ProcureGeek: What is your role ?
Susan: I'm the founder and MD of The Classification Guru, we are fixers of dirty data.
Susan: My whole vision starts with clean data, and secondly getting the whole team on board. Digital procurement will never fully work if you don't have your team, your organisation and your suppliers/clients on board as well.
ProcureGeek: What are the best skills set to become a data classification specialist ?
Susan: A sprinkle of OCD, a touch of high attention to detail and 5-10 years experience working in large corporates or procurement is the magic formula. It takes around 6-12 months to train someone up.
ProcureGeek: In your experience, what common mistake(s) do the companies/procurement departments make ?
Susan: They never invest in their data. They wait until there is a problem to fix it, by which point it's too late and very expensive…
ProcureGeek: When you have finished your work, what are the key steps that your customers should pay attention to ?
Susan: It's all about maintenance, you can't just fix data and leave it, you need to check it regularly to make sure there have been no accidental deletions, cut and paste errors or intentional overwriting of data based on difference of opinions.
ProcureGeek: What challenge do you like ?
Susan: I love solving puzzles, the tricker the data the better. And the satisfaction of solving it and improving our clients lives is so rewarding.
ProcureGeek: Regarding the development of your own business, do you have any projects or new service offers in the pipeline ?
Susan: I plan to create some online procurement training courses, and something else that I can't tell you about just yet…
ProcureGeek: How do you concretely measure the added value of a spend classification project for your customers ? Do you have relevant statistics based on your own customers portfolio ?
ProcureGeek: You have been a “Classification Guru” for many years, what is your greatest achievement ?
ProcureGeek: And conversely, do you have an example of difficulty you faced with a customer ?
Susan: Absolutely, we walked away from a project halfway through because we weren't the best people for the job. It's ok to admit things aren't working and walk away.
ProcureGeek: You and your team juggle with several languages, where are your customers located ?
Susan: The majority of our clients are in the UK and US, however their datasets are global, we've classified data in all the European languages, Asia, Russia and even Arabic. There's nothing we won't try!
ProcureGeek: Why should a company choose “Classification Guru” and not another data expert ?
Susan: We are a personalised service, think of us as the tailor of the spend classification world. You'll get a perfect fit every time, tailored to your business needs, language and processes without having to sacrifice or compromise.
ProcureGeek: What do you like outside work ?
Susan: I'm a huge fan of drinking Prosecco I like to go to concerts, meet up with friends and take some time out for me. But running a business is a 24/7 job you never really switch off.