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Published June 3rd 2021

Interview: BT’s Adam Mills on Taking the Digital Consumer Intelligence Assessment

Adam Mills, Brand Planning & Strategy Insight Manager at BT shares how the DCI Assessment has helped him plan for the future

This week Brandwatch is launching the Digital Consumer Intelligence (DCI) Assessment. It’s a tool that can help organizations understand the areas they can improve on in order to mature within DCI.

Adam Mills, Brand Planning & Strategy Insight Manager at BT was among the first to try the Assessment, and we were able to catch up with him on how he found it and what he thinks of the theory behind it.

The Assessment

The DCI Assessment challenges an organization to look at their current behaviors and performance with digital insights, from data governance through to how well insights are shared across teams and how insights fit into the overall culture of the organization. 

The first thing Adam expressed when we asked how he found it was relief. “It’s comprehensive. It really covers global businesses, and my big fear when filling it out was that it wasn’t going to take into account businesses like ours where we do operate in many countries and we have colleagues across the world,” he said.

Another thing Adam is excited about is the common language and framework the DCI Assessment and accompanying Maturity Model provide. 

He says: “I think it allows you to have deeper, more meaningful conversations at conferences like Now You Know, and with other industry professionals in things like Slack channels or in the Brandwatch Community. You can ask ‘You’re doing this really well in this area and we’re not – what journey have you been on over the last two or three years to get to that point?’ I think it gives you that focus, it gives you the ability to push in the right direction.”

The framework also empowers insights teams to build a business case for more investment in their activities which will ultimately boost their impact across the organization.

Adam Mills

Brand Strategy & Planning Insight Manager at BT

“Something like this is a cornerstone for being able to deliver a strategy going forward – being able to identify that you’re strong in some areas and can continue to grow in those but improve in others. Being able to see where we are in black and white gives us an opportunity to build a business case for further and continuous improvement.”

The theory

The DCI Assessment goes hand-in-hand with the recently released DCI Maturity Model. 

For Adam, the Model has been needed for a long time.

Adam Mills

Brand Strategy & Planning Insight Manager at BT

“We are now at a point where businesses are really taking social data and digital data very seriously. But up until now there’s been no way to measure how your organization is doing. The DCI Maturity Model is a framework that enables deeper, more meaningful conversations internally as well as with other professionals in this space, helping organizations to grow in maturity and learn from each other.”

The DCI Maturity Model can help brands identify roughly where they are. Meanwhile, the DCI Assessment can score them across different criteria and offer actionable advice on how to improve.

Underpinning the DCI Maturity Model and Assessment are six key pillars: Governance, Insights Flow, Speed to Insight, Culture of Data, Experimentation, and Voice of the Customer Strategy.

These provide a helpful segmentation of the different areas a business can focus on in order to improve its overall DCI maturity.

Adam Mills

Brand Strategy & Planning Insight Manager at BT

“The pillars are really good guiding principles for where we need to be heading. They provide a blueprint for mapping where you are in the maturity journey and where improvements need to be made in the short and long term.”

Adam’s tips for maturing in DCI

Adam offered some fascinating insights into BT’s DCI maturity journey, as well as how other organizations can improve.

Firstly, he highlights the danger in complacency. “It’s a cycle,” he says. “You might be considered mature now but you can become immature very quickly if you don’t keep up.”

Secondly, and linked to complacency, is the value in continuous iteration. While Maturity Model offers a four-stage framework, it’s important to recognize that progress can happen within a stage. “There is always something to learn, always something new out there, there is always someone doing something completely different,” he says. While the Assessment can give you a framework, learning from industry peers is invaluable, and Adam has been an early and enthusiastic adopter of the Brandwatch Community.

The Assessment has inspired Adam to think more long-term about insights at BT. “I think what’s really interesting is how our data plays together and how we can start stitching data sources and data pools directly together,” he says. “Being able to use Brandwatch data to accent our NPS or our data analytics, it gets really interesting. If we can start treating it as one data pool and one data lake all of a sudden we have it here at our fingertips across the board.” 

Your DCI maturity journey

If you’re interested in understanding where your organization is and where it can go with DCI, we encourage you to take the DCI Assessment.

You can also read more about the DCI Maturity Model and learn from and connect with other digital consumer intelligence professionals in the Brandwatch Community.

Special thanks to Adam for speaking to us about his experiences.

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