Episode 105 – Subscription

On this week’s show, Chris speaks with data expert Laura Paterson.

And we also have Senan Largey talking about a book he must read again – Cal Newport’s Deep Work.

The last few tickets for the WB-40 live event in London on May 2nd – get one now!

——Transcription provided by otter.ai — provided to aid searching —–

Matt Ballantine 0:20
Hello, and welcome to Episode 105 of WB 40. The weekly podcast with me, Matt Ballantine, and Chris Weston.

So this is the first show of summertime 2019

Chris Weston 0:33

forward to bring forward for back, I was up to check. So that means that we’re both one hour wearier than we were last week,

Matt Ballantine 0:42
although have been waking up remarkably early for one reason or another. So I’m kind of in the new zone already. So it works out, I was thinking about I have how many clocks if you got left in your house that actually need adjusting?

Chris Weston 0:55
Oh, I must always just to two or three. And just

To have one of those atomic clock little deal with things and when I woke up on Sunday morning other was very early but it turns out that you have to press the little button on it tell it to update which is just brilliant isn’t it so

I had to do it. But I had to press the button to make it.

Matt Ballantine 1:18
I think I’m left now my watch doesn’t do it automatically because it says just an old analog thing. And that sounded like humble brag is not this is a 60 quid swatch is nothing fancy or smart at all. And then

the cooker clocks.

Chris Weston 1:35
know nobody can ever where the common clock.

Matt Ballantine 1:37
And they’re also next to each other and German technology but don’t coordinate with each other at all. So you have to stand there doing finger poking at both. I know having two purposes, middle class affluence beyond all but a press press press press, I tried to get him to

Chris Weston 1:53
come see this image of you doing that.

Matt Ballantine 1:55
Probably the best. I look like a somebody a project he gave in 19 96. There we go.

How’s your week been?

Chris Weston 2:06
It’s been a busy week, all week. And there’s been a lot going on us knowing you know, I’ve been I’ve been doing this not finishing off on a two pieces of work. We’ve been doing some of our podcast prior projects. And we’ve even you know, we’re moving on with that now that’s that’s that’s actually, we’ve got some we’ve got customer with those with the customer this week, listening to their stories, and doing a little soft launch of that. So it was interesting and exciting.

Matt Ballantine 2:36
It’s very good. We also got a new brand, which are not announcing yet but that’s all very exciting.

Chris Weston 2:43
For the podcast,

not just but but for our for our podcast powered projects.

Matt Ballantine 2:47
Yes, exactly. We’re not going to

Chris Weston 2:49
be 40% although we do have a slightly new graphic down a little little mascot.

Matt Ballantine 2:55
Yes, it might be time to make it less likely they will get sued by the web. But wd 40 Corporation for rip off of their logo even though it’s done as a Amash in a pure hysterical way under fair use. I’m sure it

Chris Weston 3:10
wouldn’t be so politically charged childish to do that to us.

Matt Ballantine 3:15
It’s definitely time to change the logo. So you’ll be seeing that soon. I think in fact, we’re just looking at as stairs in front of me the moment on the recording software image, I will go for the new one. It’s kind of old critical blocky, which those of you on the

mailing list that we have going on WhatsApp mailing list on Amazon.

But yeah, if you’re if you’re on the if you’re on the web 40 whatsapp group, you will know what I’m talking about. If you’re not you want to drop us a line on twitter at @Wb40podcast and we will give you the magic joining code about to join in the fun and shenanigans that go on on WhatsApp because it is fun and shenanigans.

Chris Weston 4:01
You said that you had a quiz for me. I have a quiz for you, Matt. And I young, I thought about this today actually, before we, we can do the podcast and I know it’s a little inspired by a another podcast I’ve been listening to recently. And I thought, That’s quite a nice little idea. And I’m going to give you a challenge to see how much you understand the world of the technology jobs market at the moment and what people are paid. Oh, man, here we go. Okay. So I’ve got these numbers. And these numbers are from a independent website that that has a lot of the different roles listed on the average salaries, median salaries, if you want to get to all statistically correct. Was that material Whoa, whoa, hold on. Right. That’s median for job salaries because mean always gets biased. upwards, you get a few people paid a lot. And yeah, that’s true. So these are median salaries for the whole of the UK. So these aren’t UK salary. So you have to


Matt Ballantine 5:00
nobody gets paid the number they are about to ask me to guess.

Chris Weston 5:04
I’m sure somebody has paid it. But the fact is that it’s not the salaries won’t be exactly the same as they are in your cosseted

Metropolitan metrosexual world in London, these are for the whole of the UK, including real places where real work gets done. So I’m going to get anywhere. I’m going to give you four job titles, and I want you to rank them. Okay. Okay. From from lowest to highest. I want you to tell me which which one is the lowest paid, which was the highest paid? Okay. Okay. So, these are all management roles. Okay. Engagement Manager.

Matt Ballantine 5:44
Right. Engagement Manager? Yeah. Okay.

Chris Weston 5:47
Product Manager. Oh, God.

Unknown 5:50
Yeah. All right.

Chris Weston 5:51
Test manager. Yeah. And development manager.

Matt Ballantine 5:56
What the heck is a development manager?

Chris Weston 5:58
I look up to software development.

