Insight Manager Harry discusses how his team was challenged to become even better
We at Sky Data, were challenged and we delivered
Name: Harry Carr
Role: Insight Manager - Content
When Faisal Islam first came in as the Political Editor for Sky News, he challenged the Insight and Decision Science team to find a way to use the resources and data available across our company to make Sky News a more interactive experience for our viewers. Fast forward two years and we now hold the 2017 Royal Television Society Award for News Technology.
We’ve developed Sky Data, which transforms our customer base into a research panel. We contact a nationally representative sample either online or via SMS to get their reaction to breaking news, with the weighted results then displayed on air. From the nation’s favourite David Bowie song to Brexit to Donald Trump, Sky Data lets us hear what the UK and Ireland are thinking right now.
Not only has it proven quick and efficient, but Sky Data is low cost, saving us from spending on external polling providers.
In the run-up to the EU Referendum last year, Sky Data was able to accurately predict the result by each local authority. It gave our coverage an extra dimension, and kept us one step ahead of our rivals throughout the night. It’s been carefully tested against ‘gold standard’ academic polls across a broad range of political attitudes, as well as standard polling questions, and stands shoulder-to-shoulder with more established mainstream pollsters.
It took a monumental effort to make this possible, not just from the IDS team, but through collaboration with areas across the organisation. Without the backing of Directors, the work of Analysts and Programmers turning around surveys while still managing the unique stresses of news cycle, and Producers, Editors and Presenters transforming it into quality on-air coverage, none of this could have happened.
Sky Data’s recognition at the RTS Awards at the start of March is the result of teamwork and collaboration. It reflects our willingness to encourage creativity, reward innovation, and give us the freedom and flexibility to dream big and turn imagination into reality.