Weekly News Digest: 5th - 9th April 2021

Daniel Lewis our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 4/9/2021 3:53 PM
This is Harnham’s weekly news digest, the place to come for a quick breakdown of the week’s top news stories from the world of Data & Analytics.   

The Drum: How data visualisation turns marketing metrics into business intelligence


Gathering data is just one part of a marketer’s job but having the ability to turn this data into something visually stunning, informative and easy to use is another skill completely. 

Marketers, on the whole, are extremely visual learners along with around 65 per cent of the population. Most of us are able to absorb data more effectively if the information being presented to us is done in such a way that is pleasing to the eye. And this is why Data Visualisation exists; it allows us to group, organise and represent data sets in a way that allows us to analyse larger quantities of information, compare findings, spot patterns and extract meaningful insights from raw data.

Not only does Data Visualisation allow us to learn more effectively, but we can then turn this understanding into much broader and deeper Business Intelligence. 

To read more on the positives of Data Visualisation and how to translate this into meaningful Business Intelligence, click here

ZDNet: The five Vs of customer data platforms


According to ZDNet, Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) are the hottest marketing technology today, offering companies a way to capture, unify, activate, and analyse customer data. Research done in 2020 by Salesforce showed that CDPs were among the highest priority investments for CMOs in 2021.

If you’re planning to invest in a CDP this year, what five critical things do you need to think about when developing a successful strategy? ZDNet tells all. 

  • Velocity - Your systems need to manage a high volume of data, coming in at various speeds.
  • Variety - Every system has a slightly different main identifier or "source of truth," and the goal is to have one. This starts with being able to provision a universal information model, or schema, which can organize all of the differently labelled data into a common taxonomy.
  • Veracity - Companies must ensure they can provision a single, persistent profile for every customer or account.
  • Volume - It has been theorized that, in 2020, 1.7MB of data was created every second for every person on Earth. If you want to use those interactions to form the basis of your digital engagement strategy, you have to store them somewhere.
  • Value - Once you have a clean, unified set of scaled data – now’s the time to think about how to derive value from it. 

To learn more, read the full article here.

Towards Data Science: How to Prepare for Business Case Interview Questions as a Data Scientist


When you think of Data Science, the first thing that comes to mind will be technical knowledge of coding languages and fantastic statistical ability; softer skills such as communication and exceptional business knowledge may be overlooked. However, this is where many budding Data Scientists trip up. It is these softer skills and business acumen that sets brilliant candidates apart from others. 

But how, when not usually taught at university, do you gather the business knowledge that will set you apart from the competition and showcase it in interview? Towards Data Science shares a few key pointers.

  • Build a foundation – Brush up on your business basics. Research project management methodologies, organisational roles, tools, tech and metrics - all are crucial here.
  • Company specifics – Research your company and its staff. Make sure your knowledge is tailored to the company you’re interviewing for.
  • Products – This is where you’ll stand out above the rest if you get it right. The more you can know the ins and outs of products and metrics at the company, the more prepared you will be to answer business case questions.

Read the full article here

Harnham: Amped up Analytics: Google Analytics 4


Joshua Poore, one of our Senior Managers based in the US West division of Harnham, explores Google’s new and improved data insight capabilities, predominantly across consumer behaviours and preferences. 

This exciting new feature of Google was born in the last quarter of 2020 and has now fully come into its infancy, and it’s an exciting time for Data & Analytics specialists across the globe.

Joshua explores four key advantages of Google Analytics 4.0.

  • Combined data and reporting - Rather than focusing on one property (web or app) at a time, this platform allows marketers to track a customer’s journey more holistically.
  • A focus on anonymised data - By crafting a unified user journey centred around machine learning to fill in any gaps, marketers and businesses have a way to get the information they need without diving into personal data issues.
  • Predictive metrics - Using Machine Learning to predict future transactions is a game changer for the platform. These predictive metrics for e-commerce sites on Google properties allow for targeted ads to visitors who seem most likely to make a purchase within one week of visiting the site.
  • Machine Learning driven insights - GA4 explains it “has machine learning at its core to automatically surface helpful insights and gives you a complete understanding of your customers across devices and platforms.” Machine Learning-driven insights include details that elude human analysts. 

