NEWS11 March 2020

How clients are taking on the data challenge

Data analytics FMCG News Telecoms UK

UK – Carlsberg and BT insight leaders shared how business priorities are changing and data is being managed and shared within organisations at Impact 2020 today.

Client session_crop

With Georgina White, group insight director, BT and Nick Rich, vice-president, insights and analytics, Carlsberg taking to the stage to give the client perspective in the View from the Top: the market in the 2020s session, a common theme was that now was a good time to be working in insights.

“There is no better time to be in insight and data – and there’s been no more challenging time. The power sits with the customer. We have to get hold of insights faster and quicker than ever before,” said White.

For White, the starting point to dealing with data well is starting with a hypothesis and then “use judgement on what are the useful ones”.

“They might be hypothesis led but tell compelling stories. It’s hard for us as professionals as we like doing really rich analysis.”

And White ended with a challenge to all researchers. “We as an industry have to represent the customer. The change we’ve seen in the past 40 years is the change we’ll see in the next 10 years – that’s the pace of change. How will we as market researchers test and learn to manage that change?”

Carlsberg’s Rich talked about the way data was changing the business. He said: “It’s not a disruption, it’s an enhancement of what we do. The data landscape is growing at pace and we’ll see more and more clients creating their own data.

“It’s now about bringing human intelligence to the data. It’s only us who can understand people’s real lives. It’s about understanding real people and real life that really cuts through.”

Rich said the challenge was to truly find differentiated knowledge – “you know it when you hear it and when you see it but it’s a constant challenge for us and our agencies.”

But he said there had never been such a great time for talent. With Carlsberg adopting flatter structures “there’s me and then there’s us” – the business is now more project, issue and challenge focused, rather than the insight team being built around brands.

“Delayering works because it works for individuals. They are engaged, they learn faster, they’re constantly in at the deep end, it’s exciting, creative and people form different networks.”

He said more people, from more varied backgrounds are interested in insights “suddenly our world has got interesting and attractive to people”.