What's in this podcast?

In this episode Jason discusses the use of technology and analytics, and its impact on human potential, with Analytics Leader at Starbucks, Gustavo Canton.

They discuss the philosophy of human connections at Starbucks and the role purpose, behaviours and values play in analytics. They explore how people analytics is more than just analytics in HR, it focuses on understanding humans and the psychology of how you enhance the experiences of your customers, employees and stakeholders. Given the impact mental and physical health has on individual performance, they also discuss how technology and augmented analytics can enable us and help make our lives easier.

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Building Resilience Through Change


One Big Message: 

Make your business, human-centred. 

[00:50] Meet Gustavo Canton, Head of Data Analytics for Starbucks 

[06:20] How data, analytics and technology is used to increase human connection despite Starbucks primarily being a brick-and-mortar based business.  

[11.30] The philosophy behind a “people-first” approach to increase profit 

[15:55] How to use data to find the balance between human connection and profits 

[19:30] Why you need authentic purpose-driven goals as a leader 

[22:50] The role technology plays in maintaining the health and wellbeing of employees and customers 

[26:00] How having the right technology can assist in giving back time that can be reinvested 

[30:05] What sparked Gustavo’s passion to combine data analytics with human centered design. 

[34:20] The trap you need to avoid when using data analytics in your business 


Make your business human-centered  
  • Human potential is enhanced through human connection. Connect to your target audience as much as possible. Engage with them on social media, ask them for feedback and communicate with them constantly. Through constant contact you can build a meaningful relationship with your customer who will become loyal to your brand. 


  • For Starbucks, data analytics is used to help different departments connect with their audience better. As a large-scale brick-and-mortar business Starbucks uses data along with technology to help form relationships with their customers. Every part of the customer’s journey is taken into consideration from their advertising, right through to the creation of a customer’s favourite beverage. By keeping the satisfaction of the customer first, Starbucks has been able to collect a loyal following through human connection. 


  • Gustavo’s pragmatic advice: every time you design something new, talk to the stakeholder and tell them that you want 4.5/5 stars as a minimum benchmark rating for customer satisfaction. Once you set the target goal around the customer’s needs and satisfaction it becomes easier to put the customer first in the design process. 


  • When looking at keeping a business human-centered it isn’t just about the customer either. Your employees, contractors, everyone (even yourself) needs to be taken into consideration. You will find greater benefits in the long-run if you keep the people around your business happy, connected and motivated to do better in your business. 


View data and analytics as a tool to help improve business 
  • When you use data and analytics in business, take a moment to stop and think about how the information is actually being used. Information from data analytics is a resource – if you are not utilising it then it may not be worth the time and cost of obtaining it.  


  • Gustav uses the example of Facebook to demonstrate how easy it can be to lose the balance between using data for profit and using it to enhance human potential. Over time, Facebook’s metrics and data focus has been skewed towards advertising and getting a return on advertising spend for businesses.  


  • While the data acquired for advertising is the lifeblood of many businesses, it is also important to remember why Facebook was created in the first place: to help people communicate and connect with each other.  


  • When using data in your business, profits are important but never lose sight of the humans behind that profit. Take care of the people that spend their hard-earned money on your business and you will find that profit will always follow. 


Be purpose-driven in your role as a leader  
  • The top CEOs are purpose driven. They see beyond corporate into the world and work towards a better future. Many companies have started to shift from profit-first to strive for more philanthropic ambitions.  


  • When you show that you care about the next generation, you will also find that it is easier to attract the right people to your company. The younger generations are aware about major global issues due to the global media. As they come into the workforce, this younger generation of workers seek to solve issues in the world, rather than seeing work as merely a monetary transaction.  


  • Having a purpose allows you to see where your business fits into the grand scheme of things. Instead of just focusing on quarterly and yearly business reports a greater purpose can help you map out a long-term game plan. Businesses with a long-term philanthropic purpose map out 10 to 20 years in advance and focus on retaining good talent. 


Use technology to give time back to people, not to replace them 
  • Many people become concerned when they think about data analytics and technology in relation to the workforce. They fear that jobs will be replaced and an army of robots will start to take on big decisions. It couldn’t be further from the truth.  


  • Technology and data allows humans to reach their potential. It frees up people from deadlines and can help ease the day-to-day pressure placed on employees. It has also been used to create a safe space for people to connect and communicate in the time of COVID.  


To summarise:  

Use technology to enhance human potential. Behind the screen, behind every transaction, behind every link click there is a human just like you.  

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