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Richard Harte, Director of data and analytics, Centaur Media

Path to power

 

Armed with an Operational Research degree and very little clue, I was given an opportunity as an analyst in the Government OR Service. This role provided some fantastic training and the opportunity to learn from some really experienced practitioners. From there, I was fortunate enough to be offered a role as an analyst at Trinity Mirror, which started my career in publishing/media. After six hectic years at a tabloid, a jump to the Telegraph opened up new areas of data, working on web analytics, contact centres and subscriptions. I joined Centaur Media in 2015 and started at the bottom of a steep learning curve in B2B media.

 

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

 

My most memorable project has been working on the launch of a paywall at the Telegraph. It was fascinating period with publishers trying to open up direct revenue streams, but maintain the inventory required to deliver the existing digital advertising inventory.

 

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

 

The technical skills that you learn are important, but it’s how you apply these skills to inform and support the business that make the work interesting and rewarding.

 

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

 

It was a really challenging year, but positive in a lot of ways. The impact of GDPR on people’s mindsets was really encouraging overall.

 

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

 

The technologies and infrastructure will continue to evolve, but the core challenge will remain - defining and driving action from the data and analysis you have.

 

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

 

As a relatively small organisation, we recruit infrequently for data roles. There are a lot of talented graduates and it’s our role to train and up-skill them.

 

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

 

It’s becoming mainstream, so the people being attracted to these roles is changing and that diversity will drive further innovation.

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