Rachel Leaver

Head of Insights and Audience Strategy, Carat Global

Creative Data Lions - Data for social good!

In a year where we’ve all seen a lot of numbers and data, definitely not all good, it’s nice to see that this year’s Creative Data Lions short listers came overwhelmingly from not-for-profit organisations.

The winners pulled at the heart strings by humanising data to create solutions based on a deep understanding of everyday challenges.  As a parent, the last thing you want to hear on a day out is ‘when are we going home?’  The ‘Laugh Tracker’ from the Tennessee Department for Tourist Development won gold by solving this problem and measuring the number of laughs in their different attractions so that parents had trusted reviews directly from the ones that matter.  Another humanised entry came from the travel industry where kids could track their parents’ journey on a plane via what sounded like a highly excitable toy. Hopefully this will be used more in the upcoming months…

Apparently, data privacy and regulations caused debate in the jury room as opinions on privacy and regulations vary around the world.  A ‘creative’ bending of the regulations came in the form of ‘dogvertising’ from Pedigree in Zagreb where facial recognition identified dogs - not the heavily regulated humans! - to serve the relevant pet food advertising based on their size.

Whilst real time data is still an obsession, problem solving and creating better experiences with data were the key attributes that judges were looking for.  The grand prix demonstrated this by going to ‘Saylists’, a partnership between Warner and Apple music, that used music for good to help children with speech impediments. A highly complex algorithm was created to analyse over 70 million lyrics to find sounds that children struggle with. This enabled the creation of personalised playlists for children to sing along to, making their therapeutic exercises fun whilst at the same time improving their speech.

With new technologies and the ever-increasing number of data sets available to us, the way we think about creativity has changed.  Creativity is now about using data differently to solve a problem or improve an experience, in addition to developing really great visuals and stories. It’s about creating new data sets that the technology now allows and using current data sets in innovative ways. This further emphasises the importance in Carat's Designing for People/agile/squad-based approach where we use our diverse brains to look at data and information in new and different ways to create better people experiences.