Matt Ballantine 6:01
Man. Okay, so Engagement Manager, Product Manager, test manager, Development Manager. Okay. So I was gonna say lowest is engagement.

Chris Weston 6:13
I would say next is product, I would say next is development, no test then development. So engagement product test development. Well, that’s really interesting, isn’t it? It’s interesting that even even this interesting in your psychology the part that I actually after the order I read them out in, and the idea that I read them out in the exact order that the until it is so it primed me

Unknown 6:41

Chris Weston 6:43
attempt, I’d say, but also very, very run. So he thought the engagement manager would be the cheapest person. Yeah, I’ll tell you that. The person that you thought would be the second most expensive to implement the test manager.

The median salary for testimonies use 57,500 pounds.

Okay, the next one is the product manager.

Matt Ballantine 7:08
Do I have that second? You do? A second?

Chris Weston 7:11
So you got one right there. 16,000 pounds for a product manager? Okay. Third on the list would be an engagement manager. Okay. 62,500 pounds. Okay. And the most highly paid of our little roles areas development manager, and that development manager would be walking home with a before tax salary of 67,500 pounds.

Matt Ballantine 7:33
So got to write 50%. That’s not bad.

Chris Weston 7:36
Yes. It’s a you know, it’s called effort really good considering You’re so far removed from the real world.

Unknown 7:47

Matt Ballantine 7:48
just just because you live in the Midlands doesn’t make you somehow connected. All right.

I’d said the thing I find interesting about that is actually the most the logic I had behind my own ordering, wasn’t that you’d read them out in that order, obviously, because I blankly ignorant, you know, completely ignored what you’d said. But the reason I did that, in that order was because I thought test with the more technical, the more renewed remunerated because the rare of the skills, that’s my simple logic on it. And so Engagement Manager, I think that business relationship management stuff, and that kind of often people come from non technical backgrounds. And so maybe that’s a lower thing.

I think that the test manager being the lowest of those speaks volumes about the quality of software being produced in this country.

Chris Weston 8:37
He thinks we’re engaging Well, about

Matt Ballantine 8:42
you’re engaging, saying I’m sorry, why this isn’t working has a problem. If you put more money into test managers, you wouldn’t need to spend as much money or engagement managers a good empathy.

Chris Weston 8:50
So I think what this tells us to me is that

doable development Mondays attempt to be attend to be seen you program as really, who have gone through that, and they tend to be well pilot anyway. So you kind of have to, you have to give people the incentive to become a manager and the ricotta Engagement Manager. Interesting, I think this probably to do the rarity, scarcity, in terms of them that many people in tech, and I’ve got that skill set, the test manager, sadly, I would say that’s because, and I I’m very much against this point of view, because I see test and quality as absolutely fundamental to every software project. But they in the past, it’s a bit like the first line, but it’s being seen as like the bit of a poor little, you know, bottom rung of the ladder in terms of outside of it, even though they’re the person that talks to your customer first and gets to try to solve somebody’s problem. First. testers tend to have been not necessarily as highly qualified programmers, and they’re seen as people pressing buttons has made something wrong, rather than being integral to this test. And then quality regime. And therefore there are there are lots of testers around and therefore quite a few of them or we’ll get into the test manager role. So I think it’s more about suggested is about value. But that’s, you know, that’s why maybe that’s for another episode.

Matt Ballantine 10:15
Absolutely. I’m going to do one for you next week. Go for it. That’s good. Thank you. Right. Well, with that bombshell, let’s move on. And we’re going to go into another wonderful installment of our new book feature, although it’s not so new anymore. I must read it again. And this week, we’ve got Well, let him introduce himself.

Unknown 10:41
Who are you? I am sending lagi.

Unknown 10:44
What do you do? I am a cross between business development primarily for startups in the security space. And also Information Security advisory. What is the name of the book the book is deep work? Who is the author, the author? How you pull? When did you first read the book, I first read the book in 2006 2007

Unknown 11:06
on the back of a the excellent podcast packet pushers.net, who also referenced the Phoenix project.

Unknown 11:14
Tell us briefly the main theme of the book.

Unknown 11:17
The main theme of the book is all about deep work, how it’s hugely valuable in terms of focus and depth on a demanding task it book puts forward some good arguments about why the ability to focus on demanding tasks is important when you do is how allows you to achieve more or less time, and it’s a bit like a superpower.

Unknown 11:42
It gives some excellent tips around dealing with the quick illusions of productivity you get from emails, and how to carve out time even in Super connected superfast business environments. It also gives some nice anecdotes to illustrate like Boston Consulting Group, who gave their teams a one day week off where they just were uncomfortable by team members or clients and use the time to drill down into their specific area of expertise, and how the work that it was delivered to the clients improved. and the value they added was much more. Apparently, Bill Gates was a prolific focus or

Unknown 12:31
what impact has the book had on you?

Unknown 12:35
The effect the book has had on me, it made me think about becoming more of a specialist than a generalist. And to that end, I in 2016, 17

Unknown 12:47
went back to university did some tech security tech certifications and some corporate governance certifications. And helped me drill down and become more of a specialist that a generalist or at least and more specialist generalist, and also changed the way I work from day to day in terms of carving out time to focus on specific tasks. When did you last read it? Last read it two weeks ago, span read this for this podcast. If you could describe the book is an animal, what animal would it be? If I could describe the book as an animal, it would have to be an elephant. That’s 18 months of gestation, to be to deliver a fantastic product.

