We caught up with James Walkerdine, Chief Operating Officer at Relative Insight. He shares his stories of success, how language is becoming even more important and all things Lancaster! 


Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us today. We are so excited to have you as an Array Festival Sponsor! 

We are thrilled to be sponsoring and looking forward to meeting even more talent that Lancaster has to offer as well as sharing our story! 


Could you tell us what Relative Insight is all about? 

We are a tech company and we provide our clients with an analysis platform to help them extract insight from language. If you are a brand that wants to better communicate and engage with your target audience, you need to understand what your audience talks and cares about, how they talk about these things, and what language they use.

For example, helping a company that wants to start selling into the US gain a better understanding of the US consumer they will be trying to sell to. Or help them understand their market position and how their messaging compares to their US competitors.

Ultimately our platform is data source agnostic, so it can be used to extract insight from any language data you put into it – whether it be surveys, product reviews, social media through to business reports and white papers. 

Language is becoming even more critical these days, especially over the past couple of years, do you agree? 

 There’s certainly been a paradigm shift, with people now realising that language is essential.  It’s not enough to have generic messaging that you push out to everyone, you need to make sure that what you are saying is tailored and resonates with who you are showing it to.

Relative Insight has had quite the success over the past few years. We would love to hear what you’ve been up to? 

 So far we have opened offices in Lancaster, London and New York! We have worked with huge names such as; Sky, HSBC, John Lewis, F1, Nespresso and many more. The future is looking bright for us. We are planning to almost double our workforce in Lancaster over the next 18 months.

 So, what are some of your favourite things about being a business in Lancaster? 

 I think the main three things for us as a business is culture, university links and transport. Many people don’t want to work and live in a huge city; they want to be able to walk to work and spend weekends in the countryside. A great example of the draw of Lancaster’s work life balance is the fact that one of our employees Ryan Callihan, our Head of Natural Language Processing, who relocated from California to Lancaster. 

We have some strong roots in Lancaster, my co-founder Phil and I spent over 10 years at Lancaster University, first doing our Undergraduate Degrees and PhDs and then being researchers at the University. We also have great relationships with the Data Science and Marketing departments, and take on numerous part-time students to help develop their experience and allow us to find potential future recruits! 


It’s been amazing chatting with you today, and I can’t wait to hear even more during your time at Array Festival!


Leave a Reply