Profile: Dr Will Koning

Colmar Brunton believe they can make big data work for clients like never before, following the appointment of an international award winner in the space.

Following a global search, Kiwi Dr Will Koning returned from London to Kantar New Zealand, the parent company of both Colmar Brunton and Kantar, as Chief Data Officer in late 2016.

Kantar New Zealand CEO Jason Shoebridge says Koning’s appointment will unleash the combined big data capability of Colmar Brunton and Kantar, on a level not previously seen in New Zealand.

“Between them Colmar Brunton and Kantar are the largest players in the New Zealand research market and work with many of the country’s largest businesses and government organisations,” Shoebridge says.

“This experience and expertise in market research gives them the ability to provide clients with insight into why their customers and potential customers behave the way they do. Will’s big data capability will add a new dimension to that.”

Will has been delivering industry-leading, data-driven strategy and solutions for some time and recently, with his team at Kantar Media in London and his Dutch client SKO, won the global I-COM Data Creativity Award for Video.

“In today’s digital world, businesses are collecting more data than ever, and Colmar Brunton and Kantar have the expertise to turn this data into opportunities for their clients,” he says. He believes New Zealand and its businesses have an abundance of data riches but are not fully leveraging them. “As is often the case overseas, businesses here are not taking advantage of the wealth of data they have and that’s what we aim to change.”

Colmar Brunton and Kantar can analyse these existing datasets, overlay them with additional data and make them work for businesses like never before. “The power of big data is often in understanding not only what customers do but also why they do it,” Will says. “My task is to bring together Colmar Brunton’s expertise and experience as well as their access to proprietary datasets in addition to client’s own datasets.

“We will then be uniquely positioned to bring the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ together to provide maximum insights and reveal future opportunities for clients.” Will says the key to business is serving customers better, and making the best use of big data can really put customers at the centre of decision-making and planning. “By taking deep dive survey information and fusing it with broad customer database information (big data) the result is both deep and broad – better data, better insights, better outcomes,” he says.

“With this approach we can help businesses maximise growth by improving their brand strategies, pricing, product range, messaging and medium to long term planning.”