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 67: Darshan Mehta (

In episode 67, I’m joined by Darshan Mehta who is the Founder of – an insights platform to quickly and affordably extract insights from consumers worldwide. With both an MBA & a Masters in Marketing, Darshan has also taught at universities around the world.

One of the reasons I welcomed Darshan’s offer to be my guest on this show is because of his research & insight focus. Most of the guests I have had on this podcast come from the data, analytics or data science community. So, to live up to the title of this podcast, here I also include the voice of the research & insights community. Darshan has plenty of that hands-on research experience to share with us.

During our conversation, we explore the meaning of insight, why Darshan is interested in case studies and the continued relevance of market research. He also gives us an glimpse into how technology is changing the world of qualitative research. I hope you find this a fascinating complement to our more data & analytics focussed interviews. Enjoy hearing Darshan make the case for why understanding motivation & perception still matters today.

Episode 66: Bettina Schirrmeister (MoneySuperMarket)

For episode 66, I am joined by Bettina (or Betty) Schirrmeister. She leads an exceptional group of data scientists at MoneySuperMarket. She and her team work on intelligent product recommendations, personalisation, and optimised pricing investments there.

One thing that makes Betty a new and different voice on our podcast is her science background. Having received a PhD in Evolutionary Genetics from the University of Zurich and worked as a senior researcher at the University of Bristol for several years only then did Betty make the transition into data science & industry.

In our conversation, we explore what scientists can bring to the world of data science. Transferrable skills & attitudes that help them lead or strengthen data teams. It should also be a chat that encourages any scientists who think they have left it too late. You can still make the move across to data science, just listen to Betty’s enthusiasm and recommended resources.

Episode 65: Sophie Carr (Bays Consulting)

For episode 65, my guest is Sophie Carr who is the founder of Bays Consulting, which she apparently founded to share her enthusiasm that analysis is both fun and provides clarity. Following gaining a PhD from Cranfield University, Sophie has now led Bays Consulting for over 13 years and continues to have the admirably straightforward job title of Mathematician.

Her consulting work is motivated by a belief that at the heart of business issues is a need to reduce uncertainty & gain clarity. As well as applying a broad range of her maths, engineering & leadership skills to such work, Sophie has a specialism in Bayesian Networks. 

During our conversation we explore both her career history & the benefit of becoming a Chartered Statistician or Mathematician. Sophie also reveals a great deal about her leadership style, the company culture and a more inclusive approach to hiring technical talent. Beyond that we explore how she has developed as a leader and the lessons she has learn as her business as grown. Finally she has practical advice for those earlier in their careers that is well worth hearing & reading. I hope you enjoy listening to Sophie as much as I enjoyed this conversation.

Episode 64: Priyank Patwa (Maanch)

“When I’m 64…”, well that episode anyway, my guest is Priyank Patwa who is Strategic Advisor & Interim CDO at the sustainability data start-up Maanch.

Priyank is an experienced Data and Innovation leader, working at the intersection of Finance, Sustainability and Data. Priyank is currently as a Senior Strategic Advisor and Interim Chief Data Officer in Maanch. Previously, he was an ESG Product Director at Morningstar and Head of Innovation & ESG Transformation at M&G where he has led the conception and creation of large-scale data-led capabilities and solutions.

During our conversation, we explore Priyank’s career journey and the lessons he has learnt along the way. We learn about the continuing opportunity to apply Data Science to how organisations are managed, as well as how to build trust with your senior leadership. Priyank shares some great examples of motivating & deploying diverse global teams and we focus on his work in the field of ESG data. Learn how Data Science can help investors & firms see past all the spin to truly rate business performance on ESG criteria. I hope you are inspired to make a difference with your skills too.

Episode 63: Daniel Hulme (Satalia)

For episode 63, we return to the topic of AI ethics via my conversation with Daniel Hulme, the CEO of Satalia. That business describes itself as a different type of Artificial Intelligence company and in fact a different type of company altogether. Its stated aim is to solve industries’ hardest problems by building AI solutions that utilise state-of-the-art ideas and thinking from academia. Plus, they say they’re building a new operating system for how a company can be run, grounded in deep psychological and philosophical theory.

In addition to his role at Satalia, Daniel is the Chief AI Officer for the global advertising agency WPP. Plus, he comes to these roles following nearly 12 years at University College London, including being their Entrepreneur in Residence. So, there is plenty of innovative thinking in this conversation, as well as philosophical musing about the purpose of not just AI but work in general.

During our fascinating chat, we explore Daniel’s career journey and lack of internal dialogue. We revisit the benefits of hiring neurodiverse data scientists and the characteristics to seek in such talent. Plus we debate the purpose of businesses and what motivates us about work. I hope you find it inspires your own musings and perhaps insights into what you want to achieve with your gifts and working life. Plus, it’s the first time I’ve had a parrot as a guest too!

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.