What's in this podcast?

In this episode, Jason Foster talks to Sid Shah, the Executive Director for Data and Analytics at Conde Nast. 

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One Big Message

With media continuing to move from print to ever more digitised and accessible on a larger scale, it’s no surprise that newspapers and magazines now need to be able to deal with massive data sets. Sprawling databases and mountains of information are now the norm, which can make it difficult to find the needles in the haystack. However, data products can help you cut through the noise and get to the insights you need. 

[00:46] Sid’s background in data and his role at Conde Nast

[05:12] Dealing with large amounts of data for companies working on a global scale

[09:17] Creating specific data products for different stakeholders

[15:26] The key differences between internal and external data products

[18:29] Finding out the foundation of the customer base and their behaviour

[23:04] Building a data team that is in alignment with the business goals

[27:25] Managing different centralised and decentralised data teams

[29:26] Improving data management capabilities


Data products can help sift through data at scale

Data products are designed to help users find and analyse information quickly and easily. Oftentimes, businesses need more than just general demographic information – they need insights into their customers’ behaviour and preferences. Without this detailed information, the raw numbers are meaningless and businesses can’t target their marketing efforts or understand how their products are being used. 

By taking the time to understand what types of data your business needs, you can make sure that you’re getting the most out of your data.


Tailoring a data strategy to the needs of the stakeholders

The success of data-driven decision making rests on the ability to tailor the data strategy to the needs of the stakeholders. In order to identify and meet those needs, you first need to understand who your stakeholders are and what they want from data.

This can be a challenge, but it’s essential if you want everyone to buy into your data strategy. Once you have that buy-in, you can start focusing on collecting and analysing the right data so that everyone involved can make informed decisions.


Creating data products at scale

Data products are no different from any other product; in order to be successful, they need to be constantly improved to keep up with changing needs and trends. There’s a lot of talk these days about the need to “move fast and break things.” But when it comes to data products at scale moving too fast can be a recipe for disaster.

To create useful data products at scale, you need to move slowly and take the time to build things properly. 


How data products improve readership and retention

Data products aren’t just relevant to the business operations side, they can greatly help improve the reader’s experience. While once relegated to simple pie charts and bar graphs, data is now used in far more creative and sophisticated ways to help print and digital media better communicate concepts to their readers. Data products can also help specific behaviour to target which topics may be of interest.


Data products require a specialised skill set

When it comes to data products, your team should be able to adapt to new challenges and tackle big data projects. According to Sid, there should be a focus on three main things:

1) Hire the right people. A big mistake that happens often is that hiring managers don’t realise that creating data products requires a specific skill set. Look for people with experience in big data tools, data product management and technologies. 

2) Encourage collaboration. Promote collaboration between different teams within your company. This will help them share ideas and insights that can help improve decisions made throughout the organisation. 

3) Train your team and set goals. Keep them updated on the latest trends and set goals. This will help your team stay focused on what matters and encourage their improvement both personally and professionally.


To summarise

As data products become increasingly more important to businesses, the ability to create and manage them at scale becomes a key differentiator. By focusing on the goals of the business, you can create data products which can work both internally and externally to help sift out data which can provide meaningful and relevant insights.


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