ELITE Data Miner David Davenport-Firth of Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide

David Davenport-Firth

EVP, Health Behavior Strategy & Intervention Design

Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide



Innovating Data Visualization

“David Davenport-Firth (DDF) brings forth a fresh new approach to marketing that is validated through research,” says Fernando Del Moral, an international product manager for Ocrelizumab with F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG. And his latest project may just change how people look at data.

For more than 15 years, DDF has been innovating healthcare communication at Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide. He has already helped to build the company as specialists in the fields of Health Behavior Change and Clinical Decision Making. Most recently, his focus has been on Health Data Comprehension and Design.

DDF realized that despite its preeminent importance in informing life-and-death decisions, the quality of healthcare information design had not advanced in decades. So he set off on a mission to understand more about this issue, and what could be done. He ended up digesting 273 articles, which ultimately formed the foundation of the company’s newest strategic approach. But DDF also realized to achieve what the agency wanted, it wouldn’t be able to act alone.

He formed an industry-first partnership with Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London—one of the most prestigious academic institutions in graphic design. More specifically, he arranged a working partnership with the Graphic Communication Design faculty, and briefed undergraduate students on the challenge; asking them to envisage a better future of healthcare data communication.

The collaboration provided outstanding results that were published and presented as a plenary at the prestigious Cannes Lions Health festival in 2015. The publication, Statisticians and Creatives: A Marriage Made in Hell, has gone on to become the centerpiece of Ogilvy’s drive to change the face of data comprehension design. DDF continues to lead this initiative, with major client assignments already coming from several world-leading pharma companies.

“I have worked with DDF for over 10 years now, a period in which he has been central to our growth as an agency,” says Matt de Gruchy, CEO, Ogilvy CommonHealth in London. “His latest effort in this endeavour has probably been his finest: The pioneering work he has done to establish us as a leader in health data comprehension and design.”


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