Dr. Carsten Bange, Founder and CEO, BARC & Host, The Data Culture Podcast

Dr. Carsten Bange is the founder and managing director of BARC, a European research and advisory firm that specializes in data & analytics and enterprise software. As a leading expert in data, analytics, AI and corporate performance management Carsten has helped numerous companies in a range of industries transform themselves into data- and AI-driven organizations. He is a well-known thought leader, frequent speaker in corporate and public events, and the author of many industry publications and market studies. Hear his “Data Culture Podcast” with episodes in German and English language.

Recently, in an exclusive interview with Digital First Magazine, Dr. Bange shared his professional journey, what sets BARC apart from other market competitors, the driving force behind his success, future plans, words of wisdom, and much more. The following excerpts are taken from the interview.

Dr. Bange, please brief us about your background and areas of interest.

Over the past two and a half decades, I’ve had the privilege of building BARC into one of Europe’s top market analysis and advisory firms for data, analytics and AI. My amazing team and I always work towards aiding companies in their shift to becoming data-centric. Beyond the business, I’m deeply passionate about the potential of technology and data usage. It’s always humbling to be recognized as an expert in the field, and I love engaging with diverse groups, from companies of all sizes, software providers to investors.

You founded BARC, an independent software market analyst and IT consulting company in 1999. What sets it apart from other market competitors?

BARC is an analyst firm for data & analytics and enterprise software, known for its independent, in-depth expertise. We provide market-leading market research, events and advisory services to the data and analytics community. What sets us apart from other analyst firms is the deep focus on data & analytics, where we employ more than 20 analysts. That’s the largest group in Europe on this topic.

Our innovative research puts software and vendors through their pace, gets to the heart of market developments, and delivers expertise that enables our clients to innovate with data, analytics, and AI and transform into true data-driven businesses. BARC knowledge is based on more than 25 years of project experience and research in the areas of data strategy and culture, data architecture, organization and software selection.  www.barc.com

What inspired you to start ‘The Data Culture Podcast’?

The podcast was created out of pure curiosity and the desire to provide a platform and listen to the many valuable experiences and stories on how to better use data and create a data culture. I want as many people and companies as possible to be inspired and well informed to improve their value creation from data, analytics and AI.

What do you love about podcasting? And what do you think is the most important aspect of creating a successful podcast?

For one, the long form style gives my guests time to really develop their ideas and for us to deep dive into subjects. Also, podcasting is a nice counterpoint to this digital age, giving it a personal touch.
For a podcast to really shine, authenticity is key. It’s about genuine stories and genuine voices. Of course, having great guests helps.

You are also the Co-Founder of the Data Festival. What can interested professionals expect from the virtual Data Festival slated in November, 2023 and the physical meeting in Munich in March 2024?

The event brings together the Data Community to explore real-world applications of AI and how they can be utilized in their fields. We have a fantastic line-up of speakers from market-leading companies sharing their applications of AI, pitfalls and success stories. We will also deep dive into GenAI and AI regulation among other topics. And it’s free of charge 😉

With disruption and transformation being everywhere, what are the challenges you see facing your sector right now? How can we overcome those challenges?

The economic downturn has affected our markets as well, as companies have reduced their spending. There is also a high diversity in the data & analytics sector – some parts are highly commoditized while Gen AI is a good example of innovation, the use and effect of which everyone must first understand. But the real challenge isn’t just about tech – it’s about organizations adapting, evolving their data strategies, and truly embracing a data-centric culture.

What has been the driving force to get you where you are today?

A combination of relentless curiosity, a passion for the potential of data, and an amazing team by my side.

What are some of your proudest achievements in your career till date? What makes them special?

Every time a company successfully transitions into a data-driven entity with our help, it feels like a win.

How do you unplug and step away from work?

Family time is a top priority for me; it helps me relax and refocus. I’m also an enthusiast of British vintage cars; working on them or even just admiring them is a great distraction. Physical activities like skiing, biking and running also help me recharge my batteries.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

Still learning, growing, and hopefully aiding even more companies in their data-driven journeys. And perhaps, exploring newer platforms to share knowledge.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own podcast?

Be genuine, be curious, and always remember it’s about the stories and the listeners. Quality content, paired with authenticity, goes a long way.

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