Marek Rucinski – Deputy Commissioner, Smarter Data Program

Marek Rucinski 1.jpg

Marek Rucinski is the Deputy Commisioner leading the Smarter Data Program at the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Marek has taken part and driven the evolution and transformation of Marketing, Analytics, Data and Digital capabilities for over 20 years. This has been done in both industry roles and consulting services capacity, across Australian, Asian and Global clients, across Retail, Telco, Consumer Goods, Financial Services, Mining & Utilities sectors. His passion centers on helping clients change the role of Marketing & Analytics capabilities in Digital and Data age, from activating the capability through acting on insights, to transforming customer experience and the whole business via delivering value across business functions. Prior to ATO & Accenture, Marek lead and created analytics functions and teams in a Retail industry, and developed global corporate strategy frameworks and analytics in a multinational organizations.

In this episode, Marek tells us about how he was always interested in the science behind marketing. Marketing as a discipline has been completely transformed due to the emergence of data as a driver for engagement with the customer. Marek is not a classically trained data scientist; he is a data strategist and can dive deep into the organization’s needs in order to drive value to the customer. Marek tells us how some businesses can struggle with how to handle the findings of research from data scientists. It is essential to translate the potential into targets to create the prize. Leave the ego at the door and find the ability to be critiqued.

Later, Marek tells us how educating businesses on analytics as a mechanical process is essential for them to perceive how the whole thing works. He then explains his transition from consulting to government and how his excitement lies in the play with analytics at an enormous scale. Then, Marek describes how to have each section of the value chain working with purpose and precision. Data has to be trusted, organized, and accessible for the company. A data strategist must consider how the data is being delivered to their client. You want to create products and interactive experiences for the business as opposed to simple spreadsheets. Finally, Marek answers the audience’s questions including what makes a good data scientist and current challenges in the data science industry.

Enjoy the show!

We speak about:

  • [02:10] How Marek started in the data space

  • [05:25] Activating the value from data

  • [08:30] POCs are essential  

  • [09:45] Find people who can create the vision

  • [12:00] Educating businesses on analytics

  • [16:30] Artificial intelligence + automation

  • [18:50] Transition from consulting into government

  • [20:20] Motivations for government work

  • [22:00] Future of ATO

  • [26:15] Continuous production of insights

  • [29:30] Audience questions  

Resources:

Marek’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rucinskimarek/

Quotes:

  • “Good results create more interest which in turn creates traction for new products.”

  • “If you engage the business regarding the value, but then you cannot deliver on the promise, it creates dissonance.”

  • “What separates great data scientists is their ability to communicate what the results actually mean.”

Now you can support Data Futurology on Patreon!  

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Thank you to our sponsors: 

UNSW Master of Data Science Online: studyonline.unsw.edu.au 

Datasource Services: datasourceservices.com.au or email Will Howard on will@datasourceservices.com.au 

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Marek Rucinski is based in Sydney, Australia.


And as always, we appreciate your Reviews, Follows, Likes, Shares and Ratings. Thank you so much for listening. Enjoy the show!



Jonny Bentwood – Global Head of Data & Analytics

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Jonny Bentwood – Global Head of Data & Analytics

Jonny Bentwood is the Global Head of Data & Analytics at Golin. Jonny is an innovative leader with 15+ years of experience in communications - winning, retaining and working for Fortune 100 clients such as Facebook, Unilever, Heineken, Barclays, HP and Microsoft. He has a proven record as a creator of pioneering solutions with ability to transform business to radically impact bottom line. Jonny presents complex information in an engaging and informative style and is a strategic consultant to executives using data to provide guidance on reputational and crisis issues and maximising marketing campaigns.

In this episode, Jonny tells a story about how MTV got in touch with him to apply data in figuring out who would most likely win The Apprentice. After being in the industry for over twenty years, he believes this is the best time to be in data. CMOS are spending more of their money than ever before on analytics. How do data scientist prove their value? People use data purely in a descriptive way. To succeed and bring value to clients, one needs to switch from describing the data to telling the customer what they need to do with the data. Set the goals of who, what, and why to figure out which message will be most useful before you even start. Take it a step further by using prescriptive data and make it predictive. This is where you study what will happen in the future. We are continually absorbing and understanding what things could happen and will happen. This opportunity is essential to identify issues before they occur and fix them.

Later, Jonny explains how understanding the customer requires a customer journey approach to increase marketing efficacy. Instead of doing random stuff, focus objectives with specific tactics and strategies. Something that gets on Jonny’s nerves is when people say it isn’t rocket science. Jonny wants people who do the research and figure out the information that counts. Then, we learn why organizations need to be data-driven. It is essential to train people and give them the technology to improve their jobs and become more efficient. Jonny challenges the status quo in his business. For instance, they have unlimited holiday, and their gender pay gap is positive to women.

Enjoy the show!

