License to Switch – Team Data Inscience

License to Switch is a pioneering internal secondment programme unique to OMD UK where people can apply to spend up to six weeks in a different area of the business.  The programme is open to anyone interested; it allows people to understand other aspects of the agency and widen their knowledge base to help progress their career.

In the latest switch, Annie Baldwin from Annalect Marketing Sciences (otherwise known as Data Science) swapped with Joe Wilson from the Insight Team. Despite both teams sitting in the analytical division of OMD UK, the work carried out is quite diverse and requires different skillsets, so the aim was to get a deeper understanding of what each team did. Here’s what they got up to.

Annie Baldwin – from Data Science to Insight

On my first day, I got to grips with data tools such as TGI, Clickstream and Touchpoints. These tools are very data rich so it was intriguing to dig around in the vast datasets containing everything from demographics to lifestyle, to the type of ice-cream people consume. Once I stopped finding out what ice-cream people liked I used the tools to assist Royal Caribbean in investigating social media usage amongst different age groups.

In addition, I learnt the background to an insight segmentation where they use TGI’s data to describe audience segments in more detail. For example; I used TGI demographic and lifestyle data to help paint a clearer picture of the individuals that make up a client’s “Budget Conscious” audience segment.

Other tasks I got involved with were carrying out research for season two of Humans on Channel 4. My research included answering the question; can a robot fall in love with a human? After conducting some desk research on robot love and just general robots, I discovered my favourite to be a cuddly robot seal called Paro; which helps the elderly with their healthcare and wellbeing.

Joe Wilson – from Insight to Data Science

A couple of weeks back I waved goodbye to my colleagues in Insight and jumped into the world of Data Science. My mission for the week was to get a better understanding of what the team did and hopefully learn a little code along the way – whilst attempting not to delete the entire company with one line of bad code in the process.

In a nutshell, my week consisted of two main tasks – the first was to run a segmentation analysis on the hot off the press Future of Britain Generations results using R (a form of code), and the second was to use SQL (another form of code) to dig into the vast ComScore database and pull out insight on visitors to baby related web pages. After a significant number of error messages and support from the DS team, I believe I succeeded in my mission to some degree.

See below for an output of the Hierarchical Cluster analysis I conducted – as you can see five audience segments were identified:

Cluster Dendrogram

I wish I could say that I am now completely proficient in R coding, however, the main learning I took away from the experience was an understanding into just how much our in-house Data Science team can do – from audience segmentations/ profiling to digital pathways and dashboards, they do it all.

After the switch

On reflection, we both found the experience invaluable at building bridges between the two teams (even though we sit next to each other…) and learnt that Insight and Data Science are a powerful combo.


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