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Ángel Serrano, head of data science, Santander UK

Ángel Serrano

Path to power

I joined Santander UK in 2017 as head of the data science to build the advanced analytics practice. During the last couple of years, I have built a team of over 25 members, focusing on the implementation of advanced analytics solutions to increase the value we offer to our customers, reduce costs and increase efficiencies.

 

Prior to that, I worked at PwC from 2004, both in Spain and UK, where I led one of the most advanced analytics teams in the financial services sector, implementing analytics and machine learning solutions for UK and European clients and regulators.

 

What is the proudest achievement of your career to date?

The creation of the data science capability and platform for Santander UK, which is now over 25 members and a community over 150 employees and delivers machine learning initiatives across the organisation.

 

Who is your role model or the person you look to for inspiration?

One of my role models is David Hayes, former CDO Santander UK.

 

Did 2019 turn out the way you expected? If not, in what ways was it different?

During 2019, I have seen a major progress in the data science industry. Data science started to become a key capability in organisations rather than just a buzzword or a hot topic, and even the regulator has started to understand how it is being used in the industry. A good example of that is the machine learning survey conducted by the BoE and the speeches and articles published on its website recommending governance procedures around ML initiatives.

 

What do you expect 2020 to be like for the data and analytics industry?

I expect this year we will see the continued expansion of machine learning, not just for large corporations, but also for smaller organisations. I would also expect this to be the year when customers start to feel the advantages of machine learning in a larger scale.

 

Data and technology are changing business, the economy and society – what do you see as the biggest opportunity emerging from this?

The biggest opportunities are cost reduction though process automation, better engagement with customers through understanding their needs and trends and increase oversight in risk management.

 

What is the biggest tech challenge you face in ensuring data is at the heart of your digital transformation strategy?

The biggest challenges we face are the limitations in accessing data due legacy systems, data quality and the integration of machine learning models into existing business processes.

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