We all love a good story. Stories can be shared experiences, or perhaps something to inspire you to think about things in a different way. They can show you another world, another opinion, or a new experience.
We’ve reached out to subject matter experts within the Microsoft community to share their tips on how you can improve your business outcomes – from the way you think about data, how you engage and inspire customers, the importance of work-life balance for employee engagement, improving creativity within your organisation, or even inspiring you to use your skills to solve real issues in society.
By reading the experiences from the people who live and breathe their stories, you can gain a fresh prospective on ways to improve your organisation and drive growth, ensuring you not only future-proof your business, but that you’re inspired and excited about creating a great future for your workforce.
We want to know how people have been empowered by technology to achieve more. Hearing these stories drives each of us to work towards our shared value – to empower every person and every organisation on the planet.
Take a look at some of the stories from across Microsoft UK, and think about how you can leverage their expertise to change the way you think about your own business.
To kick off the series, Talina Titizian, a Marketing Insights Analyst at Microsoft UK talks about the creative side of data analysing and gives her five top tips for bringing data to life. Passionate about improving customer experiences through data, insight, and innovation, Talina has worked for major brands in tech, consumer products, and education globally, as well as being an advocate for women in STEM.
“The reality is, both analytical and creative individuals are the same at their core. We are both storytellers. Visionaries. We experiment and take risks. We question everything. And most importantly, we connect ideas to solutions.”
Antonio Criminisi leads Project InnerEye at Microsoft Research in Cambridge. He has a PhD in computer vision and his research has been awarded a number or prizes including the prestigious David Marr prize at ICCV 2015 for his paper “Deep Neural Decision Forests”.
In this blog he talks about the impact of AI and machine learning in healthcare, to assist medical practitioners with diagnoses, improve efficiency and give us the ability to create a personalised treatment plan for each and every patient, at a fraction of the cost.
“The hope is for our technology to help the world of cancer treatment move towards adaptive radiotherapy. We aim to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of cancer treatments while reducing costs for the healthcare providers, and that’s why I’m so passionate about the work we’re doing.”
Next up in our series, we hear from maker-of-things, Haiyan Zhang, who is Innovation Director at Microsoft Research Cambridge. She is perhaps most well known as appearing on the BBC series, Big Life Fix, where she helps solve real challenges for people in society.
Haiyan talks about the importance of listening to those around you, using your skills to solve issues that you see around you, and shares some of the great projects she’s been a part of – such as a wearable device to counteract the tremors of those with Parkinson’s, so they can better manage their condition, and gamifying cystic fibrosis physiotherapy.
“In innovation, everybody has a role to play; their own skills, perspectives, and experiences contribute to a creative process, using technology to empower others. So, go out, look for challenges around you and try to solve these problems.”
We’ve all grown up with stories. Yet, as marketers, we often try to engage our audience with product specifications, data and stats, going against everything we’ve been taught. At Microsoft, we take a customer centric approach with our content, aligning what our customers need, with what we want to say to drive our commercial goals. We don’t create content to sell products, but rather to add value.
In this blog, Victoria Oakes, our Storytelling and Digital Destinations Lead, shares her top tips on how you can bring storytelling into your own organisation, to improve your customer experience and drive better business outcomes.
“Find a way to connect with your audience and cut through. For me, it’s about putting customers at the centre, using customer insights to make them the hero.”
Up next is Ian Fordham, our UK Director of Education. Ian touches on the big topic of digital skills and how we can address the ever-growing skills gap that we are being faced with. In this blog, Ian discusses how tools and technology today can help teachers empower their students to face challenges head on with passion and drive, whilst building the skills they need for the future workforce.
Ian leads our work with schools, colleges, universities and other learning organisations across the UK. He also is a Mayor of London Technology Ambassador, and Advisory Board member of Edtech UK.
“Personalised learning has been a holy grail for education – yet it has taken time to come to fruition. Creating personalised content and pathways for students is vitally important, meaning they can work in class at their own speed with the teacher acting as a facilitator for each student, helping them on their journey.”
As an Accessibility Evangelist, Hector Minto learns from Microsoft customers how we can continue to adapt to the changing needs of the diverse population we support. He has worked at the cutting edge of assistive technology for 20 years for people with physical and learning disabilities and, most recently, driving the growth and awareness of eye gaze technology across Europe.
Hector shares the importance of reflecting the diverse environment of society in your workforce to drive innovation and growth, identifying some of the tools and programs that help transform lives for the better.
“We need to globalise the solutions we make, and make sure everyone accessing technology can personalise and do so in a way that suits and empowers them. Disability is not a personal health condition. When we view disability as a mismatch in human interaction, we can design products and services that deliberately include a wider range of abilities.”