Gurman Hundal featured in the Big Data 100 list
Data iQ’s Big Data 100 list profiles the most influential people in the data driven business.
Media iQ’s co-founder, Gurman Hundal, has been named as one of the Big Data 100. Being listed in the Data Enabler category showcases his influence as a leader, pioneer and innovator in the ever changing field of data, technology and consultancy.
Path to power
I started my career as an intern at an ad network where my role was very much operational, looking into data to make better optimisation decisions. After working in a sales role, I realised that, if you could understand data, you could effectively make better decisions which will ultimately lead to better results. It is from that point I always wanted to build business units that delivered better performance, through leveraging better understanding of data, as well as ensuring clients received more transparency around the insights which were uncovered from media buys.
What was your data highlight of 2015?
My highlight for 2015 was certainly the shift to people seeing programmatic as more of an eco-system versus a media activation vehicle. I don’t think we are there yet, but I saw 2015 as the year of the marketing community seeing the value of data and insight and applying this across their whole business, not just their digital media activities.
In 2016, I see this being more “labelled” apart from the programmatic eco-system and seeing more of a shift to businesses making data-driven decisions across their entire business, leveraging some of the advancements made in the ad tech world.
So – why data?
It all starts with data: value = relevant data + analytics + insights + decision.
To start the process of delivering value for clients, you need to be competent in gathering data from multiple sources at scale. Everything else is reliant on this from there on in.
What is the best thing about working in the data industry?
You can inspire through insights. Even if it is an individual or an organisation, if you can give them information which can help them grow, they will be inspired and become more successful. The most exciting thing of today is the democratisation of data. The “walled garden” access rules are disappearing, giving a chance to analyse data and draw tangible Insights. These insights can then be translated into making a real difference for clients.
If you were granted one wish to change something about the data industry, what would it be?
Better overall understanding of why data is important. It’s not that complicated to see the benefits of data, but it is sometimes complicated. Simplifying this for all stakeholders in the industry would allow for value to be delivered quicker.
Share something you have learned that could benefit your peer group
Talk about the benefit of insights from data, not the features and mechanics of collecting it.
And what was the toughest lesson?
You need good technical infrastructure to handle data and need to build an agile framework to cope with the advancements in the data world. My advice is, invest in this early and don’t be afraid of the unknown – trust your developers. My regret is not moving faster, when all that was needed was more people, which required a little more investment. We are there now, but could have been there six to 12 months before.
What’s in your data toolbox?
We have built AiQ, an analysis platform which simply collects and stores large sets of data from multiple sources; converts data into insights through complex analytical processes; transacts on that insight through a variety of products and services. We have integrated several data sources to give us a unique singular view of a digital ad call, which enables us to unlock insights at a very granular level.
What’s on your wish list?
Tough question – ask me in 12 months’ time as everything seems in reach at the moment!
Your social network
I have several people in my network and, as a co-founder, a lot of these have become top-level decision makers at our clients. However, I am still proud to be linked to CTOs, chief analysts and very much enjoy dealing with the “data crew”!