Digital Interview South Africa

#BehindtheSelfie: Don Clancy and Ryan Campher, data leads at VMLY&R

This week we speak to Don Clancy and Ryan Campher who are the data duo at VMLY&R SA. Clancy is the head of data analytics and Campher is head of data strategy.
Ryan Campher and Don Clancy are in charge of data at VMLY&R. Source: Supplied.
Ryan Campher and Don Clancy are in charge of data at VMLY&R. Source: Supplied.

What do you enjoy most about your industry?

Campher: The ability to shape the environment that we, our peers and and entire sector is built on.

Clancy: Finding new ways to make the numbers matter and helping clients to move the needle, while growing fantastic new data talent.

What is a typical workday for you?

Campher: Starts at six in the morning and I read Google Alerts that have come through from different timezones. Our teams don't all work on SA time. I start thinking about the priorities for the day, and prep for those.

Most days will be spent either working on a strategy for client as a pitch or a new set of predictive data tools we're building, as well as oversight of current client workflow. At any given time there are pitches, strategy production and tool development and implementation all in parallel work streams.

Clancy: Solving problems, building solutions, delighting clients and accelerating my team's growth.

Describe your career so far.

Campher: Through multiple sectors: aviation, agency, management consulting, I have a natural affinity for maths and application of statistical principals.

My background in law created a good platform for the consumption and interpretation of information and the communication of abstract business need states into actionable tasks. I’m passionate about shaping the world we live and work in, and solving the problems that we encounter doing that.

Clancy: After 20 years of project managing and developing IT and communication systems, I am loving finding my professional home since 2015 in the interpretation and explanation of the numbers that underpin digital marketing and e-commerce. Let's make the numbers matter!

 What are you currently streaming/reading/listening to?

Campher: This is CASIOPEA - on Spotify

Clancy: Cesaria Evora - Cafe Atlantico

Who inspires you?

Campher: The Incan civilisation. Their ingenuity and ability to adapt and survive.

Clancy: Junior analysts who are hungry to learn and leaders who lead with people and culture first.

 What are some of your best load shedding survival tips?

Campher: Download the FourSeasons App - load your preferences - use it during load shedding. 

Clancy: Encourage your team to work flexibly, have a messaging channel for people to check in and out so you can see their status, and do what it takes to always deliver whatever Eskom is doing.

 What did you want to be when you were a child?

Campher: A pilot.

Clancy: An astronaut.

Give your best piece of advice for young people waiting to enter this industry


  • Learn how to critically evaluate information you're presented with, quickly.
  • Be secure in the fact you are good enough, but be aware that you can always learn to be better.
  • Follow the 'project' you're a part of at your place of work. The money will make itself.


  • Learn as much as you can from free resources (there are lots).
  • Develop your CV with great attention to detail, and be friendly in an interview, explaining what you know with examples. 

About Karabo Ledwaba

Karabo Ledwaba is a Marketing and Media Editor at Bizcommunity and award-winning journalist. Before joining the publication she worked at Sowetan as a content producer and reporter. She was also responsible for the leadership page at SMag, Sowetan's lifestyle magazine. Contact her at

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