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):
As you will hear in this episode she has a background across organisations including CAKE Corporation, Save the Children, Springer and being an Advisory Board member on several influencial AI & Ethics groups. We explore more of her journey from an MSc in Philosophy to such critical roles in today’s use of data & AI. Along the way we consider the benefits of a broad interest in technology, wide ranging conversations with your network and how we need much more than GDPR compliance.
An emerging theme from our conversation (one that has stayed with me) is the benefit of being a polymath. At least the benefit of gathering people together to share knowledge across disciplines. Olivia paints a compelling picture of Data & AI Ethics as being a field where you can think & work broadly. A great opportunity for those with many interests or wanting to connect more with their values as well as apply their technical knowledge. I hope you find Olivia’s openness & many stories as fascinating as I did.
For episode 57, I’m in conversation with Charlie Ballard who is the Marketing Science Enablement Lead at Meta. He has been a lifelong technology and data evangelist and shares with us on the basis of his experience working in and with firms including General Motors, American Express, BT, Tripadvisor & now Meta.
Our conversation is wide ranging and includes plenty of tips from Charlie’s experience. He is one of my guests whose background was originally within market research and who has developed into data & analytics & marketing leadership roles. As well as exploring Charlie’s career story we discuss a number of topics that will be relevant to all such leaders.
Charlie shares advice on speaking both business & technical languages, silent starts to meetings, going bigger on your projects & considering new data sources. Well worth a listen and prioritising which ideas could work for you in your role. I hope you enjoy this chat as much as I did.
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!
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.
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.
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.