I have worked in the data industry for two decades, starting my career with Dun & Bradstreet back in 2000. I have held senior leadership roles across various functions of the business, including sales, project management, data management and data strategy. I’ve also been fortunate to have worked across various regions, in roles such as EU and Asia data engineering leader and global data identity engineering leader. In June 2019, I took on a new role as global data stewardship and strategy leader, reporting directly to the chief data officer.
In my current role, I’m responsible for D&B’s commercial data, across 220 countries. I work to ensure we provide the right data in each market to help our clients understand the business landscape in the countries they operate in or would like to move into.
There have been many moments I’ve been proud of for differing reasons but, looking back at my career as a whole, I think what stands out the most has been leading cutting edge projects that have seen us integrate new technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence into our business. It is incredibly satisfying to deliver new ways of working that really transform the way we do things and, most importantly, deliver huge benefits to both our clients and our employees. I’m proud to be working at the forefront of the transformation in our industry.
It’s difficult to single out any one individual, over the years I have taken inspiration from many very talented individuals, all with unique approaches and leadership styles. Every situation and opportunity is different, so having this wide variety of role models allows me to adapt accordingly.
2019 was definitely a transformative year for the industry, and for Dun & Bradstreet. Millions are being invested around the world in new technologies and data strategy is more firmly established than ever as a key agenda item at board level, with data seen as key to competitive advantage. Although AI continues to be transformational, I believe we are still very much on the cusp of the transformational change. The speed of adoption and willingness to invest has been tentative in some industries and although some firms are leading the way and delivering real innovative solutions, others are yet to take the leap.
I’m excited about what this year and the next decade holds for our industry. The amount of data being created is only going to increase, and that creates both opportunities and challenges. I believe there will be continued focus on opening access to data and a drive for more transparency. But there will also be debate around the ethical sourcing of data, the role of regulation and the reality of cybersecurity issues that come with a burgeoning availability of information.
There have been many headlines about robots taking over jobs and the rise of automation with the emergence of artificial intelligence and other new tech. However, I see these developments as a huge and exciting opportunity for data professionals. We are truly breaking the mould in terms of how we collect and analyse data, with improvements in speed and accuracy moving beyond our expectations. We have a real opportunity to unlock the full value of data, in ways that may not have been achievable five, or even two years ago.
One of the most common areas I find our clients struggle with is effectively managing their data and extracting meaningful insight. Businesses have access to huge volumes of data, but it’s owned or managed by different departments and siloed across the organisation. Finding the right methodology and platform to create a single source of data and derive real value for the business is often seen as the holy grail. Having a central repository of relevant and accurate data is key to a successful digital transformation programme and is not easy to achieve.