How is your organisation using data and analytics to support the corporate vision and purpose?
We’re very much focused on understanding and delivering what our customers want. A large part of what we do is focused on building our own brand offering, which focuses both on accessibility of products without premium prices whilst also grounded on corporate social responsibility beliefs.
2020 was a year like no other - how did it impact on your planned activities and what unplanned ones did you have to introduce?
The biggest changes for us were monitoring the state of change and providing thought leadership on how things have evolved to the new normal. Delivery of projects and adjusting to a virtual world is common across all, I’d imagine too. Support and development of junior analysts was something that I was worried about, but glad that the culture in the team allowed that to continue just as well digital.
Looking forward to 2021, what are your expectations for data and analytics within your organisation?
I expect growth, significant growth. I worry about onboarding, particular in H1, but it is something we overcame in 2020, and we’ll do again in 2021.
Is data for good part of your personal or business agenda for 2021? If so, what form will it take?
This isn’t something I’m aware of as an initiative, however, I’ll certainly look forward to reading what everyone else shares.
What has been your path to power?
I started as an “accountant”, providing financial analytical advice to marketing teams, then an opportunity arose for me to put my money where is my mouth is and run a marketing function, and that’s really where it started.
On the back of running a loyalty programme, I created an insight function, and both became min- businesses in their own right. Since then, I’ve created another standalone business as mobile phone network. Most recently, I’m implementing a new store segmentation that my team created. I’m just embarking on an MBA, excited to see where that takes me.
What is the proudest achievement of your career to date?
Taking the leap from finance to running a loyalty programme and using data to radically change the proposition. It not only proved to the business that data can improve a proposition, but it unlocked my creative insight, which is where my true passion lies.
Tell us about a career goal or a purpose for your organisation that you are pursuing?
I’m focused on shaping the organisation to be even more customer obsessed. I’m sure many will say this, but my goal is to keep bringing this to life, alongside the immediate commercial goals that all businesses need to balance.
How closely aligned to the business are data and analytics both within your own organisation and at an industry level? What helps to bring the two closer together?
Within our organisation, I think they are very much aligned. I think what brings them closer is the “insight-driven action”, which ultimately gives purpose to data and analytics.
What is your view on how to develop a data culture in an organisation, building out data literacy and creating a data-first mindset?
It’s a journey, and it’s important to start to address the organisation’s challenges, as opposed to what the data could show and its potential. Once you can answer their questions, then you can start to broaden what you work on. Data literacy is key, too often it’s “scary” or “black box”.