Data and analytics is an important area for the media-agency group, which already has data hubs in New York and London. Its mission is to hire hard-to-come-by data scientists and to launch new methodologies, algorithms, attribution models and ultimately innovative ad techniques.
“The rapid worldwide growth of data-driven advertising has driven a corresponding, and massive, demand for PhD-level data scientists to design and implement these next-generation media technologies,” said Harvey Goldhersz, chief data officer and CEO of GroupM Analytics.
The goal is to deliver analytics, push boundaries and turn these into products that are globally applicable and valuable to clients, Saaed R Bagheri, head of global product and R&D for GroupM told Campaign Asia-Pacific.
GroupM is already in the process of hiring people and expects to make key offers over the next few weeks. The initiative is intended for PhDs with a mathematical foundation.
As part of the three-year deal, the Singapore EDB will make a “strategic investment” in GroupM, which the agency will use to increase the number of PhDs it hires. EDB and GroupM both declined to comment on the specifics of the investment.
“The partnership was founded on the common interest between GroupM’s corporate growth priorities and Singapore’s industry development objectives—to develop innovative media-analytics solutions,” said Kelvin Wong, assistant managing director, EDB. Wong added that the Singapore centre will serve as a dual hub to New York, while also working with local research institutes and talent to create job opportunities for Singaporeans.
Media analytics, strategy planning and creative technology are the three focus areas for industry development in Singapore. Last year, the government entity tied up with another WPP agency, Wunderman, to launch a Center for Advanced Analytics, which teaches graduate students how to manage and analyse consumer data. Earlier this year, Nielsen also partnered with the EDB to found a digital-focused innovation centre in Singapore (press release).