Matt Ballantine 13:44
Big thanks to send them for taking the time to be able to put that together for us. If you’d like to take part all the instructions are on the website. If you go to web 40 podcast calm and you’ll find I must read it again on the menu you can also find a little catalog of all the private previous entries as well. So when do you take the time to do anyways? Few minutes in the voice recorder app on your phone or other smart device? And you can take part in it. And if you don’t, then we’ll have to say you know, there’s no better incentive. Anyway, on to this week’s interview another fabulous interview. You Chris went to go and speak to a data wizard. Laura Patterson.

Chris Weston 14:22
Yeah. So Laura is, as you say, somebody who’s really really deep in the world of data and in, especially in subscriptions, because that’s her background is is working for publishers and managing subscription data. So she recently decided to branch out on our own to do a bit of the self employed a company called customer first marketing. And I started talking to Laura about what it why it was that we’ve now got the roles and and need for people to specifically look after data and the way it’s formed and whites collected in businesses today.

Unknown 15:07
Businesses have gotten down to the fact that they want to know much better customer relationships, and it drives them. So it used to be that used to be able to segment people on their fellow stage or a core values or you know any of those kind of things. But now we really have to understand who the customers and what they want. And the now more than ever, the customer is king, and they will tell you whether you want to buy or not. So I just think that there’s there’s much more focus on really drilling down into the database. And mobilization hasn’t really started to stitch it together in a way that they haven’t, they haven’t before. That was very much, you know, we understand the customer in a digital environment, or we understand the customer retail environment, or we understand the customer in a subscription is environment and not necessarily missing those things together. And I think that is very, you know that that’s going to be where the sweet spot is over the next few years. And there were a lot of organizations who say they do it because I’m not convinced everybody has but it also not yet setting up the organization. So the idea is looking to you know, they’ve got lots of it, and pockets of it nailed really well. But that kind of competitive landscape, there just isn’t really hard to get a job because just as a no mobile SMS or less brand loyal and all that kind of thing is, is that

Unknown 16:28
I think there’s definitely, I also think that there is a reluctance for customers to give up their data. Now they’re much more savvy and much more aware of that kind of value exchange. So, you know, a few years ago, you see, you see you as a consumer would sign up to all different things, and you wouldn’t really give two hoots about what’s happening to the data. But I think now, you know, the gentleman become much more aware with Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandals, scandal and, and other things like that, you know, you hear about big business losing that data set and much more reticent about handing over in the first place. So that means that organizations have to be much more savvy about generating value in that data exchange, really presenting something that the customer will, will want to give their data right before, you know, just because I’ve shopped in your shop doesn’t mean I want to give you my email address, you know, like, we’re going to send me retail places now that I will email you your precinct five,

Chris Weston 17:25
give me the paper, you know, it’s not about the environment. This is about you having my data and I don’t want you to have an interesting so what what, when, when you’re talking to customers that are by the kind of things, and you can get involved in what problems are they trying to solve for x, specifically, whether they, because nobody wants to spend money on doing this offering, unless they’ve got a problem resolved, it was a pain for them.

Unknown 17:50
So I still see a lot of customer lots of nice with Facebook silos. So they may have created a 360 view. But they haven’t typed offline online data to that. Or they may have really great customer journeys online. Or they haven’t thought about how that translates into the offline environments and how they can take that to the retail space, for example.

Unknown 18:14
And it really is that, that kind of

Unknown 18:19
ability to lift the lead and see where the data is flowing. So I’ve done a lot of work in marketing technology

Unknown 18:28
can utilize any of the different touch points from within an organization to drive that customer communication, and it’s not always bad, because of shame, it’s not always about spending money is about developing that relationship.

Unknown 18:41
So for some organizations, you know, it’s actually happening that tangibly with their marketing, know, how do you take this knowledge that you go and drive it through into a marketing

Unknown 18:55

Unknown 18:57
Or it might be,

Unknown 19:00
it might be, you know, just doing a bit of an audit on what they’ve got, and see where the gaps are, and try to help them either find the technology to fill that out, or find the knowledge to fill that gap. And after it’s not, you know, vendors will often sell you don’t sound so you can say, you know, they can boil the ocean when it comes to data. And often it’s just missing an integration. And that’s all it needs. But they haven’t, you know, organizations are always got somebody, you’ve got that kind of knowledge in the business to just go to make that one to one.

Unknown 19:36

Chris Weston 19:41
yeah, that’s a good point. Because the problem is a lot of marketing technology vendors, they join these kind of sell but between the dashboard donors like if only you have this done with my boys brilliant decision.

Selling to an unknown it savvy people and monetizing go without buying a solution, and then they’re going to get other people to say when I feel about it as a nation, naturally, as you say, that most probably exists in in definitely exists in the business, and just so happens that hasn’t gone to a particular machine tonight.

Unknown 20:20
Be an expensive places on the slopes.

Unknown 20:24
And if you haven’t got the day, you know,

Unknown 20:28
I mean, I’ve been involved in projects where it has,

Unknown 20:36

Unknown 20:40
when it goes wrong,

Chris Weston 20:45
we get better.

