Review of 2021
December 15, 2021

The round up of 2021, reviewing the best of our blog and podcast guests

By Paul Laughlin

It’s that time of year again, where has 2021 gone? Good riddance do I hear you say? Well, anyway, it’s time for another annual review of Customer Insight Leader’s blog & podcast. Thanks to all those who have contributed to our regular content over what has been a depressing year for many.

In this short post, I’ll provide a quick review as to the themes we covered this year and some of our most popular content. Once again these have shown the polymath nature of the Customer Insight Leader role. Our readers have interests, expertise & challenges that span a wide range of disciplines.

I hope our blog & podcast have helped your personal development this year. Perhaps you can recall one piece of content that inspired your own thinking. If so, I’d love to hear from you. All this content is shared with the hope of encouraging personal growth & a growing professionalism in our important community. A collection of data, analytics & insight leaders who will increasingly enable the success of the organisations they serve.

Key topics covered during 2021

Each month we seek to have a different editorial theme to the content on this blog. That doesn’t mean every post will follow that theme. Book reviews, event debriefs, gusts posts & polls can always add some variety. But we hope this predominant theme approach allows us to explore a topic in a little more depth and where possible from multiple perspectives.

Reflecting on our content throughout 2021, here’s an index of those monthly themes. See which you remember:

I hope you found those topics interesting. The aim was both to entertain and to complement the previous more m mainstream data, analytics, leadership & data viz themes of previous years. If you have a topic that you’d like to see explored in more depth, please get in touch. I’d love your input to help shape the editorial calendar for 2022.

Our most popular blog posts this year

Turning to what the data reveals about our most popular posts this year, it’s a mixture of some perennial favourite themes and some new topics that have caught your attention. It’s always interesting to see what is of most interest to our readers. Past years have revealed the greatest engagement with posts on topics including stakeholder management, data visualisation, making business cases & debriefs from events. Would this year prove the same?

After filtering out posts published in previous years, the top 5 posts published in 2021 are:

  1. Seeing with Fresh Eyes” (book review of latest book from Edward Tufte
  2. Hanne’s story (guest blogger’s personal story of learning from a stroke)
  3. Better Data Visualisations” (book review of latest book from Jon Schwabish)
  4. Is a focus on prediction wearing your Data Science work? (from Harry Powell)
  5. You might be wasting your time with customer clustering (from Nick Radcliffe)

Congratulations & thanks to Edward, Hanne, Jon, Harry & Nick for those popular posts. Clearly the theme of data visualisation is still popular with our audience. I will also look to share more personal stories from leaders as open as Hanne. There has also be consistent interest in more Statistics & Data Science themed posts, so expect more of those too in 2022.

Our most popular podcast guests this year

On social media (for me that is mainly Twitter & LinkedIn, plus some Reddit) I’ve been congratulating my most popular podcasts guests of all time. Many thanks to them again, stretching all the way back to my first conversation (with Harvinder in March 2020).

However, for this review of the year, I will limit the scope of my review to those leaders who have been my podcast guests in 2021. Once again, measured by the number of plays, here are my top 10 podcast guests of 2021. Many thanks to each and every one of them for their candour & the practical wisdom they shared.

Most popular podcast guests (by episode plays) of 2021:

  1. Alison Williams (Head of Data Management & Governance, dunnhumby)
  2. Rob Barham (Director of Data, Gousto)
  3. Sarah Barr Miller (Head of Data & Automation, British Airways)
  4. Harry Powell (Director of Data & Analytics, Jaguar Land Rover)
  5. Gillian Docherty OBE (CEO, The Data Lab Scotland)
  6. James Dunlop (Head of Private Decisioning & Digital, Natwest Bank)
  7. Steve White (Head of Fundraising Analysis & Insight, Marie Curie UK)
  8. Avis Easteal (Regional Head of Consumer, Luxasia)
  9. Aaron Peck (President & MD North America, MetrixLab)
  10. James Blagg (CDO, Principality Building Society)

Let us know how this blog & podcast can help you grow in 2022

What did you like best in that review of the year? Have you found Customer Insight Leader blog & podcast helpful for your development in 2021? I sincerely hope so.

This blog & podcast exist to serve the community of data, analytics & insight leaders. So, I would love to hear from any of our readers who are in such roles. What topics would you like us to cover in 2022? Do you have any recommended data leaders to invite onto our podcast? Are there any changes you’d like in the mix of blog posts (more/less opinion, guest posts, book reviews, polls or event debriefs)? Basically, I’d value your feedback and input. Please help me to make 2022 an even better year of content for our readers/listeners.