Alisa Ben, SVP, Head of Analytics at Canvas Worldwide, talks about the wealth of experience she brings to her role and the way data has transformed not only the organisation, but what its clients do

When we celebrate technologically-minded businesses, it’s often due to a major transformation from legacy systems to modern ones. Sometimes, however, the business in question has simply evolved from already modern to truly operating within the landscape of tomorrow. That’s the case with Canvas Worldwide. Alisa Ben, SVP, Head of Analytics at Canvas, has been encouraging the business’s data evolution since early 2020. She has a strong passion for analytics, and has been bolstered by an impressive and wide-ranging career.

After 19 years in the music industry, Ben was ready to move away from that. She moved briefly from LA to build an analytics practice at another agency before moving back to LA to join Canvas Worldwide. Canvas is a forward-thinking media communications agency that would value and thrive on Ben’s expertise. 

“Canvas was really special for me, because everything about them was so different,” she says. “I was at an advertising agency before that made everyone feel like the company was a machine. Everyone at Canvas was immediately so nice and mindful, and the work was extremely interesting. I came in to oversee analytics and ended up also helping to bring in data infrastructure.”

Bringing analytics to the forefront

On joining Canvas, Ben inherited an analytics group. It’s a testament to Canvas’s focus that the group has grown significantly ever since. “A lot of companies want to use data and analytics, but they don’t put the investment behind it,” says Ben. “Our clients and Canvas really understand the value and insights derived from data and analytics.”

Ben was tasked with transforming a stagnant analytics practice into a high-performing one, and she quickly rose to the challenge. She realised early on that she needed to create two groups to cover everything that was required. So, she spent her first year building infrastructure and operations. “Now we’re in a really great place where we’re able to automate analytics,” says Ben.

Data-driven business

Data and analytics now infiltrates everything Canvas does, helping it better understand customer insights and strategies. Something that really helps keep Canvas at the forefront of the way data evolves is that it’s such a young company and is extremely agile. There are no legacy systems to upgrade or overcome – just advanced technology and forward-thinking minds.

“We have a few products that we’ve already developed,” Ben says. “It’s interesting because you have agencies owned by holding companies that are beholden to whatever proprietary tool they’ve invested in and they push that onto the client, but at Canvas, we’re software-agnostic. We look holistically at the client’s business and sometimes the tools we have might be right for them, sometimes they’re not. It’s more about helping our clients achieve their business outcome.”

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