Unknown 20:47

Unknown 20:50
you know, we need to really

Unknown 20:57
deliver, you know,

Unknown 21:00
everyone needs to shine. And he said

Unknown 21:03
that, you know, I know, I know, quarterly basis, then whereby the segmentation, you know, they will do that, in reality is

Unknown 21:15
really understanding, you know, what other drivers. So more likely

Unknown 21:22
to places now is very much about user stories. So if they’re starting to do that, because that and then put a tangible,

Unknown 21:31
tangible way to measure what is he doing. So many times when we do system integration so much, but I said, You know what, the general idea is that you don’t need a specific thing to do and say, you can integrate something. And then

Unknown 21:50
you know, and you have to really start thinking about personal magnetism.

Unknown 21:55
Where’s it going, how’s it going to take your mentors are going to take me

Unknown 22:02
but if you don’t know what first universe, it’s almost like a time space. And

Unknown 22:09
this is what I want I know that I don’t

Unknown 22:13
see that is telling me

Unknown 22:17
and then you’ve got some

Unknown 22:21
people to

Chris Weston 22:24
realize is you have to figure out what you want from a solution before you go from point A.

to people reaching out to a marketing piece, because in turn have enough environments and 73 so far, they’ve never gotten episode to like manual trigger, trigger their beards, infrastructure, because symbols ask them to provide value to integrate this thing that never seen. Yeah, I’m actually very interesting thing that it was just wondering why. You know,

Unknown 22:56
it’s incumbent on marketing to get get friendly with everybody Greetings, it really is, you know, they better technologies to be able to provide, you know, globally works a very

Unknown 23:12
often, you know, we were the same and Dennis, we

Unknown 23:17
knew what we wanted

Unknown 23:22
infrastructure business use was a sentence to make friends with and

Unknown 23:27
get them into a

Unknown 23:30
project so much more successful. So I’m actually just been doing some similar, similar business at that point in time conversations with

Unknown 23:42
like to be made into an enterprise architecture.

Chris Weston 23:47
And oftentimes, you can be kind of advertising the finger at the children marketing, and people are saying you can’t do this, because I do anyway, if you do that, it has to be. You know,

Unknown 24:02
there’s lots of integration. And as I said, Nobody wants to

Unknown 24:09
say anything, because I just need to make friends with people. You know,

Unknown 24:15
build those relationships, because you’re, as an example, just wanted it.

Unknown 24:21
The business.

Chris Weston 24:27
So something I’ve noticed quite a lot when I’ve been talking to organizations, and last few months, and quite a long time ready, but certainly last few months is data quality is often an issue, you know, people collect a lot of data. And I think that’s really important. But I often don’t see the need for data quality until they start to make try to make real use of that data. Yeah, I’ve got something you’ve seen recently. Yeah, I mean, it’s definitely,

Unknown 24:56
definitely something that like I’ve come across. So. You know,

Unknown 25:00
it’s not, it’s not about the volume of data before, it really is about quality piece and the validation in an entry. So, I mean, you think it did sound it louder, okay. All the time. You need to not validating addresses that validation via email address. You know, and,

Chris Weston 25:19
and favorite match pretty basic stuff, as it is pretty basic stuff,

Unknown 25:23
but it, you know, if he’s systems and things get built, and then they don’t really get developed, and, you know, as technology has moved on, and maybe they’re kind of infrastructure, the backhand hasn’t, hasn’t moved with it. And I’m sorry, they, they, you know, they want to create a second single customer 360 view, but they’re cool, because they’re just,

Unknown 25:47
they’re not 100% certain that, you know, Bob Smith immune system is Dr. Smith in another system. But and then you add to that the fact that customers like two sets of different email addresses in and, you know, if you try and tie IP addresses as well, you know, you’ll have your work idea who might be, you know, if if this person, that person, and it does make it a very complex thing, but if you started with their best at, you’re just making it so much worse for yourself. So I mean, if there’s willing, if there was willing click winners just implement some kind of that.

Chris Weston 26:23
Isn’t it good? Isn’t it a good thing, though, that people can’t do all that all that information and building a picture of us that easily without was explicitly giving them the information, we want them to have them, telling them what we want them to use it for?

Unknown 26:40
effective to know, you know, as an individual case, all of the different things that you have to say if you know,

Unknown 26:50
him as an end user friendly. So

Unknown 26:55
a customer service center, you would expect, as a customer can touch each of those points and being recognized as an individual. Yeah. And so yeah, there’s lots of talk about, you know, all customers dedicated to process the data, but my salute Lee expected to do that, because they expect to be known as that individual across those different touch points. So for each of those customers, you know, identify them correctly, or not ingesting that data and validating it correctly, then you haven’t got a hope of understanding who they are as an individual. And then for, all you’re going to do is create a nice and kind of friction. And, you know, the customer will tell you they will do?

Chris Weston 27:39
Yeah, that’s a very good point, you know, and I’m, often customers will work with an organization, I think they’re working with different parts of the same organization. But when you get acquisitions and things, and people will put the banner across the front, and it all looks like the same. But actually, there’s just no integration of that data. And no common view of the customer across everything is no

Unknown 28:04
position either, you know,

Chris Weston 28:07
as an organization, you know,

Unknown 28:10
you can be looking for things to the organization, depending on what you do, and, and how you interact with them. And each of those systems, and each of those interactions has a different system, and they don’t talk to each other. You know,

Unknown 28:25
it’s, it can be very, very tricky.

