For the latest edition, we interview someone we’ve known longer than we’re prepared to admit. David Lewis, Founder and CEO of AudienceNet ticks all the boxes and in the midst of their global expansion, he found 5 minutes to answer our 5 questions.
1.Tell us your story …
Hi! I’m David Lewis. I’m CEO and Founder of AudienceNet. I’ve been conducting research for over 30 years but the exciting part has been the last 6 years when I started introducing what’s possible within the connected world. This is research via connected devices, online communities and the ability of how we can connect to people in real time across 6 continents. We’re now working with foundations, with NGO’s, with Governments, with Think Tanks – so our ability to connect with audiences through online technologies means that we’re now doing public perceptions of refugees around the world, we’re speaking with Millennials in terms of their engagement with politics, we’re looking at entrepreneurship around the world, browsing online safely in countries that were previously remote in terms of connectivity such as Senegal, Mozambique, Kenya and Nigeria and we’re doing work for the United Nations presenting at the UN General Assembly on sustainability development goals.
2. The Interpreters spend a lot of time trying to understand our clients’ customers and segments within the market. How well do you know UK and USA consumers?
I think the ability to connect with nationally representative samples across the world through connected technology means that we know have an unprecedented capability to explore and understand markets in any facet. Being online, being real time and developing methodologies to facilitate conversations allows us to tap into the minds and attitudes of any type of audience across the world.
3. We do a lot of problem solving at The Interpreters so we’re interested in how other people solve problems. How do you approach problem solving?
Problem solving at AudienceNet is all about collaboration. It’s all about being non-judgmental. It’s about being constructive by involving everyone’s input, everyone’s ideas – in that traditional way you would do a brainstorm. It’s about understanding what everyone is feeling, not judging any of the ideas until we’ve heard from everyone. At AudienceNet, it’s an ongoing, consistently collaborative approach – it’s a simple process but effective.
4. Interpretation is subjective but a key part of our analysis. We’re always interested in the ways other people might interpret key trends or things of interest from their specialism. How do you interpret the rise of Donald Trump?
Interpreting the rise of Donald Trump involves the ability to step back from your intuitive response to the question. As a researcher, it’s important to consider the wider perspective. From a personal point of view, it’s very tempting to jump in and condemn everything that Donald Trump is about. I think one of the issues that AudienceNet faces is a collective sense of progressive politics – so I don’t feel that AudienceNet is particularly adept at being completely objective when it comes to politics and I feel that trying to do an objective analysis on Donald Trump would be counter to everything that AudienceNet is about.
5. Because we firmly believe that Information is Beautiful, we would like to give you a copy of Information is Beautiful, ‘a stunning visual journey through the most revealing trends, fascinating facts and vital statistics of the modern world’. Because first impressions matter, have a scan through and tell us which visualisation caught your attention and why?
I’ve chosen this one – the Acknowledge Map – because it reminds me of the beautiful design of the London tube map which I still think is one of the best bits of data visualization I’ve ever seen in terms of how it lays out the most wonderful simplicity. That’s why I’ve chosen this one.