Intro to the Data Lab – Gilian Doherty, The Data Lab CEO
Welcome to Data Summit 2018. It’s great to be back, last year we had 25 people with 2000 people, but this year we’ve had 50 events and hope to reach over 3500 people. We’ve had kids downloading data from the space station, we’ve had events on smart meters, on city data… Our theme this year is “Data Warrior” – a data warrior is someone with a passion and a drive to make value from data. You are data warriors. And you’ll see some of our data warriors on screen here and across the venue.
Our whole event is made possible by our sponsors, by Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Government. So, let’s get on with it!
Our host for the next two days is the wonderful and amazing Maggie Philbin, who you may remember from Tomorrow’s World but she’s also had an amazing career in media, but she is also chair of UK Digital Skills.
Intro to the Data Summit – Maggie Philbin
Maggie is starting by talking to people in the audience to find out who they are and what they are here for…
It will be a fantastic event. We have some very diverse speakers who will be talking about the impact of data on society. We have built in lots of opportunities for questions – so don’t hesitate! For any more information do look at the app or use the hashtag #datafest18 or #datasummit18.
I am delighted to introduce our speaker who is back by popular demand. She is going to talk about her new BBC Four series Contagion, which starts tonight.
The Pandemic – Hannah Fry
Last year I talked about data for social good. This year I’m going to talk about a project we’ve been doing to look at pandemics and how disease spreads. When we first started to think about this, we wanted to see how much pandemic disease is in people’s minds. And it turns out… Not many.
[Redacted pending show broadcast tonight – then this post will be updated!]
Business Transformation: using the analytics value chain – Warwick Beresford-Jones, Merkle Aquila
I’ll be talking about the value chain. This is:
Data > Insight > Action > Value (and repeat)
Those two first aspects are “generation” and the latter two are “deployment”. We are good at the first two, but not so much the action and value aspects. So we take a different approach, thinking right to left, which allows faster changes. Businesses don’t always start with an end in mind, but we do have accessible data, transformatic insights, organisational action, and integrated technology. In many businesses much of the spend is on technology, rather than the stage where change takes place, where value is generated for the business. So that a business understands why they are investing and what the purpose of this.
I want to talk more about that but first I want to talk about the NBA and the three point line, and how moving that changed the game by changing basket attempts…And that was a tactical decision of whether to score more points, or concede fewer points, enabling teams to find the benefit in taking the long shot. Cricket and Football similar use the value chain to drive benefit, but the maths work differently in terms of interpreting that data into actions and tactics.
Moving back to business… That right to left idea is about thinking about the value you want to derive, the action required to do that, and the insights required to inform those actions, then the data that enables that insight to be generated.
Sony looked at data and customer satisfaction and wanted to reduce their range down from 15 to 4 handsets. But the data showed the importance of camera technology – and many of you will now have Sony technology in the cameras in your phones, and they have built huge value for their business in that rationlisation.
BA wanted to improve check in experiences. They found business customers were frustrated at the wait, but also families didn’t feel well catered for. And they decided to trial a family check in at Heathrow – that made families happier, it streamlined business customers’ experience, and staff feedback has also been really positive. So a great example of using data to make change.
So, what questions you should be asking?
- What are the big things that can change our business and drive value?
- Can data analytics help?
- How easy will it be to implement the findings?
- How quickly can we do?
Q1) In light of the scandal with Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, do you think that will impact people sharing their data, how their data can be used?
A1) I knew that was coming! It’s really difficult… And everyone is also looking at the impact of GDPR right now. With Facebook and LinkedIn there is an exchange there in terms of people and their data and the service. If you didn’t have that you’d get generic broadcast advertising… So it depends if people would rather see targeted and relevant advertising. But then with some of what Facebook and Cambridge Analytica is not so good…
Q2) How important is it for the analysts in an organisation to be able to explain analytics to a wider audience?
A2) Communication is critical, and I’d say equally important as the technical work.
Q3) What are the classic things people think they can do with data for their business, but actually is really hard and unrealistic?
A3) A few years ago I was meeting with a company, and they gave an example of when Manchester United had a bad run, and Paddy Power had put up a statue of Alex Ferguson with a “do not break glass sign” and they asked how you can have that game changing moment. And that is really hard to do.
Q4) You started your business at your kitchen table… And now you have 120 people working for you. How do you do that growth?
A4) It’s not as hard as you think, but you have to find the right blend of raw talent with experience – lots of tricky learning.