Welcome to the Customer Insight Leader podcast. An audio podcast designed to complement this blog by enabling you to hear first hand from today’s leaders. So you can get beyond the spin, to hear what they really do and what has helped them in the real world.
Each episode features Paul Laughlin interviewing one of today’s leaders, working in the field of Data, Analytics, Data Science or Customer Insight. Most are senior “client-side” roles, within large organisations, so you get to hear the reality behind their job title & avoid the hype.
My goal is to provide a real-world view from practitioner leaders. With practical takeaways each episode for everyone, from experienced leaders to those starting out in their data/analytics/data science career.
Episode list (latest 5):
Episode 49 is back in the studio as I talk with Ben Dias who is Director of Data Science and Analytics at easyJet. Ben has previously worked at Royal Mail, Tesco and Unilever, so in total he has over 15 years’ industry experience. Having started his career as a hands-on Data Scientist, Ben’s more recently focussed on building and leading teams, applying the Lean Start-Up approach to Data Science and Analytics within large organizations.
During our conversation we explore Ben’s career as well as his current focus on delivery of easyJet’s data strategy. Ben is also experienced in setting up and managing research collaborations between universities (esp. UCL) and business partners. So, we explore how his academic focus has informed his approach & how pioneering through learning by doing (before there were Data Science degrees) aided his development. This also includes what Data Science leaders can learn from a stint in Data Engineering.
We conclude a thoroughly enjoyable chat by considering Ben’s lessons for Data Science teams from “The Lean StartUp“ book, as well as his tips for those earlier in their careers. There are plenty of opportunities in this episode to learn from Ben’s warm & open style, as well his many years of hands-on experience.
This is our third & last episode that was recorded live at Big Data London 2021. Apologies for the poorer audio quality, but it is well worth persisting as my guest for episode 48 is the irrepressible Robert Maranca, Data Excellence VP for Schneider Electric.
During our conversation we explore Roberto’s career as a data leader, including roles across GE, Lloyds Bank & Schneider Electric. He shares lessons he has learnt through good times & bad. These include the challenges of GDPR, data strategy, data literacy, metadata & looking after your own mental health as a data leader. Plus, the importance of developing business empathy as a skill.
There is much to be learnt here from Roberto’s real world experience, for both new analysts & experienced leaders. I hope you enjoy this chat as much as I enjoyed my time on stage with him. Back to the studio from our next episode.
Episode 47 is our second podcast recorded live in front of an audience at Big Data London 2021. My guest for this episode is Souvik Saha. He heads up the Consumer Data & Analytics teams of Citibank in the UK. He’s also a member of their UK consumer leadership and data leadership teams.
Starting as a data analyst 15 years ago, Souvik has been on an exciting journey living in 5 countries and managing various data verticals over the years. Even before commencing his journey as a data professional, he was passionate about data & says he considers himself extremely lucky to be working in his area of passion. He stepped away for 3 years from core data verticals and headed Sales Performance Management to experience the world outside data. There he managed to combine analytics and execution to drive a 30% increase in sales productivity. He’s now focused on building a team which can use the latest data techniques to drive business value along with effective data governance.
In this conversation we explore both Souvik’s career story and what he has learnt along the way. We explore how he benefited from moving into a business leadership role & working in other countries including Russia. Souvik also shares how he has got offshoring of analytics working effectively. Then we finish with his tips for others for their analytics & leadership development.
A first for episode 46, our first-ever Customer Insight Leader podcast Live! This interview with Tom Spencer was recorded live in front of a studio audience at the Big Data London 2021 event at Olympia, London.
Tom is the Head of Customer Data Science at Aviva. In our conversation, we hear his career story, including fourteen years’ front-line experience at Dunnhumby (yes another podcast guest who has been through that training). Tom’s career highlights include establishing Dunnhumby Korea as analytics lead, heading up the Asia region’s analyst teams, and leading the South Korea business as Country Head.
We also explore the critical topic of culture & how to create a great place to work. Given Tom’s team at Aviva have won the ‘Best Place to Work in Data‘ at the DataIQ Awards in 2019 & 2020 he is well qualified to advise us on a winning formula. There is so much to enjoy in our conversation & I hope you find our first foray into taking the podcast on the road delivers some really useful insights.
In episode 45, my latest guest is Peter Sueref. Peter has worked with data his whole career since graduating in Computer Science at Cardiff University. As the Data Science Director at Centrica, he worked on some of the biggest problems in energy today. While at Centrica he also launched their first Blockchain project, set up the first group-wide Data Science Team, built their Digital Accelerator Hub and set up the first Knowledge Transfer Partnership around data innovation. This year, he left Centrica to set up a Data Science startup, Empirisys, where he is the CTO and co-founder.
In our conversation, we explore Pete’s career story, how he leapfrogged from Data to Data Science and the power of honesty & transparency as a data leader. We even hear how Pete put this into practice with Bring Your Own Data days at Centrica. I hope you hear some tips to inspire your data leadership development.
How to get more…
For earlier episodes, you can search the full episode lists on each of the podcasting platforms below. You can also use these platforms to subscribe, so that new episodes will be automatically downloaded for your listening pleasure. Enjoy!
Available on these platforms
To access (and hopefully subscribe to) Customer Insight Leader podcast, just choose your favourite podcast platform from the selection below:
Hope you enjoy that, let me know your feedback
I hope you find our new podcast helpful & perhaps encouraging. Do let me know any feedback or suggestions for content/guests. If you are a practitioner leader in the fields of Data, Analytics, Customer Insight or Data Science & would like to be a guest, please get in touch.
The music for our podcast was kindly released for free reuse by Purple Planet Music. It is entitled “Being Happy” with HiFi download available.
Happy listening & I look forward to any comments you may have.