Unknown 28:31
In the

Unknown 28:33
charity sector, for example, if you if you’re a fundraiser for charity, you can end up in one system, but if you’re also a member of the political system, and then you know, you need the center, and yet you should be, you know, the customer, the end customer. technicalities and the difficulties in

Chris Weston 28:54
and that’s true. And then people are again, hit double No, I don’t know, because you started to get emails and committee from people who think you should name event. And it’s just an aggravation that they saw like a frustrated with the organization, doesn’t it? Because you think well, if you don’t, if you don’t know this event A Why would I trust you with other things.

Unknown 29:18
organization is, is what is driving customer loyalty these as which I think is a huge, huge driver, and a huge impact. And if you own busy enough, can try to tie those those pieces of data, creepy way just in ways that customers would expect you to to to understand them. And you know, you’re going to lose, you can lose your investors.

Chris Weston 29:42
So what can What can a company do that if they’ve got information, which is kind of punchy, and maybe

even figure out whether it’s good or bad and had today, I mean, because I always clean the job I but I quite expensive. So is it worth playing date? Or is it? Or do you start again, what what do you do think it’s mixture

Unknown 30:01
mixture of the two. So where you’ve got good quality in terms of you know, that it’s reliable,

Unknown 30:10
because you’re sending something to them. So in the subscription environment, for example, if you’re sending in a magazine every month, you can choose the addresses, right, because they don’t know magazine, otherwise, they’d be on the phone telling me that it’s getting their magazine,

Chris Weston 30:24
as opposed

Unknown 30:25
to something is a pain for something. So if you have a source of data that is, is he can trust, and use that as your baseline and try and puts in, you know, governance against don’t see other things. So, you know, if your

Unknown 30:44
regular citizen, you always want to collect. So if you have a number of touch points, 100 different parts of your organization, make sure that they always do the same thing in every single system.

Unknown 31:02
So that you can do those joins in the data. Yeah. And and then if you’re going to collect email addresses makes me just do the simplistic validation mention it has an opt in at some point and that it only over certain number of characters and try and read all the Mickey Mouse ears and and the Donald Duck’s because obviously, that’s not genuine data. And I think he has the best case actually lifting the load and doing an amazing job reading your data, you’ll see where the where the where the issues are.

Chris Weston 31:31
And again, I you know, I think about the people and the architecture of this where they’ll be they’ll just be that become smart to think that people aren’t thinking about data model voice start. And understanding that these fields are common, for example, and they go up, they don’t want to join them, you aren’t going to want to reference this data. And so we’re always I mean, I guess we asked that question already, but at least I know that, that people think about it, because I

Unknown 31:59
did you you you set up a set of data fields, data capture fields, anything, right? Okay, that’s fair, and then you’re going to do the next thing. But you know, maybe don’t think about the last thing or people have moved and moved out of the organization. So you’re not aware of what’s happening in the system. So then when it comes to time, though, together, you know, you can find those, those, those values that you can match and really use with some kind of sense of security. Because it’s just data is often the last thing that stood out when it comes to any piece of technology or new app for

Unknown 32:38
you know, it is Elizabeth denim. So we’re saying she’s saying, you know, you must, you must build data privacy into your organization from the ground up. And it sounds easy, but a lot of people think and what kind of data you’re going, you know, GDP or mother knows that again, you know, but it’s really imperative, and I think it’s becoming even more important, and I don’t think that, you know, 25th of May, last year was the end, I think that was the beginning of, of how we need to evolve as organizations and businesses to really build customer trust and customer relationships. And and I think it’s put with some organizations is really put data front and center and you know, C suite started potentially start to think about these things.

Chris Weston 33:26
I think that’s true, isn’t it? Because GDPR when that when that happened, and it at least did bring it up to everybody’s attention. But then organization directly, all sorts of different ways, some completely irrationally, and

they did things that were not covered by GDPR. But you’ve got things like pecker that have been around for longer than that, that people still don’t understand them. See, it’s still quite a difficult area to navigate, isn’t it for the kind of ordinary business with just a few people, especially if, you know, that stuff happens read for fairly inexperienced, it just seems like another word.

Unknown 34:05
Yeah. And it can be quite daunting. And there is, you know, there were a lot of organizations that had a knee jerk reaction and went, right, that’s what I did anything data, which is going to cut it all off. But I, you know, that seemed to my mind, they cut their nose to spite your face, you know, you get Okay, they’re trying to secure themselves against a huge fine. But, you know, we live in a world of data, and I think, burying your head in the sand and saying, I’m not going to collect any data is actually gonna stop for business developing in future. And I think that you need to, you know, engage with the customer, almost them, ask them if they mind you collecting their data, ask them if they’re, if they’re happy for you to store and process that data in some way. They will you there will be customers that will tell you what they do and don’t like. And, you know, we need to we need to get better absolutely data security and data, only keeping data for certain amount of time really collecting data that we really need. But, but let’s let’s bring it back to the let’s bring it back to the table. Let’s think about it every time that we want to launch a new product or new Apple, and whatever it is, or the shiny new thing that you know some whiskey democratize come up with that, let’s think about the data first and last and not trying to retrofit it because it will just be a disaster.

