January 30, 2017

More people are realising Customer Insight needs Leadership

By Paul Laughlin

leadershipOne of the regular comments made about this blog, is that we focus on leadership & coaching as well as the more technical aspects of Customer Insight.

Mostly this is mentioned as a compliment. Leaders especially value a focus on their role & ideas on professional development.

Following on from the positive feedback in our latest reader survey, it feels like a real privilege to be trusted in providing such input or ideas for today’s leaders.

This week, I’ve been struck that a number of other organisations working in this space have seen the need for this focus too. So, given our readers would like to hear more guest content, I thought it worth summarising some of these other sources for you to consider.

Data IQ focussed on leadership

For many years, the charismatic David Reed & the team at Data IQ have provided online & event content for data leaders and their teams. Most of this has been excellent and we’ve shared previously some of the topics they have usefully highlighted (like the need for a healthy marriage between IT & Marketing).

So, given how much my own practice focusses on services for data insight leaders, it was interesting to see a new emphasis on leaders by DataIQ.

In case you’ve missed it, here is some information on their new proposition to support leaders & build a data leaders community:


The IDM targets leaders too

Around the same time as I started looking into DataIQ’s new leadership proposition, I also started receiving emails from The IDM mentioning theirs.

As someone who both marks diploma papers for The IDM and occasionally provides tutoring/talks, this was also of interest. Although the core target market for this charity is new digital & direct marketers (learning their craft), this does also overlap with data, database marketing & some analytics skills. Content touches on Customer Insight & I know a number of insight leaders who have sent team members on IDM courses.

So, once again, there is some overlap with the target audience of Customer Insight Leaders, whom Laughlin Consultancy seek to serve.

How is the IDM aiming to help these leaders & what might this reveal about their needs & wants? (market insight is always an opportunity to learn)

As with the DataIQ offering, this is clearly still evolving and will no doubt be shaped by demand and feedback.

For your consideration, in case it helps, here is more detail on their Business Leadership Programme:


But what about Start Up leaders?

If all that content leaves you cold & feels too focussed on established leaders in large organisations, a post I read this week may help you.

Although written to address the question of how a tech start-up can build a data science team, there are a lot of transferable ideas for those creating analytics teams in their businesses.

Monica Rogati shares 8 aspects to consider when starting out. As both a data scientist at LinkedIn & former VP of data for Jawbone, she clearly has practical experience. From my own time creating & leading customer insight teams, I would just add that you may not need a data scientist. So, as part of part of considering goals & roles, ensure you align to wider strategy and create the roles the organisation needs initially (that are quite often data specialists & more generalist analysts).

That said, this short list of tips is well worth reading and using to prompt your own planning:

What are the challenges of building a data team at a startup?

Building a good data team is a challenge anywhere, but there are some questions that startups in particular have to consider: 1. Goals: Why do you need a data team? Are there concrete goals for them to work towards, or do you want to appease your…

Take time for you as a leader

My closing comment would just be to protect some time, before January is over, to plan how you will develop as a leader this year.

Making intentional plans to develop your leadership ability can make all the difference. Whether you plan to consider a mentor or coach, use more resources to keep abreast of your discipline, or just play to your strengths more this year – it won’t happen by magic.

What do you want to do differently this year, to ensure you finish 2017 a more capable leader than you are now?

Why not take some time now (after a relatively short post for us), to reflect on that question?