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#63 – Data Meets Digital: Innovating with AI and Big Data in Today’s Tech Landscape with Brian Hills and Alex Velinov


In today’s episode of “Tag Lab,” we delve into the fascinating intersection of innovation and practical application within AI and big data with Alex Velinov and Brian Hills.

Hosted by Laura, CEO at Tag Digital, this episode features insightful discussions with Brian Hills and Alex Velinov, who bring a wealth of experience from their respective fields.

Brian, a pioneer in data innovation across various sectors, and Alex, a leader in integrating AI into digital marketing, share their journeys and insights, exploring how AI and big data are reshaping industries and everyday practices.

Key Topics:

  • Early Career Insights and Big Data Applications
  • AI Integration in Digital Marketing
  • The Role of AI in Modern Business Strategies
  • Leadership in Technology and Business
  • Future Communication Trends in Tech

Early Career Insights and Big Data Applications

Brian Hills discusses his initial forays into AI and big data during his time at a telecoms company, where his early projects involved analyzing data from telecom networks to enhance service quality and detect fraud.

His career progressed through various roles where he leveraged big data for insights at Skyscanner, The Data Lab and leading to his new venture coming soon.

Brian emphasizes the thrill of discovering transformative insights from big data, which have led to innovative solutions and significant financial savings for businesses.

His narrative underscores the profound impact of big data in various sectors, transforming operational strategies and decision-making processes.

  • Key arguments: Brian highlights the versatility of big data in providing new insights and solving complex problems across different industries.
  • Examples/Stories: One notable project involved detecting a significant fraud operation through anomaly detection in telecom data, saving the client substantial amounts.
  • “What really got me hooked was identifying a significant fraud… It showed us the real power of what we could do with all this data.” – Brian Hills

AI Integration in Digital Marketing

Alex Velinov shares his journey from multimedia production to digital marketing, emphasizing his passion for AI influenced by science fiction.

His transition reflects the evolution of AI from a theoretical concept to a practical tool that has revolutionized industries.

Alex discusses the democratization of AI, its integration into digital marketing at Tag Digital, and how it has enhanced efficiency and creativity across various media.

  • Key arguments: Alex stresses the importance of making AI accessible and understandable, removing the barriers of technical jargon to foster broader adoption and innovation.
  • Examples/Stories: The introduction of large language models and AI tools has enabled the creation of high-quality digital content rapidly, significantly reducing the time and resources needed.
  • “The day ChatGPT came out, it was a game-changer for us, opening up countless possibilities in how we approach business processes.” – Alex Velinov

The Role of AI in Modern Business Strategies

The discussion explores the strategic incorporation of AI in business, highlighting its potential to transform traditional approaches to data analysis and decision-making.

Brian discusses how Vaul Labs assists companies in integrating AI into their strategies, ensuring they remain competitive and innovative.

This segment illustrates the growing expectation for businesses to adopt AI-driven strategies to attract investment and drive growth.

  • Key arguments: AI is becoming a crucial element of business strategy, with significant implications for investment and operational efficiency.
  • Examples/Stories: Brian mentions consulting with businesses to develop AI strategies that align with their long-term goals, enhancing their operational capabilities and market position.
  • “AI is not just about automation; it’s about fundamentally enhancing the way we understand and interact with data.” – Brian Hills

Leadership in Technology and Business

Both guests discuss their experiences and lessons in leadership within high-growth tech environments. They emphasize the importance of communication, empathy, and enabling team success.

This topic delves into the human aspects of technology leadership, advocating for a supportive and understanding workplace culture that fosters innovation.

  • Key arguments: Effective leadership in tech requires a balance of technical expertise, business acumen, and interpersonal skills.
  • Examples/Stories: Brian shares insights from his time at Skyscanner, focusing on the importance of supporting team dynamics and personal growth within tech teams.
  • “Leadership is about enabling your team to succeed and providing them with the tools and environment to do so effectively.” – Brian Hills

Future Communication Trends in Tech

The conversation concludes with predictions about the evolution of workplace communication, particularly in remote or hybrid environments.

The speakers discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by digital communication tools and the importance of maintaining personal connections within teams.

  • Key arguments: As remote work becomes more prevalent, maintaining effective communication and team cohesion presents new challenges and requires innovative solutions.
  • Examples/Stories: The use of digital tools to simulate in-person interactions and maintain team engagement is discussed.
  • “The future of communication in tech will need to balance digital efficiency with the irreplaceable value of face-to-face interactions.” – Laura


This episode of Tag Lab not only sheds light on the technical intricacies and applications of AI and big data but also humanises these technologies by discussing the personal journeys and insights of leading figures in the field.

The discussions emphasise the transformative power of AI and big data across industries, the importance of accessible technology, and the evolving role of leadership in fostering innovative and empathetic workplaces.

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