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 42: Randy Krum (

For episode 42 we again venture to the USA and talk with Randy Krum the creator of the famous CoolInfographics website. Randy is a data visualisation designer with his own design agency (InfoNewt), teaches a University course and is a published author. His book is “Cool Infographics: Effective Communication with Data Visualisation and Design” and he’s also active in organising Data Viz Meet-up groups. So, we had plenty to chat about.

In this conversation we explore Randy’s career story, including the role for blogs to visually share others’ content & showcase your work. We also discuss the continued role for infographics, as well as solely effective data visualisations. Randy shares what has helped him through his career & we consider when firms might choose to bring in an external design agency. Well worth a listen, especially for those interested in the role of visual communication beyond just charts.

Episode 42 – Randy Krum ( by Customer Insight Leader podcast

For episode 42 we again venture to the USA and talk with Randy Krum the creator of the famous CoolInfographics website. Randy is a data visualisation designer with his own design agency (InfoNewt), teaches a University course and is a published author.

Episode 41: Sarah Barr Miller (British Airways)

In episode 41, I have a great conversation with Sarah Barr Miller who is Head of Data & Automation for British Airways. We chat over her career history & what she too learnt from working at dunnhumby. During that we explore the continued relevance of single customer views & the benefits of a clear demarcation between data & analytics teams.

Sarah shares what she learnt from working internationally & the challenges she overcame as a woman in a male-dominated data world. Lots to consider and a great opportunity to reflect on the skills both leaders and more junior analysts need to succeed today. What could you learn?

Episode 40: James Blagg (Principality Building Society)

For episode 40, I chat with James Blagg who is the Head of Data for Principality Building Society. Based in South Wales, like your host, James shares with me his journey into a data leadership role and some lessons he’s learnt along the way.

Our conversation explores the importance of breaking down silos to help connect business & technical teams. We reflect on what James has learnt from his roles in risk & change leadership. He also shares how he has persuaded risk adverse leadership teams to invest in their data capabilities. Plus, James openly shares his own leadership challenges. Another opportunity to hear the reality, behind the spin, of data leadership in today’s businesses.

Episode 39: Graham MacDonald (The Urban Institute)

For episode 39 we cross the pond again to talk with Graham MacDonald, who is the Chief Data Officer for the Urban Institute (a US non profit dedicated to elevating the debate on social & economic policy). During our conversation we explore how Graham has successfully influenced his organisation to develop both a data visualisation and a data science capability.

I quiz Graham on how he achieved those decisions and other lessons from his career story. We explore hiring decisions, the importance of developing domain knowledge and caring about your organisation’s purpose. Graham also brings a fresh perspective to both how he is developing as a leader and tips for those earlier in their career. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I enjoyed Graham’s warm friendly company. Data with a purpose brought to life.

Episode 38: Alison Williams (dunnhumby)

In episode 38 I’m in conversation with Alison Williams, Global Head of Data at dunnhumby. This is a wonderfully intimate and yet widely relevant chat about many of the issues faced by leaders in the data industry, especially women. We explore Alison’s career story and why she has chosen to build most of her career at one employer. We discuss hiring decisions & the benefits of looking wider than data graduates. Alison also shares what she learnt from her time in Data Engineering and the benefits of gaining broad experience as a foundation. We also explore the use of account manager/translator roles.

Alison shares her passions for both charitable work and achieving diversity, plus options to consider. We even learn how she achieved promotion when returning from maternity leave, with valuable lessons to consider. Finally we discuss the benefits & lessons to be learnt when working internationally and Alison’s tips for those earlier in their careers. Many thanks to Alison for sharing so generously, her real life experience and practical wisdom is well worth hearing.

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.