sainsburys Group


Why we’ve partnered with WiD UK 2018?

At Sainsbury’s Group we want to create a class-leading data, science and analytics community. To be truly class-leading, diversity is an absolute prerequisite. We’re working with Women In Data again because we want to create an environment where everyone feels included and able to contribute.

Spotlight on Helen Hunter

Name: Helen Hunter

As Group Chief Data Officer at Sainsbury’s plc, Helen’s remit is to maximise the value of the Group’s data asset: democratising access and finding creative ways to unlock its insight potential in support of Sainsbury’s strategy to ‘know our customers better than anyone else’

Over the last 8 years at Sainsbury’s in roles including Director of Innovation, and Director of Data and Relationship Marketing, Helen has brought to bear her experience of navigating large organisations to develop products and propositions at the intersection of data, digital, technology, performance marketing and loyalty. These have included Sainsbury’s Brand Match and Sainsbury’s new Nectar.

Helen thrives on solving problems and delivering innovation by building both products and people. She relishes a blank sheet of paper against a clear strategic outcome and happily rolls her sleeves up to do the unglamorous housework of implementation. And supports people to be their best and realise their ambitions.

Before joining Sainsbury’s, Helen held roles at emnos, Home Retail Group, Woolworths Group, and Kingfisher, having read modern history at Oxford. She lives in central London with two young children (6 and 2) and is a fan of skiing, sci-fi and European crime drama.

Spotlight on Lizzie Harris

Name: Lizzie Harris

Lizzie first experienced the world of data using SAS as an intern at Lloyds Banking Group working in Credit Risk, not knowing anything about what a career in analytics was all about. She got the bug for programming and joined Sainsbury’s as a Cardiff Mathematics graduate in 2011, and has since grown into a data and analytics professional with a proven track record for managing and leading teams. She has gained significant experience in loyalty strategy, CRM and analysing customer behaviour, with a particular passion for macros, automation, debugging and algorithms.

Lizzie is part of the Marketing Leadership Team with broader responsibility for the strategy of the division, culture and development of colleagues. She spearheaded the business-wide Analytics Internship scheme whereby 40 students have so far experienced a year’s placement within the analytical community, learning about using maths at work.

As Senior Customer Analytics Manager at Sainsbury’s she is now running a department of 30 analysts in an agile fashion, responsible for driving significant sales, growing our understanding of customers and pushing the boundaries on personalisation.

When she isn’t programming Lizzie enjoys going to the pub with friends, playing with the women of Hampstead Cricket Club (the only instance where stats are not important!) and also picks up the cello in amateur symphony orchestra The Pico Players.

How Sainsbury’s Group see the data landscape changing in the UK in the next 5 years

Over the next five years, challenges around collection, instrumentation and joining data across siloes will be addressed, enabling teams to focus on insight and action, rather than instrumentation and plumbing. We will enter an era of retail powered by both humans and machines.

At the same time we will see individuals take control of their own data, with cloud-based databases providing a central place to keep track of what they have shared and with whom. And for industries who want to interact with this data, real opportunities for better customer interaction.

Talent in the data space will start to shift to more of an in-house model as businesses invest in upskilling their people in core data capabilities. This will also be supported by an increase in educational opportunities for data specialisms, with more UK schools, colleges and universities offering data learning paths.

About Sainsbury’s Group

Sainsbury’s Group has a vision to be the most trusted retailer. We want to make all our customers’ lives easier by offering great quality and service at fair prices, serving customers whenever and wherever they want. To do this we need to be able to understand and anticipate their needs, across each stage of their shopping journey. By taking a Group-wide approach to data we make decisions based on what customers want and where and when they want it.