We speak about:

  • [01:30] How Jonny started in the data space

  • [04:50] Public relations

  • [06:00] Descriptive, prescriptive, and predictive

  • [08:15] Difference between interesting and useful

  • [10:00] Understanding the customer

  • [15:25] Cultural shift of data in organizations

  • [19:10] Challenging the status quo  

  • [22:40] Shiny object syndrome

  • [26:45] The twenty percent time

  • [30:00] Bringing data application to the masses

  • [34:30] Each stage of the customer journey  

  • [39:30] Getting value for money

  • [42:45] Return on investment

  • [44:15] Data + creativity  

Resources:

Jonny’s LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/jonnybentwood

Jonny’s Twitter https://twitter.com/jonnybentwood?lang=en

Quotes:

  • “To be truly smart you need to go from descriptive to prescriptive.”

  • “For a data scientist, the word interesting is one of the worst insults you can get. It has to be useful, what is the point you are trying to make?”

  • “There’s always going to be something else. What you need to do is focus on what you have.”

  • “Some of the best stuff has data infused with creativity.”



Now you can support Data Futurology on Patreon!  

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Thank you to our sponsors: 

UNSW Master of Data Science Online: studyonline.unsw.edu.au 

Datasource Services: datasourceservices.com.au or email Will Howard on will@datasourceservices.com.au 

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Jonny Bentwood is based in London, United Kingdom.


And as always, we appreciate your Reviews, Follows, Likes, Shares and Ratings. Thank you so much for listening. Enjoy the show!




Warwick Graco - Senior Director Data Science

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Warwick Graco is the Senior Director of Data Science at the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). He has worked in defence, health, and taxation and has been involved in analytics for 25 years. He is a practicing analytics professional and is currently convenor of the Whole of Government Data Analytics Centre of Excellence and is a senior data scientist in Data Science and Special Acquisition Group of the Smarter Data Program of the ATO. He has a BSc from the University of New South Wales and a Ph.D. from the University of New England Australia. His professional interests include organisational innovation and learning, organisational decision making and analytics.

In this episode, Warwick tells us how he got started in data research the skills gained that led him to his successes today. Warwick explains why transparency is a business requirement for software and tools in the data science field. People with more analytical backgrounds will be more willing to accept an opaque solution over a transparent solution. When analytics was in the early stages, some organisations pushed back from data science; feeling they were on top of their portfolio and did not need any outside resources. No matter what results Warwick would come up with for these organisations, they would continue to have the same attitudes. Since 2010, there has been a shift in attitudes because data science has shifted from the background to the foreground.


Then, Warwick tells us the difference between good support and lousy support in the workplace. While Warwick was working with organisations, instead of providing results, he did the reverse. Ask the organisation what they want rather than telling them the findings. Providing the outputs clients wish to see led to incremental improvements built into their business intelligence reports. Warwick also explains why you can no longer be a data scientist; you will need to learn and master the domain of your work. For instance, Warwick learned everything about ophthalmology while working on data science with an ophthalmologist. Later, Warwick explains his process of publishing research, improving privacy concerns, and automated supports.

Enjoy the show!

We speak about:

• [02:20] How Warwick started in data science

• [05:55] Aptitude for research

• [08:40] Purpose-built software + decision trees

• [12:20] Accepting opaque solutions vs. transparent solutions

• [16:45] Pushback of data analytics

• [21:15] Difference between good support and bad support on the job

• [25:25] Necessity to learn the domain first

• [29:00] How to learn on the job

• [32:20] Process of publishing research

• [41:50] Improving legal and privacy concerns

• [44:25] Automated support + decision-making operations

• [52:40] Developing an analytical + practical mindset

• [58:10] Hyperspecialized

• [64:30] Moving toward data + analytics as a service

• [66:25] Advice from Warwick

Resources:

Datasource Services

University of New South Wales

Warwick’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/warwick-graco-4a27044/


Quotes:

  • “Unless you have the support of those whom you are working for, your chances of success are probably fairly slim.”

  • “You can no longer just be a data scientist; you have to work in a particular area and build up the knowledge first.”

  • “I define an expert as someone who has profound knowledge in an area. They are very good at coming up with solutions to solve problems quicker than those without that deep knowledge.”

  • “Talent identification means identifying what people have a gift for, giving them the right experiences to bring their gifts to sharp focus, and having them use it in the best possible way to benefit everyone.”

Now you can support Data Futurology on Patreon!  

https://www.patreon.com/datafuturology 

Thank you to our sponsors: 

UNSW Master of Data Science Online: studyonline.unsw.edu.au 

Datasource Services: datasourceservices.com.au or email Will Howard on will@datasourceservices.com.au 

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Warwick Graco is based in Canberra, Australia.

And as always, we appreciate your Reviews, Follows, Likes, Shares and Ratings. Thank you so much for listening. Enjoy the show!

