Data IQ
News

News

Articles

Articles

Reports

Reports

Market Insight

Market Insight

Conferences

Conferences

Awards

Awards

Member Workshops

Member Workshops

Leadership Events

Leadership Events

DataIQ Inspire

DataIQ Inspire

Recognition
DataIQ 100

DataIQ 100

Advisory Board

Advisory Board

Partners

Partners

New to DataIQ?
Knowledge
News

News

Articles

Articles

Reports

Reports

Market Insight

Market Insight

Events
Conferences

Conferences

Awards

Awards

Member Workshops

Member Workshops

Leadership Events

Leadership Events

DataIQ Inspire

DataIQ Inspire

Recognition
DataIQ 100

DataIQ 100

Advisory Board

Advisory Board

Partners

Partners

New to DataIQ?

Clive Benford, Head of corporate analytics programme, Jaguar LandRover

Path to power

 

Teach - change - analytics. I’ve taken a roundabout route in my career, but three constants are interests in analytical models, people and change. When I studied Operational Research at university, I found the techniques to approach problems logically fascinating and potentially hugely powerful. But I felt that data wasn’t available enough yet to apply the techniques rapidly. After university, I took three years out to teach English and learn about other cultures in France, China and Yemen. While it might not seem directly-relevant experience, I learned more about diverse ways of thinking about problems through working and studying abroad than any more formal study and am a strong advocate of gap years and career breaks. I started my professional career training as an accountant and working for KPMG’s restructuring practice during the financial crisis before moving into the business modelling team. It was a really interesting way to start understanding change and the levers that drive companies and enable change.  My break came with an opportunity to bring these experiences together with a role at JLR to both set up a corporate analytics centre of excellence and also run a programme to develop an analytical culture in the business.

 

What has been the highlight of your career in the industry to date?

 

Building an analytics team from scratch is undoubtedly the highlight of my career so far. Being part of a team of two that designed the structure, skills and experience profile, then recruited and finally managed the team coming together was a hugely stretching exercise. The result has been a diverse, award-winning team with a culture I’m proud to be part of that is working on fascinating problems and delivering huge value to Jaguar Land Rover.

 

If you could give your younger self some advice about how to progress in this industry, what would it be?

 

Don’t assume the answers already exist. In your first job, it is easy to believe mistakenly that your only role is to learn how things are currently done. The combination of new ideas and a little naïvety can be a powerful combination for positive change.

 

Did 2018 turn out the way you expected? If not, in what ways was it different?

 

I know it is a cheat answer, but yes and no. We took a gamble in 2018 and ran an analytics champions programme not knowing what they would do with their training. My personal belief was that passionate people with new problem-solving skills and tools would improve their areas with analytics.  This has happened and there are many case studies of analytics projects being completed and resulting in new business actions. The positive surprise was the community that came out of this and how many champions now run forums to train and support others in analytics.

 

What do you expect 2019 to be like for the industry?

 

I think the conversation is starting to shift from new tools that make analytics easier, faster and more powerful to data literacy to enable more people to take up these tools. I hope in 2019 this starts to result in some common definitions emerging for data and tech literacy and, off the back, of that targeted training methods emerging to address different aspects of the data literacy problem.

 

Talent and skills are always a challenge to find - how are you tackling this in your organisation?

 

Highly-skilled, motivated people will always have a tendency to like mobile careers and move around often. The only solutions, therefore, to the talent shortage are first to work continuously on improving the team culture and dynamic so that you have the best place to work and people come back having tried working elsewhere.  The second solution is to have dedicated analytics development programmes so that eventually talent shortage isn’t a problem. I’m proud to say that, currently, the team I’m in has the best culture of any team I’ve experienced and that JLR’s analytics development programme is award-winning.

 

What aspect of data, analytics or their use are you most optimistic about and why?

 

The democratisation of analytics technology. Everyone has a field they are interested in and would love to be able to find more about by asking their own questions of data in their area. However, not everyone will be a programmer, so accessible analytics technology has huge potential to empower everyone.

Stay informed with DataIQ

Sign up to our newsletter and get the latest to your inbox.

Data IQ
Twitter
Linked In
RSS Feeds
DataIQ is a trading name of IQ Data Group Limited
3rd Floor, 1 Neal St, London WC2H 9QL
Registered in England: 9900834
Tel: [+44] 203-829-1112
Copyright © IQ Data Group Limited 2019