Sainsbury’s has created the role of chief data officer as part of plans to put customer information at the heart of its business, and has appointed Andrew Day, who until recently carried out the role at News UK, to the job.
Day started his career in 1993 at Claritas (which was eventually bought by Acxiom), before joining Sky in 1998 as head of database marketing. By 2001, he had switched to Orange but two years later Day took on the role of head of revenue and retention at O2.
He worked his way up the company, as head of CRM firstly for the O2 brand and then for the wider Telefonica parent group and by December 2011 he became general manager of business intelligence for the group.
In early 2013, Day joined News UK as chief data officer. Reporting directly to chief executive Mike Darcy, his role was to deliver commercial value for News UK’s customers and business by embedding customers, data, insights and analytics into the heart of the operation.
Last year, Day claimed that News UK had more than 200 different sources of customer information and 50 million pieces of transactional data captured every day. However, he left the company in March this year without a job to go to; at Sainsbury’s he will lead a team of about 50 staff.
Sainsbury’s interim chief financial officer Ed Barker said: “I am delighted to welcome Andrew to Sainsbury’s. Creating his role reflects the value we place on our insights in an increasingly fast-paced and digital world. We are sure that Andrew’s expertise will enable us to be more effective with our information and support the delivery of our strategy.”
Day added: “Sainsbury’s is a fantastic British retailer built on a strong heritage with values all its colleagues can be proud of. Customers are at the heart of everything Sainsbury’s does, and I look forward to leading a team that ensures data insights are a key part of how we innovate to serve them best.”
In November last year, chief executive Mike Coupe revealed plans to ramp up the retailer’s data strategy. He claimed the move would “step us on again in the way that we personalise interactions with our customers”.
Coupe added: “We already think that we have a lot of customer knowledge and that we use that in a variety of different ways. But actually the next stage of the programme is to have what we would call a single customer view of our customers where we pull together all of our datasets to enable us to anticipate and fulfil our customers’ needs on a more personalised basis.”
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