Anna Nicanorova

Close-Up: Anna Nicanorova, Chief Technology Officer

Contributing to the Future of Marketing & Advertising, in so Many Ways…

Congratulations on your 10-year Annalect-iversary! Could you tell us about the journey?

After getting my MBA, I did a year-long residency at numerous Omnicom agencies — ultimately, deciding I wanted to stay at Annalect — which was then in its infancy.

As with any startup, I was wearing multiple hats — doing all things data-related, from cleaning datasets to helping with social media data acquisition strategies.

I progressed to Data Scientist, writing algorithms and models — working on our earliest multi-touch attribution, forecasting, competitive spending, and media budget optimizers.

Inspired by those algorithms, I started writing software to help others explore data — initially leading the small but formidable Annalect Labs R&D team, building heavily experimental software which included facial recognition, natural language processing, and chatbots (cutting-edge at that time) — eventually leading engineering for Omni, our open operating system which helps marketers orchestrate better outcomes.

Now Chief Technology Officer, I oversee web engineering, data engineering, infrastructure, security, and tech operations — channeling everything I’ve learned … inspired by every brilliant mind here.

What drives your passion for work?

There’s a scene I love from the movie Emperor’s Club, where a professor cites a quote from an unknown king. The king boasted of his conquests, but neglected to mention the benefits. This king is unknown because “great ambition and conquest without contribution is without significance.”

Here at Annalect, we’re contributing to the evolution of the entire marketing and advertising industry. When I joined Annalect, the concept of “Big Data” had just been introduced; agencies rushed to collect/buy data about consumers; marketers planted cookies on pages; ad servers pushed the limits of data infrastructures … agencies brought in data scientists, then software engineers … Today, a world without data lakes and custom software tools is almost unimaginable.

I’m also passionate about helping young developers — mentoring team members, or freshly-minted coders straight out of bootcamp.

These opportunities to contribute inspire me to leap out of bed every morning.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

My main sport is high-altitude mountaineering. I try to do at least one big expedition per year. When not climbing, I’m training for it by running, cycling, and hiking.

I fly planes. Though I don’t have my pilot’s license yet, I can land planes and talk to ATC towers.

I have a love of travel, motivated in large part by two things: art, which fuels my inspiration and meditation — and architecture, because I’m fascinated by the massive structures we humans build.

I’m passionate about mentoring and volunteering, teaching coding in public schools and volunteering in soup kitchens.

Oh … and In the little time that’s left, I’m learning Chinese and Spanish, or reading voraciously. See you at the bookstore!

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