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Gillian Tomlinson, Director of data and analytics, Three

Path to power

 

Tomlinson is a seasoned data and analytics professional with over 15 years of global experience in leading the establishment of data-related organisations, programmes and initiatives across the UK, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Most notably, she fulfilled the roles of VP of Dun and Bradstreet for the EMEA region, head of change for credit risk data at Royal Bank of Scotland UK, head of data quality at Lloyds Commercial Bank UK and, more recently, chief data officer of Whitbread UK.
With the telecommunications market perched on the cutting-edge of innovation, Tomlinson has recently joined Three UK as its director of data and analytics where she has full accountability for data, business intelligence and analytics, spearheading the transformation and optimisation of the company’s capabilities with a core focus on championing data innovation, optimising customer experience and driving operational efficiency. Before that, she was CDO of RSA (one of the world's leading insurance groups providing products and services in over 100 countries with over 13,000 employees).

 

What has been the highlight of your career in the industry to date?

 

Being acknowledged by my peers as chief data officer of the year 2017 by IPQC Europe and as one of the 20 in data and technology by Women in Data and The Female Lead.

 

If you could give your younger self some advice about how to progress in this industry, what would it be?

 

Don’t be afraid to fail.

 

Did 2018 turn out the way you expected? If not, in what ways was it different?

 

I gave birth to my first child, a beautiful baby boy, in 2018 and so it turned out exponentially better then expected.

 

What do you expect 2019 to be like for the industry?

 

The telecommunications industry is a very exciting industry from a big data and analytics perspective. The ability to provide customers with the connected lifestyle they desire and ensure continued service optimisation through mastering of the wealth of data and analytical capabilities is a core competency. The industry is undergoing intense transformation in this area.

 

Talent and skills are always a challenge to find - how are you tackling this in your organisation?

 

We are continuing to invest in our people, further developing key partner models and optimising our dynamic operating model which we believe has to adapt to the ever-changing world of data, data science, business intelligence and big data wrangling.

 

What aspect of data, analytics or their use are you most optimistic about and why?

 

The ability to to provide our customers with innovative propositions through the use of artificial intelligence is very exciting for our industry.
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