David Armano has joined Next Practices Group agency Ringer Sciences as EVP of analytics AI strategy, a newly created role.

Making his return to agency life, Armano will work to modernize Ringer’s insight and analytics work. His role will be an informal center of excellence model across NPG’s network of agencies, according to Armano.

He will lead the production and commercial strategy for the growing suite of AI-backed analytics, communications and marketing offerings from Ringer. Additionally, Armano will coordinate the efforts across NPG to work with clients who seek to modernize their analytics functions with the assistance of AI, leading to better, faster and more effective insights, content strategy, reputation and risk management and program performance planning, the agency said in a statement. 

“There is demand now that clients are gaining access with things like ChatGPT in their hands, but those tools are not built for corporate or enterprise capabilities,” Armano said. “It’s actually creating and evolving services to meet that demand both on the side of data analytics and automating a certain amount of that data analytics so that you can get better output faster.”

Armano’s role will focus on large language models that take advantage of companies’ existing proprietary data, he said. He will report to Ringer CEO and founder Yash Gad.

Armano will work closely with senior director of analytics Garrett Bond and director of data science Christine Walsh, partnering across client solutions, products and services. 

Starting on Monday, he’ll work on two client projects with the goal of launching and scaling them into repeatable services, according to Armano. He will also play a key role in NPG’s cross-network AI effort, Firehose.ai. 

Ringer Sciences is a member firm of NPG, a network of agency leaders led by founder and chair Bob Pearson. Access to the partner agencies’ resources allows Ringer to branch beyond its own team’s specialties, Armano said. 

Armano most recently served as senior director of marketing at AI avatar creator company Soul Machines, where his work fostered his interest in AI, he said. When Ringer approached Armano about the role, he saw it as an opportunity to combine everything he’s learned from marketing communications with a focus on applying it to AI and new technology. 

Following a brief stint as what he titled “chief pause officer,” taking a moment away from work during the pandemic, Armano founded Armano Design Group in September 2020. 

Creating the company was the best and most realistic option in the early months of the pandemic, Armano said, and he chose to work with a select group of clients and contracts that approached him rather than seeking out work in-house or at a firm. Armano Design Group will be put on pause as Armano diverts his attention to his role at Ringer.  

Armano also served as interim CMO at consumer insights platform Suzy until February 2021. Prior to that, he spent more than a decade at Edelman, joining in 2009 as an SVP in its digital practice before he was promoted to global strategy director in 2013. He left Edelman in 2020 after the agency laid off 7% of its workforce due to COVID. 

Armano said returning to an agency now feels similar to the circumstances in which he joined Edelman in 2008 both in terms of the economic state of the country as well as a boom in technology. In 2008, social media was taking off much like advancements in AI are transforming technology today. 

“We’re in a similar moment in time, and that’s exciting to me, because I think that there’s actually going to be a lot that needs to be done over the next few years,” he said.

Ringer Science is a data science and analytics consulting firm based in Austin, Texas. Clients include Houston Methodist, Kyndryl, Lime Financial, New York State School Boards Association and Spectrum Health. The agency partners with healthcare software company HealthQuant and Python developer Terminal Labs in addition to NPG. 

NPG is a founder-led agency, launched in 2020 by Pearson. The networks’ agencies comprise of Bliss Bio Health, Boundless Life Sciences Group, Brain + Trust Partners, Changex, Next Solutions Group, Next Tech Communications, Ringer Sciences, RocketSauce Media Labs, the Bliss Group, the Next Practice, Victory, Matchfire, Next Content Labs, Innate Motion and the recently acquired 104 West.

Next Practices Group reported a revenue increase of 28% to $35 million globally and in the U.S. in 2022, according to PRWeek’s 2023 Agency Business Report

This article originally appeared on PRWeek US.