Are marketers obsessed with data science?

Hyper Island trainer and Data Driven Integrated Marketing Strategist, Subhendu Mukherjee, is no fly on the wall when it comes to the digital discourse. He has managed agencies, won awards and now spends his days showing clients marketing secrets about themselves they never knew, all from big data…

Being able to craft or write compelling stories from big data seems like a misnomer since data is so dry… how does the magic come in?

Digital is really just good old human behaviour captured in data. Having said that, looking at data (big or regular) on its own can be a pretty useless exercise. The essence of driving insights from data lies in asking the questions you really care about and building hypotheses (what ifs). This is where the magic really happens. Start with the questions you want to ask of the data, have an idea of you what want to measure and more importantly… not want to measure. I think generally this gives starting points to seeing patterns in a helpful way. 

What are marketers missing when they ignore the possibilities of data-driven marketing?

I think businesses are too obsessed with ‘data science’ for now. What they really need to embrace is ‘data journalism’, where the news-worthiness or story-worthiness of the data is what truly matters. Generally dumping data that don’t make good stories or news is a good rule of thumb to go by. The world has seen rock stars in this territory, in the likes of David McCandless ( and Hans Rosling ( 

Will the future of all marketing be data driven?

Likely. But the assumption that all that needs to be done is to gather data, and that this “bagful of data” will somehow become knowledge, stories or worse yet wisdom must first be addressed.

What advice would you give young marketing professionals in Malaysia? 

Your data is only as good as the stories you tell with it. And always seek out the humanity within your data.

Subhendu was formerly MD of JWT Malaysia, and then Head Of Integrated Strategy at McCann Singapore. He has 20 years of global experience in marketing strategy and communications. He is interested in supporting people and organisations transition into digital data driven decision-making for marketing and communications. He is an award winning digital strategist who adapts as much to the people’s needs as he drives them to adapt to the Digital Data space. 

Subh will be speaking about the magic and logic of Data Storytelling at the Malaysian CMO Conference on Oct 16: 



Let’s cut to the chase: the Digital Revolution is fuelled by how marketing helps monetise it. 

There is no such thing as a free lunch. That’s why game-changing inspiration can always be found 

on the front lines of the marketing and media playbook. There’s never been a more exciting time to 

be in marketing: e-commerce, personalisation, big data, brand safety, walled gardens and more. 

This Conference will show marketers how to take ownership of this future, and how to dance their way through this digital turf war where everyone has an opinion. 

Whatever your take on the future… Marketing is the new Sexy!

Date: 16 October, 2017

Venue: Grand Ballroom, Sime Darby Convention Centre Jalan Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. 

Time: 8.30am – 5.30pm 


Contact: [email protected]

Download event PDF here.



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The APPIES is an annual event that presents a rare opportunity for creative, media, digital and marketing agencies or brands to present their best campaigns to the industry.

This is the only event where Live Presentations meets Live Judging.

Similar to TED Talks, The APPIES is the chance for great presenters with outstanding work to show it off to some of the industry’s most important industry leaders.

This year’s winners will receive Gold, Silver or Bronze trophies for 21 categories, and 6 special Best of Best categories (red trophies) that require no submissions!

Campaign entries must have run between June 2023 to May 2024

Submissions Deadline
30th June 2024

APPIES Festival – Judging & Presentations
11th – 12th July 2024 (Malaysia)


Download Event PDF
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