helping you master customer insight leadership

Why consumer research is like fashion, and the role of your staples

research is like fashion

I didn’t realise consumer research is like fashion, but a webinar helped me see it & value “old staples“.

Given topical concerns, about gender balances in work, it was interesting to experience a female bias. Joining a useful webinar, hosted by Quirks and with speakers from 2020 Research, I began to feel out-of-place.

Our hosts were women (I’d say younger, but most people are beginning to feel younger to me) & audience was mainly female.

What helped me get a feel (for what it must be like for women in male dominated events), were the analogies. Focussed on the topic of why old research methods are still relevant, the analogy was the world of fashion. I lost track of the number of times older research methods were compared to the staple of “the little black dress“. The analogy worked well, but much of the language used reminded me how unaware I can be of gender bias in content. A useful reminder. (more…)

Divided opinion & common themes, on applying AI, from #FSFConference

AIYesterday morning, I had the pleasure of joining (maybe almost 100) FS leaders to talk about AI.

The event was the annual members conference of the Financial Services Forum. Held at the BT Centre in London, it was a great opportunity to hear from both futurologists & practitioner leaders.

What interested me at this event was both the different emphasis (almost to the level of divided opinion), as well as common themes. I would, simplistically, separate them into the ambitious technophiles & the commercial savvy customer insight leaders.

Now, the FSF Club operates on Chatham House rules, so I won’t be quoting any one person or organisation directly. But, sufficient to say, I firmly align myself with the insight leaders, in contrast to continued AI over-hyping. Here are my recollections, of key points that landed with me. I hope you find them useful. (more…)

Challenging the Narrative with 2018 Welsh Coaching Conference

Challenging the NarrativeLast week, I had the pleasure of attending an event with the theme of “Challenging the Narrative“. One of my favourite annual events, the 2018 Welsh Coaching Conference.

Chaired once again, by the irrepressible Dave Tee, this event continues to go from strength to strength. Dave’s passion & commitment is no doubt one of the reasons for that, together with the great team at USW Commercial.

My previous blog reports have covered the 2015 & 2016 events.

Sadly, I was in London during the 2017 conference, but this year’s meeting garnered an enthusiastic crowd. From the hundreds, gathered in Cardiff City Hall, it was no surprise to hear that coaching in Wales is in rude health. Dave Tee kicked off the 2018 conference, by sharing some statistics on coaching in Wales, compared to other European countries. (more…)

Real-Time Analytics – what a conversation starter

Real-Time AnalyticsFollowing on from a great conversation last year, I was again asked to chair a table at the 2018 DataIQ “Discussion”.

Instead of Customer Insight as a topic, on which I debriefed a year ago, this time the topic for my table was “Real-time Analytics”.

It was encouraging to again see a good attendance from Data & Insight leaders, across many sectors. That was particularly impressive this year, as this event took place on 28 Feb. This was when ‘The Beast from The East‘ was really beginning to freeze the UK.

So, special praise to all who battled the snow & ice to talk about analytics. It was also great to see such a buzz amongst attendees & recognise many familiar faces. Data & analytics leaders, working in the UK, really are beginning to feel like an active community. (more…)

Alan Turing Institute annual lecture – Better Living through Trusted Data

Alan Turing Institute annual lectureWhen Harry Powell shared, that he was planning to attend this year’s Alan Turing Institute annual lecture, I naturally asked him to blog for us.

Harry is a very experienced Data Science leader, having created & led Data Science teams at several businesses, including Barclays. So, I was interested to learn more about his interest in a lecture from Prof. Sandy Pentland of MIT.

As someone with a background in R&D, MIT is one of those institutions you learn to admire & listen out for, as a source of innovation. But the planned lecture, on the topic of “Better Living through Trusted Data” was also engaging. I’ve shared before on the importance of ethical dilemmas for Data Scientists, especially those who want to achieve social good through their work. (more…)

GDPR requires data quality, sharing survey results in the home of hampers

GDPR requires data quality

Amidst all the focus on GDPR, it’s easy to forget that GDPR requires data quality. Over a Fortnum & Mason’s breakfast, I had the chance to discuss this neglected aspect.

So much of the social media buzz around GDPR focusses on contentious topics like when you need opt-in consent. Individuals rights to opt out of profiling, be forgotten & Privacy by Design, all these GDPR topics have had their limelight.

But, ironically, in all this talk of data regulation, there is a risk that data quality is being overlooked.

Because of that risk, I’ve been delighted to partner with MyCustomer & Royal Mail Data Services (RMDS), at breakfast briefings. Over the last four years, RMDS has been surveying around 300 marketing leaders across sectors within the UK.

The results give an interesting insight into their goals, challenges and the role data plays. (more…)