.
Criteo also has a subscription to Coursera, an online tech education company, but Chapochnikov likewise said DataCamp is more effective because employees can’t pass a course without programming in either R or Python.
A lot of employees who work with spreadsheets are frustrated by the feeling that their skills and applications have plateaued, Cardillo said.
“This is a way to show them that programming for data science is probably where they’re trying to go,” he said.