The event opened with a quote from a digital disrupter and the challenge to consider how it could be applied to our contexts: 

“We democratise data access to empower all employees to make data-informed decisions, give everybody the ability to use experiments to correctly measure the impact of their decisions, and turn insights on user preferences into ….. that improve the experience of …..”

This set the scene for a presentation from Jeremy Jalie (Silverbear) who began with the question, ‘what is the data driven dream?’ [download the presentation here]. Jeremy spoke about:

  • the importance of culture and adopting a digital-first mentality
  • collecting, storing and analysing data effectively to inform decisions and tailor communications
  • data enabling informed business decisions with improved reporting and insights
  • preference and interest recording for tailored messaging
  • effective and engaging audience communication through segmentation and
  • achieving organisational efficiencies through automation of manual processes.

The majority of obstacles such as culture, undervaluing data and using the wrong tools were discussed and taken to the round table session so delegates could share their own experiences, successes and frustrations. There were common themes and challenges across the group with collective experiences including:

  • Legacy data and poor migration
  • Employees being time-poor
  • Departments being siloed and disconnected and this having an effect on the way members/clients/donors etc are communicated with
  • Not upskilling employees to use new technology effectively
  • Solutions not addressing route problems, but being ’plasters’ or short-term fixes.
  • Funds being wasted on ineffective solutions because discovery or project set up has not taken a 360 approach to analysing business processes and desired outcomes.
  • Culture – a reluctance to change, not understanding the value and buy-in being hard to fully achieve.  It must be top to bottom collective buy-in for success.
  • Data being dismissed or given a low priority.

Jeremy and Melissa hosted the round tables discussing potential solutions to challenges and sharing hopeful success stories from their experiences of working with other organisations. In wrapping up the event we took a brief look at tools for consideration in making data-driven dreams a reality.