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!  

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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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!  

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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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!




Kevin Harrison - Chief Data Officer and Deputy Chief Information Office

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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 

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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!

Michael Tamir - Head of Data Science & Data Science Lecturer

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Mike serves as Head of Data Science at Uber ATG and lecturer for UC Berkeley iSchool Data Science master’s program.  Mike has led several teams of Data Scientists in the bay area as Chief Data Scientist for InterTrust and Takt, Director of Data Sciences for MetaScale, and Chief Science Officer for Galvanize he oversaw all data science product development and created the MS in Data Science program in partnership with UNH.  Mike began his career in academia serving as a mathematics teaching fellow for Columbia University and graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh. His early research focused on developing the epsilon-anchor methodology for resolving both an inconsistency he highlighted in the dynamics of Einstein’s general relativity theory and the convergence of “large N” Monte Carlo simulations in Statistical Mechanics’ universality models of criticality phenomena.

In this episode, Michael talks about how he accidentally got into data and his work with simulation. Then, Michael discusses his background in data science product development and data science education. He reveals all the mistakes he made with his transition from academics to industry. Also, Michael explains some software engineering challenges he faced during his time in industry and solutions he ended up needing to be successful. Later, Michael tells us what attracted him to data science education and how he balances industry projects with his teachings. Rapid growth is a challenge with technology management because your skillset will get rusty as the technology advances. Lastly, Michael talks fake news, bootstrapping, and Fake or Fact.

We speak about:

[00:20] Michael accidentally got into data

[02:15] About Michael Tamir

[03:40] Transition to industry

[06:40] Software engineering challenges

[08:45] Data Science Education

[15:15] Adaptive learning

[17:15] Team management

[19:05] Challenges with rapid growth

[24:25] Fake news

[27:25] Toughest challenge

[28:50] Fake or Fact

[31:20] Listener questions

Mike's quotes from the episode:

“You have to be really careful about what you do and what you do not teach in order to make sure students are successful in the long-term.”

“Decisions are going to be best made by those who are closest to the ground.”

“You’re not going to be the expert in every group you are managing.”

“I take full responsibility for any failures with the algorithm.”

“Most of my time is spent on my day job.” 

“Find out what you enjoy about data science skills; find the role that is looking for those skills.”

“I enjoy the science and making sure we are asking the questions in a scientifically sound way.”

Connect:

Twitter - https://twitter.com/MikeTamir

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/miketamir/

Website - http://www.fakeorfact.org

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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Michael Tamir is based in San Francisco Bay Area, USA.

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

David Niemi - VP Measurement and Evaluation

David Niemi - VP Measurement and Evaluation

David Niemi is Vice President of Measurement and Evaluation at Kaplan, Inc., where he oversees efforts to improve the quality of measurement across all education units, evaluate the effectiveness of curricula and instruction, and study the impact of innovative products and strategies.

Previously he was Vice President Evaluation and Research, at K12 Inc., where he directed assessment development and validation, evaluation of products and services, and research studies used to drive curriculum development. He has been a co-principal investigator for a number of large-scale assessment research projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Science Foundation and has collaborated on Department of Defence training studies. As a researcher and professor at UCLA and the University of Missouri, respectively, he has also managed assessment research and development studies in school districts across the U.S. and has trained thousands of teachers and other professionals to design and use assessments more effectively.

David's new book is:

Learning Analytics in Education: Experts Explain How To Use Data To Understand and Increase Learner Success

New technologies, better measures and more data, all related to learning, hold the promise of helping educators increase their students’ success. The relatively new field of learning analytics has developed to help educators understand and use the increasing amounts of evidence from learners’ experiences. How can educators harness access to greater data to improve learning on a large scale?

Learning Analytics in Education is a new book written by a broad range of experts who explain their methods, describe examples, and point out new underpinnings for the field. The collected essays show how learning analytics can improve the chances of success for all learners through deeper understanding of the academic, social-emotional, motivational, identity and meta-cognitive context each learner uniquely brings.

The collection was edited by four noted educational experts including David Niemi, vice president of measurement and evaluation at Kaplan, Inc., the global educational services company well-known for using advanced learning science and learning engineering methods in its programs and products.

"At Kaplan, we've been invested in using learning science and data analytics for several years to help us design courses and refine instructional methods to help students achieve better outcomes," explains Niemi. "Educators today face accelerating change as education undergoes a fundamental transformation driven by the replacement of traditional analog tools by digital systems and expansive data inputs." He adds, "Understanding how to use these new streams of available data to best guide student learning is the essential point of the book."

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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David Niemi is based in Valencia, California, USA.

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