appoints director of data to spearhead new team has bolstered its senior team by appointing Gareth Powell as its director of data, creating an entire new data division within the company.

The data team brings together Studio’s analytics, data governance, data engineering and architecture talents. The division is expanding to 35 members, with Powell having onboarded 10 new members of staff.

Gareth brings with him a wealth of data experience across retail and telecoms sectors, including N Brown, where Powell was director of data science and TalkTalk where he led a centralised insight and analytics division.

The online value retailer is also investing in data technologies, including Snowflake and Microsoft Azure, evidencing how the company “recognises the important role data plays in delivering a great customer experience.”

Powell will implement an extensive data programme, comprising several key deliverables: “a target operating model, a data governance framework, an approach for data integrity as well as a new cloud data platform from Snowflake and Azure.” This will enable Studio to “capitalise on their data asset significantly more in future”.

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“Gareth has a proven track record in data management, his skills are therefore pivotal to our ambitious plans to utilise data to grow and expand the business. We have already seen fantastic results from Gareth and look forward to seeing what he brings to an already strong leadership team on the challenging journey we have ahead of us,” Studio Retail Group chief executive Paul Kendrick said.

On his role, Powell added: “Since joining back in June we have been on an exciting journey as a business. My vision is to make data and insights easy to access for our employees. A positive customer experience is underpinned by easy-to-access and good quality insight.”

“We have successfully embedded a hub and spoke model for analytics which ensures we have close insight partnerships with our Customer & Digital, Trading and Customer Experience teams, ensuring we utilise data in the most efficient way possible.”

Studio recently reported having over two million active customers – a 79% increase over the last five years. The company’s digital transformation plans were also accelerated by lockdown, with its app achieving 1.2 million users, representing 32% of sales and a 25% increase year-on-year.

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