Like many other executives, I have been around the “analytics block” for more than a few years. I strongly believe that the progress towards a world where consumer (and business) data is recognized as their own property and can be leveraged to their own benefit (by smart, analytically focused third parties who secure consent) is transformational in nature.
While I spend a lot of time in Toronto, I am a newly appointed Adjunct Professor at the University of Ottawa, Telfer School of Management. My research interests include global strategy, data analytics and the use of AI, ML and RL (Reinforcement Learning) in strategic decision making in government, international organizations, as well as corporations.
I have consulted, lectured and served as an executive running operations in technology commercialization, innovation, product development, loyalty, analytics and open banking for over 15 years in private and public organizations. I have served as a senior executive of data analytics technology firms, including as Head of Data Strategy & Open Banking for Transunion, VP Product Analytics at Panvista and Head of Product at Points.com. I hold a BSc. in Computer Software & Business Management, an MBA as well as a Masters in International Relations from Cambridge University.
Learn more about me and connect on Linked in. If you run a fintech (xtech firm) or other early stage venture, let’s chat.
A New COVID-19 Business World
As I write these words at the end of March 2020, COVID-19 is raging strong. The impact on companies and organizations globally is already devastating, with no end in sight. Yet, it is certain that organizations large and small will resume functioning in some capacity, before long, while looking for new methods, new collaborations, new business models and new opportunities in this “new world”.
What Will Change?
Certainty & Risk – A need for greater clarity on outcomes, returns and benefits is ‘certain’. We will see more hesitation in decision making, with a focus on shorter-term initiatives rather than longer-term projects.
Costs & Investments – Annual and multi-year budgets will have contracted substantially as revenue projections dissipate, with little appetite for large, uncertain investments. We will see increased scrutiny over projects and spending, and the need to identify and cut costs wherever possible. We expect to see smaller, dedicated initiatives with clearer objectives, rather than larger programs that span many months and years.
Remote Support – Whether servicing clients or hosting advisors, we will see a drastic increase in tele-engagement practices, even in areas where face to face travel has always been the defacto standard, such as sales and account management.
Hiring & Staffing – Companies will be hesitant to re-hire full-time staff, with a shift to project-based approaches and hires, to achieve a greater line of sight to the expected outcome from their staffing costs.
Partnerships & Collaborations – Leverage, as well as shared risk, will be commonplace, as companies seek new opportunities to collaborate with others, to reduce risk, cost, and leverage shared capabilities, data, assets, costs and investments. Industry associations, university teams and researchers, private and public firms, vendors, suppliers, technology and analytics firms who may have competed earlier this year, may now seek to collaborate for mutual benefit.
The focus for Global Data Insight programs will now be as follows:
Program and project management contractors, as well as data analysts, data engineers, software engineers, to allow for tactical role filling.
Fixed price, guaranteed outcome engagements, as an option over T&M contracts. Highly competitive global market rates to allow for limited organizational budgets to spread far further.
Shorter, outcome-based engagements that are more tactical in nature and tackle specific issues, to demonstrate results faster.
Sample programs and projects available for immediate launch:
Data and Analytics Assets Acquisition (Alternative Data), Validation, Testing and Use, to reduce internal costs, time and risk of new dataset use for product and feature changes
Product feature-set market validation, to rapidly reduce client adoption risk
Data analytics projects including AI, ML and model development projects, which focus on specific outcomes, rather than exploratory initiatives. Partnerships with market players of all nature, to expedite projects, integrate research and assets with greater speed, reduce risk and costs.
Remote engagement to ensure 100% business continuity, eliminate travel costs and reduce the risk of any infection.
Data Portal – A global source for vetted, tested data and analytics assets for specific uses, to reduce the need for exhaustive organizational efforts to find, vet and test assets, thus shortening project time by many months.
Preconfigured consortia – With Global SMEs, not just local talent, we will create pre-configured groups of expertise and capabilities, which can be applied to projects faster, and with clear roles, responsibilities and accountabilities. Data providers, technology vendors as well as thought leaders from academia and industry.