Chris Weston 35:25
So if you were if you were designing that and then from that from from that point of view if he if you actually got to go in because that doesn’t normally happen does that when you go into the start or something nominee going in, and it’s all a bit until the big your way, and you lift up aliveness Omar Well, what’s a less

so but if you weren’t at the, at the start of a project like that, about, you know, getting your validation, right and actually getting uses, understanding what you want to use, and why you want to use it, that’s pretty much where you’d start from intention.

Unknown 35:55
Absolutely. So think about, think about the kind of relationship you want to have with your customer. Think about the kind of data you think that they would be willing to give it and that you need. So don’t collect their date of birth, if you don’t need it, if you need to validate it, over 18. There are other ways of doing it without collecting their data. But that’s quite a creepy bit of information for customers to get over. And then think about how you can iterate on that on that data collection. So if at first you just need their first name, surname and email address, great, just kind of build a relationship with them, get them trusting you. And then think about right, when they’ve known as for this amount of time we’ll come back to do another kind of transaction with is can we collect another bit of data, but otherwise put the data or when he’s playing the data, because we want to be able to give you more personalized offers, and we want to use that information to help give better services or whatever it is.

Unknown 36:51
And I think as long as soon as they see transparent customers will give over their data. But yeah, I think the way to the beginning, think about the reasons for the data.

Unknown 37:03
And and how it’s going to be surfaced? So is it going to be in an hour? Or what’s the environment? Like is it easy for them to fill in is it if you use validation, and it can actually cut down on the number of keystrokes that somebody needs to put in. And if we’re all you know, operating on our mobile these days, we don’t want to be using that tiny little keyboard. So the customer experience so much better future validation in the back end, because they have to do less time pain in the first instance. And, you know,

Unknown 37:30
I just think, give it some thought, before you launch it. And after otherwise, you just have to retrofit notes complete. I’m so

Chris Weston 37:40
sorry. For security, security is much more expensive, if you have to do it afterwards and make you do it before it gets assigned the data quality.

Unknown 37:49
Because I you know, it comes back to your question earlier? Or should they just throw it all away and start again, or should say, and, you know, so they put validation in and then annoying, you know, improve the data quality as they go? Well, it has to be a hybrid, you can’t throw away what you’ve already got. But you if you can start to put validation and then it will it will build as as it goes and give you that data quality as you go forward. You know, if you if you just cut all the data out because it you know, it’s all bad policy, then you probably going to face. But you can iterate and improve as you guys

Chris Weston 38:25
are given a subscription is kind of Thomas them the going business model, isn’t it and

people are buying software to subscription and they’re buying things as a service. Where do you see that going items that the of the way that subscription models

work for those things that have traditionally were subscription models around that magazines, now a lot of those online, and

people are starting to be this to look at things channels like consumption model. So you’re not going to be charged monthly fee for as you’re going to be charged per article you read all

by the value that you get. You get that from our service, you see that happening?

Unknown 39:11
Yeah, I do. I think in the public sector, I think there will be amazing for the

Unknown 39:19
field previously that everyone, I think if you’ve got content that is definitely different, don’t genuinely benefit, in a sense, that makes sense

Unknown 39:30
of being able to match. But there are so many other avenues, you know, because we keep going for subscription model where someone might really for example, where you pay for it, and they provide the content, and you can then choose which magazine to learn. And it doesn’t have to be the same magazine. And I think that that kind of stuff that it’s going to open it up. So the consumer and I think publishers need to get on board with with a pricing, pricing everything. And, you know, I think end of the day, it’s where we affect terms energy to see the word dominate, you can’t just expect that we did not know you have time for it for them. And that means fighting for them in an online environment where the content is free. So you know, if you if you don’t see rely on a payroll, then what’s behind the paywall needs to be absolutely

Unknown 40:23
you know, such quality but it can’t be that is the point of view that cannot be found somewhere else

Unknown 40:30
can I think maybe we can take my degrees, I think everything pretty much

Unknown 40:37
attached to it. So according to the other day, I think it’s very by doing a subscription model and there comes

Unknown 40:46
a bit like release, but a lot of time, so maybe just six to 12 months. And the service package is included and everything and if you don’t like it off two months and go back to look out for another one, if you know you don’t want to lose any any need an SUV with lots of other space in there and put it out and you know, or if they’re having a city great to go and get a tool model. So I I was using molecules by subscription. Now, there’s a company in the states that you’ve got, that you know, will let you pay a monthly subscription based a typical amount of your time. So I think that there is an opportunity for a subscription model and most businesses and the email like

Unknown 41:31
recurring billing

Unknown 41:34
platform because they understand what’s coming up their account each month, and it’s much more easy to for them to budget.

Unknown 41:41
But equally as much, much easier for us

Unknown 41:45
to get a recurring payment, Danny, and I didn’t forget how much they’re spending.

Unknown 41:52
And you know that money to keep it small for you number of pounds, and it comes out every month, and you don’t really notice it. So think you know, just working both ways. But certainly, you know,

Unknown 42:04
the people who are younger than me that I took some kind of a subscription so that when you know, maybe just a couple minutes, but I didn’t have any of my subscriptions because I can’t do without microphone, I cannot be without my Netflix and I cannot be willing to bet that we have and it’s just, it’s really eye opening for me about those who don’t know where we used to go to the supermarket for coffee. Every week. Now someone wants them, you know, they want to be able to pick specific brands in this specific things even, you know, we’re down to the frequency that it gets delivered in a different person.

