Having taken a MSc in regional and urban planning studies, Keith’s career started in the public sector, working at the GLC and the London boroughs of Haringey and Islington, before moving into the private sector. His award-winning work on Census analysis software in 1981 while at LAMSAC was followed by his first spell at CACI where he set up its public services group. While at MVA Systematica in 1991, his Census digital boundaries data product was another award winner, before his second role at CACI as director of the financial services group. In 1996, he set up Demographic Decisions to offer impartial advice to users of demographic data.
Creating the Demographics User Group (DUG) in 1998, Keith has been at the heart of representing large commercial users of public data sets. The impact of DUG has been significant. As Martin Squires, former director of data, insight and analytics at Homeserve, says: “Open data is a wonderful thing. In whatever sector you work in our industry in 2019, there is a great chance that you are using - or at least benefiting from - the lakes full of free stuff you can dive into. Go back 20 years and the world wasn’t like that. We needed pioneers who would boldly go and use their passion and vision to convince people access to data was the future. Keith was undoubtedly one of those pioneers.”
Keith was awarded an MBE in 2014 for his services to UK business. In 2016, he handed over the running of DUG (now renamed the Data Analytics User Group) to Dr Tim Drye, remaining as a non-executive director. As Drye says: “Most people won’t have realised, but virtually everyone within the UK data industry owes a debt of gratitude to the tenacity and quiet diplomacy of Keith Dugmore. One of his last achievements was to get commercial organisations officially recognised as capable of contributing to the public good and, as such, opened up access to a wide range of safe-guarded government administrative data.”
He is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and also of the Market Research Society, as well as an adviser on many key advisory boards and forums. A lover of jazz and a Chelsea fan, he is also, in Squires’ words, “one of the nicest guys you could wish to meet.”