The analytics industry lost one of its brightest lights last week. Bruce Carroll, a pioneer in segmentation and marketing analytics, died Jan. 22 at his home on Hilton Head Island, S.C. He was 69.
Bruce is best known for the development of some of the world’s leading classification systems, including Prizm, Psycle, Psyte and Personicx, as well as some of the most successful market analysis and mapping solutions, including ENVISION and Market Math (Canada), Compass (United States) and StoreScan (UK).
A native of Canada, Carroll earned graduate degrees in history and economics from the University of Toronto before going on to a successful career in financial publishing. Later, Bruce co-founded Claritas Corporation, where he served as president until 1990. In 1991, he returned to Canada as president of Blackburn Marketing Services Inc., which included Compusearch, then Canada’s leading marketing services provider. At Compusearch, Bruce was part of the team that bought an obscure company called Carfax, which later became one of the most successful consumer information companies in North America. When Blackburn merged with Polk, he led the development of segmentation and demographics products in the U.S.
Bruce Carroll joined Acxiom in early 2000, where he held several corporate leadership positions, including corporate marketing leader. Based in London, he coordinated new product development for Acxiom's acquisitions in Europe, Asia and the U.S. until his retirement in 2005.
I and many of the leaders of Environics Analytics had the opportunity to work with Bruce when he was with Compusearch and Polk. We witnessed his passion and creativity in action. When we went on to launch EA, he worked with our product teams as a consultant from 2007 to the present.
Bruce especially enjoyed helping teams of young people adapt traditional marketing services techniques to the digital world using new technologies. His greatest gift to the industry was his ability to move with the times and create new, insightful services without abandoning the proven methodologies of the past. He was the “master of big data and analytics” before the terms were even coined.
We miss him and will always remember his wisdom, enthusiasm and vision.
About the author
Jan Kestle, President of Environics Analytics, was a colleague and friend of the late Bruce Carroll. Some of this story has been excerpted from Carroll’s obituary, published on January 24, 2015 in The Island Packet.