How Schibsted brought Big Data into its company culture

By Dawn McMullan


Dallas, Texas, USA


Edoardo Jacucci was hired to help Schibsted Media Group define its data strategy. He spent seven months doing just that as the companys vice president/products for data and identity.

“The executive management team was already realising that data is and will be a big thing, a big opportunity for Schibsted,” Jacucci explained at the Big Data for Media Conference in New York City in 2016. 

The first step was to create the strategy and engage the executive team, helping spread the culture of Big Data throughout the company. Such strategy includes: 

  • Clarifying the ambition.
  • Analysing what the competition is doing.
  • Identifying the mission.
  • Determining why and how data is key to Schibsted products in the future.

“That was ... although a lot of work, it was the easy part,” Jacucci says. “This allowed us to have the whole management team aligned so that they could go around and start communicating consistently across the organisation that data is becoming a priority.

The difficult part was when one starts doing things for real. You need to get the company to commit to do either pilots or change the way they’re thinking or setting up their product strategy. This is where you start receiving some challenges back and some resistance. And often they have good arguments.

Arguments like: The site has been working perfectly. We have been growing the site for several years. We have the biggest site in the country. Why would we change?

In order to get across this hurdle ... what is required is some dialogue, but also at times some harsh confrontation. You need to bring to the table facts that show how the business is changing, how the industry is changing, how the competition is changing. And then you need to bring to the table ... people to listen and understand what is the strength of the site.

What works in these cases is proof of concept, Jacucci says, showing this can be done and how you will deliver value.

Big Data for Media Week 2017 is right around the corner! Stay tuned next week for coverage from London.

About Dawn McMullan

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