Developing a Data-Driven Culture at Dow Jones, By Helen Hewitt "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs December 12 2020 True Data driven products, London, organisation culture, ProductTank, ProductTank London, Mind the Product Mind the Product Ltd 413 Helen Hewitt at ProductTank London Product Management 1.652

Developing a Data-Driven Culture at Dow Jones, By Helen Hewitt


In this ProductTank London talk, Helen Hewitt, Global Head of Data Transformation at Dow Jones takes us through her personal journey with data and her work at Dow Jones in developing their data culture. Her key points include:

  • Driving a data culture
  • How we view our data
  • DataSET

Watch the video to see Helen’s talk in full. Or read on for an overview of her key points.

Driving a Data Culture

Most of the departments at Dow Jones were very siloed. Helen talks about how a decision was made to begin some initiatives to change the data culture at the company. She and a few others became part of a group called Nova, which took a holistic look at data across Dow Jones. Utilizing a design thinking methodology, they began to conduct interviews with global departments as well as workshops with customers. Through these initiatives, they were able to discover the thing people were doing with data and identify the impact data could have in various areas as well as the opportunities for the company.

How we View our Data

Data means different things to different people. The Nova initiative wasn’t the first time Down Jones had been working with data. Previous initiatives included the dynamic paywall on the Wall Street Journal website. They were able to collect multiple pieces of data about a person and use real-time analysis to determine their propensity to subscribe. This helped to boost onsite conversion rates by 5X over a 3 year period.

Helen explains how Dow Jones had already been collecting large amounts of customer data from multiple locations around the world. This data was found in over 40 locations and made marketing difficult as teams couldn’t locate the right data quickly. The solution they found was to build a data lake. Marketing teams were able to personalize activity to drive content habits and create a better product experience for their users.


A DataSET team launched in 2019 to manage data challenges at the company. Some of their initiatives include a centralized data hub and a data academy to train Dow Jones personnel on how to use data with content related to their business.

The key takeaways from this talk are that as product people we need to make data more of a business partner. Embed data experts in different business units and if you’re unfamiliar with data get out of your comfort zone and learn as it will benefit you in the future.