Partner & Co-founder, 8-bit-sheep

Simo Ahava

Simo Ahava is a recognized expert on customizing web analytics and tag management solutions to improve the entire “life cycle” of data collection, processing, and reporting. His main areas of expertise lie with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, and Google has appointed him as a Google Developer Expert in these fields. He is especially interested in communication structures within organizations, as he firmly believes that communication breakdowns are the underlying cause to practically all data-related problems.

Simo is particularly invested in demystifying analytics development work, and his main focus is on increasing awareness, skills, and critical thinking around data and development.

Simo is a partner and co-founder at 8-bit-sheep, a digital services boutique. He’s also co-founder (together with Mari Ahava) of Simmer, an online learning platform for technical marketers.

Among other things, Simo writes a popular blog on all things Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager development at An experienced speaker and prolific blogger, Simo can be seen and heard in conferences, product forums, support communities, and developer meet-ups alike.

The Keynote

“Server-side Tagging in GTM: The winds of tagging are changing”

The last years have been turbulent in the world of advertising, marketing, and digital analytics. Users’ fundamental right to privacy has been recognized by legislation and technology alike, and organizations have been compelled to improve their governance and accountability practices and processes.

Browsers and devices have become unreliable and unpredictable when it comes to protecting and validating the data that is being collected to vendors and other endpoints. Luckily, there now exists accessible and relatively inexpensive technology to seemingly achieve the impossible: better protection of users’ right to control their own data AND better data quality at the same time.

Server-side tagging moves data collection to a server environment owned and managed by the company the user is interacting with. It gives unprecedented means of validating and protecting those data flows while still passing all-important data to vendors.

In this talk, Simo Ahava will walk you through this paradigm shift in data collection, and he’ll explain how server-side tagging could help your organization fix data issues before they become disasters. While server-side tagging is a fairly technical concept, Simo will focus on the key benefits and concerns, and he’ll address your most burning questions before you have time to ask them.