Insights teams have had a lot of change to keep up with in recent years, with the explosion of data being perhaps the most significant. For Elaine Rodrigo, who heads up insights at Danone, the task has been to “humanise data”.

“We’re a very human company with a very human mission,” she told the IIeX conference (Amsterdam, February 2019), “which is really about how we can bring health right through food to as many people as possible.” Her solution to the data question is three pronged.


“At the end of the day, it’s about unlocking culture,” she said. For Danone that means food culture specifically. It’s a dominant culture, she suggested, as evidenced by the fact that the majority of pictures shared on Instagram are all about food. “This is a huge opportunity for us to really understand what’s going on in that space,” she said. While doing the usual qualitative and ethnographic work, Rodrigo wondered if there was a different way of coming at this which could yield fresh insights – one which involved human and machine working together.