Matt Ballantine 42:54
Thank you to Laura for making the time to be able to chat to Chris

brought back for memories actually the seven of the first large data projects and saying large details and big data in a modern sense the term but was it BBC Worldwide who back in the early 2000s. were one of the big three magazine publishers in the country. And it was about consolidating magazine subscription data and reader offer data and stuff that I’m sure Laura would be all too familiar with. Actually, I think in the end, I read that that project ended up turning around something like 6 million quid in additional sales, because they started to better use their data much more intelligently than they had been, in that they were using it and they were using it in a small way as opposed to before they just weren’t. But it does, I think bring up was something I think of a recurring theme that we’ve had. And then you talked about in the interview as well. Why do organizations think all data is valuable? And you know, this, the software industry things that all data is valuable, because all data is valuable to the software industry because more storage means more revenue. More processing mode means more revenue. And so the more data you have, the more you’re ganging up your entire systems be the rubbish, the more value there is in that now for software companies, and, you know, service providers in this world, there isn’t a value necessarily, for people who aren’t software companies, but with with been solved this part.

Chris Weston 44:23
That’s very true. I think the there’s lots of analogies aren’t there. And as much as if you’re a holder, if you’re the kind of person that keeps you know, you see those programs are people with years and years of magazines stacked up there, the stairs and they can’t can just about going up and down the stairs.

The think

there is value in those things. And one day they’re going to read them again or whatever it might be. But actually, they’re not making a really, really good link between the time that they’ve got and the stuff that they’ve got in terms of how are they really going to be able to use those things. And I’m, I’ve been just as bad with collecting, collecting and keeping all the technology that I’ve got in my marriage. And I’m thinking I’m not using a B and C terminate. So on day, if I have a

coaxial cable network, I did actually throw my B and C Terminus, so a couple years ago, but I’ve just

Matt Ballantine 45:15
I’ve just looking over your shoulder, though the annoyance great pile of paper there is out there. So I’m thinking yeah, this isn’t just about that.

Chris Weston 45:22
Yeah, there’s quite a lot of stuff there and they throwing away. But it’s it is it is where it becomes a problem when it starts to cost you money, doesn’t it. And that’s stuck behind me actually, at the moment, I don’t need the space. So it doesn’t cost me money. Whereas if most companies actually, if you’ve got data that you don’t know is good, there’s a real risk, it might be bad. And if you’ve got bad data, and it’s probably hurting you in some way, because you’re going to make poor decisions based on it. So it’s, it’s a strange, and I think we are heading to a time when the likes of Laura and the kind of job that she does becomes far more important because people will have to think more carefully about the way they structure their data before they collect it, and how they’re going to manage it. Because it just the there was a chance you can collect so much. And we’ve seen this in the IoT world. And we talked about this years ago, I’m sure in the one of our first podcast about internet, Internet of Things and the fact that it’s so easy now to collect reams and reams and reams of data to collect one temperature measurement every millisecond from your, you know, front room of your kitchen and from your loft. But why on earth would you store all that data? It’s just not necessarily but people when they first deployed IoT devices, I did absolutely. Because somebody went up on stage at Microsoft to decode it and said, Look how easy it is to fill up a zero database with data from this Bluetooth connected sensor. And they could draw a graph with it. And that was very clever. But nobody thought about that. You know what to do with that data afterwards, or if it was necessary or useful. So yes, it is a it is a thing. And I think we all need to think about it more.

Matt Ballantine 47:04
There’s also the point about how

we need to also understand the context of why data was collected in the first place. And the idea that data can mean the same as what you think it means. Just because it looks like in my is very, very dangerous. And actually for over the years. You know, one of the big challenges about data integration across organizations is that say, for example, the customer field in these AARP system doesn’t mean the same thing as the customer field in the CRM system, I’m also referring to something that’s a similar entity. And they are mostly the same, there’s subtle differences between them, that means that actually understanding them as being the same thing can either mean a lot of data cleansing needs to happen, or even worse, you make some you know, occasional but very dramatic mistakes. And for somebody was taught in social science research methods, such as bleeding obvious, because that’s all about, you know, survey design and the way in which you structure the way in which you collect the data has a massive impact on the quality of the data, and that if you get the collection wrong, the quality of the data goes to part. But just all this data just lying around that just happens to be there without knowing the way in which was collected, how the, you know, what was the question that solicited the answer the lead to that field? Because at some point, a question must have been asked to be able to populate the thing. And whether that question was explicit or implicit, and all these kinds of things. The semantic difference that exists across data across different systems in organizations is vast. And at the same time, and I having this conversation with a few clients at the moment, the discipline of good enterprise wide data modeling is so rare. And that’s the art of being able to understand difference in semantic meaning across systems. So you can reconcile to be able to make use of that data. I’m still

banged on about this before, but I am so surprised that so many organizations have next to no discipline around good conceptual level data modeling. And yet we seem to be in this data age and that for me, I just I don’t understand how those two things can coexist.

