When I finished my degree at Westminster University, I actually wanted to be an Adobe Flash developer; fortunately, I have instead become a “dataholic” and got my first senior role as a data architect for the Royal British Legion. Since then, I’ve worked for Save The Children UK and at Southern Water as an enterprise architect for data and information. In January 2019, I became the Nursing & Midwifery Council’s first head of data and analytics. I’ve also contributed to Peter Jackson and Caroline Carruthers’ book “Data-driven business transformation” (published in March 2019) on the subject of DataOps.
I have two proudest moments in my career so far. The first was quickly becoming the “head of data” for the Nursing & Midwifery Council and being able to shape the way they use their data at a strategic level. The second was having my contributions on DataOps published in Peter and Caroline’s successful book “Data-driven business transformation”.
There are actually two people that I look to for inspiration. The first is Peter Jackson. He has shown me how data can be exciting and actually gave me the inspiration to do more with data as a career. The second is Khurum Aslam, my current boss. He has always supported and nourished my potential by guiding me in every step of the way.
2019 actually turned out better than expected. Being promoted to head of data and analytics gave me an all-time high and now I’m helping to shape the Nursing & Midwifery Council’s strategy for 2020 to 2025, using data and intelligence as one of its foundations.
Over the next year, I anticipate more companies adopting a DataOps process that makes use of AI and machine learning in production processes. Some people within the industry are already calling for an “AIOps” workflow to happen. There are also going to be more challenges with governance, privacy, safety, and ethics in AI, especially around finance, health, defence, and retail as these can all cause real-world impacts on peoples’ lives.
The biggest opportunity I see emerging from this is smaller companies being able to compete with bigger companies when it comes to data analytics. The barrier to compute and storage is a thing of the past. I see more companies being “analytical providers” instead of “data providers”.
The challenge with tech is to ensure data is at the heart of a digital transformation strategy and how quickly it can change and evolve with business processes without compromising data accuracy, data quality, meeting governance requirements, and delivering a complete view. Also, the business must have trust in the new data that it is providing and not to create other data silos. This is extremely important, especially as we are now competing on a global scale.