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March 2020

Distribution – the new queen of reinvention

We are just a short time into the new year and extraordinary political stories are already appearing in the press – scoops which a decade ago would have been considered highly unusual, but which are now the norm. The UK Prime Minister’s chief advisor, Dominic Cummings, posted an unorthodox notice to his blog inviting applicants to join a new crack unit, or Red Team, within the highest level of government, with his first request being résumés for data scientists, followed further down the list by “super-talented weirdos”. It would seem the stock of those of us toiling in the data industry has never been higher – although I have mixed feelings about being classified in the latter bucket! Cummings’ post should come as no surprise given the much-discussed use of data science by his team during the UK Brexit referendum, and his praise of data-driven governance elsewhere in his blog. It has also been reported that Cummings instructed government aides to spend time over the holidays reading Andrew Grove’s High output management, the ...

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