Described as “one of the most creative and influential entrepreneurs of our time”, Edwina Dunn is best-known as co-founder of the international data analytics company Dunnhumby, a business she launched from her kitchen table with her husband Clive Humby in 1989. The pair were instrumental in the creation of the Tesco Clubcard and are widely credited with redefining the relationship between retailers and customers worldwide.
Edwina Dunn joined CACI as a graduate and spent the early part of her career working with small area statistics and the OPCS Government (Census) data. Key to the success of CACI (ACORN) and subsequently Experian (Mosaic) was data “barnardisation” – the masking of individual census returns to protect the privacy of the citizen. The unit used is an enumeration district or output area, typically 15-150 households.
She went on to found dunnhumby with her partner Clive Humby. The business focused on the application of customer data to understand and predict consumer trends and behaviours. At that time, customer data was not valued or stored but simply discarded following a transaction. Their plans and original database design brought radically new capabilities to consumer businesses around the world.
In 1995, Tesco embraced the dunnhumby approach for its Clubcard programme and so it became the first mass customization marketing programme in the world. Customer insight and Clubcard rewards helped to transform Tesco from a secondary player in the UK to the significant market and global leader it is today.
Today Edwina is CEO of Starcount, a digital start-up that measures the global tastes and trends of 1.7 billion people across 12 of the world’s largest social networks, before applying a progressive view of data science to help brands navigate their social media journey.
Edwina is a passionate campaigner for women and spearheads the What I See Project – a not-for-profit initiative to promote the voices and experiences of women from around the world through the medium of film. Edwina is also Chair of Your Life, a Government-backed campaign to encourage more young people to consider careers in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) industries.