Customer Insight Leader podcast

Latest from the Customer Insight Leader podcast (episodes & where to find it)

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 56: Aparna Bharadwaj (Boston Consulting Group)

In episode 56, I’m in conversation with Aparna Bharadwaj, an MD & Partner at BCG who is also their Global Leader of the Centre for Customer Insight. During her interview, you will have the opportunity to hear why she is passionate about customer insight & the difference it can make in businesses.

Prior to her very successful career in BCG, Aparna learnt her marketing trade at Coca Cola & has an MBA from Harvard Uni. So, she has a great commercial grounding for her perspective on customer insight & what businesses really need. Together we explore the power of focussing on empathy, simplification & impact. Aparna brings to life how this helps researchers & analysts deliver insights that actually drive sustainable changes.

We also follow up on Aparna’s highly praised talk for International Women’s Day by exploring the benefits of diversity & more global awareness for both customer insight leaders and analysts. Aparna is my second guest from Singapore (following Avis Easteal in episode 43). During our conversation, she really brings to life how greater cultural awareness & empathy for people can improve the quality of the insights produced. Enjoy!

Episode 55: Rob McLaughlin (Loop Horizon)

For episode 55, I am joined by Rob McLaughlin the founder of the Loop Horizon agency. Rob is an experienced digital marketing professional and a proven leader in the field of data & analytics, with a track record of bringing customer data into the complex marketing and technology landscape. 

Prior to founding Loop Horizon, Rob has led data & decisioning teams at Sky, Digitas, Barclays & Canon. So, he has plenty of real-world experience to share with us in both leading data teams and applying data to deliver improved marketing or customer experience. Some of which we are going to try and mine during this conversation.

We start by exploring Rob’s career story & the lessons he has learnt about where he was best to specialise. We discuss the benefits of working within the business & being close to the action with regards to your ability to ‘activate’ data. During our chat, we also touch on the power of creating your own data & when you might consider the move to consulting or even setting up your own agency.

Plenty of nuggets of wisdom and some controversial opinions along the way – I hope you enjoy it & can’t wait to hear your thoughts. Thanks again to Rob for his time.

Episode 54: Peter Jones (Legal & General)

For episode 54 my guest is Peter Jones, who is Head of Data for Internal Audit at the UK insurer Legal & General. During our conversation, we explore many lessons that Peter has learnt during his career. These include how he became a data leader without even a Maths ‘A’ level, as well as the lessons learnt from integrating identity systems, switching sectors & delivering a data warehouse.

But what is most unique about this episode is our discussion about the growing use of data & analytics within Internal Audit functions. You may not have considered that department as a career opportunity for data or analytics. So, listen to Peter describe why it’s “hot” as an opportunity with fresh challenges for those who possess the data & critical thinking skills needed. Well worth considering as a new opportunity area for analysts.

Episode 53: Dan Kellett (Capital One)

For episode 53 my guest is Dan Kellett, CDO at Capital One in the UK. Dan has great experience to share with us, with many years of hands-on experience in leading & developing data & analytics teams.

Unlike my well travelled guests, Dan has spent the vast majority of his career with one employer, Capital One. He shares why & the benefits that he’s seen from such a choice. He also shares the value of focussing on practical commercial work rather than academic qualifications (so a contrarian view to that of my guests with PhDs).

More importantly, Dan shares practical tips from his experience of bringing together diverse technical teams and developing commercial awareness as well as technical skills. We debate the added value of Data Science beyond the Statistical approaches in Analytics that pre-date that label. Dan is a humble and eloquent leader with much real-world proven experience to share. He also has a passion for developing his team, so I recommend that other data leaders tune in to hear his perspective.

Episode 52: Adam Sroka (Origami Energy)

For episode 52 I chat with Adam Sroka. He is Head of Machine Learning Engineering at Origami Energy, an energy trading software start-up. During our conversation we explore the benefit of starting your data career in the culture of a start-up. Adam shares what motivates him as a gamer & self-confessed nerd, including the importance of the social impact that Origami is making. 

Along the way we explore the branches of Data Science and the diversity of communities, meet-ups & mentors that can help you develop the skills you need. Adam brings to life the benefits of raising your profile to ‘show your work‘ (recommending the book you can see via that link).

Finally we also explore the benefit of having a commercial solution to meeting social needs. Worth hearing his balanced assessment of the importance of domain knowledge as well as technical skills, plus the benefit of adding commercial expertise to your team. Those transitioning to a management role from a technical doer will also benefit from a number of tips that Adam shares during our chat. 

I hope you enjoy yet another different voice as together we hear from the wide diversity of successful data leaders in the world today.

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:

(1) Apple podcasts

(2) Spotify

(3) Amazon podcasts

(4) Google Podcasts

(5) Overcast

(6) Breaker

(7) Radio Public

(8) Pocket Casts

(9) Castbox

(10) Anchor

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.