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Diana Akanho, senior insight manager, Tech Nation

Diana Akanho, senior insight manager, Tech Nation

How is your organisation using data and analytics to support the corporate vision and purpose?

 

At Tech Nation, we have developed a data strategy that is not only focused on collecting data, but also on generating knowledge and insights in order to produce meaningful reports, supporting all business decisions. Data supports us, by keeping track of our progress against our vision to ensure we are constantly delivering against our key performance indicators. We also use analytical tools to understand the impact of what we do for our core customer and the tech eco-system.

 

2020 was a year like no other - how did it impact on your planned activities and what unplanned ones did you have to introduce?

 

2020, was indeed a year like no other, a lot of uncertainties. However, my faith in God has helped me through, depending on something far greater than me.

 

Reflecting on what I wrote last year - something I hold to - it’s ironic talking about counting your blessings as you don’t know what tomorrow will bring and we are literally in a pandemic, no one could have predicted that.

 

Everywhere was closed, so no luxury of playing sports with others or going out to eat - but it was the same for everyone.

 

So, it was about creating a new (and better) morning routine and structure for myself that worked with being at home all the time, ensuring I had a break from the screen while still trying to connect with people. Daily exercise is important and helps me feel more refreshed and energised.

 

I have been a lot more proactive in reaching out to people to ensure I am still networking, and even in a non face-to-face environment, it proved to be very fruitful.

 

During the pandemic, I was fortunate to gain informal and formal mentors which has been a huge help and encouragement.

 

Looking forward to 2021, what are your expectations for data and analytics within your organisation?

 

In 2021, we’re hoping to become even more data-driven by increasing the data team by 50%. We also want to be more strategic and analytical in order to have a deeper understanding of our customer needs. The future of data, for Tech Nation, will be connected directly with our customer-journey and experience with our variety of platforms. We have also set ourselves the challenge to be more innovative in what we do, part of this is to complete our full digital transformation in 2021.

 

Is data for good part of your personal or business agenda for 2021? If so, what form will it take?

 

Data for good has always been part of a personal agenda of mine, and I will hopefully be providing more support to charities, enabling them to utilise their data where they may not typically have the budget for data scientists/analysts.

 

What has been your path to power?

 

My background is in mathematics and statistics, and I gained an affinity towards statistics and insights, as I love problem-solving. I am naturally curious and analytical. In particular, I like to use data to understand trends and make inferences.

 

Two previous roles I have had where I have grown the most personally and intellectually were at Mindshare and Signal AI. As a media agency, I had the opportunity to work on several clients, pitch, present and take ownership of data projects from start to finish at Mindshare, whereas at Signal AI the focus was on using machine learning and testing a range of research methods to produce the best output for analysing text data.

 

This was where I learned the most about myself and grew in terms of my skill set, presenting/pitching and client management.

 

At Tech Nation, it is rewarding to use data to help the tech eco-system across the UK and inform decision-making across government bodies and within businesses.

 

What is the proudest achievement of your career to date?

 

Upon reflection of my answers last year, I’d say having a platform and the opportunity to help young people understand data better and become aware of the different data career paths has been rewarding, as well as being involved with the wider data and tech community within the UK and overseas.

 

Tell us about a career goal or a purpose for your organisation that you are pursuing?

 

My general goal is to continue learning, upskilling and helping others, there are always key things that I want to achieve or learn from my roles.

 

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?

 

The needs of industry are rapidly shifting due to core economic transformation driven by advances in technology, social change, restrictions associated with the pandemic, and global shifts in the nature of commerce, among other factors.

 

Tech Nation works closely with organisations from the public and private sectors to help understand and adapt to these changes, and the starting point will always be to develop robust data and evidence to underpin activity.

 

Fundamentally, Tech Nation exists to support scaling leadership teams and accelerate their growth. To do this, we work with a multitude of stakeholders to support this journey. Tech Nation is inherently operating in the same sphere as the companies we support - their success in the market is our measure of achievement. Data is both an input, and an output of the work we do.

 

What is your view on how to develop a data culture in an organisation, building out data literacy and creating a data-first mindset?

 

Now, more so than ever, organisations are trying to utilise their data, and get access to data which helps inform their decision making. It starts with speaking to the different teams and individuals within the organisation to understand their pain points, challenges and their future goals.

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