Grace Blue’s Inspirational Leaders: Demystifying Data, Julian Elliott

Increasingly, senior leadership roles include the requirement to know how to use data brilliantly to improve business performance. Data is often described as the “new oil”, and it underpins growth in most advanced economies. Like oil, raw data’s value comes from its potential to be refined into and used to build valuable products. Data has had a massive impact on everyone’s lives as smartphone penetration, broadband speeds and mobile services have rapidly produced a world where data is ever-present. In order to add to our data knowledge, we had the real treat of Julian Elliott, Chief Data Officer of Tyrell Corporation and previously Dentsu Aegis Network to come into Grace Blue to continue our leadership talk series.

Data Strategy and Corporate Strategy Go Hand-In-Hand

Firstly, behind every company is a clearly articulated corporate strategy. But to successfully achieve this, Julian explained how you need a data strategy to underpin it, regardless of the size or industry. Essentially, data should be fully utilised by every business supported by a clear data strategy with a compelling longer-term vision.  It is unnecessary to overcomplicate data or try and make the data strategy sound clever. If it’s not viable and aligned with reality of the business, then attempts to drive value from data will fail. It really is as simple as that. In the modern digital economy, data and analytics are an essential element for building and configuring corporate strategy.

Build Yourself The Largest Possible Data Set

Secondly, Julian developed upon the foundations of “Joy’s Law” – that “no matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else” and adapted it to data. Therefore, in many cases, the most useful data for an organisation sits with somebody else and other organisations. No one single company has a monopoly of data and those who think they do will fail. It’s essential for companies to access a varied mix of data from both second and third parties, often via partnerships. This enables them to use the largest relevant and valuable data set possible, to therefore achieve the best predictive and prescriptive analysis possible.

Great leaders understand the importance of data and its role in building successful teams and running successful businesses. At Grace Blue, we rely on data to monitor the global talent landscape, spotting trends and opportunities for many of the marketing world’s best leaders. Julian’s talk renewed our conviction that every business, no matter its size or the sector it serves, is increasingly dependent on the quality of its data and the effectiveness of how that data is then applied.