Having studied mechanical engineering, followed by a master’s in robotics, my career did not follow a conventional path towards engineering, but veered towards technology, with roles in software and change management.
My early career progressed with roles at Ernst & Young, as part of a team that developed the UK’s first data warehouse, and continued with roles at Deutsche Bank, reaching a milestone at HSBC, where I was Global Banking Markets chief data officer for Europe.
My next role was as the Bank of England’s first CDO, where I led the strategic One Bank Data initiative, while also representing the Bank of England at the LEI Regulatory Oversight Committee. In my current role, I head up advanced analytics and data governance at Aldermore Bank.
Far more than any data outcomes, my proudest achievement has been when one of my mentees secured her dream role, in particular because it was a role to which she had not considered applying for. Looking back at her career progression, it was a key milestone and one that defined her continued success. For me, it brought home what the three key ingredients of ambition, dedication and guidance can help achieve and what a great gift mentorship can be.
In terms of role models, it would be Richard Branson and Jacinda Ardern who provide great inspiration and are leading examples in the art of people management and leadership through empathy.
There is no doubt that 2019 will be remembered as a year of uncertainty in many ways and as such I had very few expectations. Nevertheless, speaking to many of my peers, it was reassuring to see many foundational activities throughout data governance, ethics, and progress in the maturing of data analytics.
I expect the data industry to see significant growth in 2020 - the PRA’s Dear CEO statement and the focus on regulatory reporting (beyond the risk focus of BCBS239) will have significant implications for many firms and will further elevate CDOs. Data analytics will continue to see growth, with an increasing drive that puts the power of data in the hands of the data consumers with standardised self-serve data insights and data science models.
Ensuring organisations treat data with care and due diligence is both a necessity and a key opportunity to re-establish the public’s trust in data. Otherwise, it jeopardises all the good that data has to offer, such as medical advances, reducing environmental impact and enabling a safe and sound financial system. A lack of public trust reduces the amount of data that individuals are willing to share, which ultimately results in disbenefits to the economy and society.
Data Standards and cloud computing are two of the biggest barriers, yet also two of the biggest enablers to successful digital transformations. Both are at the very heart of our digital transformation at Aldermore and are supported by the launch of our Data & Innovation Lab that enables ideation and a fail safe environment – essential in an industry where innovation is a key to continued success.