About Me

Thank you for visiting FastForward, a blog written by Ryan Garner. Here is a little information about me and a selection of my work including; client case studies, thought pieces, trend reports and conference talks.


I currently work at Citizenme, a start-up empowering consumers with their personal data. I have a background in consumer insights, quantitative data analysis (using Python), business innovation and product strategy. Much of my experience has been working with international brands and helping them innovate using digital technology and data. Whilst at Citizenme, I have defined and lead a product strategy, both consumer and business. The platform we built is being used with clients to run innovation trials around digital assistants, marketplaces and new business models.


I’ve spoken at numerous international conferences. Most recently, I spoke at Crowdsourcing Week in Brussels (November 2016). Here is my talk about: “Why data companies don’t need data”.

I was also a main room speaker at the global Insight & Innovation Exchange (IIeX) conference – in Amsterdam (March 2016). Here is my talk about how small data can generate big insights.

Here is the slide deck.


I have had a paper published in De Gruyter examining how context impacts personal data sensitivity of internet users. I co-authored it with Martin Ortlieb at Google. My summary of the key findings can be read here


Shaping the the product strategy of a new challenger bank I have worked closely with the product and marketing teams for a major new challenger bank in the UK market. In addition to its mobile first strategy we aimed to shape the product features around life outcomes for the target market. The process allowed the client to define their business strategy in a customer driven way. The product portfolio and the product marketing is centered on real customer needs that take banking to the next level, rather than make incremental improvements.

The diversification of a major retail brand through a strategic innovation process I worked with a major UK retailer to identify customer value opportunities and design digital services to generate new business revenues. Using outcome innovation techniques, we were able to identify pain points in existing customer Jobs-To-Be-Done. These customer journeys were mapped out and the insight was used to inform a co-creation ideation process. The best ideas were wire-framed and developed through rapid prototyping and testing. This process was repeated in a number of different business verticals. Using a variety of inputs from customer insight, service design prototyping, the retailers core competencies and revenue modelling a business case was presented to the senior leadership team. Several of the ideas were awarded budget for further development.

The business case for MNOs developing digital and mobile identity services The GSMA is working on a strategic initiative to investigate digital and mobile identity. They wanted to conduct an in-depth exploration of this fast-changing topic in order to understand how MNOs can best respond to the opportunity. The study researched three key audiences: subject matter experts, businesses and consumers. The GSMA has used the findings to engage with the MNOs in an ongoing work stream, raising awareness and supporting them in building business cases. GSMA Digital & Mobile Identity Case Study

Strong partnerships in turbulent markets: smartphone services innovation & strategy Between 2008 and 2012, I worked closely with Nokia as they set out to re-define their smartphone strategy. Nokia had for long time believed that mobile devices would be the personal portal to the internet. As Apple rolled out its App Store, Nokia were developing a suite of smart services for its Symbian platforms. Working with early smartphone adopters we created a closed loop innovation programme where in-market customer experience fed into early stage opportunity identification, service development and portfolio planning. Some of the best ideas are still alive and well in the latest range of Windows Phone Lumia devices. Click on the link below to download the case study. Smartphone services innovation & strategy – Nokia

The impact of search on purchase decisions Google wanted to understand the extent to which consumers investigate CPG products online, how they engage with CPG brands online and how this relates to offline behaviour and the products that they buy. This study integrated data from a retail shopper panel, passive internet monitoring (opt-in) and a quantitative survey. Google is using the research to better understand the consumer audience for CPG products and to help CPG brands explore the importance of online for their end customers. Click on the link below to download the case study. Google (B2C) – online purchasing behaviours


In May 2017, I contributed to the Co-Ops customer data strategy, working with the head of Data Science. I was a speaker on a panel of experts at their fringe AGM event. The keynote talk by the ODI and the panel discussion I was part of can be viewed here:

I led the team that designed the idea for GfK’s international annual “Tech Trends” publication. I co-authored both the 2013 and the 2014 reports. The 2014 report was used at Mobile World Congress that year. I worked closely with Expedia as a key contributor to their “The Future of Travel Report”. I focused mainly on the Challenges of Big Data and Mass Personalisation.


I published a thought piece on Quartz about the future of data ownership and managing the flows of personal data. Is it becoming a liability for businesses? Read the full article here.

I was part of a panel, organised by The Drum, discussing the opportunities and risks of the EU’s GDPR in April 2016. The summary video is here:

Back in 2015, I first published my viewpoint on how Personal Information Management Services (PIMS) can help innovation in market research. **“Unifying the voice of a brand’s 12th man” was published in Research Live

I’ve given presentations at various MediaTel Connected Consumer events. The key ones being: Shifting the media business away from the free economy Our fragmented media landscape needs to evolve – the question is how?