Understanding the customer: Data, demographics, & targeting w/ David Allison & Lauren Maffeo

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Are demographics worthless? How do we strike a balance with personalization? What responsibility do companies have with data? In this episode of IBM thinkLeaders podcast, we are joined by David Allison (founder of the Valuegraphics Database) and Lauren Maffeo (associate principal analyst at GetApp). We talk to David and Lauren about what the best way to understand a customer is, tailoring experiences based on behavioral data, and the importance of making consumers aware of how their data is used. We also get into data governance, GDPR, algorithmic bias, gender bias, and whether predictive analytics offends our notions of free will. “Technologies need to understand what we care about, they need to understand what our values are first and foremost, and then start making decisions about some of these finer points around option a, stimulus B, whatever the scenario might be. The root of it though needs to be what we find important.” -David Allison, founder of the Valuegraphics Database “I think there's a general sentiment that we as consumers find it creepy and yet the benefits of saving time and all of that outweigh that sentiment. And until we see a big impact in behavior, AKA people abandoning these top five brands that have all of this data, I think the sentiment only goes so far because thus far we haven't really seen it change people's behavior or engagements with these brands in a significant way.” -Lauren Maffeo, associate principal analyst at GetApp Connect with us: @IBMthinkLeaders @AudienceValues @LaurenMaffeo BIOS DAVID ALLISON David Allison has spent his career helping organizations motivate, influence and engage audiences. He is the founder of Valuegraphics, the world's first database that can verify what your target audience wants and what messages will trigger them to act. The data contains insights from 250,000 surveys about 380 metrics in 59 countries, and will be globally representative by 2020, with a data accuracy and confidence that surpasses benchmarks for any PhD thesis. His bestselling book, WE ARE ALL THE SAME AGE NOW: THE END OF DEMOGRAPHIC STEREOTYPES was listed by INC Magazine as one of the top ten leadership books of the year, and Kirkus reviews called it a "genuinely authentic contribution to the field of marketing literature." LAUREN MAFFEO Lauren Maffeo has reported on and worked within the global technology sector. She started her career as a freelance journalist covering tech trends for The Guardian and The Next Web from London. Today, she works as an associate principal analyst at GetApp (a Gartner company), where she covers the impact of emerging tech like AI and blockchain on small and midsize business owners. She is also a community moderator for OpenSource.comand a member of the ACM's Distinguished Speakers Program. Lauren has been cited by sources such as Information Management, TechTarget, CIO Online, DevOps Digest, The Atlantic, Entrepreneur, and Inc.com. Her writing on technology has also been cited by researchers at Cornell Law School, Northwestern University, and the University of Cambridge. She has spoken at global events including Gartner’s Symposium in Florida, The World Web Forum in Zurich, Open Source Summit North America in Vancouver, and DrupalCon in Seattle. In 2017, Lauren was named to The Drum’s 50 Under 30 list of women worth watching in digital. That same year, she helped organize Women Startup Challenge Europe, which was the continent’s largest venture capital competition for women-led startups. She has served as a mentor for Girls in Technology’s Maryland chapter, and DCA Live included her in its 2018 list of “The NEW Power Women of Tech”. Lauren was also shortlisted for the Future Stars of Tech Award in AI and Machine Learning by Information Age in 2019. Lauren holds an MSc from The London School of Economics and a certificate in Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Business Strategy from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

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