Caroline Worboys - Data Expert, Investor, Advisor, COO & Vice Chair

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Caroline Worboys is a data expert, investor, advisor, COO at Outra & Vice Chair at DMA Group. She has been working in the data industry for over 30 years. In this time, she’s had a fascinating journey. She has worked, created, mentored and consulted through many data driven organisations. She’s played all the different roles: technical lead, a business lead, a founder and investor.

While Caroline doesn’t describe herself as a data scientist and didn’t go to university, she has always worked with data and has a wealth of experience. She started in the field by working with consumer data for direct marketing and progressed to the point where she founded and sold several successful data related start-ups. Currently, she is the founder and COO of Outra.

In this episode, we talk about what it was like being a woman in technology in the 80’s, how the use of data has progressed over the years and how she keeps her team focused on the goal of doing things faster than other companies.

We speak about:

  • How Caroline got started in data (03:02)

  • What she learnt from observing senior colleagues and what it was like being a woman in technology in the 80s (05:38)

  • Using customer data in order to target people at the right time (07:46)

  • The principles of working with consumer data hasn’t changed (10:04)

  • How the care and attention required for direct mail has now been lost with email and digital marketing (11:09)

  • The importance of being curious and learning (12:31)

  • Starting her own business and finding a different way to charge customers (13:46)

  • Advice for young people and why it’s important to seek people for advice (21:34)

  • Personal drivers to start her business (23:35)

  • How her business innovated as technology changed (25:10)

  • The challenge of using data to actually solve problems (30:29)

  • Considerations when choosing her team (35:48)

  • The recruitment process is like for Caroline’s company (39:00)

  • How Caroline keeps her team focused on the goal of doing things faster than other companies (41:40)

  • The difficulties of work/ life balance (44:16)

  • Considerations for being a leader in the data space (47:03)

  • The importance of thinking about the type of data you want to work with (51:43)


Quotes:

  • “Seek out people who have really, honestly read the book and seen the movie and been there. Because they can stop you from going down a whole bunch of dead ends.”

  • “You can’t scale and have thousands of relationships with thousands of people. But you can create a culture, and processes below that culture, that are scalable.”

Links:

Outra

https://outra.co.uk

Actico

https://www.actico.com/

SmartFocus

https://www.smartfocus.com/


News International

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/News_UK

Transunion (Formerly Call Credit)

https://www.transunion.co.uk/

Barclays

https://www.barclays.co.uk/

Monzo

https://monzo.com/

Now you can support Data Futurology on Patreon!  

https://www.patreon.com/datafuturology 


Thank you to our sponsors: 

UNSW Master of Data Science Online: studyonline.unsw.edu.au 

Datasource Services: datasourceservices.com.au or email Will Howard on will@datasourceservices.com.au 

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Kevin Harrison is based in Concord, California, USA.

And as always, we appreciate your Reviews, Follows, Likes, Shares and Ratings. Thank you so much for listening. Enjoy the show!





Kevin Harrison - Chief Data Officer and Deputy Chief Information Office

Kevin Harrison - Chief Data Officer and Deputy Chief Information Office.jpg

Kevin Harrison is working as Chief Data Officer and Deputy Chief Information Officer for the City of Oakland in California. Prior to this he worked as the first ever Chief Data Officer for the State of Illinois. During that time he designed the blueprint for the State Data Practice. Operating under the new Department of Innovation and Technology agency, he implemented an enterprise approach to Business Intelligence and Data Analytics, covering all 60 State Agencies to create a collaborative and sharing environment across the state. Having worked with multiple organisations, Kevin has been able to handle different types of challenges in our industry. In today’s episode, Kevin shares the strategies he applied to move from smaller projects to bigger ones. How he has been able to help organisations increase their market share and improve operations. Kevin also shares why he thinks changing the perception of organisations about data and educating them about tools in the space is so important. He further talks about data governance and possible changes in role of the data scientist role in future. 

We speak about:

01:55 Professional background of Kevin

06:30 Why data is important?

07:20 Evolution of Data warehousing

10:00 How organizations are utilizing the data?

11:39 As data officer, how to help organizations to improve their data capabilities?

13:00 Building trust is crucial for project success

13:30 Transition from small to bigger project

16:12 Challenges faced as data consultant

19:00 Educating about the change coming to data science

21:00 Process of data strategy for organizations

23:50 Why so many data warehousing failed?

26:00 Importance of data governance

27:10 Biggest problem in data governance

31:56 Role of data storage

35:15 Challenges faced from moving to another industry/sector

38:42 Qualities data scientist should have

41:43 Future of data science

42:30 Advice to the listeners

Now you can support Data Futurology on Patreon!  

https://www.patreon.com/datafuturology 

Thank you to our sponsors: 

UNSW Master of Data Science Online: studyonline.unsw.edu.au 

Datasource Services: datasourceservices.com.au or email Will Howard on will@datasourceservices.com.au 

Fyrebox - Make Your Own Quiz!

Kevin Harrison is based in Concord, California, USA.

And as always, we appreciate your Reviews, Follows, Likes, Shares and Ratings. Thank you so much for listening. Enjoy the show!