The Intersection of Social Listening, Analytics and AI
Day One Podcast: Insights Room 101
Episode 16: Danny Gardner
In Room 101, a guest describes three of their worst insight industry pet peeves and aims to lock one of them away forever in Room 101, much like the popular British TV show. Our guest on this episode is Danny Gardner, head of social media insights and analytics at Haleon, formerly GSK Consumer Health. He loves data so much his friends call him Data Danny. Danny joins us on The Day One Podcast to share what things in the industry he’d like to see banished to Room 101 forever. The main pet peeves Danny describes are: the ‘sample size matters’ debate, the fear that AI will take our market research jobs, and the idea that social listening can replace traditional market research. Danny provides meaningful criticism during our conversation, and we hope you enjoy it.
Danny begins the conversation by sharing his journey that brought him from economics to data analytics. Faced with a tough career decision, Danny chose to take the route into social data and hasn’t looked back. With a role that is so new, there is no roadmap. Danny has the power to choose what direction he wants to build in, and what hats he wants to wear.
Danny then reveals his first nomination for Room 101 as the “sample size matters” debate. Danny argues if the N- size really matters when looking at social media data. How much data is there? Is that good enough? Is that representative? We explore how now a lot of companies are starting to make more decisions based on the small data and small insights. “We’re looking at nuggets of information, or insights that are unique, something we’ve never seen before.”
Danny imparts how he decides if an insight is useful or not, and which insights to act upon. Giving the example of cold and flu data, we hear about Danny’s two-pronged approach, looking at both the top-down and bottom-up.
Danny’s second pick for Room 101 is the fear that AI will take over traditional market research jobs. Danny explores the advantages and shortcomings, the opportunities and the lessons learned from his experience with AI and ChatGPT. Will ChatGPT replace market researchers? Will there always be a need for some degree of interpretation?
We look at why people don’t trust AI, namely how people often don’t understand what’s going in and what’s coming out, and how ChatGPT can be fed inaccurate information. But Danny feels that generally people are not actively trying try to find ways that AI can help improve their lives or their work.
Danny’s final proposal for Room 101 is the idea that social listening can replace traditional market research. As a die-hard social listener, Danny tells us why one could never replace the other, and how instead we should be looking to how they complement each other. All data sources serve different purposes, and all have their value. Ideally, we would be looking at all of them, and using the right data for the right questions and the right business challenges.
Hannah, Abigail and Danny agree to banish ‘the fear that AI will take over traditional market research roles’ to Room 101. We enjoyed the conversation, and we hope you do, too.
About – Danny Gardner
Danny is currently head of social media insights and analytics at Haleon, formerly GSK Consumer Health. He specialises in applied analytics, advanced social listening and data science. He loves data so much his friends call him Data Danny. Beyond his friends, Danny is also recognised as one of the world’s leading experts in social listening, insights, analytics and as one of the most influential leaders in this space. In fact, in 2022 and 2023, he was recognised by Social Intelligence Insider 50 and also named by the Drum Future 50 as one of the marketing industry’s Rising Stars Under 30. He is also a very experienced speaker at industry conferences on data analytics, social media, marketing and former healthcare topics.