So what is the deal with data?

Not only is data a strategic asset: it can help drive brand engagement and contribute to the bottom line.


The world has seen an explosion of data collection. We are becoming ‘datafied’; our locations, behaviours, interests, patterns and interactions. In the past, data was very expensive to collect, usually via surveys or a census, but today the ability to do so easily and at reduced cost makes it meaningful and helps unlock new opportunities.

First, there is a fundamental shift of mindset.

We have moved from a world of causality to an exploration of correlations. For example, Walmart uses data to forecast buying trends. By monitoring the weather and assessing the seasons, they cross-reference what the biggest sellers are during these periods.

Stephane Pere

Stephane Pere has been the chief data officer at The Economist since October 2013. He joined the group's Paris office in 2007 to manage online advertising sales for continental Europe, Middle-East and Africa. In 2010 he moved to New York to launch Ideas People Media. Additionally, from 2012, he was the head of digital advertising sales and agency solutions for the Americas. Prior to joining The Economist, Stephane worked in the advertising industry, including Yahoo!, Canal+, and Bloomberg Television.