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Will Lowe, Chief Data and Analytics Officer, Transform

Describe your career to date

 

Throughout my career, I have moved in order to learn. I began in brand marketing working for Nestle and Diageo. However, I quickly became increasingly frustrated at the lack of effective measurement for many activities, so I was attracted to dunnhumby by the richness of the Clubcard database at a time when Tesco accounted for £1 in every £7 spent in Britain. I learned about loyalty, CRM, and transforming businesses around customer data. I spent an amazing ten years there, working with global retailers and brands, being the voice of the customer, helping them implement data-driven decisions, with robust measurement to demonstrate the value. Next, I moved to TransUnion as Managing Director of the Marketing Division to learn more about financial services and digital marketing, specifically paid and organic search, social and digital display. It was fascinating working with Google, Meta, Amazon, X, and DMPs. The CRM principles of acquisition and retention and measurement and optimisation were the same, just with different names. I have been the Chief Data and Analytics Officer at Transform (previously called Engine and Fuel) for seven years. Transform is a data and technology consultancy that helps brands and government departments transform and gain value from data, analytics, and digital technologies. The variety of work is fantastic, and we have won lots of awards recently for helping to end the pandemic, solve workforce challenges in health, support the Department for Education in better use of their data, and supporting decision-making on the road to net zero. We also help brands deliver better customer experiences and business outcomes, all through the use of data. 

What challenges do you see for data in the year ahead that will have an impact on your clients and on the industry as a whole?  

 

I think 2024 is a great opportunity for data, driven by the growth of artificial intelligence (AI) and the desire for all organisations to unlock the benefits. We are in a data revolution as much as an AI revolution as data is the raw material that AI cannot function without. Good quality, accurate, timely, permissioned data is essential, so the challenge for most organisations is to face into their own data quality and availability issues. We have been helping organisations with data management for 20 years and are busy helping them adopt AI safely into their businesses.  

How are you developing the data literacy of a) your own organisation and b) your clients? 

 

We support clients in every phase of their journey to be data literate. We complete a lot of data discoveries, looking at the current situation, and helping define the desired state and the roadmap to get there. We have teams of strategists, engineers, architects, analysts, scientists, and experts in omni-channel personalisation. We deliver what our clients need, from the upfront defining and designing solutions, through build and into operation if required. Some clients want the full service, while others want to build their capabilities in-house, and we flex to meet their needs. 

How are you preparing your organisation and your clients for AI adoption and change management? 

 

AI is not new to us, we have been using AI to benefit our clients for years, but generative AI (genAI) is new, and we have been developing our own and our clients’ capabilities in parallel. We deliver AI Impact Assessments, starting with an assessment of Transform. We evaluate processes to understand how AI might deliver, augment, or change the process or outcome. We highlight opportunities and threats and advise on how genAI can be used ethically and safely. We have created AI Labs to build genAI based products and solutions for Transform and our clients. Use cases so far have included knowledge management, tender writing, training, devops testing tools, and insight automation and visualisation. We co-fund development with our clients where the tool has repeatable use. We run and will continue to run a series of events for our clients to keep them updated on the changing AI landscape; from data readiness, through genAI developments, opportunities and use cases, to governance and ethics. 

Will Lowe
has been included in:
  • 100 Enablers 2020 (EMEA)
  • 100 Enablers 2021 (EMEA)
  • 100 Enablers 2022 (EMEA)
  • 100 Enablers 2023 (EMEA)
  • 100 Enablers 2024 (EMEA)