Data is society’s next crude oil – Simon Asplen-Taylor

Simon is the Chief Data Officer at Rank Group

Recently shortlisted for Data Leader of the year 2019, Simon has had a long and varied career in Data. In his current role at Rank, he is responsible for driving value and insights from data. 

He’s previously worked at Regus plc where he, working with the operations team, increased profit margins by 64%. Simon has also spent time at Lloyd bank when he was responsible for driving a billion pounds of revenue per annum. In both of these roles, his successes were underpinned by the use of data.  

When working for Tesco Simon helped fix the data after the company suffered the largest corporate loss in UK history. At Bupa, he fixed the regulating and reporting issues in the insurance part of the business.   


Is data the new oil 

A lot of data professionals are claiming that data is the new oil. It’s a compelling concept but a lot of individuals struggle to articulate how you do the mining, extraction, and refining of data in the same way you do it with oil. Explaining this idea in simple terms is something Simon is an expert at and he shared his thoughts on the podcast. 

‘Sometimes people struggle with this analogy because it’s about bringing together all the elements of data. If you look back a few years at the types of roles data professionals did, they were always a sub-set of a technology department. 

The issue is: technology can only steer data down one path. Technology is about building things and delivering functionality. That’s only a small part of data. I think very rarely has there been a chance for a Chief Data Officer role to bring those things together all at once.’ 


Show Notes:

00.35 Simon’s background and career development 

02.33 What does the Rank Group do?

03.15 The Rank ethos

05.11 Is data the new oil?

08.27 Building a robust data strategy

10.44 How can companies start to adopt data?  

12.23 Implementing a data transformation

14.39 Breaking down silos to improve your data strategy 

18.10 The data community 

20.05 Undertaking a data transformation

23.52 Data transformation at Regis

27.18 Utilising a coherent data team strategy