• Home
  • >
  • Mikel Davis, Director, Strategy Analytics, Peacock

Mikel Davis, Director, Strategy Analytics, Peacock

What has been your path to power? 

The theme of my career journey has been to leverage my analytical skills to push organizations to expand beyond their traditional ways of operating and to embrace data to innovate.

 

My first job after college was at Accenture as a technology consultant. In this role, I traveled the US developing analytical tools for Fortune 500 companies across multiple sectors. I then transitioned to the Sports industry, joining the Cleveland Cavaliers as the first member of the Business Analytics team with a Statistics degree. My intellectual curiosity and initiative helped me gain buy-in from leadership to push the culture to be more data-driven. I built models, developed methodologies and ran tests that drove marketing and sales strategy for an organization that historically leaned on tacit knowledge for decision-making. 

Next on my journey, I joined the newly formed applied analytics team at Legendary Entertainment with the goal of modernizing the film and TV industry. I brought science to the art of marketing by leading analyses to identify micro-audiences for targeting – much more tailored than the gender- and age-based segmentation approach traditionally used. 

 

In 2018, I pursued an opportunity to become a founding member of the enterprise business intelligence team at NBCUniversal. The team’s charter was to shift the culture from thinking about data in silos to using it holistically across all its entertainment brands to support marketing strategy. My experience in this role positioned me well to identify ways to leverage our cross-brand data to support the launch of Peacock, NBCUniversal’s video streaming service. In my current role, I lead a team of analysts who analyze data to drive strategic decision-making across the entire Peacock organization, from customer management to long-range business planning to addressing key questions from our executives. 

What are your key areas of focus for data and analytics in 2022?

Delivering actionable insights – We are living in an era where there is no shortage of data and we as analysts are receiving more requests to analyze this data than ever before. I prioritize the work that can lead to action and change. It is important to decipher between the questions that are just interesting to explore versus the questions where the answers will define decision-making for the stakeholder. 

 

Leveraging data for cross-functional decision-making – Given my team’s purview to address questions from executives that support overarching strategies for the business, our findings typically have cross-functional implications. I seek to identify how our work can be applied holistically to develop comprehensive strategies that push us closer to achieving our collective goals. 

Tell us what leadership means to you in the context of your role as a senior data leader.

As a leader, I strive to continuously identify and capitalize on opportunities to use data to disrupt and innovate. My role requires me to work cross-functionally, lean into ambiguity, and create synergy among those with diverse thinking to deliver results. To do this successfully, I focus on two main areas: being well-versed in our data and building credible relationships with my stakeholders. 

 

I aim to be an expert on our first-party data and to be fluent in the performance metrics our leadership leans on to evaluate business health. With my stakeholders, I listen intently and ask probing questions to ensure I have a solid understanding of their challenges and goals to pinpoint where data can be used to champion change.

And what about the skills of your data teams and of your business stakeholders? How are you developing data literacy across the company/organization?

For my team of analysts, my goal is to instill in them a foundation for what it takes to be a well-rounded leader in analytics. I emphasize development in key areas, such as critically exploring data, clear data visualizations and succinct storytelling, and extracting insights that are actionable to inform decision-making. I also make it a point to give direct, point-in-time feedback to encourage continuous growth. 

For my stakeholders, I want them to feel empowered. I recognize that each person I partner with has varying levels of analytical expertise, so I tailor my delivery. For my data-savvy partners, I make sure they have access to and are trained on our self-serve analytical tools. For others who are still building their comfort with data, I focus on making data feel less intimidating. I provide data that is packaged in a concise way that leads with the “so what?” behind our findings.

Mikel Davis
has been included in:
  • Future Leaders 2022 (USA)