How is your organisation using data and analytics to support the corporate vision and purpose?
Wesleyan’s data strategy is underpinned by the society’s vison and purpose, with clear alignment to our business plan. Data and analytics are identified as a key transformation capability we need in order to deliver our long-term plans, ensuring that we remain brilliant to do business with.
2020 was a year like no other - how did it impact on your planned activities and what unplanned ones did you have to introduce?
Indeed 2020 was an interesting year, and for me brought changes in term of a career move to Wesleyan, where data and analytics was already identified as a key transformation capability, we need in order to deliver our long-term plans. If anything, being thrown into the challenges of Covid-19 has accelerated our data and analytical plans, ensuring we are here to help create bright financial futures for the professionals we trust.
Looking forward to 2021, what are your expectations for data and analytics within your organisation?
We will be working to turn data and analysis into action that rewards our members’ customers and make certain the future of our society. Building analytical products that continue to allow our financial consultants to deliver the best possible customer service.
Is data for good part of your personal or business agenda for 2021? If so, what form will it take?
As we build out the newly-formed data centre of excellence, data for good will indeed feature on our agenda, as it stands, we are still evaluating.
What has been your path to power?
After graduating I had my mind set on consulting and was fortunate to gain a role as a consultant at Amadeus Software, who specialised in SAS software. After five years of travelling and working with many different organisations developing solutions in SAS, I joined The AA. The role included the mobilisation of the technical team to support and subsequently expand The AA’s data warehouse and realisation of the business information strategy.
Leaving the AA for Mango Solutions and the lure of data science, I had the opportunity to work with some exceptionally talented people, to learn from them, and to be involved in some truly innovative initiatives.
St James’s Place Wealth Management presented an opportunity to lead their data strategy, supporting partners and clients as well as move forward with the data and digital transformation.
Wesleyan assurance society has identified data as a key transformation capability we need in order to deliver our long-term plans, with a newly formed centre of excellence and an opportunity to develop the society’s first data strategy, it is an exciting and rewarding role.
What is the proudest achievement of your career to date?
As well as featuring in the DataIQ 100, it has been rewarding to see the newly-formed centre of excellence at Wesleyan form and start to work as a cohesive team, implementing the society’s first data strategy and to see the initiatives start to move forward.
Tell us about a career goal or a purpose for your organisation that you are pursuing?
Implementing a data literacy programme and increasing data fluency has been an ambition of mine for some time, so to be able to do this in partnership with Wesleyan’s people team is fantastic.
How closely aligned to the business are data and analytics both within your own organisation and at an industry level? What helps to bring the two closer together?
As well as having analytics teams aligned to business functions, the central teams have close working relationships across the society, which is maturing as we roll out our new data governance model and data fluency framework.
What is your view on how to develop a data culture in an organisation, building out data literacy and creating a data-first mindset?
Wesleyan’s data strategy has people and culture at the heart of its success. This year we are working in partnership with our people team, where we will focus on improving our data fluency and increase our capability for all staff to be able to collect, manage, use and interpret our data, ensuring staff understand data ethics, which in turn benefits the group’s culture.