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The Value of Co-Creation

Written by Craig Steward, Managing Director: MEA, Corinium

The Value of Co-Creation

Written by Corinium on May 14, 2019 1:41:45 PM

CDAO Africa

I spent 7 years working for one of the biggest commercial conference companies. It was led by an extremely astute CEO who actually started the business under Jack Welch and then broke away with it. So when he offered business advice it was time to listen, absorb and use. 

One of the key things he wanted the various overseas offices to overcome was the "It Wasn't Invented Here" mind block. He'd encourage us to adopt successful events brands from other offices as well as processes that drove results. But all too often the local team didn't buy into it because they didn't come up with it. 

The Value of Co-Creation in Analytics

I recently hosted a data analytics breakfast with SAS that had the central theme of "Building Trust in Data Analytics." 

This was a topic well-picked because it didn't take much for me to coerce the group into sharing their roadblocks. Only the biggest challenges elicit such immediate and robust discussion. 

Business units are becoming evermore aware of analytics but are often discouraged because of terms like AI and Machine Learning. Ultimately they have to put their faith in the decisions/insights a machine and analytics team has come up with. Naturally there is a lack of trust - the "It Wasn't Invented Here" mindset. 

The group bounced back and forth on ideas on how to create more trust in the analytics process and the actionable insights that come from it. 

After much debate it seemed that the only way to truly build trust is to involve the business unit in the development of the models. This ensured that their experience, and gut feel, was built into the model. The part ownership of the model automatically meant a shared accountability for the results - good or bad. 

Now I know that the value of co-creation is not a new concept - in analytics or otherwise. Many organisations already run a decentralised analytics operating model where in-situ Data Scientists develop models with acute business context. But this is more common place in business units where stats and actuarial science has history. It's taking analytics co-creation to other business units where the opportunity lies. 


Craig Steward is the Managing Director of Corinium's MEA business and has been working closely with the region's data analytics community over the past 3 years. These interactions have given him privileged access to biggest challenges and focus areas of data analytics leaders. 

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