DataIQ Summit 2016 thoughts

change reality

I have just spent a day at and spoke at the DataIQ Summit.  David Reed organised a broad church of specialist data leaders who shared their experience of transformation in data led organisations

I shared the stage with leaders from amongst others UK Government, Open Data Institute, The Guardian, Channel4 , Barclaycard Europe Npower as well as the inspirational Alan Mitchell and Inma Martinez

Whilst each speaker shared a different technical solution, there were several consistent themes

  • Customer First: around being given access to customers’ data is a privilege, so be innovative, be clear, bring the business along with you, put customers in control
  • Getting the full potential from data is a Cultural Transformation programme, start with People, Behaviours, Process and then systems and methodology.

I shared learning around how data is not difficult, and the challenge for organisations is improving data literacy. To gain permission and build confidence, you need to find the sweet spot of combining three different areas: be clear on the commercial imperatives, develop customer propositions that solve customer solutions that deliver against those commercial imperatives, and then align the technical teams ( IT, Analytics, developers) to develop the customer solutions that solve the commercial imperatives.

sweet spot

I used case studies from best practice examples how organisations developed through a Crawl, Walk and the Run methodology: (Disney, Sainsbury’s Obama and Trump, Starbucks, 7-11, British Gas, London Transport & Strava)

(check out detailed stories on my blog

In summary other speakers:

Sue Bateman at Government Data services talked through how we don’t just need a data strategy, we need a SMART one to avoid haystacks

Jenni Tennison at Open Data Institute: talked through Open Data is good, use it to innovate and grow. Give customers control, Be clear and add value.

Openness and transparency is at the core of Julia Porter @Guardian strategy for handling personal data.  Being given access to someone’s data is a privilege: Be clear open honest and put customers in control.

guardian datablog

Making Viewing more individual and personalised at Channel 4 Sanjeevan Beta explained how they evolved the customer value exchange using data driven approach to building an engagement ladder.

James de Sousa from Post Office talked through how they are on the journey to create a data driven organisation that is 350 years old and deliver on their purpose: we help you get life’s important things done.  He talked through 3 points to accelerate the change:

  • Push the customer agenda breaking down the product silos,
  • Development of an Agile Scrum process to drive rapid change,
  • Focus on commercial value to take people with you.

The new GDPR is a hot topic for organisations. Christine Andrew from DQM discussed how best to prepare and gave her view on 7 actions to focus on:

  1. Map data flows
  2. Map the customer journey
  3. Categorise and prioritise data by risk (not all data is equal)
  4. Review your partners. If they can’t tell you quickly how they are prepared push harder that’s where the risk is)
  5. Evidence your standards (lots will emerge from ICO, DMA etc)
  6. Ensure you’re are properly resourced for change
  7. Audit yourself to see how prepared you are.

Rob Kent talked through the Cultural Change Programme that the Royal Mail has been going through in the last 5 years. His learning was to focus on where you can create value to gain support in the organisation and at same time build a roadmap for new capabilities.

“the data to run our business would be the data to grow our business”

Rob’s 5 point plan for Royal Mail

  • Set up the Governance (data is a sign off for all investment proposals)
  • Understand data flows
  • Create people process and culture (centralised teams with similar skills)
  • Make efficiencies and invested in People & Skills
  • Invested in Technology and mandated people to use it.

Payal Jain at Barclaycard laid out a calm and measured but very passionate story of her journey at Barclaycard that make the kitten into a Lion.  She laid out the 4 key components she used to deliver the Analytical maturity curve at Barclaycard:

  • People
  • Behaviour and Culture
  • Data Capability
  • Analytical Methodology

Big Thought: It’s not the size of your data that counts: It’s what you do with it.

Two Thought Leaders stood out for me with the questions they posed:

Alan Mitchell at Ctrl+Shift talked about shifting the dial on customer data: debunking Data Constraints and Myths (More data is better, single view of customer is nirvana, more data means you are closer, purpose of data use is to improve the organisation) and laid out a future for data use :

  1. Safe by default,
  2. Leveraging Trust to build a shared relationship,
  3. Flip your data assets ,
  4. develop more information services with the customer.

Certainly a thought piece for creating a different relationship with customers that industry leading organisations should be adopting.

Inma Martinez was an inspiration. She laid out the Brazilian idea of happiness everyday not compartmentalised and set the challenge: “Are you only trying to make sense of the present… what about the future?”

Data is worthless without contextual assumptions: She talked through her experience of creating transformational insight using data through mixing people in a team to randomly collide and increase creativity. The right People teams drove change.


Three tips:

  • Don’t just analyse the present 2D predict the future 3D
  • Accept messiness
  • Uncover anomalies / deviations which will become trends

Inma is currently looking at the worlds Social Media (Disambiguating the present) to understand the sentiments that are driving people so that Data intelligence can be used to drive product innovation not just marketing. Watch out women control 75% of decisions!

One final point should go to David Reed chairing the day who is championing gender diversity in the Data industry: the speakers at the conference were equally spilt male/ female. A deliberate choice and we should all applaud David’s passion and drive to address the imbalance of women in data industry



Author: Andrew Mann

Managing Partner at NorthBailey. Having had senior marketing & insight roles at Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Coop and M&S, I'm now using my experience & network to solve strategic marketing problems for NorthBailey clients

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