To read Joshua’s full insights on GA4, click here

We've loved seeing all the news from Data & Analytics in the past week, it’s a market full of exciting and dynamic opportunities. To learn more about our work in this space, get in touch with us at  info@harnham.com.   

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Three Years Of GDPR: The Evolution Of Data Protection

Since its inception in 1991, the World Wide Web – or the internet – has grown immeasurably, with its capabilities exceeding the expectations of anyone who witnessed its implementation only 30 years ago. Now, it’s hard to think of a world without it; where would we be without unlimited knowledge at the touch of a button, the ability to maintain friendships with people halfway across the world or cat videos? Of course, the internet isn’t always a positive place. As the popularity of the online world grew, there also became an increased risk, particularly to our identities and our money.  In 1998, to combat the mismanagement of data both online and offline, Parliament passed the Data Protection Act. Compiled of eight different principles, from fair and lawful processing to disallowing data transfers from outside of the EU, this law aimed to help reduce the risk of data mismanagement and data breaches, while holding the power to fine and prosecute those who didn’t comply.  In January 2012, the European Commission wanted to take these laws one step further. As we began to enter a digital-first age, where the online world began to blend seamlessly with our daily lives, questions around whether the Data Protection Act of 1998 was robust enough to protect EU citizens.  On May 25th, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced. Not only did this new law enforce tougher rules around data protection, including the protection of genetic data and biometrics, but it made business data collection far more transparent. For the first time, internet users were able to see exactly how and why their data was being used, and they were given the autonomy to opt-out of giving away sensitive data. Additionally, consumers now have the right to request ‘to be forgotten’, with all stored data being wiped from a business’ database with the click of a button.  As we edge closer to the three-year anniversary of the implementation of GDPR, we look at how the new laws have impacted both consumers and businesses, for better and for worse.  Consumer trust Both sides of the coin tell a very different story when it comes to consumer trust and GDPR. The general consensus amongst businesses across the EU is that GDPR has greatly improved consumer trust, with 73 per cent reporting that the regulations have notably improved data security. Unfortunately, this sentiment isn’t shared by consumers.  84 per cent feel that GDPR hasn’t been taken seriously by businesses, and the level of security they feel when giving data to certain sectors varies hugely. While financial services, such as banks, have gained nearly half of consumers’ trust, hospitality, for example, are lagging behind with not even a quarter of consumers happy with the level of security.  But, looking at data breaches that have occurred since the implementation of GDPR, this level of dissatisfaction and worry from consumers comes as no surprise. From 280 million Microsoft users’ data being left unprotected to over a million of Mashable’s staff and consumer data being leaked by hackers, GDPR hasn’t necessarily solved the problems it was set out to manage, and consumers are concerned.  Consumer control Despite the worry of continued breaches and hacks, consumers do feel however that GDPR has improved the control they have over their own data. From being able to opt-in instead of having to opt-out, to having greater choice over the information given away through cookies, consumers feel much happier to be able to walk away from the brands they don’t trust and/or have no interest in.  Education around Data privacy  GDPR, since its inception, has been something that has eluded many. Filled with jargon and lacking much in the way of accessible educational assets, consumers – while aware of their data concerns – are still unsure of how to protect themselves against hacks or breaches. For example, only 14 per cent of internet users encrypt private conversations and only a third change their passwords regularly.  While GDPR has undoubtedly been a positive step forward for businesses and consumers alike, it is clear there is room for great improvement. It is expected that as the world continues to evolve into a digital-first society, especially post-COVID as many of us move online for good in our working lives, and the need for much-improved data security becomes paramount, GDPR laws and business compliance will need to continue to evolve and improve and fast.  If you're looking for your next opportunity, or to build out your Data & Analytics team, we can help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

