conversation about maximising value from customer insight

On the Bank Holiday, here’s a variety of topics for Insight Leaders

topics for insight leadersSitting at my desk on a Bank Holiday, before taking a break, I’ve been reflecting on a variety of topics for Insight Leaders.

One of the reasons I found Customer Insight Leadership such a rewarding career and still find it fascinating to help such leaders, is the diversity. One day your focus may need to be on improving specific Analytics skills, or complex Data problems, the other it could be how to change culture as a leader or summarise key insights from qualitative research. It really is a polymaths’ playground.

So, as we near the end of a month focussed on Data Science, I thought I’d share a variety of content including some for Data Scientists. (more…)

Questionable practices by Data Scientists – where do you stand?

Questionable practicesJust because you can, doesn’t mean you should; this is perhaps the simplest way to introduce questionable practices.

Last year we posted on the desire amongst many data scientists to achieve social good through their work. As for all disciplines, there is also a potential “dark side to the capabilities of data scientists. So firms have or still do seek to use data as a weapon or persist with questionable analytical activities.

In this post we will explore 3 examples that should prompt your own reflections on data ethics and any implications for you.

I’ll share on uses of data science for: employee surveillance; winning elections & proliferating fake news. More encouragingly, I will close with how two organisations are working to advance a code of ethics for data scientists, as a positive response to this challenge.

But first, let’s explore the darker side of Data Science use. (more…)

Beyond the coding, here are some personal Data Science stories

personal data science storiesI hope you’ve found this month’s Data Science content to be useful, as I’d also like to share with you some personal Data Science stories.

To complement the technical resources I’ve shared recently, it’s important to also focus on the people side. Customer Insight Leader exists to encourage and inform more holistic customer insight leaders, covering the disciplines of data, analytics & research, as well as the requisite leadership skills.

In this post I’ll share 3 different perspectives on Data Science careers: from those starting out in tech companies; to an ex-freelancer; plus an experienced data scientist sharing his experience & resources with us.

So, if you are an analyst considering a move into Data Science, or a leader wanting to better understand your Data Scientists or options for your people – I hope this helps. (more…)

Mango share some keys to Data Science readiness

Data Science readinessFollowing on from our series on programming languages, I’m delighted to introduce a guest post on Data Science readiness.

Having the strategy or aspiration to make use of Data Science is one thing, executing it effectively is another. Too many businesses I know have hired data scientists without really knowing what to do with them or what they need to succeed.

So, I’m pleased to introduce a new guest blogger. Mark Sellors is Head of Data Engineering for Mango Solutions.

It helps to hear a Data Engineer’s perspective, as that can be such a foundational role to a successful Data Science team.


3 perspectives on how to use research and what they teach us

how to use researchTo complement the research industry perspectives we have shared so far this month, I’m going to share 3 perspectives (on how to use research) from outside the insight community.

After sharing so much material to digest, in that Behavioural Economics guide, this post will be shorter.

I’ve taken the approach of browsing recent news stories, for commentary on use of consumer research. Beyond the stories commentating on recent research findings, 3 news items struck me.

What they had in common was an outsiders’ perspective of how to use research. Each of these perspectives usefully highlights the misconceptions or challenges that insight leaders can face when seeking to secure investment for the research they see as needed.


The state of Behavioural Economics in 2017, your handbook

state of behavioural economicsWhat is the state of Behavioural Economics (BE) in 2017? Is it past the ‘hype cycle‘ and settling into common usage, or gradually being assigned to the dustbin of once popular ideas?

Behavioural Economics is one of those topics that regularly comes up in conversations with clients & about this blog. In fact, I’m reminded it’s one of the topics for which readers asked for more coverage in our latest readers survey. My own experience is that it is still very relevant, especially for both Customer Insight teams and B2C businesses.

So, I’m delighted to be able to share with you the best online update on the current state of BE that I have found online. (more…)

Ethnographic research is still evolving and relevant for business

ethnographic researchThis week, following another wonderful wedding (my daughter this time), I’ve been thinking about ethnographic research.

A variety of circumstances, including the wedding, have meant I’ve reflected on the continued importance of human interaction and the power of observing people.

It’s easy, in our increasingly technology-focused world, to assume the future of any industry lies in increasing automation and use of AI to reduce reliance on humans.

But, what separates the technology that people adopt as part of their lives, from that which quickly goes out of fashion, is usability. Designing digital experiences, or human computer interaction, that is both easy & satisfying, requires not just technical skills but genuine insights into people and what works for them. (more…)