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Spotlight on Data: Data as an Asset with Friederike Schüür and Jen van der Meer

An approach to data strategy for moving beyond the exhaust

Jen van der Meer
Friederike Schüür

Our online lives have long left data traces, and the adoption of smartphones, wearables, smart speakers, smart doorbells, and smart everything else has expanded the range of data-collection devices. The early practice of data science on exhaust data—data generated as the by-product of operations—primed the operational use of data. But we can now craft data assets that move beyond exhaust data to unlock an entire suite of new opportunities—new business models, new value propositions, and new methods of strengthening customer relationships

Join us for this edition of Spotlight on Data, as Friederike Schüür and Jen van der Meer present an approach to data strategy that goes beyond the mere operational use of data. You'll learn how our current thinking about data strategy—about everything from technology to people and process recommendations—must be reconfigured to move toward data as an asset: a strategy that accelerates and compounds and a set of smart choices that unlocks more value over time.

O’Reilly Spotlight explores emerging business and technology topics and ideas through a series of one-hour interactive events. You’ll engage in a live conversation with experts, sharing your questions and ideas while hearing their unique perspectives, insights, fears, and predictions for the future.

In every edition of Spotlight on Data, you’ll learn about, discuss, and debate the tools, techniques, questions, and quandaries in the world of data. You’ll discover how successful companies leverage data effectively and how you can follow their lead to transform your organization and prepare for the Next Economy.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

By the end of this live show, you’ll better understand:

  • A data strategy framework that will help you generate opportunities for customer value creation
  • Customer-centric mindsets, strategies, practices, and processes
  • Why data practices are often siloed inefficiently or created as analytics functions and how to better distribute these mindsets and capabilities in front-stage innovation activities

This training course is for you because...

  • You want to have more strategic conversations about the role that data can play in growing your business (not just automating or augmenting existing processes).
  • You want to develop a shared language to connect data leaders with business counterparts when considering these opportunities.
  • You want to learn from a company that has made thoughtful choices about data sensors, collection, policies, and practices, for a well-positioned shift into a new market.


  • Come with your questions for Friederike Schüür and Jen van der Meer
  • Have a pen and paper handy to capture notes, insights, and inspiration

Recommended follow-up:

About your instructor

  • Jen van der Meer is the founder and CEO of Reason Street, which delivers business model design, analysis, and visualization tools to companies. She is also an assistant professor at The School of Design Strategies at Parsons, where she researches business model patterns. Jen started her career as a stock analyst and economist on Wall Street, then held executive roles in fast-growth companies like Organic, Inc. and frog design. Her social data company, Drillteam, was acquired by Dachis Group (now Sprinklr) in 2013. Jen holds a BA in comparative religion from Trinity College and an MBA from HEC in France.

  • Friederike Schüür is the director of machine learning and research at CityBlock Health. In Spring 2019, she'll dive deep into ML/AI governance issues as an Assembly Program Fellow at Harvard's Berkman Klein Center and MIT's Media Lab. Previously, Friederike worked on emerging machine learning algorithms and led the Data Strategy Consulting Practice at Fast Forward Labs (acquired by Cloudera), where she developed new capabilities for industry and helped companies identify and realize emerging opportunities. Friederike is a member of the data advisory board of USA for UNHCR (the UN refugee agency) and a long-standing Data Science for Social Good volunteer with DataKind. She holds a PhD in cognitive neuroscience from University College London, an MA and BA in philosophy, and an MS and BSc in psychology.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Monday, May 20, 2019, at 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET

  • Introduction and presentation (15 minutes)
  • Interactive discussion and Q&A (45 minutes)