Chris Weston 49:16
Well, that’s true. And also there’s a there’s a real unfashionable on on fashionability on fashionable, I don’t know the word. But it enterprise architecture is on fashionable right now. Because it’s ivory tower stuff. It’s it’s quite slow moving. And we all we’ve all seen enterprise architecture, just be there to slow everything down. And everybody wants to be agile, everybody wants to be fail fast, etc, etc. And they can’t, they haven’t got time to, to create these these things. But we’re also in a world where if you lose your data or leak somewhere you can, you can be very, very badly affected. It turns you reputation or just in terms of getting hammered by Ico or whoever. Those two things aren’t compatible. Those those skills to build, as you say, data models and to build architectures and understand where your data is, and why you’re holding it there. And why and how it’s related across your business to other systems and other processes is really important. But we need to find ways of doing that in a way that’s not horrible and toga.

Matt Ballantine 50:22
Yeah, I wrote a short piece last week, which was based on conversations are having one of my clients at the moment.

And again, semantic meaning and semiotics are a big thing for me. And I know, they’re not very popular amongst many in the IT community. but bear with me, I think the metaphor for enterprise architecture is the problem, because actually what an enterprise a good Enterprise Architecture group needs to do isn’t actually anything like was an architect an architect design things. And actually, if you extend out that metaphor a bit, there’s a role of zone planning and urban planning, this needed an organization. So what needs to go away and not the detail of it, but what should be roughly half in terms of, you know, different systems supporting different functions in the same way that you have in a different areas, aborting, residential, or retail, or industrial or whatever, in a, in a city environment. There’s a planning role as in planning, permission type role, which is when somebody says, I want to build this, you do need a function that says, yes, that exterior of that thing you’re building is going to be fit for purpose, it will interface properly, or will do UX properly, and whatever. And then there’s a kind of building control safety thing, which is and the measures by which you’re building it, the tools that you use, the platforms that you’re building, the platforms that you’re building on are fit for purpose and safe for us as an organization. And those things I think, are the essence of what Enterprise Architecture should be, then you’ve got the problem that it is both a forward looking and also regulatory group, which there’s a lot of it that falls into both those categories. And that’s problematic, because you end up usually compromising one for the other. But the Enterprise Architecture 10 still to be populated with people who are used to designing things because they’ve come up through the route of being solutions, architects, and actually getting their heads into a new space, which isn’t about designing a detail is often to bigger stretch or in person experience.

Chris Weston 52:23
Well, as we hurdle towards the end of another podcast, I’d like to say thank you again to Laura for a fantastic interview.

We’ve got an event coming up, Matt,

Matt Ballantine 52:32
we have the second of May, in London in Aldgate, very, very graciously hosted for us by Dario at puppet, who we’re a cloud technology company. And we’re going to do sort of a live show, not entirely sure exactly how it’s going to work. Here, we do some interviews, or at least one interview, we are going to do some stuff with the priority Colts produce and stuff with Lego, just because you know, that will work really well on radio.

And get together have a few alcoholic or non alcoholic beverages, whatever else, we’ve only got 10 tickets left, their free. Will we do kind of need you to commit to coming because there’s a limited number of them. And it’d be terrible. If you didn’t I mean, if you if you find out you can’t make it, then let us know. And we can hopefully get the tickets somebody else. But if you want to be able to register for that, there’ll be a link on the website, web 40 podcast.com.

Or alternatively, you can go to event bright search for events in the UK with web 40. And avoid the one that is about speed dating for the over 40. That’s not us. One is the web 40 meetup. And it has a microphone has its icon. So there we go. You are Judy warned.

Chris Weston 53:55
And we are also going to if you turn for that we’re going to flog you some merchandise, because it’s time for us to launch a brand new logo onto the world. And that’s something that will be bringing to that event,

Matt Ballantine 54:07
you had a ball can barely barely contain its excitement to that. What have you got for your week ahead?

Chris Weston 54:14
Well, that’s interesting. So I’m working with the principles again in the next week. So

that’s back on its normal schedule for following the Easter break. So I’m going to do some work with some of those youngsters either doing their level four degree apprenticeships, and the next few days. And then I’ve got a couple of other projects to to work on as well. So it’s it’ll be Friday before I know I’m sure how about yourself.

Matt Ballantine 54:39
I have things I’m going to meet up with the chaplain, at least with Google is now running a startup but she’s looking at measuring corporate culture, which I’m kind of skeptical about, we’re really fascinated about and hopefully going to get an interview with Thomas as well as I told him that yet. And I’ve got the CIO 100 judging, which is tomorrow. I have found out that the CIO at the London School of Economics is or Watford fan. So if she ends up after the top of the list, you know, the reason why. And

I’ve got some wrap up with the first phase of a client and I’ve got the first real bit of work with another client and I’m going to Wembley on Sunday to watch the mighty Hornets play Wolverhampton Wanderers in the semi final of the FA Cup, and I do hope this will be a third time lucky, the new Wembley.

Chris Weston 55:32
Now when you never know, something’s gonna look forward to.

Matt Ballantine 55:36
Absolutely. So with that, have a wonderful week, and we will see you or at least you’ll hear us next week.

Thanks for listening. You can find this at web 40 podcast dot common the web. You can find us on Twitter at web 40 podcast. We’re available on all good podcasting platforms. And if you listen to us, leave us a review somewhere because it’s always nice to see

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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