The podcast for corporate Insight leaders
Jan. 19, 2023

Episode 22: Transforming Insight at Sainsbury's

Episode 22: Transforming Insight at Sainsbury's

Episode 22 of the IMA's Transforming Insight podcast is now available. In this extended episode, James talks to Liz Boffey, Director of Insight at Sainsbury’s.

Liz talks about how she now sees herself as an end–to–end Insight leader, having experienced all different aspects of Insight throughout her career. Her roles span from market research, category management, consumer insight, shopper insight, agency-side and leadership roles.

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This breadth of experience strengthened her ability to look at things more holistically, rather than looking at Insight in an organisation through one lens. It gave her the ability to join it all up in a powerful way, to be an important voice in organisations.

Throughout her career, Liz has cleverly used Insight and data analysis in a multitude of ways to achieve success at Disney, PepsiCo, Birds Eye, Nestle and Sainsbury’s. 

With her current role at Sainsbury’s, we hear about Liz’s goals for her Insight team going forward.

Topics Discussed

  • A look back at Liz’s past roles (1:10)
  • The influence her early move into category management had on her view of Insight (6:27)
  • Combining functional knowledge with commercial context and business needs (11:11)
  • Being creative about how you get to the Insight (14:42)
  • What “good looks like” at different organisations (20:23)
  • Driving Insight at Sainsbury’s to have the right impact (23:54)


  • “That brought a different dimension to using data analysis, pushing it more into the commercial aspects of how you use insight and storytelling to drive solutions and opportunities for retailers and distributors.”
  • “We didn't have a huge amount of free-flowing cash to spend, but it forced you to be a bit more creative about how you got to the Insight to guide the business.”
  • “Often you have the answers because of all of the wealth of what has come before. And therefore, you can make a very educated decision of what you know, rather than needing to spend more money and commissioning more research.”
  • “The power comes from how we join the dots between all of the different aspects of what we know. We talk about having a hive mentality.”
  • “Don't be impatient. Once you've got the vision and the organization is bought in to what you're trying to do. You can start small, you can get some quick wins, you can pilot some things. But I think the transformation will not come overnight, because it is that cultural change of driving much more of an insight led philosophy through an organisation.”

This is episode 22 of the Transforming Insight podcast. 

If you have the ambition to transform your Insight team and the role it plays in your organisation, please tune in to future episodes. Not only will we explore the 42 secrets of successful corporate Insight teams as outlined in the Transforming Insight book, we will also talk to senior corporate Insight leaders, delve into books that have inspired us, and discuss new best practice research carried out with the IMA’s corporate members.

You won’t want to miss this! So please hit subscribe - and thank you for listening. 

About James Wycherley, the author ofTransforming Insight

James Wycherley was Director of Customer Insight and Analytics at Barclays from 2005 to 2015 when he became Chief Executive of the Insight Management Academy (IMA). A popular keynote speaker and acknowledged expert on Insight leadership, strategy, and communication, he is the author of the book Transforming Insight: the 42 secrets of successful corporate Insight teams, and over 35 IMA publications. He has provided thought leadership in the UK, Western Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, India, and the Middle East, and regularly hosts the IMA’s Insight forums - London, Manchester, UK Online and US Online.

The Insight Management Academy is the world’s leading authority on transforming Insight teams.



If you would like more information on any of the ideas discussed in this episode of the Transforming Insight podcast, please visit

Copies of James Wycherley’s book Transforming Insight: the 42 secrets of successful corporate Insight teamscan be purchased directly from


The Transforming Insight podcast is published by the Insight Management Academy and produced by Zorbiant.

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