How is your organisation using data and analytics to support the corporate vision and purpose?
Data at Sky is at the heart of strategic and operational decisions and a key asset that enables us to deliver best-in-class value, experience, content and products for our customers. The data eco-system is very broad given the breadth of the products and services we offer, ranging from research data to evolve our product propositions to consumer behavioural data to tailor our content, improve our products and tailor our customer experience across channels. I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to develop many highly-skilled, strategic analytics and research experts who support many business functions, ensuring best-in-class exploitation of our data assets.
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 last six months clearly confirm that the importance will keep growing of managing and exploiting our data to inform strategic roadmaps. We had to step up our focus on external macro-economic factors significantly and understand their future impact on consumers’ behaviours and their relationship with Sky, evolving our analytical models to inform future planning. In addition, our strong research function enabled us to understand shifts in our customers’ mindset quickly to inform evolutions of marketing and product propositions.
Looking forward to 2021, what are your expectations for data and analytics within your organisation?
The strategic insights teams will become even more critical to decode the relationship between economy, consumer and products and, as a result, they will need to be even closer to business functions. While the central data technology team finalises the deployment of the new cloud-based data assets, rationalising multiple sources of data, the strategic insight exploitation teams will become more nimble and agile, expanding further our rich understanding of customer behaviour.
Is data for good part of your personal or business agenda for 2021? If so, what form will it take?
Three areas of focus for our central data technology team: data quality, privacy and security. From the strategic insights and analytics team perspective, evolving the integration of research-based and customer behavioural data to understand consumers’ attitudes and behaviours will become even more important in a post-Covid world where expectations and behaviours of our customers might have fundamentally changed. So in that sense, we are doing good for our customers by understanding them even better, leveraging new and expanded data assets.
What has been your path to power?
I have had the opportunity to work across blue-chip companies in consultancy, financial services and media. In these sectors, I covered commercial, customers, product, and insights and data roles. The experiences I gained earlier in my career have enabled me to fuel my insights and data roles with a strong strategic and commercial mindset to deliver incremental value to this function. Working across different companies, geographies, cultures and functions is what I enjoyed the most. The relentless desire to keep learning, to drive results through innovation and change, and to develop talents have been the key factors driving my career to date.
What is the proudest achievement of your career to date?
Creating and leading the strategic insights and analytics team in Sky over the last three years, delivering significant value for the consumer organisation by informing key strategic decisions across many business areas. Developing our function into a key strategic asset against the backdrop of a changing media landscape and internal operational change.
We are a high-performing, multi-functional insights and analytics team which I consider the best in the media industry. We bring data, insights and consumer trends to the top table, influencing critical decisions from senior stakeholders and transforming business performance. It’s something I am incredibly proud of. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to develop and lead great teams and be part of the strategic data exploitation evolution in Sky.
Tell us about a career goal or a purpose for your organisation that you are pursuing?
Most recently, I have been asked to expand my remit to lead the pricing, data strategy and operations teams in the Sky Media advertising business. My focus is to bring to bear the experience developed on the consumer side on this part of the business. The advertising industry is evolving fast across capabilities, content and products and I am very excited to be part of this journey.
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?
Data and analytics are leveraged across all critical strategic and operational decisions at Sky with strong sponsorship across all business areas.
What is your view on how to develop a data culture in an organisation, building out data literacy and creating a data-first mindset?
A clear career framework and a training academy tailored for the strategic insights and analytics team have been the two key pillars for my team to develop a data-first commercial mindset, to improve technical skills and to drive innovation. In the strategic insights team, our focus has been to develop commercial, financial and soft skills in addition to data skills. To influence key strategic decisions, the link between data, commercial and financial impact is critical as well as the ability to articulate insights effectively.