Adobe moves to the cutting edge of data science

March 12, 2014

Anil-Kamath-FinalWhen Anil Kamath, Adobe’s vice president of technology, finished his PhD in computer science at Stanford University in 1995, he took his knowledge of data-driven optimization to Wall Street. On Wall Street, he got a firsthand opportunity to use statistics and data modeling to build algorithm-driven trading systems that use data sciences to automatically buy and sell stocks—pretty valuable knowledge on Wall Street and the sort of technology that would soon revolutionize the world of online advertising.

In 2003, Kamath founded Efficient Frontier, a company that used similar algorithmic techniques, this time to help advertisers get the best possible return on their ad spend. He applied the concepts of trading in auction-based marketplaces, which were well accepted on Wall Street, to the advertising space. By the time Adobe acquired Efficient Frontier in 2011, Adobe was thick into its digital marketing strategy and looking for exactly that kind of technology.

Kamath was excited to join a company with massive resources to invest in a rapidly emerging field.

“When it comes to digital marketing, Adobe has an innovation-driven agenda that’s encouraged from the top down,” Kamath says. “The company has a bigger playing field than most companies in the digital marketing space, so they can work on much more interesting problems—and they have the back end to make things happen.”

That bigger playing field comes from the fact that Adobe—unlike most big players in online advertising—is always a neutral third party working for marketers. Adobe helps companies optimize marketing across all their paid, owned, and earned media, unlike point solution providers.

“Because we’re a neutral third party working on behalf of our customers, customers are comfortable sharing all of their marketing data in search marketing, display advertising, social marketing, TV ads, print ads across all publishers. We even get information related to transactions that happen online and offline, so we can understand the entire customer journey from interest to purchase, no matter where it happens,” Kamath says. “Companies trust us with data they would never give to other major online advertising companies because they know we will use that data only to their advantage and not to ours. That’s how we get to manage billions of dollars of ad spend and more than 35 PB of data for our customers.”

Hidden in that kind of data are infinite puzzles to be unlocked—a virtual treasure trove for data scientists. With that data, Adobe digital marketing customers like Conde Nast, Honda, and Lenovo can understand where, when, and how much to spend money, and even what to offer which customers.

That’s why Adobe is attracting the best minds in data science—especially those who want the challenge of solving the big problems faced by sophisticated marketers in the multi-channel world.

“Our data scientists are passionate about their work because they get a chance to solve interesting problems and make a big impact,” Kamath says. “At Adobe, we’re fortunate to work with two-thirds of the Fortune 500, and our data scientists have access to real-time, large-scale data. They get the opportunity to delve deep into any space that our clients are in like travel, retail, and media. We’re excited about Adobe’s vision for digital marketing and are thrilled to be part of it.”

We’re hiring:

We’re currently hiring for a variety of data scientists positions at Adobe. Click on some of the opportunities below to learn more or explore our career site for a full list of open positions.