Big Data – Big Hype or Big Opportunity?

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The importance of being a data-driven organisation goes well beyond the world of customer. Making informed and speedy decisions and utilising customer feedback is imperative in today’s age where markets and economies can change very suddenly.



We were lucky enough to hear from the Global Data Officer at Specsavers Helen Mannion who has been leading the charge of building an internal culture that has data at the heart of everything they do.

Our Chief of CX Officer Emma Dark and Helen share stories on using data to drive a strong customer experience, the challenges of building that culture internally and even sheds some light on where the future of data and analytics is heading.

This one is not to be missed, so please enjoy the show and please hit the subscribe button to make sure you don’t miss another episode.

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Intro 1.04

  • Harvard Business Review – to compete today, companies need to be data-driven
  • Culture is the biggest barrier to enable data-driven transformation
  • Important to understand the value that data can bring

How do you create a culture where data is more meaningful?  – 2.54

  • At Specsavers – creating data assets (platforms/tools/accessible)
  • Showcasing value -demonstrations
  •  Create a culture of sharing – creates a ripple effect across the business

What are the focuses? 5.43

  • You need to be willing to share and train others
  • Team spirit – our stakeholders aren’t different, we’re all in it together
  • FOMO if people aren’t sharing these stories gleaned from the data

Specsaver stories on using data to drive a strong customer experience? 🔥 – 8.13

  • 66% drop in referrals during lockdown to ophthalmologists 
  • Shared with NHS and Glaucoma UK
  • That informed the decision to keep all optometrists open for appointments
  • This was derived by business users and made a huge impact

What are the challenges to build that culture? – 11.20

  • The regional difference and separation 
  • Global vs. local strategy
  • Taking everyone’s micro-objectives towards big goal
  • Continued alignment when everyone wants to be apart of it
  • Balance the foundation building and delivering

Role of Technology – 13.42

  • Culture is more important than technology
  • Re-platforming was tough (Azure) but a great decision
  • Tech isn’t the solution to everything

Artificial Intelligence and data initiatives working together – 16.00

  • Can work together and be effective in any industry
  • At giffgaff – we used it as additional approval for credit vetting
  • Can save time through automation, reduce churn
  • Big impact for customers, but also for colleagues – processes/job satisfaction

Is there an internal focus to use AI out there in the market? – 18.55

  • It happens, but almost unintentionally
  • The care and emotion can’t be replicated by AI and needs to be embraced

Examples of data informs a more human digitised experience  – 22.02

  • It comes down to personalisation and relevance
  • We are trying to get back to that 121 feeling (impossible) but data does it for you

Capabilities within data transformation – 24.11

  • Sharing capability and can-do attitude as part of a mission
  • Strong engineering focus
  • Data science capability along with governance
  • Community-minded +++

Setting up ownership of governance for quality and security – 28.00

  • Need support at senior level
  • Once you have buy-in – then identify pain points
  • Find owners for important assets and adoption will come
  • Lots of hearts and minds to get it embedded – show the benefit

Biggest benefits of being a data-driven organisation – 31.33

  • Customer experiences and colleague experiences
  • Better job satisfaction and opportunities for your colleagues
  • Each company will be subtly different

Inspiring brands who get data – 32.40

  • When companies make a really positive impact i.e. health/society
  • Companies that are using AI

Advice – 34.29

  • You need to give people time to get there, cultural shifts take time
  • Once you’ve achieved that, you can move at pace and get stuff done quickly

Future Predictions on where firms will invest in data and analytics – 36.11

  • Historically brains > muscle but now its about emotion for humans
  • Data skills are as common as Excel and Word
  • Huge amount of robotics, automation and personalised experiences

Finally, is Big Data Hype or Big Opportunity? – 39.03

  • (Ed – you will have to listen to the podcast to find out)






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