The future of data

TBK: Episode 26

This episode features an interview with Tom Edwards, Chief Digital and Data Officer at Omnicom Health Group, the largest healthcare marketing and communications network in the world. Prior to Omnicom, Tom served as Chief Digital and Innovation Officer at Epsilon. Tom has been named one of the Top 50 Most Influential Business Leaders in Technology and a Top 10 Global Marketer Award winner by OnCon this year. In this episode, Tom talks about transparency in decision making, how to organize massive amounts of data in order to derive insights, and how to determine the ideal communication strategy for a target audience.

Headshot of Tom Edwards, Chief Digital and Data Officer at Omnicom Health Group

About the guest

Tom Edwards is the Chief Digital and Data Officer at Omnicom Health Group. He was recognized in 2021 as one of the top 50 most influential business leaders in technology. He was also recently named a 2021 Top 10 Global Marketer Award winner by OnCon. Tom is a data-driven, digitally-centric marketing/technology executive and professional futurist speaker.


“You want to connect the vision coming from the top to how that’s practically going to be rolled out across those different entities, and connecting the expediter to the vision and pulling that completely through. And then going and driving towards quick wins. Like that ultimately is the core driver of adoption. People have to see it in action. What is it actually doing for the business? How can this help me be faster to market, you know, ahead of my competition.”

“Communication is key. Making it easy and consumable is probably the other. There tends to be this stigma with data, digital, and technology that it’s complicated. And in a lot of ways, it is. But one of the core things that you have to do to be able to truly drive adoption across a large organization and transform it as you have to make it consumable. You have your subject matter experts who can go incredibly deep, understand the vernacular and the terminology, understand everything about taxonomy and data hygiene and all the things you need to do. But at the end of the day, if it’s not understandable across the various functions within the organization from account to creative disservice or strategy, then it’s not going to drive any comprehensive value.”

“Especially when we’re going into new areas and new areas of expertise, I’ve learned not to just trust at face value when someone says they can do something. I need to verify the level of competency upfront before we engage on a major initiative and make sure there is a proven track record providing the type of solution we’re looking for.”

Time stamps

[3:38] Merging Digital and Data
[5:10] Making the most out of data assets
[6:38] How to strategically enable agencies
[8:03] Predictive decisioning and the cookieless future
[9:30] Making massive data sets actionable
[11:47] Omnicom’s data architecture and tech stack
[15:27] Creating common language across the organization
[20:13] Looking to partner with leaders in data-driven organizations
[23:14] Preparing for a shifting data landscape
[26:24] The importance of transparency as a leader
[29:23] Finding a mentor and sponsor


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