365 Days of The Dialogue

It’s a year to the day, that we launched The Dialogue, Harnham’s LinkedIn LIVE series focussing on the challenges the data & analytics industry faces, hiring, career growth and a myriad of other technical discussions. Episode One is where it all began. Featuring the Data Society’s Nisha Iyer and Nupur Neti. Harnham’s Tim Jonas was in the host chair as they discussed their collaboration with OurStreets, on a real-time grocery-sourcing app, and how you can continue to develop and improve your data knowledge while in lockdown. Since then we’ve gone on to run a further 31 events, in multiple languages, with over 150,000+ viewers joining across the globe; and more than 2,000 of you asked a question to our panellists! There have been some amazing guests joining us in the virtual studio – you can catch them all here – but I wanted to pick out a couple of personal favourites from the past 12 months: Data, Rest & Relaxation  Like many people across the globe, my lockdown led to more visceral dreams. We’d been talking about it in Harnham Team conversations, with friends and reading various articles into why. So, we wanted to get to the bottom of it. In this LIVE, with McElla Pappas and Rockwell Shah, CEO of the million-downloaded Sleep App PZIZZ, we took your questions about the science and Data behind our sleeping patterns during the lockdown.  Hiring and Being Hired in Data Science If you don’t follow Eric Webber on Linkedin I suggest you do so now, for brilliant, daily insight into the minds of hiring managers. This LIVE was responsible for around 100 questions from the audience and held together by our very own LinkedIn LIVE Pro, Jenni Kavanagh. The title says it all. The ‘Thank You’ messages we received off the back of the advice we gave out, were truly heart-warming. Positive impact at its best! A Career in Data This career Q&A with Karla Guerra and Amy Gershkoff Bolles, PhD, GM & CDO was utterly fascinating. Amy has played a key role at a number of the world's biggest companies including eBay, Ancestry, WPP and at the time of filming the LIVE at Bit.ly. On top of that, she was also Head of Media Planning & Analytics at Obama for America and taught at UC Berkeley for three years! This made her uniquely positioned to discuss what a modern career in Data looks like, from the grassroots to senior leadership! Inspiring stuff! FinTech Firsts & A New Generation When I heard we’d managed to get Mary Kemi Agbesanwa to feature on The Dialogue, I was very excited. And, I was not disappointed. There is no wonder that she was selected for Innovate Finance's Women in Fintech Powerlist 2020-21, McKinsey Next Generation Women Leader 2020 and No.1 on EMpower and Yahoo Finance’s Future Leader List 2020! Alongside host Conor Larkin (and his daffodils), she gave incredible insight into the industry that is set to change rapidly over the next few years, and what this means for a new generation of Millennial and Gen Z professionals entering the workplace. Staying Data Secure While Working Flexibly Strawberries and Cream. Collymore and Roy (niche reference for the late 90's Nottingham Forest fans out there!). Batman and Robin. Great duos. But, not a patch on Ryan Collins, Head of DevSecOps at Upvest and Peter Schroeter, when it came to talking about Data Security. So admired were their backgrounds, they came back together the following month by popular demand. Rumours of a Podcast are still just rumours at this point sadly… Special Mention… The US Data & Analytics Salary Guide Launch We’ve been really lucky with almost zero technical hitches but how do you launch the biggest Data & Analytics Salary Guide in the world? Live of course! What happens when you do things live? Things go wrong...Shout out to Sam Jones and McElla Pappas for being total pro’s when the power went out in Stephanie Brooks, Bay Area neighbourhood, literally as we pushed the button to go LIVE! Lastly, I just want to take a moment to say a few thank yous: First up, to all our viewers and those that have engaged with these LIVE sessions. We’ve been so grateful for your questions, comments and feedback. You make these sessions what they are and as long as you keep watching, we'll keep doing them!Next, to all our guests from the past 12 months, who gave up their time for free, to share their knowledge of the Data & Analytics industry with our audience. This was often early mornings or late nights to accommodate different time zones, we are indebted to you for the success of The Dialogue.And, who can forget the multiple members of the Harnham Team? They worked tirelessly to get panellists, hosted the sessions and kept their cool as we pushed them LIVE to a Global Audience. Hat Tip to Hannah and Tony at LinkedIn for hooking us up, as one of the first recruiters in EMEA to get access to the LIVE platform.A final special mention must go to the man behind the scenes, that makes these events possible, Ben Jones. Never seen on camera (yet!) but his hard work in the production booth is the glue that keeps it all together and makes them run so well! If you’d like to take part in a LIVE or have a story/angle that you think we should cover – feel free to get in touch and connect directly here. Here’s to another 12 months and I promise you there is something special in the pipeline for later in 2021!

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