After completing his tertiary education in marketing, Oliver Rees, CEO of Torque Data, took up his first job in the travel industry. While there, he helped transform the company into a more data-driven marketing business, which subsequently helped him secure a position with Claritas, a company that specialises in data-driven marketing in the UK. I was there for three or four years before we decided to come back to Australia. The status of the market here was significantly less developed than it was in the UK, so I found myself working in two different advertising agency groups, one in Brisbane and one in Sydney.
"I was very frustrated trying to get the whole idea of data-driven marketing up and running in an advertising agency environment where the concept of investing in IT and infrastructure, analytics, coding, programming, and analysts was pretty alien. So, more out of frustration than any serious planning, I decided that the only option, if I believed it strongly enough, was to do it myself. We founded the business in 2001. I really built it off the back of a couple of key clients, and we brought a lot of talent in originally from the UK, but weve since invested a lot in local talent, and thats really been the origin of the business."
Oliver believes that since establishing Torque Data, the Australian industry has caught up to international industry standards, particularly in a few digital areas. "The global economy has meant we're competing on a global platform, so there has been a far greater imperative for businesses to deliver. Plus we have a much better exchange of talent, so we now recruit equally across the globe. We recruit out of Australia, South-East Asia, India, the UK, the US, and Canada. At last count, I think we had nine different languages here: multibyte characters from Korean, Chinese, and Russian. So its a massive cross-section."