How Lloyd’s Took Data-Driven Business from Theory to Practice

Lloyds Data Lead Simon Asplen-Taylor shares his tips on realizing the potential of data to drive business decision-making

When putting together their strategy to become more data-driven Lloyds did something unusual. They published it.

In this week’s episode of the Business of Data Podcast, Simon Asplen-Taylor, Data Lead at Lloyd’s, argues that the publication of their data-driven strategy was an essential first step to turning theory into practice.

“When you’re doing something across a market, what you have to watch out for is that everyone understands what the overall strategy is, so we wrote a data-driven strategy called Blueprint Two,” says Taylor. “And that’s unusual. I think most data strategies are internal. This is very much external.”

As they refined the strategy, Taylor and his team crowdsourced feedback using a tool to promote engagement, encourage feedback and create a more complete product. The result was a document that accounts for the priorities of multiple stakeholders in the Lloyd’s universe.

“If I said to you, ‘I know the answer’ to something, you might well then start questioning me, but if we work together on an answer, it feels a bit more inclusive,” Taylor says. “You have to be prepared to learn new things and understand that there may be challenges you didn’t know about.”

Building confidence in the initiative is another crucial step towards success. To do this, Taylor recommends focusing on overall objectives, especially if the person is non-technical. It’s a process that Taylor compares to watching a movie.

“[When] you watch a [movie] you don’t necessarily know how it was all put together. But if someone forced you to watch the ‘making of’ the movie before you watched it, then actually it wouldn’t be so exciting,” Taylor quips. “Start with the story and explain it in their language.”

Key Findings

  • Collaborate on your strategy. Getting feedback and engagement from key stakeholders will build trust and produce a better result.
  • Take a consultative approach to implementation. Understanding what drives your stakeholders may uncover issues you hadn’t considered.
  • Speak the language of your audience. If CEOs care about increasing revenue, reducing costs, and improving customer satisfaction, then tell them how your initiative will achieve that.